Showing posts with label Yoggity. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Yoggity. Show all posts

Sunday, March 17, 2019


Working on Dr. Esker's Notebook has given me some energy to go back and get some of my earlier projects going again. I spent a good chunk of the weekend working on Yoggity. The earlier version was for playtesting and contests only, so I updated it to have a nicer folding gameboard and a printed box at It was hard to keep the cost down, because the nicer board was $8 and the box was $10 all by themselves. To compensate, I changed some of the plastic parts to cheaper cardboard laser-cut chits. I got it in at just a little over $38, which is probably too much for this, but I can't do better at TGC. I've ordered a copy of the update, so I'll see how it looks when I get it. Still really liking the art that was done for me by Jason Greeno of Greeno Design.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Transatlantic Yoggity

Yoggity is off on its way to Bochum, Germany for the Hippodice competition.  The game cost me $20; shipping was $30, and the entry fee was 10 Euros ($15 after Paypal fees).  Entering these contests isn't cheap, even though it sort of seems like it is when you get started. Of course, the Hippodice fee is very reasonable for the hassle they go through hosting the contest, and the rest is just my costs.

Regardless, I'm happy to do it; Hippodice gives useful feedback, which I haven't found to be the case for many of the contests I've entered, and I really like the way they have the contest set up.  Looking over Yoggity again, I was very grateful for Jason Greeno's terrific artwork - I think the game is great, too, but his art and design really makes it much more fun.

Probably won't hear anything until next year - but I'm glad to have the opportunity.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Yoggity makes the cut at Hippodice 2012-13!

I just found out yesterday that the folks at Hippodice have requested Yoggity for their second round.  That means I have to get a physical copy to Germany, which is a challenge, but it should be fun to see what they say.  They got 150+ entries; I'm not sure how many made this cut, but I assume it's no more than 50 or so, maybe 20-30, because they have to play them all.  Pretty neat.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Hippodice entered!

I've entered two games in the Hippodice competition this fall - Horde and Yoggity.  We'll see how I do - I've made the second round once but never their top 10.  I gather it's very competitive.

A user named Yort over at BGDF looked at my stuff and commented that it might be more polished than they were looking for.  I got that impression when they looked at Diggity a couple years ago - one of the reviewers said, essentially, "why are we looking at this?  we're only supposed to look at prototypes."  Of course, it was a game prototype at the time, just printed up nicely via TheGameCrafter, and well within the Hippodice rules which indicate less than 100 total copies.

We'll see how I do - these competitions are always a little unpredictable, but I really respect Hippodice for its organization and standards.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Paint by numbers

Like Yoggity, here's another game, Pastiche, that deals with combining paint colors to make various other colors.  It looks like you're laying tiles next to each other to generate the various colors you need to make masterpiece paintings - a neat idea; I don't know how it plays.  I don't think the games are very similar at all, but it's interesting to see somebody thinking partially along the same lines.  I haven't seen a lot of other games where you combine colors as a part of the gameplay.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Yoggity Reader Mail

