Although the exhibition happened last fall, I finally have put documentation online for the exhibition of Flatlands at the Museum of Design Atlanta. A collaboration with architect Nathalie Pozzi, Flatlands is a game installation where two players search through an archive of 200 game boards to find the right one that will please a judge. Both players play cards that change and modify the judge’s criteria over time.
Flatlands was part of XYZ – Alternative Voices in Game Design, and Nathalie and I want to thank the curators Celia Pearce, Cindy Poremba, Adam Rafinski, John Sharp, and Akira Thompson for including us in the show and also for helping tremendously with the installation.
I’m especially excited about this amazing video shot and edited by The Raftermen in Atlanta. It gives a great sense of Nathalie’s space design and the overall experience of the game. You can more documentation about Flatlands, including complete game rules, on my project website.
It’s official. Quantum, the sci-fi strategy boardgame I started designing 4 years ago, is officially available for sale. From its origin as a little sketch I played with Jesper Juul in my kitchen to the award-winning prototype Armada D6, to the final game that designer John Sharp helped me whip into shape, it’s been a long journey.
Its been great working with FunForge, the game’s publisher, as well as Passport Studios, who are distributing the game in North America, on its release. For more about the title, here’s an essay I wrote about the Quantum’s design process for Boardgamegeek.com.
What does this all mean for you? You can finally order your own copy! Here’s a link to the Amazon page and another at Cool Stuff Inc. Stay tuned for a launch party in NYC in the next few weeks. In the meantime, I am very much looking forward to hearing about your experience playing the game.
Feels great to finally have this game out and in the hands of players!
The Museum of the Moving Image, a longtime exhibitor of digital games, recently premiered the show Indie Essentials: 25 Must-Play Videogames. The show combines classic indie games like Passage and Braid with last years winners from the IndieCade Festival of Independent Games like Killer Queen and Gone Home.
I was delighted when Diner Dash was selected to be among the winners. It was one of Gamelab’s first titles – and probably its most successful. You can read more about the show in this review published in the New York Times. The exhibition will be up through IndieCade East in February. Check it out if you’re around NYC.
photo credit: Karsten Moran for the New York Times
For better or for worse, the Manifesto for a Ludic Century – an essay I posted on Kotaku.com several months ago – continues to reverberate within game circles. This past November, the NYU Game Center where I teach hosted a debate over some of the ideas in the essay. You can watch the full video here, featuring Heather Chaplin, Ben Johnson, Abe Stein, and myself. No blood is drawn, but there is plenty of productive combat.
Heather since published a short interview with me about the Ludic Century for the MacArthur Foundation’s Spotlight Blog. In it, we chat about games, literacy, and the three elements of the Ludic Century – systems, play, and design.
And there’s more. Last night, I was delighted to watch brilliant media scholar McKenzie Wark expertly dissect the Ludic Century as part of the events series “Videogames Theory Criticism” at the Brooklyn Institute for Social Research. It was equal parts painful and illuminating – like watching a veteran surgeon operate on your own body. Highly recommended.
Last fall at the start of the school year, legendary game designer and play theorist Bernie DeKoven visited the NYU Game Center for a lecture and workshop. I just came across these photos from his visit on the NYU Game Center flickr site and wanted to share them here.
Bernie had asked me to co-lead the 2-hour New Games session, and it was humbling to work side by side with him – like Mohammed Ali asking you to spar a few rounds. We led the 50 or so participants through Rock Paper Scissors Tag, Vampire, Prui, and many other classic New Games.
Bernie also recently published a new book – A Playful Path – with ETC press. It’s a spiritual successor to his groundbreaking book The Well-Played Game, full of stories and insights about living the playful life.
In a few hours I am heading to the airport to the Essen Game Fair – the largest tabletop game event in the world – to launch my board game Quantum with its publisher FunForge. As part of the pre-launch hype offensive, I wrote an essay for boardgamegeek.com about the design of the game.
Part of their Designer Diary series, the article details the evolution of the gameplay from my first playtest with game scholar Jesper Juul in my Brooklyn kitchen in 2010 to the final production push this past summer. Along the way, I discuss design issues such as the way that the information elements on a playing card signify their meaning and the importance of testing the learnability of rules.
FYI, the picture above was taken during a recent preview event of the game in Europe. That’s boardgame design legend Bruno Faidutti playing my game! I wasn’t there but I heard he enjoyed it.
See you at Essen!