03.05.19: Getting Real Around Here...
The photo below is the fully realized version of Legends of Boxing! Although I've only been on this path for three months, my dream of seeing this game in professional level production goes back to 2005. So yeah, today was a big deal! For those not already familiar with LOB, the primary charts, mode cards, quick reference card, and scoresheet are shown.
02.26.19: More Learning Curve for the Launch and GridZone Developments
So remember that previous bit about the print shop approving my layouts? Well, after I submitted the whole order, the fighter cards were rejected. So, I had to reformat the whole set. As a result, I had space to add five more fighters to the lightweight selection: Joe Brown, Kenny Lane, Lauro Salas, Juan Nazario, and Paul Spadafora.
In other news, there have been some neat developments for GridZone. Our friend Chris Hernandez is developing an online app and he's looking for play-testers. Check out his current demo HERE.
Interested? If so, reach me through the Contact form on this website and I'll forward your email to Chris.
02.18.19: Off and Running!
It is now official. LOB is going to print! Layouts have all been approved and the initial order is in queue. It will take about a month to get everything organized (dedicated space in my house) and ramped-up (online shop). We should be open for orders in late March, tentatively the 25th. The core game will come with 120 fighter cards:
02.05.19: In Training with Legends of Boxing
So for the past month, I've been learning a ton! From sourcing to publishing software to commercial print standards. Here are a few of the good and less good things I've discovered:
Less good: Small volume gets the shaft.
- Boxes: I designed a nice cover for a chipboard box that I wanted for the game. Most manufacturers (US-based), said their minimum print run is 5000 units. Well my first print run is 100 units, so out of the question. But I kept looking, approaching smaller print shops. Most of them couldn't do it at all. I did find two companies that would do a print run of 100 boxes but the quotes were outrageous. Bottom line: Economy of scale won't support a nice custom chipboard box as I had hoped. So I'm still looking for alternatives.
- Game boards: Again, I wanted nice thick boards, but similar story. My print run is too small to bring the cost down and make it feasible.
- The full-color game boards look great! They will be on the thickest card stock available through a small print shop. I can hardly wait to see them in physical form! Hopefully by the end of February.
- Fighter cards! This is the biggest thing that has been missing from LOB all these years. They will be 2 x 3.5 inches on 110 lb stock and die-cut. Black & white, laser printed. The print shop is supposed to approve the layout today. I plan to feature over 100 fighters from various primary weight classes in the core set.
- The new Mode Cards look really crisp and sharp! Aside from some minor text revisions, they're the same as they've been for years. You've probably heard the saying "If it ain't broke, don't fix it!".
- New Player Aids: The game will include a flowchart of the basic procedures and a nice Quick Reference card. Sneak peak of the Quick Ref below.
The core game will come with dice instead of fast-action cards (FACs). LOB was originally designed as a dice game. The 2010 version featured FACs to allow smoother flow of the action. So as you can see, I've waffled on this myself over the years! But I needed to decide on one or the other for the core game, which informs how the instructions are written. If we see enough demand for FACs later on, then I'll produce a set as an add-on. So this is yet to be determined.
Looking ahead, I hope to start taking orders for LOB in April. We are excited to get this first product out there and see what happens. If all goes well, we will continue to support the game with several more products including more fighter card sets, a full-blown career system and more. By late summer, we hope to be turning our attention to Quick Fixture, giving it the same professional makeover. Thanks for checking in!
01.08.19: Is it a hobby or a business? Let's find out together!
In the past couple months I have been considering the pros and cons of offering free games. In truth, it has always been a conflict for me, but life has a way of changing your perspectives. In short, I feel that free product does more harm than good, particularly in the cottage industry of sports board games. So, effective immediately I have taken down Legends of Boxing, Quick Fixture, and GridZone. The plan is to give them a makeover and offer them as hard copy products with real game boards and card decks. This will help to establish our game line and give us something to build on.
Wish me luck as I start down this new road! There's much to be learned about publishing software, sourcing, printing, components, and shipping!