Reader Daniel writes the following about my recent post on Yoggity:
So have you decided how to tackle the judges' "ruling" (or maybe input should be a better word)? I am thinking you can go three ways: either add more strategy to the game, accept the rulings and maybe re-theme it as a kids game or ignore them because they are wrong and do not know better. But then comes the funny part if you choose door number three.
Why do you think the judges left out a big part of the strategy in the game? Did they miss it or did they not play the whole game? Or do they not think what you refer to as strategy is some mundane thing a 3 year old can do?
I would love to hear what you plan on doing with the judges feedback and whats your next step. 
Daniel sets up three possibilities:
  • Add more strategy - I've considered this; I really like how the game plays now, but I understand that some folks (particularly boardgame enthusiasts) might want there to be a bit more depth. One potential weakness for the game (that doesn't seem to affect how much fun it is for me, but might for some) is that there's no overarching plotline to the game - you're doing mostly the same kind of thing in the last few turns as you are in the first few, although obviously a bunch of the scoring has already been decided by the end, and people have collected different resources and cards. It's possible that I could come up with some kind of plotline this way - something that builds up over time, that might solve both potential problems - complexity and plotting.
  • Re-theme as a kids' game - Maybe a possibility, but I'm not sure it's a good one, for several reasons. One is that although the gameplay itself is pretty simple, being good at the game requires making complex strategic decisions about resource use and deal-making. So, younger kids might miss out on the part that makes the game the most fun. Another reason not to do this is that the market niche I'm looking at is probably boardgame enthusiasts - they're more likely to buy a fairly obscure game from a small publisher, I think, and I'm not so likely to get the widespread play I'd need to attract a kid-based audience. A kid-oriented game wouldn't sell well to this crowd. On the flip side, if I self-publish, I'm hoping to market the game also to my former Snood customers, and for those folks, a family-friendly game (which Yoggity certainly is) that's marketed that way would maybe be more appealing. So, I don't know what to do along these lines. My idea of a great game is one that both grown-ups and kids can play and want to play - it's simple enough to understand that kids can handle it, but fun enough and complex enough that adults enjoy it and would play by themselves. Checkers isn't quite at this level, although there are certainly grown-up checkers enthusiasts. Monopoly has become nearly exclusively child-oriented, but I think played by the proper rules, it's a fine game for adults.
  • Ignore the judges - that's very tempting, but I don't know that it's a good idea. On one hand, it sounds like they didn't play the game the way it was supposed to be played, so any advice they give is not necessarily useful. On the other hand, they read my rules and chose to play that way, so either they didn't get it, or I didn't make it clear enough that trading makes the game much more fun and more complex for multiple players, and making good trades is the best strategy to win overall. My suspicion is that I could easily rewrite parts of the rules (maybe add a "strategy" section) that point out the benefits of trading in order to highlight that. I think that's maybe my best option now.

As to what they were thinking, I can't really speak to that; they obviously enjoyed the game, or they wouldn't have ranked it as highly as they did. I wish they'd tried the trading, and I need to get people to want to.

Thanks for the feedback - I have lots to think about here.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

More on Yoggity and kids

The judges at Gamecon Memphis thought my game Yoggity was suited for 6-8 year old kids.  I certainly need to listen to that feedback and figure out what it means.  However, I think they're wrong, for a couple reasons.  As I said yesterday, they left out a major part of the strategy of the game, and that part of the strategy is the part that requires higher-order strategic thinking.  But a second reason might be that the game looks relatively simple on the surface, but the strategy is quite a bit deeper.

Think of chess for example - an eight-year-old could learn the rules, but a grown-up would always win.  Ditto for checkers, go, Othello - lots of games with simple rules have more complex strategy.  I think Yoggity (while admittedly not as strategically deep as chess or go) falls in the same boat - it's easy enough to learn how to play, but playing well requires some careful thinking.  I've lost a number of games of Yoggity because I made deals that ended up being bad, but I was convinced at the time that I was being very clever and helping myself out more than my opponents.

If I can get people to recognize that complexity while still appreciating the simplicity of the rules, then I think I've got a game that's a winner for a bigger audience.  People justifiably don't like games that are too simplistic, but they also don't generally like games that are byzantine, particularly if they're non-gamers.  I don't know for sure, but I suspect the Memphis judges were pretty hard-core gamers (which you'd expect for convention goers who volunteered to judge a contest).  So, maybe they were looking for something they could really sink their teeth into, rather than a lighter game like Yoggity.

A real commercial success, like Settlers of Catan, has simple rules but complex interactions, which makes it both accessible and deep.  That's what I was shooting for with Yoggity, but the Memphis judges only saw the accessible part.  So, I have to figure out how to showcase the depth, too.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Memphis results

Here's the final wrap-up from the Gamecon Memphis competition.  My game, Yoggity, got third, with a recommendation that it might be better for 6-8 year olds.

One frustration - the testers apparently never traded anything, and trading is key to the game with more than two players.  With two players, you can actually collect enough resources to make things on your own, and the strategy comes in when you decide how and when to use your coins and when it's a good idea to cancel an order.  Plus, any trade is likely to benefit your opposition as much as you, so it's difficult to do anything other than zero-sum trades, so people tend not to trade much.

With more than two players, you don't often have all the resources you need, so you have to trade, and making good trades is a huge part of the strategy. I'm not positive the game was played by more than two at a time, so it's possible that's why they didn't trade.  But I'd think they'd try it with more judges than just two, and I think I made trading a clear part of the rules, so I'm surprised that they wouldn't try trades in that case - there's a clear strategic advantage in a three player game for two players to make a trade that hoses the third.  In multi-player games, the best traders nearly always win.

