Sunday, 24 August 2014

#BghAwards nominations

September is nominations month for the #boardgamehour awards a.k.a #BGHAwards.
Starting on the 1st and runs for 5 weeks. Each week the topic will be based on the award category and towards the end of the hour we will open the nominations process. We will take suggestions for nominations for the rest of the week using #BGHAwards, switching to the next category at the start of the next #boardgamehour

Here is the scheduled:

#BoardGameHour - Monday September 1st at, 2pm Eastern Time, 7pm UK

Topic - The "Game Changer"
Brief outline - We will be discussing the #boardgamehour award for Innovation in Board Gaming. What should the criteria be, what games should be nominated?

#BoardGameHour - Monday September 8th at, 2pm Eastern Time, 7pm UK

Topic - "I Want More”
Brief outline - We will be discussing the #boardgamehour award for Best Re-playability. What should the criteria be, what games should be nominated?

#BoardGameHour - Monday September 15th at, 2pm Eastern Time, 7pm UK

Topic - "Head in the Game”
Brief outline - We will be discussing the #boardgamehour award for most immersive game. What should the criteria be, what games should be nominated?
#BoardGameHour - Monday September 22nd at, 2pm Eastern Time, 7pm UK

Topic - "Try it, you might like it”
Brief outline - We will be discussing the #boardgamehour award for best introductory game. What should the criteria be, what games should be nominated?

#BoardGameHour - Monday September 29th at, 2pm Eastern Time, 7pm UK
Topic - “Card Board & Dice Propaganda”
Brief outline - We will be discussing the #boardgamehour award for best board game media. What should the criteria be, what games should be nominated?

We look forward to seeing you there, and taking your nominations during the week

Saturday, 23 August 2014

#BoardGamersAsk Peter Wocken

We were lucky enough to have a world class board game graphic designer @PeterWocken answer questions for @BoardGamersAsk and here are his answers:

@BoardGamersAsk: You work with some top publishers and have worked on some awesome games. Could you give us an overview of what it is you really do?

@PeterWocken: I have had the pleasure of working with a variety of game companies over the years.
Primarily, my job is to create is a intuitive User Interface (UI) that allows player to quickly pick up the rules of a game. I don’t want to break the flow of a game with players needing to refer back to the rules to figure out what the heck something does, that takes them out of the game and the more immersion, the better.
Secondly, and just as importantly to me, it needs to mesh with the style(s) of art that are going into the game. In some games, the graphics and art are so dissimilar that it looks slapped together. It’s important to me to create a product that you can look at a component and know that it belongs to a certain game.

@the_FlyingSheep asked: How did you get your first break?

Pack O Games

I was recently (some time ago, sorry Chris) sent a little package by Chris Handy or as I know him @ChrisHandy on Twitter (where I live)
In it were 5 games each no bigger than your finger! Well my finger, I don't know the size of your finger. The concept, which I will tell you about now is: Pack o Games

What I don't want to do is tell you how each of the 5 games works. If you want to know that, and you sort of should, I have placed at the bottom of this page (don't go there yet) a link to the kickstarter page, where there are full reviews of the games themselves, by proper reviewers.

What I want to do is tell you about the Pack O Games project overall. Basically each game is a very well designed micro game. They range in complexity from Casual (these are really simple, light, almost party games) to Challenging (these are full on games, they don't seem to me to quite warrant the title challenging, but for the audience they are aimed at, that could well be the case)

The biggest thing about these games for me, is that each one of them made me say "ohhh, that's clever". Now keep in mind I am a jaded long time gamer. I am not easily impressed. So this is high praise.

I might not often play the casual games in this range, but, and its a big but, when the time comes I will be very thankful for having them. For instance, next week I am going camping with my Girlfirend who is not a gamer at all, but has requested I take game for us to play while away. Will I be taking all 5 of the games Chris sent me... Yes! They take up zero room, and they are fun light games.

I have to be honest, when I read about this it gave me a sort of mmmaaa feeling, but I have been impressed.

I am glad to see that the kickstarter is already funded (sorry again for taking so long Chris, its 5 games man!) and I really look forward to seeing what else is coming from this clearly talented designer.

Just so you know, my favorite game was: Gem

Check out the kickstarter while you still can:

Giveaway - Apocalypse: Galactic Arena

Here is your chance to win a high quality review copy of Apocalypse: Galactic Arena
This very sexy game is coming you Kickstarter soon, but you can get your hands on a copy before that!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
For more information go here:

Friday, 22 August 2014

Feedback required

So I have ventured into the world of voice acting! I know right, you thought I only communicated though text. No the fact is, I can also speak. This campaign is not live, but it is coming soon. I'd love to have your feedback on the advert. It is really only an audio advert, but I added so pictures to give you something to look at. Here you go:

Here is more information about the upcoming Kickstarter campaign you can read this press release:

A Sci-Fi world you can experience.

Many of us enjoy the immersion we get from science fiction. We love getting to know the characters, places and stories, but most of all we relish seeing them grow and evolve over time.

Have you ever thought what it would be like to experience a world that grows with you? How about if you could play games set in a universe that feels alive?

