nce upon a time, there was a publisher named Escape Velocity Games. Every day, Steve at Escape Velocity Games would work tirelessly on publishing great games like Conquest of Orion and (possibly Nick’s favorite microgame of all time) Tradecraft.
One day, Steve looked upon the world and said “There should be microgames themed after classic novels that people love!” So he called forth to the Internet and summoned a legion of game designers to compete in a contest of skill and minimalism. One designer after another submitted their works, some slapping rethemes on their existing works, while others endeavored to come up with designs appropriate to their themes. Steve gazed at these creations and said, ”
One brave designer, Sir Nick of Ferristershire, stepped onto the field of competition when it was his turn and announced, “I, too, have read a classic work of literature! Here is my entry!” And he presented a microgame of intrigue, strategy, and tragedy called Les Misérables, based on Victor Hugo’s timeless novel. Steve played Les Misérables and said, “Hey, this is pretty good.” Sir Nick let out a mighty chuckle: “But of course! What else would you expect from me?”
But suddenly, from The East, came Angelo Nikolaou and his design, Iliad. Steve, struck with such awe at the sign of Iliad, proclaimed, “This game is really awesome. It wins!” And Sir Nick totally agreed, because he downloaded the print-and-play off BoardGameGeek and tried it and was totally like “Yeah, this should definitely win.”
And the world rejoiced and celebrated Iliad‘s victory. But Steve, being of infinite wisdom, knew that Les Misérables was also a great game, so he proclaimed that it, too, would be published by Escape Velocity Games. Thus, the world was blessed with more amazing games. In return for his game designing brilliance, women and riches flocked to Sir Nick, and he lived happily ever after.
Hoowee! It’s been a while since there’s been an update here. I wish I could say it’s because I’ve been super-productive and working on lots of designs and doing lots of playtesting.
Oh wait, I can! Because I have!
I’ve updated the site with my latest design that’s been getting about 60% of my attention lately: All Hands, Brace For Impact!, affectionately known as the “Star Trek Yelling Game.” This one’s only been in the works for about four months, but it’s progressing quite well, with over fifty playtests clocked in already. It was a huge hit at Unpub 5 where rabid playtesters lined up and kept the games going for eight straight hours! I really had to pee after hour 4, but they wouldn’t let me!
If you want to learn more about All Hands and maybe get your hands on a print-and-play for it, please hop over to the All Hands game page. I’ll get you set up with what you need so you and your friends will be yelling “Shields are failing!” and “Redirect auxiliary power!” at each other in no time!
In bigger news, Nick has an actual published game coming out real soon now! It’s Heir to Europa, an evolved and super-amazing form of Les Cartes Misérables. I really like the direction in which publisher/graphic-designer/editor Daniel Solis has taken the original game, and the core mechanics are all still intact with some slick enhancements and streamlining. And look at that absolutely gorgeous art by the insanely talented Marisha Lozada!
Look for Heir to Europa incredibly soon when it joins the Smart Play Games line up of really awesome card games.