Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Presenting Castle Climbers!

This weekend I attended the always awesome ProtoSpiel show in San Jose, CA. It's a great event where game designers playtest their latest games. It's an amazing way to get lots of great feedback on your game design.

My "marquee" game this year was Castle Climbers - a family game with beautiful art by my daughter Evelyn. The BoardGameGeek description of the game reads:

Building the castle is easy! Climbing it is the hard part! Be the first fantasy hero to climb up the castle walls in pursuit of fabulous treasure. But beware of the monsters and misfortunes that can knock you back down!

In Castle Climbers, players lay tiles to build up a fantasy castle that they climb with their character. Players use action points to move their characters and roll dice and play item cards to battle the monsters that bar their way. Win and you keep moving. Lose and you drop back down! The first player to collect 100 gold wins the game!

One of my favorite things about the game is how different each of the castles ends up. Here are just a few castles from the show.

Eduardo Baraf of Gaming with Edo gave me an opportunity to pitch the game at the show. If you want a brief overview of Castle Climbers, watch below! 

I will be bringing Castle Climbers with me to Gen-Con 2018. If you are interested in learning more, feel free to e-mail me!

Introducing Pantone The Game

Cryptozoic Will Preview PantoneTM: The Game at GAMA Trade Show

Upcoming Party Game in which Players Identify Characters Based on Abstract Arrangements of Colors to Be Demoed at Cryptozoic’s Booth #325

Lake Forest, CA – March 12, 2018 – Cryptozoic Entertainment, leading creator of board games, trading cards, and collectibles, today announced that it will preview PantoneTM: The Game at the GAMA Trade Show, March 12-16 at the Peppermill Resort in Reno, Nevada. In this easy-to-learn competitive party game, 2-20 players try to recognize characters from pop culture who are represented only by abstract arrangements of colors, inspired by Pantone™, the world’s leading color expert. Designed by Scott Rogers (Rayguns and Rocketships, the God of War video game series), the game will be released later in 2018 after being demoed at Cryptozoic’s Booth #325.
Pantone: The Game box
Art Not Final

PantoneTM: The Game embodies the idea that a picture speaks a thousand words,” said Adam Sblendorio, Vice President of Creative at Cryptozoic. “By reducing characters to simple representations, the game captures the child-like feeling of wonder and accomplishment that comes from visual recognition, being able to identify someone or something with just a look. We feel that the game will appeal to a really wide audience.”

In PantoneTM: The Game, the player who is currently the Artist chooses a Character Card and then designs a representation of that Character using only color Swatch Cards. The other players subsequently take turns trying to guess who it is. If no one can guess the Character during a round, a Hint is given at the start of the next round, with each Hint reducing the number of points awarded to both the Artist and the player who correctly identifies the Character. The winner is the player who has the most points after each player acts as the Artist three times.

PantoneTM: The Game can be played at Cryptozoic’s booth at the GAMA Trade Show, with the second-half 2018 release date to be announced soon.

Product Details:
  • Number of players: 2-20
  • Ages: 8+
  • Playtime: 15-30 minutes
  • Game Design by Scott Rogers
  • Contents Summary:
    • 132 Characters Cards
    • 60 Swatch Cards in 15 different colors
    • Swatch Card Tray
    • Rulebook
About Cryptozoic
Since 2010, Cryptozoic Entertainment has been dedicated to the concept of “Fans First,” striving to develop the most creative and sought-after products for pop culture enthusiasts worldwide. As an entertainment company with a diverse portfolio of licensed and original IPs, its catalog covers a broad spectrum of tabletop games and collectibles. The passionate team at Cryptozoic aims to inspire gamers and collectors all around the globe, while bringing fans together as part of the Cryptozoic community. Visit www.cryptozoic.com for more information about product releases, events, and news.

Media Contact:
©2018 Cryptozoic Entertainment. | 25351 Commercentre Drive Suite 250 Lake Forest, CA 92630. All Rights Reserved.

P.S. - I designed this game. :)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Rayguns and Rocketships event on Feb 17th!

Hey there Planeteers! Tabletop Takeovers is hosting a Rayguns and Rocketships event on Feb 17th! We're going to have alot of fun playing the game and giving away prizes! Check out this nifty commercial for the event!

We hope to see you there!

Thursday, December 28, 2017

The Best Board Games of 2017

2017, what a year, huh?