Imagine reading about your favorite character, then becoming them in a tabletop role playing game. As the story unfolds, you end up being plunged into a tactical battle game. You triumph, but the next adventure may lead you to play a card game, or perhaps a dice game? Who knows? Take your story from one game to the next.

Storyception Games is a new company bringing together the worlds of science fiction literature and tabletop gaming in a way never done before. They are in the process of releasing a series of 5 games all set within a massive, detailed Sci-Fi world called the Apocalypse Universe.

The Apocalypse Universe is a world existing on thin promise. The brink of ultimate destruction is near. A large scale catastrophe has devastated the galaxy and each race is competing for survival.

“We are a team of creative professionals who want to give something back to the Sci-Fi community. We have designed the Apocalypse Universe and now we want to share it with others!” – Chris, Storyception Games

Interaction with the Apocalypse Universe doesn't end at playing the games with your friends. There are official competitions coming, in whom winners will help shape the future of the story itself.

Don’t just read about a world, experience it!

For more information about the Apocalypse Universe and to watch a trailer of the first game in the series, Galactic Arena, please visit:

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Gaming with kids - Recap

"Hey all!

My name is Jonny, and Nate over at the WONDERFUL #boardgamehour wanted -- nay, couldn’t live without -- a recap of everything fantastical that was happening in the best hour of our (gaming) week. What this article does is take the entire chat that occurred this past week, and condense it into what people said on each topic! If this is something that you all enjoy, we will make sure that we recap every week’s discussion, so that we can keep a record of our hilarious and lively discussions. Without further ado, here are the answers to the top 10 questions on this week’s topic, board gaming with kids!"
- Jonny Rivera of We Make Games

Board gaming with kids

Q1.) Do you play games with kids? If so, how often and what age group?

The #boardgamehour community enjoys playing games with kids (mostly the 8-12 age range) about one night each week. The majority of the community agrees that this 8-12 age group “gets the most” out of gaming; at that age, they can read, comprehend, and be taught rules while still enjoying the gameplay. The community mentioned that that teens are often included in game nights, but it can take more work to make it “cool” to them, especially if the teen hasn’t grown up in a gaming environment.

Q2.) How accurate are the age descriptors on the side of the box?
Unfortunately, age descriptors are mostly inaccurate and unhelpful, but it depends on the child. Parents will always know the capabilities of their children better than a game company. Generally, the only part that is useful is the warning about what parts are unsafe for children under a certain age. Often, games state a “13+” rating so that they do not have to pay for safety testing, even if the game is suitable for children due to an appropriate theme and no small parts. Reading comprehension is the most important factor in playing a game with a child, so the age at which they can read effectively is a huge factor in determining which games will be fun and age-appropriate.

Q3.) What are some games that are good for both kids and adults and have good replay value?

For an enjoyable and lasting experience for both kids and adults, King of Tokyo, Dixit, Animal Upon Animal, Ticket to Ride, Rampage, Forbidden Island, Smash Up, and Sushi-go were the most commonly praised.

Q4.) What mechanics are good for introducing games to kids?

Three main game mechanics are good for introducing games to kids: dice rolling, voting, and matching. Introducing kids to a variety of different mechanics is always a good thing so that they get to experience all types of mechanics to determine their favorite. More often than not, the theme is much more important than the mechanics of the game because that is what will gain and hold their interest. Games that have a social component are good for teaching children how to interact not only amongst themselves, but also with adults.

Q5.) Do you allow your kids at game night? What age Is allowed? How do you deal with them acting up?

Often, the people with kids host the game night. Most of the kids are paired with adults to form a team so it is less of an “us vs. them” mentality. Typically, gaming groups play more kid-friendly games while the children are awake and then start more adult-themed or challenging games after the kids are in bed.

The reality is that because of the typical age of most groups of gamers, kids and the occasional “acting up” are common during game nights. Instead of focusing on the child’s age, the maturity level is the more important factor, which is true for adults as well. Children need to work through the “acting up” and learn from the consequences, because if they don’t experience game nights, how will they know how to behave at them in the future? Game nights are clearly an important part of your life, so you should make it a part of their lives as well!

Q6.) What is your main focus when playing games with kids? Fun, educational, taking turns, social?

The focus is always about fun; everything else is a byproduct. Taking turns is more relevant for younger children, as they must wait to do their actions and this is not something that generally comes naturally. Learning sportsmanship is a very important factor, along with how to win and lose. Studies show that learning from games can actually be more useful than learning in a classroom, so expose your kids early to the life lessons that board games provide.

Q7.) What age range needs more games “designed” for them? What are the design challenges?

There needs to be more games made for the 3-6 age range. A child’s ability to read is a major factor in their interest in board gaming. Games made for children ages 6-9 without necessary adult supervision are difficult to come across as well. The biggest design challenge is making each player feel that they have an even chance compared to the rest of the players. Kids learn by seeing and doing, so let them partner with another player who can lead by example. There needs to be more games designed for teens as this is generally the age that board gaming falls out of favor with them.

Q8.) How do you teach kids to be good winners or losers?