11.04.18: A Yellow Card and Added Time: The Dice United Dilemma
A month into play-testing, it was brought to my attention that Dice United - on the surface - looks and plays a lot like Fastcard Soccer. I have never seen or played Fastcard, but yet the similarities are there. Fastcard appears to be out-of-print, but it lives on in the form of an Excel game, Fastdice Soccer, which is available for free. That's a big problem. Why pay when a similar game is available at no cost? That's a big yellow card to me. Furthermore, the fact that Fastcard is no longer viable as a commercial product is another ill omen for our plans.
So, added time... After working on Dice United for a year, I have to step back from this. It will take time to reconsider the prospects for this game. I love football and I want to produce my own simulation game for it, but I have doubts that it is realistic. The amount of time and effort does not appear to be justifiable.
10.28.18: A Storm of Progress on Dice United
Amidst wave-after-wave of rain storms here in Texas... Only two weeks into the play-test phase and my trusted team of testers and advisors have come through in a big way! Their fresh perspective has brought many things to my attention and their suggestions are pushing this game to be as playable and realistic as it can be. Most importantly, the process of resolving challenges has been streamlined and now focus can shift more on statistical fidelity. The play-test runs into the 1st quarter of next year, so there's a long way yet to go. We are seriously vetting this game engine. Hopefully, we will have a uniquely fun soccer game that is ready for market in 2019!
10.03.18: Playtest Launched for Dice United!
It is on! The playtest package was sent out today, October 3rd! This was the culmination of over a year of design work, number crunching, and chart tweaking. The package consisted of 10 PDFs and nearly 70 pages of content, including the rules, player cards, and printable game components. Now we settle-in for a playtest phase that will run into January. Check in here for occasional updates on the play-test results!
09.28.18: Dice United Approaches Play-Testing Phase!
Behold the first card set printed for the Dice United! They look great to me. A couple of the team-colored headers are tough to read, but we can remedy that. Now we are getting the rest of the charts formatted for the play-test phase. It will be a long one, extending into next year! In the end, we should have a really solid game.
07.20.18: Dice United in an Airport
This is a benchmark of sorts. Dice United has now been played at an airport! Only a few minutes after kickoff, a stressed-out businessman settled in next to me. He didn't know what to think! Anyway, this gives you an idea how the game looks on the table.
07.04.18: The New Soccer Game has a Title!
Over the past two weeks I've really been hammering away on this game! The process of translating real-life stats to individual player ratings has been established. Prior to this, I was just testing the game using made-up, ad hoc ratings (fictional players and teams) to produce certain types of situations. That was my way of testing the flow and logic of the game engine.
Now I'm fiddling with the format of player cards and team sheets. I want to fit the top 20 players of each team on a single sheet. Here is one example of a player card format:
Notice that those are home ratings. Yes, teams will be rated separately for home and away. Over the next month or so, the focus will be on producing more ratings and playing lots of test matches. More to come as this game develops!
06.20.18: What I'm Working on
The website consolidation has been huge. Bringing several sites together as one was a larger effort than I thought, but it will be worth it to maintain the one site - with an actual domain name! In case you're concerned, Quick Fixture and GridZone will remain free games, but I am considering a commercial version of Legends of Boxing.
Me: I have an opportunity to take my game designs to the next level, but I can only justify the effort if there is compensation. So I'd like to sell some games and LOB is a candidate. It is a full-simulation and a game that is not fully realized in the current print-and-play format. I would love to see LOB get an actual game board and real quality cards, including individual ratings cards for the fighters (so you don't have to copy ratings onto a scoresheet).
Elsewhere, Quick Fixture has sustained my interest in soccer and so I am building on the framework of that game to make a more detailed soccer simulation with individual player ratings. I love how this design is unfolding! This could be a possible Kickstarter in the future, but there are countless hours of play-testing and tweaking ahead.
I am also working on a sci-fi adventure for the new Frontier Space RPG by DwD Studios, titled "Messages From Oblivion". This project is teaching me the basic of doing digital art.
Lastly, a little wargaming is on my mental map as well. There are plans in the works for a WWII supplement for Two Hour Wargames' NUTS! ruleset!
So... lots of plans! Lots of potential... Let's see how all this actually pans out!
G. W. Brown