Well, despite everything else that happened, 2017 was an amazing year for board gaming. There were so many great games that debuted this year. I haven't gotten around to playing all of them but here are the top ten board game new games from 2017 that I played in 2017. (Click on the title of the game for their link to their listing on BoardGameGeek.com)

Meeple Circus
What do you think of when you read the name "Meeple Circus"? This game lives up to that expectation and more. This meeple stacking game is easily the most charming board game I've played in a long time and every game will have you simultaneously thrilled and laughing out loud.

Dice games are very popular in my household and Sagrada manages to turn a dice builder into a challenging Sudoku-style game. Sagrada is quick playing, easy to learn and beautiful on the table.

I used to call "Formula D" the best use of polyhedral dice, but Unearth is challenging that title. The clever dice system matched with some lovely graphics makes for an engaging game.

2017 was a great year for worker placement games and Legacy-style games but Charterstone gives players the best of both worlds. It starts a little slow, but after a game or two, you be looking forward to leveling up your guild and find yourself hungry for more. 

Massive Darkness
IMHO, Massive Darkness is the spiritual successor to HeroQuest we've all been waiting for. Simple to learn, but it's campaign system will give you hours of play. It sports a clever leveling system, wildly flexible character creation and some of the coolest miniatures around. And what's a good dungeon crawler without lots of combat!?

Heaven and Ale
Do you like your strategy games heavy? In this game about beer-brewing monks, Heaven and Ale's unique combination of "do I go fast or slow" choice-making paired with "where do I put it" game play makes for a heady (pun intended) combination.

Mesmerizingly beautiful and mind-bendingly challenging, this shape-stacking game is easy to play and tricky to master. 

Dark is the Night
 An intriguing two-player game of cat-and-mouse where one player is the hunter and the other is the monster in the dark. For such a small and simple game, it packs a pretty big punch!

A social game that doesn't rely on profanity to be fun! The evil Sparkle Kitty has imprisoned Princesses in their towers but these Princesses aren't going to wait for anyone to rescue them! By saying magic phrases, the players can rescue themselves! Sparkle*Kitty is fast, fun and friendly for the entire family.

Einstein: His Amazing Life and Incomparable Science
This charming pattern building game is the first in an intriguing new concept: the biography-based board game. It's a great way to learn more about the man who we have all heard of, but could always learn more about. The possibilities of games based on the famous figures of history is mind-boggling...

Rayguns and Rocketships 
Special mention: 2017 is especially important to me because it is the year my own board game Rayguns and Rocketships was successfully Kickstarted and released! If you love the golden-age of science fiction, skirmish action and lots of great miniatures in your board games, then please check it out!

 Have your own recommendations for the best game of 2017? Add them to the comments below!

Thursday, November 2, 2017

"A game by Scott Rogers"

Like most of you, I have been eagerly awaiting the release of Rayguns and Rocketships. I have been hearing reports of the game showing up in Australia, New South Wales and even one store in Seattle. It's been very exciting to track the game as it is released around the world.

The day has finally arrived and my copies of the game were delivered from IDW games. I came home to a huge stack of games. Needless to say, IDW did a beautiful job not only producing the game, but shipping it and it was very exciting to receive my shipment.

Receiving the final retail version of Rayguns and Rocketships marks a milestone for me. You see, for 22 years, I've been fortunate enough to say that my career is "game designer". I've helped design more than 50 published games and have been involved making even more that were never published.

But Rayguns and Rocketships is the first game I've created that has my name on the cover. Outside of the board gaming world, it's actually a very rare thing for a game designer to receive this honor. I can only think of a handful of video game creators who have earned this honor.

It is far more common in the board gaming industry and while it might not seem like a huge thing, it represents something all game designers deserve - credit for their hard work.

There have been too many moments over my career where I have seen other people take credit for someone else's work or someone has tried to take credit for my work. Once a game looks like it is going to be successful, people get weird and start trying to "credit grab" - as if having their name on a box cover or on the game screen will justify their involvement - no matter how slight it was.

The "problem" is that credit does have power.  A credit isn't about ego or bragging rights, well, not for everyone. What it represent, to me, is proof to the world that this specific creator is responsible for the work. Names become a "proof of quality". Walt Disney. Stephen King. Oprah Winfrey. David Bowie. People buy their products because they recognize the names and associate the names with good work. There is a saying in the entertainment industry: "you are only as good as your last credit" and kids, credits are everything in this business.

