Friday, December 09, 2005

I ask for new, I get new...sort of!

Battle Pencils!

"Jeshii, a teacher in Japan, discovered his students playing "battle pencils" ("Batoen") a game where you "roll" a standard-shaped octagonal pencil and then gain or lose points based on the face that comes up. They're like long dice. "

I love it! I want some! I bet my local anime store will have them before too long.


Monday, December 05, 2005

Waiting for the revolution...any time now...yep...

I'm sort of annoyed with myself because the tone of my posts so far have been so negative. One of the things I want to do with this blog is find, identify, and in my own little way promote really impressive and ingenious ideas in the gaming industry (I'll then steal those ideas and use them myself!)

Some examples:

* The Role Playing Game - A new gaming genre
* The Trading Card Game - Another new gaming genre
* The DCI (Magic: The Gathering tournament system) - One of the main reason Magic's still played today.
* WizKids coming up with Mage Knight - A seriously ingenious twist on miniatures gaming
* Everything Games Workshop did in the late 80's to early 90's - Sure, we know they're evil now, but at the time it was pretty impressive!
* Whoever brought Eurogames to the US - Did it start with Mayfair and Settlers? Not sure, but whoever did it, they did a great job.
* Taking kids TV anime shows, and turning them into trading card games - Again, evil, but you have to admit it was a big idea!
* The d20 system and the Open Gaming Licence for D&D

These are all specific cases where a specific game company did or started something really special and impactful. The one thing they all have in common: None of these ideas will work again. Their time has either passed, or their full impact is already upon us. Another RPG isn't going to set the world on fire, more Eurogames are coming but it's not revolution, and while anime card games are here to stay, Pokemon and Yu-Gi-Oh mania isn't going to happen again anytime soon.

It's pretty well documented that the hobby game industry is in a down-turn right now, with local game stores closing up and publishers feeling the hurt. The industry needs something new. Something that will get existing gamers excited or something that will draw in new gamers (I'm not picky!)

I'm not so interested in a new game, because I know there are lots of great new games being released in all gaming categories. I'm more interested in new categories...

I'm also interested in new ways to bring people into gaming. Marketing, to be specific. Not magazine ads or direct mail campaigns with go-faster stripes (that's old-school garbage.) New ideas, even if they don't work.

One of the surest ways to succeed (some would say the ONLY way to succeed) in today's world of business is to come up with an idea that nobody else has. Something that shouts "NEW!" when people glance at it (otherwise they won't think it's new at all.) Does anyone in the game industry have an idea like that?

I think there are a lot of people with ideas fitting that description. I just have to find them.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

If I ever run a game company, kick my ass if I do this!

I may be posting this because my current views on WotC aren't all they could be, that said, this is exactly the sort of thing that results in layoffs because you don't sell enough games.

If you have fans so happy with your product that they'll create internet sites advertising it (or giving away free versions, free samples are GOOD!), you're on the right track. Sending cease and disist notes to those so much.

If a site is so bad that it's threatening your copyright, you find a way to work out a licence with the fan. Seriously, is there any chance Hasbro is going to lose their rights to RISK?


Pay them if you have to.

In case your wondering, when I rule the gaming world, if you create a site that allows people to play my game for free, I will insist you provide large, obvious links to my site that say "If you like this game, click here to buy it."