Without the trading, the game could be probably be playable by an 8-year-old (a six year old would still have trouble, at least the 6-year-olds I've known), but with trading, you have to be pretty smart, clever, and charming to come up with good deals that are appealing to all sides, and kids would not be able to make that kind of decision consistently well.

I guess that's a problem submitting a game anonymously - you don't get a chance to demo or explain the game.  But that's going to be the case if you're selling your game to the public, too, especially if they're picking it up off a game store shelf.  So, I've got to make it more clear in the rules that trading is key to the game.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Rio Grande contest wrapup

I'm still trying to get a sense of what happened at Gamecon Memphis, but the result is clear; the winner of the regional there was a game called "Kings of England" by Rick Goodman.  I'm not positive, but I think this might be the same Rick Goodman who was involved in a lot of real-time strategy computer games, such as Age of Empires and Empire Earth, both of which I enjoyed.

The early feedback I did receive says that Yoggity was viewed favorably (maybe 3rd or 4th of 20 games) but was seen as as too child-oriented.  That seems weird to me, since a kid couldn't handle the negotiation part very well, but maybe the judges were looking for more of a hardcore wargame or something.

I'll keep an eye out for more results - the organizer of the Gamecon competition has indicated he'll post more information on BGG.  I'm obviously disappointed, but I'm grateful for the opportunity.

For Yoggity, it's on to Hippodice...

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

GameCon Memphis Schedule

They have the schedule up - Yoggity's on tap for Saturday early morning and early afternoon, plus I guess they could play it during the open sessions.  Some of the entries seem to require 3-4 hours.  Yikes.  Yoggity is usually pretty manageable - 45 minutes to an hour, although it can take longer with more folks and is sometimes noticeably slower the first time people play.  I hope the 1-hour timeframe is enough for it, especially if they need to explain the rules as part of that.

Exciting, though!  Woohoo.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hippodice timing

OK, so, I have two good candidates for the Hippodice competition - Diggity and Yoggity.  Cult I think is too language-dependent; part of what makes it funny is the cards, and the jokes wouldn't be as funny in another language, even if most Germans do have pretty good English.  Galapagos isn't ready yet.  But those two games are both mostly language-independent (Diggity even moreso than Yoggity) and I think they'd appeal to the Eurogamers over there.

The issue?  They want only unpublished games, which both currently are.  They define unpublished more generously than other competitions; they suggest the games haven't been submitted to a publisher (true in both cases), that they not be commercially distributed (definitely true for Yoggity.  For Diggity, does TheGameCrafter count?), and that they be under 100 total copies produced (definitely true for both - Diggity is at about 23 copies, all but seven of which reside with me or friends and family, while there are only four copies of Yoggity in the world; I have two, one's with the artist, Jason Greeno, and one is in Tennessee waiting for GameCon Memphis).

So, I think I'm OK entering both.  The trick is, if I actually somehow get Diggity up and running, there's a chance I'd have more than 100 copies by March 2011, which is their final round.  I have to get the art finalized and in the right formats, and then I'll probably have to re-quote it, since it's been a while since I got most of the quotes and most of them are only guaranteed for 30 days or so, and then the printing takes a while.  So, if I figure it will take at a minimum at least a month to get the art ready, then a month to re-quote it, then 2-3 months for printing and shipping, plus holiday delays, I'm actually almost to when they're judging.  If it takes longer than those timeframes, as it likely will, then I'm easily in the clear.

So, I think I'm OK.  I can always withdraw it if things go faster than I expect, and just have Yoggity in there.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Off to Tennessee

Yoggity's packed up and in the mail to GameCon Memphis.  Exciting - I hope the testers there have fun with it.  We'll see how the contest goes.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Yoggity photos!

Here are some images showing the new artwork for my game Yoggity.  The art is by Jason Greeno (at - he did a really great job.  The copy of the game here was produced by the new post-merge with SuperiorPOD.  It's the only one in existence, and it's been to New Mexico and back in my suitcase, so it's not 100% pristine,  It's a little glary because I took the pictures at 1:00 pm - couldn't get a good one from directly above because the sun was so high. The game isn't yet for sale - it's my entry into the Rio Grande game competition, so I haven't published it yet.  Depending on how the competition goes it might be available around December 2010 or maybe next year.  Anyway, enjoy, and click on the images if you'd like to see them bigger.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Yoggity Quick Peek

Here's a quick peek at the new Yoggity components fresh out of the box.  My crappy webcam doesn't do them justice, but they look great.  More later.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

TGC now printing more stuff in color

I got my new version of Yoggity with the art from Jason Greeno ( from, and it looks pretty great.  Something I didn't know - they are now printing rules in color (looks like color laser printing), and they're including two stickers, both in color, one stuck to the outside of the box and one inside.

