Really? Creativity, sometimes in a burst shaking a fragile status quo, can lead to the changes you need. So I listen to Boyi, as he listens to me. Did you Monopoly lovers know how long the game (my one true love) was played in many forms before Parker Bros in 1935 finally, after grave doubts, took it on and made history? It came from an earlier invention called The Landlords, created by a woman in Philly. Even a recent sensation out of Germany, Settlers of Catan, took a few years to take flight. Yes. Go look it up. (Please take note, any Mark Monopoly Zuckerbergs out there: our design and rules are fully copyrighted, Sorry.)
Monopoly in the beginning: The Landlords, patented in 1904 by Lizzie J. Magie, a quaker who belonged to a tax reform movement advocating against landlord advantages.
So here I am, in our The Landlords stage, thinking of how to clearly link the discount AND free taxi ride cards under an umbrella title, which I will propose to Boyi when next we network. See what he thinks. Discount Days Coupon? Sale-Athon Coupon? (How clever I thought, until I found that “Saleathon” is already a word. ) Sale Away Coupon? (That sounds original!?!) I settled for now on simply "Sale Day." I'll run the other ideas by Boyi and see how he reacts.
We’ve put up a Flea Market (for losers needing to raise cash fast) amidst the various stores from which players make purchases in a mad ruthless scramble (dice rolling luck and shrewd strategic planning) to be the first to reach one of two shopping goals.
Sinatra just sang “It all depends on you”. He means us, the inventors?
We play the game with as many testers as we can con – Experts tell you to sit there and watch the reactions of others. That’s the only way your game can viably develop. Body language does not lie. Wordlessly, people reveal a whole lot. And you gotta take it.
Carping comments from the unimpressed? “That’s the best feedback!” Boyi once remarked after I’d played another of my game attempts in San Francisco to some uppity game board addicts (OK, that game -- Hired! Fired!, in limbo, was way too complicated). Can’t Stop Shopping is causing more player excitement as we make changes. A month or two ago, one glum guy, himself a game inventor who claims to make a living at poker, sat there not revealing a shred of emotion. Humbled, only thing I could get from him at the end was, ‘I think the players need more choices.” A few words can open big creative doors.
After a day or so of acute wandering-in-the-darkness depression, I pulled out an older idea that Boyi had floated in passing, tweaked it a tad, we talked about the tweaking angle and it lead to a major revamping of how to win our game in a way that allows all players to easily track the progress of their rivals. Which is like suddenly watching a horse race in the sunshine (good) that you were trying to watch through a dense fog (bad).
I’ll show these new title ideas and other stuff we talked about needing clarity when I see Boyi end of the week. We go back and forth, easily ...
Sinatra is now in his blue heaven, not one of his best efforts. But I wait for “September in the Rain.” This is not an album I give my full attention to. Tonight, to compensate for giving him short shrift this morning, I might sit down and savor every monent of his classic LP, “Only the Lonely.”
As for next, semi-background: maybe the CD that I first heard at the tea house, Gran Riserva? I'm tying to read the cover; it's in a foreign language! Some names: Dzihan - Kamien -- “Deep Kitsch” is the track I heard that made me buy it. Most of the tracks amply fine.
I couldn’t stop shopping after I heard that one beguiling track — even without a free on-line taxi ride.
Our semi-latest prototype version reflects critical design changes, some prompted by test-player feedback