Grant Rodiek: Me and BGG 2014
December 2, 2014 - 1:55pm
Rising game designer Grant Rodiek of Hyperbole Games has high praise for his latest BoardGameGeek.Con experience.
BGG Con was basically the director’s cut of Gen Con. ...Tons of great publishers were there selling games. There was a huge library of games to play freely and tons of free space. The accommodations were right there and quite nice. Finally, and most importantly, all of the publishers that are normally so busy at Gen Con had plenty of time to talk to designers like me.Beyond the published designs, he took in some projects-in-development such as Paradox from Brian Suhre, Fog of War by Geoff Englestein and Prime Time from Gil Hova. Next, Grant offered up protypes of his own games and discusses the rewards and pitfalls of trying to get people to playtest at a convention.
The truth is, folks come to BGG to play finished games. Testing feels like work, and it is.Grant ended up getting quality time with Dawn Sector (now picked up by Portal Games), Sol Rising and Hocus Poker. During playtesting of Hocus Poker, Grant made a game design breakthrough.
[a publisher helping in the test] made a suggestion that was so simple to implement and had an enormous impact on the game. This being, I tried a “basic” version without the asymmetric spells, just the three basic actions. Wouldn’t you know, the game is way easier to learn, is still incredibly fun, and can appeal to a broader audience as such. The publisher also noted the game was “a bit thinky,” which again wasn’t what he wanted, but was music to me and Josh’s ears.Finally, Grant talks about all the amazing board game reviwer personalities he encountered...including a run-in with a tall, mysterious figure known around BGG.Con only as "Cardinal Cardinal". For an indepth look at the last BGG.Con from a designer's perspective, check out Grant Rodiek's thoughtful analysis.