This morning I posted off to Germany prototypes for both of my entries into this year’s Hippodice game design competition: Jukers! and Archipelago (of which: more here). I am crossing fingers that they make the perilous journey intact.
I got the good news that both entries had made it through to the playtesting round a few days ago, and so have been busy fashioning boxes for both games. Having now entered game design contests in Germany, France and Italy for a couple of years I have gained some expertise in repurposing old boxes to make new ones that are smart and durable enough to be sent overseas. All it takes is some thick black paper, a ruler, a craft knife and a can of permanent spray adhesive (oh yes, and a well-ventilated room to avoid any undesirable side-effects).
So far my record at Hippodice isn’t looking too bad. I entered for the first time last year and both entries (Mosaic Romanum and Terraform) were selected for playtesting. Mosaic Romanum even got an honourable mention when the winners were announced, which I was thrilled about. Since both of my entries this year have also made it through to playtesting I must be doing something right(!) — I certainly put a great deal of time and energy into the design of the games, the prototypes and the rules, and can only hope that the guys at the Hippodice club have fun playing them!
Assuming it is possible for me to formulate an entirely dispassionate opinion, I would say that both of my entries this year are better than my entries last time around. They are cleaner, sleeker and more focused designs, along with being lighter, shorter and — if I do say so myself — more original. I am particularly pleased with how Archipelago has turned out, although that may simply be because of all the multi-coloured meeples the game uses. As has been said before, I love me some of those meeples!
Anyway, the winners will not be announced until March, so I and all my fellow competitors will just have to be patient. Ah yes: The Waiting Game — that’s the one that game designers must be particularly skilled at playing!