27 Feb 2009

How to play?

My kids and I have made a video where we explain how to play "Nicht zu fassen" alias "Cache Moutons".


24 Feb 2009

Advanced game play

The first reactions on the game are very enthusiastic.

Here are some suggestions how to improve the game fun (chaos) when playing with "big" kids :

  • Play the game with the most players as possible : even 7 players work fine.
  • Select the most "wolfish" player to start playing as the wolf.
  • Place the finger-puppet on your little finger as your forefinger will be too large. Use the puppet in any case. It adds an extra "fun" dimension to the game.
  • The wolf may count faster from 1 till 10 or counts only from 1 till 5.
  • When he has finished counting, the wolf must quickly turn his head back towards the table.
  • He must growl like a wolf when sniffing against the hide-outs (use your imagination).
  • Play the game in rounds to allow each one to become the wolf once.
  • The goats require only 6 stones instead of 7 to win the game (especially suggested with 5 to 6 players).

Have fun!!!

19 Feb 2009

How to sell a game concept?

You have worked hard on a game and now it is finished. You want to get your brilliant idea in a box and you do not know how...

It is not as difficult as you might think.

Here, for the first time, I explain how you must proceed. It works well, as I can testify. Even better, it works always if you follow exactly the following steps.

Step 1 : Identify a publisher which might be interested in your concept.

Step 2 : Send a brief description of the game to the big boss. Do not waste your time with employees. You go for the quick hit.

Wait a week.

Step 3 : As you got no answer, call the boss to check if he got your description. He will say "no" (which means that he has thrown away your description) and you tell him that you will send your brilliant idea right away. Hang up the phone before he can say "no" again.

Step 4 : Send your game and wait 3 months.

Step 5 : Call the boss again and ask him when he is going to publish your game. He will answer : "I'm very sorry, but I passed your game to the "chief game concept acquisition manager" and I got no feedback yet. He will contact you as soon as he has some info." In fact, his wife (who is also his secretary) has intercepted your game and she has tried to put your box on top of the shelf, which resulted in an avalanche of not-evaluated gameboxes. Several components were mixed, but she managed to fill up the boxes again as "equal" as possible.

Six months later...

Step 6 : You get your game (at least some components) back with the message "Unfortunately, the game does not fit into our collection. We wish you luck...".

Step 7 : On a game fair where your publisher has a booth, you decide to launch your secret weapon : your attractive girlfriend will force a breakthrough. The meeting lasts long. You start to panic and see her (in your mind) performing a lap-dance in front of the boss. Of course, you must accept some sacrifice and you wait the outcome of the meeting. At your surprise, the guy who is smiling at your girlfriend when she is leaving the meeting box, is not the boss, but his son. The whippersnapper.

Step 8 : Next year, you change your tactics. Seduction has not worked. Therefore, you invest in strong-arm methods. Flanked by 2 friends (recruited among the doorkeepers of your local dancing), you arrive in force at the booth of your favourite publisher. You ask with a calm and self-assured voice to the pretty lady at the reception desk : "How do you like my game?". She answers : "I don't know. I will ask the boss." When the boss arrives, he answers to your question (after looking in the eyes of your 2 fellows) : "Very interesting, I will have a second look."

Step 9 : Next year, you still have no news of your game. By despair, you participate at a game designer's contest. By chance, you get the first price among 200 competitors.

Step 10 : A week later, you get a phone call from your friend (the boss) : "Your game is brilliant and I take it. Why did you never showed it to me before?". You are too astonished to find the right answer and stammer : "Thank you very much, mister. I do no know what to say, mister".

Conclusion : To sell your game idea, you just need to have one publisher who finds that your game is brilliant. It might take a few years, but who cares...

Test your game designing skills

You want to know if you have the potential to become a good game designer?
This simple test gives you the answer.

Question 1 : What is your favourite game?
a) Goose game
b) Monopoly
c) Saboteur

Question 2 : You have lost a game. What do you think?
a) I made more mistakes than the others.
b) The winner had a lot of luck.
c) This game sucks. Never again.

Question 3 : You won a game. What do you think?
a) Who cares? Let's play another game.
b) I had a lot of luck.
c) I'm so brilliant. Excellent game.

Question 4 : What is your favourite dish?
a) worst met rode kool (sausage with red cabbage)
b) steak nature
c) grilled lobster

Question 5 : You go on holiday. What don't you want to forget at home?
a) Your laptop
b) Paper and pencil
c) Your sexy bikini suit

Question 6 : What's your sex?
a) None of your business
b) Male
c) Female

Question 7 : What's your age?
a) Older than 35
b) Between 25 and 35
c) Younger than 25

Question 8 : What are your sizes (bust, waist, hips)?
a) 120 - 101 - 125
b) 100 - 85 - 110
c) 85 - 59 - 81

Question 9 : What is your dream?
a) To become rich
b) To design games
c) To meet you as quickly as possible

Answers :

You have the most A's : Go playing darts, game designing is not your thing.

You have the most B's :
Go playing with the other pal. He doesn't like to play alone.

You have the most C's : Please contact me on Facebook. We need to talk, sweetheart.

17 Feb 2009

The original prototype

Here you can see a picture of the original prototype. Like you can see, the final components are very similar to the original concept. The graphics are improved. The foam goats has been replaced by wooden pieces and the footprint counters by stones. A nice finger-puppet has been added. The editor has done a wonderful job.

12 Feb 2009

What's inside the box?

You get 7 furniture pieces in cardboard, 1 Wolf box, 1 Wolf finger puppet, 31 wooden cubes and 11 cute wooden little goats.

Sales Saboteur are booming

The sales figures of the game Saboteur have arrived and I'm very glad to announce that the cape of 200 000 copies have been rounded. The game is on the market since 2004.

Last year, the sales have increased by 60 % compared to the sales of 2007. More than 60 000 copies have been sold during one year, which means an average of 170 copies per day or 7 copies per hour. Not bad for such a small game, isn't it.

Of course, the sales have boomed thanks to the worldwide distribution of it. The latest new market is South-Africa.
The bulk of the sales (60 %) have been achieved in Germany and France. The first thanks to the excellent distribution of the editor Amigo Spiele and the latter thanks to the nice presentation in a metal box of Gigamic.

9 Feb 2009

Back from Nuernberg

Nuernberg is the biggest Toy Fair of the world where all professionals gather together to make business in the game industry.
This time, I was very proud to attend the fair as two new games were presented : one being published by Zoch Spiele with an excellent reputation for quality games and the other being published by IQ Ideas a smart publisher of New Zealand starting to conquer the world from an unexpected direction (from a European point of view).
The feedback on both games appeared to be very positive, which confirmed the enthusiastic response of the people who got the opportunity to play-test the games.
So, you will soon hear more about it.

The Toy Fair is also an opportunity to present new game ideas and to check how far existing projects are progressing. Despite the crisis and the difficult economic situation, which is also affecting the game business, I got very encouraging feedback and I can inform you now that new games are coming to the market in the near future. Unfortunately, it is not my task to communicate about it and you will have to be a little patient until the concerning publishers start promoting their future releases.