What Matters Most
Well I have tried to do this once before and well, it was tough to sustain and therefore fell to the wayside and other things in my life or the lives of my loved ones took the time. Sure, to do all the things I do I need about 5 more hours in a day, but then doesn't everyone always want more time. That is the bane of all existence TIME. So I will start off by saying today what matter most is that I sat down and actually started a blog page. I have no one that will come and read it and there is no fanfare that will play when I post this thing in a few minutes. but that is not the point is it. Simply that it mattered today that I have begun something in this endeavor to create a game that I enjoy very much and have been working on for the better part of 2 years.
Hooch, the Card Game started out as most games do as an Idea but not of a game just a thought about the word HOOCH! My partner and I were working on another project and the word hooch was brought up and it seemed funny at the time. So for the next few days I would call Kyle on the phone and say HOOCH! and hang up. A few days later I get a phone call and Kyle says, "It is the 1920's and the Don is dead, you and your criminal syndicate is looking to take over the town and run illegal alcohol now that the Don is out of the way" GO! And with that call I was off to the races and have yet to slow down. I have designed other games in the past and built prototypes but this was something that really stuck with me and I could not let it go after the initial design phase was over.
Of course from there we continued to work on it and put money and time into the game and refine it again and again. After bit we got to a point where the game started to play well and it was in a working state where mechanics were flowing into each other and we felt it was a pretty good product, though we were sure it was not done. We took the game to Gen Con last year and played in the First Exposure Playtest Hall. This was a crazy eye opening experience and very humbling.
The game was well received and we got good comments back about the art, though there were many good suggestions as to how to improve the game and the art. So coming home from Gen Con was a happy and sad thing for me. I had succeeded in getting there and having a working prototype of the game that other gamers were interested in and found fun. I also had some more work to do and while the art was accepted as part of the game I took some constructive criticism that at times had some sting to it. Though I have been an artist my whole life and beyond that I majored in Opera in college, yes Opera. So I can take a few shots on the chin after all my theater experience has taught me to have a thick skin.
Enter Mike Wilster, game designer and avid game player. Kyle and his wife were expecting and thus he had to take less of a role in the game process as he was going to add a second child to their home. So Mike and I sat down and really tore the game apart while considering all the lessons learned over the past year from play testing locally and by the Gen Con crowd. We were able to streamline a good chunk of the game and redesign the end game which now had much more meaning during game play as well as adding in some very unique features to help the game separate itself from the pack a bit and we continued to build on the base economic core of the game. This proved to be the right direction and some other pieces of the game fell into place increasing the replay value of the game and the value of the entire criminal syndicate you are running when you play the game.
I had to dig deep into my creative mind to work out some of the new art that would be changed with the new and better mechanics. I think I was able to do that and the result is a much better looking game and a game where there is continuity through out the design of the graphics and art. So putting a massive amount of time in I was able to overhaul the entire look of the game and give it a much better skin to live in and one that matched the theme of the game better.
So we are now working on the details to run a Kickstarter campaign and get ensuring the the game is at 100% including all the art and all the part and all the components. So that is a brief history of how I arrived at this juncture in my life and I will continue to endure and push ahead even painfully is necessary to produce this game.