Monday, January 20, 2014

New Board Game Takes New York on eBay: Bronx Bidder Brings Can't Stop Shopping to Town

A Big Apple break for the inventors?

 No, they are not real New Yorkers, but family members during a visit to the town.

Rather exciting,  even if it's not the big breakthrough that my co-inventor Boyi Yuan and I are hoping for. someday.  Maybe.  Before board games go the way of the Model T.

To dream is to live.  Beyond the Board, there is the Tablet, and this game -- the mathematics of purchasing alone, may lend itself to a mobile version.  But first ...

Recently, we started offering copies of our working prototype on eBay for auction, one copy at a time.   I didn't take eBay's advice and begin listing at ninety nine cents.  How humbling.  But the price posted was, yes, closer to ninety nine cents than to ten dollars.

At least we are not desperately handing out free copies, a route that can work.  Think roller blades; that's how they rolled out.

In an auction that wrapped last Sunday evening at 10 PM EST (notice how I favor east coasters, there's a reason), I  upped the starting bid by a buck.  Feared it might bring up a big Zero.  We had one taker. But what a taker --

Drum rolls!  Trumpets!  Buyer's address is the BRONX.  That's New York.  Gotham.  The Big Town.  Taxi Driver.  If I Can Make It There, you get the picture.  Just knowing some real New Yorkers may be visiting our invention tingles my timid pulse.

Of course, who knows why it was really purchased.  A collector?  Fancier of novel ideas just to have around?  Secret operative for a game company, ho ho -- no?

Up Against "Brain Game" Mania

First copy back around October  went to a buyer in Baltimore.  All buyers since (well, there have been a few, okay) live east of the Big River.  Not so surprising. I've long held an impression that board games are still enjoyed (or tolerated) on the right coast. Here in the Bay Area, a new bread of "brain game" nerd goes ballistic over the mere thought of rolling dice.  "Random" marks the spell of death and desertion in this circle.  Which makes me wonder, if I might: Might they live in fear of the cruel heartless random ways of Fate itself?

I read that scientific studies of Poker assert that there is even a degree of luck and randomness in that little game. 

But ours is not totally random, no longer.  Not after nice guy Alex Yeager at Mayfair Games (Settlers of Catan), in taking from me an e-mail pitch offered some encouragement, but expressed being uneasy over his sense of the game's level of  --- yes --- randomness.  Which lead to Boyi and I digging in randomly and moving the game to a higher level -- with the introduction of our world famous (soon to be, in my mind, that is) ACT-ON Coupons, held secretly by each player.  They can foster amusing interaction, encouraging players to ham it up. 

Now with each turn, you the player either roll dice or play one of your ACT-ON Coupons as strategically as you can.  You could enlarge your shopping cart that much closer to victory -- or, conversely, reap damage on a rival's, reducing it to  Dollar Store status.

One thing is certain, now, players face many more challenges in the options offered for making moves in various ways.  Decisions!  Decisions!  Decisions!

Monopoly to chess?

Which makes me wonder if we now have something that starts out feeling a little like Monopoly, but can end up feeling closer to Chess.   In which case, maybe we have half-a-brain game?  

As Boyi said, pointing to his own, "more action there, my friend."

Yes, agreed, randomly or not.



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Showbiz David said...

I'm flattered with your interest, and thanks for comment. Gotham is a bit weak. I must rework this, as often I do.
we may eventually create a You tube about the game, but that would be down the road.

Kathy said...

Love this game David. Played it with daughter Lisa today.....can't wait to play it much fun.....never know how it is going to go....which makes it exciting and intriguing.....what is going to happen next? think you're doing good......then what! You just have to hang in there and hope you can win. IT'S GREAT FUN! Kathy

Showbiz David said...

Hi Kathy, glad you enjoyed the new version. I think the ACT-ON Coupons make all the difference.