In the early 90's, many of my peers were getting their names on the covers of their games. You probably have heard of some of them: Sid Meier, Tim Schafer, Will Wright, Chris Roberts, Chris Taylor. While literally thousands of people have toiled away on games, almost none of them get the credit they deserve. Did you know that Shigeru Miyamoto, the father of Mario and creator of the platfoming genre, who has made some of the best selling games ever made, has NEVER has his name on the cover of any of his games? Would a screenplay writer or a novelist put up with that? No way.  I can tell people that I've worked on this AAA game or that top-selling game, but if my name ain't in the credits, there's no way to prove that I was even involved.

Personally, I think it's time to correct this injustice. I've always said that if there were a reason for the video game industry to unionize, it would be for credit arbitration - something that's a big deal in the movie industry. I've left jobs before over this issue; it's that important to me.

So, this one is for you, my fellow game designers, wherever you are. May you share the same good fortune as I have had and get the credit you finally deserve.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Jack Vasel Memorial Auction

The Jack Vasel Memorial Auction is a great annual event that raises fund for the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund. From the website:

One tragic event and two acts of generosity brought the BGG community together: the result was the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund. In January 2011, Cate Pfeifer (Cate108) posted an auction for Tom Vasel and his family to help with the financial hardship related to the unfortunate loss of his son, Jack. The generosity of the BGG community was amazing. Tom was touched and wanted to pay the kindness forward so he created the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund. He used some of the money that BGGers donated and spent to build this fund. The fund is a not-for-profit with a simple goal: raising and distributing funds to help gamers in their hour of need. 


This year, I've contributed a premium copy of Rayguns and Rocketships to the auction. One lucky bidder will win all of the following:

1. Signed and Illustrated copy of the retail game
The auction includes an autographed copy of the retail version of the game. Designer Scott Rogers will also draw the Rayguns and Rocketships character of your choice on the interior box lid!

Example of illustration

2. Plastic tokens and bag
Plastic Blast token and Action token add-ons plus cloth bag (with design voted upon by the Kickstarter backers)

3. Dice and cards
Kickstarter exclusive secret mission cards (12) and four faction dice

4. Cards and rayguns
Convention-Only Exclusive demo four card set and twenty-four plastic raygun add-ons

5. Exclusive minis
A full set of eight Kickstarter Mercenary miniatures and captain cards

Starting bid is at $70 (the cost of the Early Bird Galactic Adventurer pledge) Condition is brand new. Worldwide shipping will be added at the end of the auction.

Expected delivery date - January 2018

Auction ends November 16th! Thanks for bidding and good luck!!

Link to bidding is here: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/230490/item/5721816

Friday, October 6, 2017

Music to shoot rayguns to: The unofficial Rayguns and Rocketships playlist

As we rocket towards the release of Rayguns and Rocketships, I created a play-list of thematic music that is great to play the game to. Enjoy!

Mars - Bringer of War (Gustav Holst) (7:21)

Zathura Soundtrack: Zorgon's Return (John Debney) (1:07)

Flash Gordon Soundtrack: Vultan's Theme (Queen) (1:13)


Flash Gordon Soundtrack: The Battle (Queen) (2:18)

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Soundtrack: Robot Army (Edward Shearmur) (3:01)

Sky Captain and World of Tomorrow Soundtrack: The Flying Wings Attack (Edward Shearmur) (6:31)

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Soundtrack: Manta Squadron (Edward Shearmur) (6:33)

Zathura Soundtrack: They Aren't Friendly (John Debney) (2:25)

Star Wars Return of the Jedi Soundtrack: Sail Barge Assault (Alternate) (John Williams) (5:06)

 Starship Troopers: Klendathu Drop (Basil Poledouris) (4:32)

Star Wars Return of the Jedi Soundtrack: Battle of Endor I (John Williams) (11:50)

Rocketeer Soundtrack: The Flying Circus (James Horner) (6:30)

 Captain America: Captain America March (Alan Silvestri) (2:35)

 Star Wars The Force Awakens: The Resistance March (John Williams) (2:37)

Zathura Soundtrack: Main Theme (John Debney) (2:23)

Starship Troopers: Destruction of the Rodger Young (Basil Poledouris) (3.28)

Zathura Soundtrack: Zathura is a Black Hole (John Debney) (1:20)

 Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow: Main Title (Edward Shearmur) (1:07)