Teach by example. Win and lose with grace. Allow them to experience both winning and losing. Make them understand that if they don’t act appropriately, they will not be able to play again. Short games offer the opportunity for lots of wins and losses. The biggest takeaway here is that it is important to let children lose. Don’t always let your kids win. It doesn’t do anything for them and it will often lead to being a poor sport. As a side note, buy them food. Losing is better with food.

Q9.) Should people take kids to gaming conventions?

Yes, because they are awesome and kids should experience awesome things. Just don’t be that guy who leaves his child unattended. If your kids don’t want to go, don’t force them to go. If they do, make sure that they will understand what they are doing when they are there. You want them to get the most out of the experience, not just be afraid of being trampled to death the next time they go to a gaming convention.

10.) #Boardgamehour will be opening up the nominations for the upcoming awards. You will have a chance to vote by putting them in a specific hashtag.

Quote of the week: “We can substitute kids for casual gamers and everything still works.” Basically, replace the word “kids” with the phrase “casual gamers” in this #boardgamehour and it still makes sense! Clearly, this statement is meant in jest, but you have to admit that the correlation is uncanny.

I hope you all enjoyed reliving this little slice of board gaming heaven, and I look forward to chatting with you next week. Until next time, may all your meeples be merry.

Big thanks for doing this to the awesome Jonny from: 

Friday, 15 August 2014

#BoardGamersAsk REVAMP

When I started #boardgamersask some time ago, I knew I wanted it to be a way of the twittering board game community to be able to ask questions of gaming insiders. I really struggled to find a format that I was happy with, because each had its pros and cons. 

I ended up plumping for the live format. This has worked quite well, but not only has it had its drawback, it has also been one of the more stressful things I done in my quest to help the gaming industry grow to the size it should be. The limits of the format have started to become more apparent and so after a lot of thought I am changing it!
So what is going to happen now? 

Well we are still going to have awesome guests (see below), and they are still going to answer your questions. The main difference is that it is no longer going to be live. You are going to submit your questions at any point over the 4 days after the guest has been announced, then our guest is going to answer the best question in full here on the blog. The main bonus to this change is that more people will be able to take part and ask question and that the answers will be longer than 140 characters!

Guest of the week!
I am really excited to announce that our first guest to use this new format is Games Graphic Designer Peter Wocken!

Peter in his own words:

"I am a freelance game graphics designer and artist. I have a decade of experience working in the art and design field with such notable companies as Plaid Hat Games, Fantasy Flight Games, Floodgate Games, Best Buy, Motorola, and Polaris. I was professionally trained at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design (MCAD) with a BFA in Illustration.

I have spent the last few years honing my craft of game marketing and graphic design, working on licenses such as BioShock Infinite, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, Battlestar Gallactica, Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40K, StarCraft and many others.

I keep a strong pulse on the gaming and technology industry via the latest blogs and podcasts from some of the best in the field. I love learning new things whether it be about a new game release, the fifth way to do something in photoshop, or new trends that are shaping the digital and board gaming industries.

I love game graphic design and enjoy creating graphics, which not only look good, but are intuitive to the player. I stopped counting the number of games I’ve played, it’s a lot. What can I say, I’m a geek, with no apologies. I love what I do and am always excited to hear about new projects."

What to do now?
If you have questions for Peter, about games he has worked on, graphic design for games in general or anything else, just use #BoardGamersAsk
Your questions will be sent to him next week!

Sunday, 10 August 2014

STAR WARS (TM): Armada

Fantasy Flight Games have announced the upcoming release of Star Wars™: Armada, a two-player miniatures game of epic fleet battles in the Star Wars galaxy!

I'm going to be honest, I have never allowed myself to invest in a miniatures game or CCG, but I am starting to feel the pressure mount. What with this announcement combined with games like D&D Attack Wing I am starting to feel like I am missing out on something big. 
If you look at my board game collection you will understand that I have a bit of an obsessive personality. The only good thing is that I recognize the flaw in my personality and that knowledge is what protects me from being single, homeless, hungry but with a shit ton of plastic in boxes sat around me!

If you have the bank balance to match the size of your need to collect, read all about Armada here:

Monday, 4 August 2014

The BoardGameHour Awards

Quite some time ago we had a #boardgamehour about awards. During it, some bright spark suggested we run a Board Game Hour awards... So here we are! Two weeks ago we announced that you would be able to vote on the categories for these awards (they are yours after all) and boy did you. We had around 150 votes cast in two weeks for what awards to give out.

We want the awards to be snappy and focused so we are going to have 5 categories in our first year.

And here they are:

  • The "Game Changer” award for Innovation in Board Gaming
  • The "I Want More” award for Best Re-playability
  • The “Head In The Game” award for most immersive game
  • The “Try It, You Might Like It” award for best introductory game
  • The “Card Board & Dice Propaganda” award for best board game media
So despite this being the 2014 #BoardGameHourAwards none of these awards are time sensitive so the games you pick / vote on don't have to have been released this year!

More to come about these awards next week.. Feel free to comment below, that will make us smile ;0)