I think the colors on this run seem less dark, too - my older stuff from them has always come out darker than the images I submit.

This is the first game (of about 12) that I've ordered alone, and it came with the shipping stuff and priority mail tape all over it - not ideal, but the game components look really good.  They use an outer box if you order more than one thing at a time, so your game boxes stay more pristine.

Pictures of the new version soon.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Yoggity Art revealed!

I mentioned in this post that I'd gotten some new art created for my unpublished game Yoggity.  The artist is Jason Greeno of Greeno Design (  You can see some samples of the art at the Yoggity page here - I'm really happy with it.  I'm getting a mock-up made by TGC, and I'll post actual snapshots when I receive it.

I've entered Yoggity in the Rio Grande Game Design Competition, and if I don't succeed in getting it picked up by Rio Grande there, I'll look to producing this as the second Plankton Games title sometime in early 2011.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another Yoggity test

I played Yoggity with my parents today, and they seemed to enjoy it.  They've played most of my game designs going way back to my still-talked-about-and-mocked Roy Rogers game, which I made in about 1981 at the age of 12 or so. It nearly always ended in a near-infinite loop of being sent back to the ranch (start) - you had to roll a six and then a three or something to get through one part of the board.

So, I think they liked it - my mom won, 44-40-40, although my dad had a chance to get 2nd place outright at the end. There was a lot of trading and cooperation, and one vicious cancellation of a Bland Corporate Logo order that might have won me the game.  Good fun.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Yoggity art!

I've gotten some artwork back from my artist, Jason Greeno of for Yoggity.  We're working out the last bits, and then I hope to get it up on my site and get a couple of copies printed by It's really exciting to see the game look better than I could ever get it to.

This is the game I'm entering in the Rio Grande Game Design contest, so I won't be able to release it until that's over this fall (it's for unpublished works only).  It's been fun every time I've played, with any number of folks, so I think it will be a good one for the contest.  It's not too heavy, but it does involve some interesting dynamics, especially with multiple players.

I think that's my next candidate for a serious rules edit - using what I've been learning from redoing Diggity and reading other rules documents.  Now that I've got some art, I'm really excited about it.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Playtest reports

I played Diggity and Yoggity with a game-enthusiast friend last week.  Both were completely new to him.  It went pretty well; in Diggity, I got some good cards at the start and built a lead he couldn't ever come back from, which isn't an ideal first-time experience, but should be somewhat rare.  The gameplay was better; it continues to surprise me that I've actually gotten a lot better at Diggity - I wouldn't have thought of it as having very deep strategy; you have a relatively small number of decisions to make, and there's usually one that seems like an optimal one - but every time I've played recently, I've noted some more subtle strategic decisions creeping in, and I tend to do consistently better (having played it more than anyone in the universe) than my opposition, which suggest there's some kind of skill (or at least an enhanced understanding of the rules) at work.

Yoggity, which I've entered in the Memphis regional of the Rio Grande competition, was much more balanced; I ended up slightly ahead, but the outcome was in question for most of it, and there was a definite impact from drawing cards.  The major strategy in the two player game there is when to collect and use your coins; the 3-4 player game, with item trading, requires much more shrewd deal-making.  The 2-player game is still a lot of fun, but it's just very different from the multi-player version.

The three-cards-before-miner rule that I added in the last rules revision continues to work well, although it is still hard to explain.  Not hard to understand; just hard to explain, which is weird.  I'll have to work more on the phrasing.

Anyway, an interesting (and thought-provoking) couple of games.

Friday, May 28, 2010


Played a game of one of my other designs, Yoggity.  I really like this game (of course, I'm biased).  I'd go for production on it, too, except it has so many more pieces than Diggity, it would be far more expensive.  It's got a board, a bunch of cards, and 21 tokens.  I may try to get it priced out just to see, but I'm guessing it would be at least $5-$6 per game even in serious bulk.  I'm planning on entering it in the Rio Grande game contest this fall, so we'll see how that goes.