Hello! No matter where you are in this blog’s history, thanks for coming by. Did you hear about our new game coming out on Amazon in November? Cage Match! The MMA Fight Game is in my hand, right now, off the production line, with shrink wrap and everything!
It rocks. It papers. It scissors. It’s fun. The components are high quality and durable, and will hold up over time. There will be limited quantities and we expect them to go pretty quickly. Click here to learn more but better yet, sign up for the email if you haven’t already, and we’ll let you know when it releases. Right now we’re looking to have product in hand in late November or early December but we plan to start taking pre-sales prior to then.
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I’ve been designing games since I was 9 or 10 years old, when I designed a game around Transformers toys, where you battled by using the stats on the backs of the boxes and throwing dice. It was a hit, and kids from around brought over their toys to do battle. When I was a teenager, when role playing games were big, I soft-published a role playing game, and it became the only game my playing group played for a while. Through undergrad and after, I never considered the idea of selling my own games or getting a job working in that industry or anything, and I didn’t know anyone who did. Now, I’m un-boxing my own game:
After 10 years of leading the Epic Duels community and designing very popular add-on materials for that game, multiple friends suggested I start designing original games. I took a few stabs at it and learned some things about my process and materials, some of which I’ve shared. Then the 1670 group started playing through more titles and backing Kickstarters more regularly. I would send emails back to the Geektopia Epic Duels group telling them what I thought of the games, and I figured I’d put those thoughts in a blog. Now with the restoration of Epic Duels in the game Unmatched, I expect the blog to be around for a while. It’s a bit of an unusual space, to be creating add-on materials for licensed properties for a licensed game, and from there to be reviewing new board games, and from there to be creating original board games, but that’s where we are in 2019, and where I am is to be publishing my first original game and bringing 12 original characters to life:
A couple of years ago, I had ideas to resurrect my old role playing game and wanted to implement a combat system more dynamic than the ol’ “Roll d20 for initiative, roll to strike, roll to dodge, ok, you did 1d8 damage” sort of combat. So I developed a rock-paper-scissors system, and it tested well right away. After some time refining it, I thought if there other themes I could apply the combat system to, and the idea of a MMA game seemed obvious, as my wife and I, and our gamer friend Deri, are all fans of the sport. Now we’re bringing that sport to life in a board game that you’ll be able to buy on Amazon.
So that’s how Cage Match! was born. The ideas for characters came quickly. I hired a graphic designer and we put together some prototypes for the New York City Toy Fair in 2018. At this convention, I met Gil Hova of the Ludology podcast and Stephen Buonocore of Stronghold Games and the Board Games Insider podcast. Stephen has let me run the only Stronghold Games-sanctioned Terraforming Mars tournaments, which I run at Gen Con. I also interviewed Rob Daviau about Epic Duels for this site, plus I had a few meetings about Cage Match. One company was pretty interested, and asked me if I’d be willing to work on the game and of course I said yes. Ultimately, it didn’t fit into their 2018 plans, but by then I figured I’d just do it myself and learn the ins and outs. Another year went into making the game as lean and mean as possible. It’s all of those things. It’s fast and fun.
One thing we stressed throughout the production process was a need for high quality components, and we pushed for them wherever we could. The character cards are sturdy, the screens and mats are really thick and durable. Inspired by the Tom Vasel review of the Revolution board game, I pushed Whatz Games for even better screens, so they put a wrap around them, and the results are outstanding.
For reasons I’ve explained elsewhere, we’ve chosen not to go to Kickstarter with this game. We’ll be available directly on Amazon, and you won’t have to wait months or years for delivery, more like a few days. We’ll post a video for how to play. We’ll set up a place to take pre-orders. We’ll see you soon.