Play, Test, Repeat

I’m still cranking away on my board game designs, but it’s been a while since I’ve shared the progress. The two games I’ve been focusing on the most are The Lonely Dungeon and One Dimensional Chess.

Luckily there’s no shortage of game design meetups in the city, so I’ve been getting plenty of great feedback and ideas lately. Here are some recent events:

The Lonely Dungeon

The Lonely Dungeon is a single player dungeon crawler that I’ve been working on for a long time. During a recent playtest I decided to try a major rule change. I had been requiring players to engage with every new tile they encounter, but in this new version I decided to allow them to choose whether or not they want to engage with a new tile. I thought this change would break the game, but it worked out fantastically. In fact it fixed the key problem I had from most of my players and gave them the feeling of choice and control. Unfortunately you can’t make a change that big without needing to rebalance the game, which had been so finely balanced before.

One Dimensional Chess

One Dimensional Chess is one my most popular games and I believe it’s the best game for me to release first. So I’m working with Minusbaby, an NYC designer and musician, to create the perfect packaging for the game, then I’m going to release it on Kickstarter.

There’s also a prototype for 1D Chess on mobile phones, thanks to my friend Kurt Dekker.

ROM

ROM is my personal twist on the classic memory game. This design is pretty rock solid and super fun for families or groups of 4 or more. I’m considering the designing process complete on this now and I’m hoping to find a publisher for it.

 

A few more egg jars

I shared some of my egg jars a month ago and wanted to show what I’ve been making since then. These jars are easy to carry to work each morning, healthy, and simple to reheat.

 

Blame Tom Sachs for the mainstream rise of NASA fashion

note: This article is reposted from that time I guest-edited Rusty’s Electronic Dreams. You can (and should) read that full issue here and subscribe to her inbox zine here.

NASA is the new black

It’s not just your imagination, NASA t-shirts really are everywhere now. Not only are these shirts popping up at your favorite retail stores, a new wave of NASA themed collaborations are appearing all over the fashion world. But why?

An easy answer is nostalgia. Both of the NASA logos (the classic red “worm” and the newer “meatball”) have a wonderfully retro look that translates well to a t-shirt design, but it’s also possible that there’s an economic incentive at play too. As a government organization, NASA does not require licensing process or licensing fee to be paid for the usage of its logos.

My personal theory is that this current boom was sparked by the popularity of a pair of astronaut-themed shoes designed by the artist Tom Sachs. In 2012, Sachs and Nike teamed up to release the “Mars Yard” sneakers, which were inspired by the quirky “Space Program” installations that Sachs was making at the time. These shoes became instant classics and are covered by sneakerheads around the globe, sometimes selling to collectors for over $2,000. After the popularity of these shoes, more and more street brands started dabbling with NASA themed logos and designs.

So these shoes were just slightly ahead of the trend or the current wave of NASA inspired fashion was the result of an artist who was known for making spaceships out of plywood and glue. You decide!

 

PopCast Yo-Yo Vlog (episodes #21 and #22)

I’m still cranking out the PopCast Yo-Yo Vlogs. Episode 21 talks about the history of Branding and episode 22 is an interview with someone who designed and manufactured 5 pieces of their dream yo-yos. If you like these episodes, please help support the show on Patreon.com/docpop