A New Home for the Canadian Heritage Collection

As many of you know, September is the month where the Canadian Heritage Collection typically releases its annual Master Catalog of Canadian Games. While I don't have a 2012 Master Catalog for you, I do have some good news that bodes extremely well for the Catalog's future as well as for the future of the Canadian Heritage Collection itself.

Back in July of this year, I entered into discussions with an Ontario-based organization called GamesForAll that is working hard to grow and celebrate boardgame culture in Canada through a variety of initiatives ranging from retail to event support to publishing and more. We've agreed that their spirit and intent is closely aligned with that of the Canadian Heritage Collection and that they're well equipped to continue growing and improving upon the CHC in the years to come. On that basis, I made the decision to transfer the rights and responsibility involved in the Canadian Heritage Collection over to their team and am now assisting them with the transition.

Big Update - Famous Games + Kickstarting the Apparatus

Hi everyone! Rumours of my death have been greatly exaggerated. =o) It's been eons since I updated the blog but it certainly hasn't been for lack of news. If anything, it's because so much has been going on at once that I've had to let Canadian Gamer take a back seat for a while.

So what's been going on, you say? Well here's a quick rundown:
  • After 14 years of developing HD games at BioWare/Electronic Arts, I've decided to leave the company and strike out on my own. Needless to say, it was a tough decision and I'm glad I took the time to wrap up pre-production on some special projects before I left.
  • Following my departure, I've been hanging around with the guys at StartupEdmonton and pouring my passion and energy into Famous Games Co., my game-related sports marketing startup that I quietly launched last year. That's involved a lot of effort on the website and, now that I have my card game samples from the manufacturer, I've been reaching out to the various related sports leagues and their major sponsors to build up some initial clientele. It's been a neat design challenge for me as it's involved building an entire line of card games capturing familiar subject matter (sport) yet using no more than 9 cards. It's been exciting to see it all finally coming together and taking shape as an actual business. In the meantime, the general gaming public will be able to order copies from the BoardGameGeek webstore starting in early August (special thanks to Derk, Aldie, Chad and the gang!) so keep your eyes peeled there.
  • Not to be outdone, the Toy Vault team has been hard at work on their Kickstarter program for my upcoming steampunk board game, "Apparatus". They've put together a great promo video and art assets and everything went live yesterday. Check it out and, while you're there, stop by some other Canadian gaming campaigns currently being Kickstarted and wish them luck on their journeys.

Belfort sold out, D-Day Dice breaks records, and more...

According to the designers, Belfort is officially sold out from the publisher's warehouse, with the last copies going to Canadian distributor, Lion Rampant Imports. Meanwhile, feedback on the game has been extremely positive. Fans rated it the best game of BGG.con this past week and BGG power reviewers Ender Wiggins and Jeff Temple have given it a very positive and lavishly illustrated review (which is only to be outdone by a recent "Condo of Mystery" webcomic about the game being released page by page.

Here are some quick comments about Belfort from the BGG site:
  • "Beautiful board and components. Very good design on board. " - Paul Smith
  • "Solid combination of worker placement and area control mechanics." - Marc Buchanan
  • "One of the two best 2-player meaty, thematic, worker placement games that is fun and the only one that also has area control." - Jimmy Okolica 
  • "A simple, beautiful worker placement. There is a lot of replay in this little box and a ton of sexy components." - Wesley Kinslow
  • "Fun game. Fun art. Puts together a host of familiar euro mechanics, but in such a way that is stronger than the sum of its parts. Definitely recommended. " - David Siskin
  • "Great game. A much deeper game hides behind a pretty face. Worker placement, area majority, and resource management at it's finest." - Gustav Ã…kerfelt 
  • "This game is as good as it looks! The worker placement is stone age easy and the area control leads to some cut throat interactive gaming." - Zack Stackurski
  • "A nice mix of worker placement and resource management." - Andrew Mason
  • "Game of the Year 2011?" - Joel Eddy
  • "This is simple game that at the front seems like a family game, but it has quite a lot of strategy and agonizing decisions. Excellent components." - Paul Nomikos
  • "Such a fun game. A great blend of worker placement and area majority. It all seems to fit together well to create a fun yet challenging experience." - Mike Jones
  • "Wow! Worker placement, Area Management, and Variable Phase Order in a wonderful integration without being dry dry dry. Fun! Fresh! Addicting!" - Peter Elsenheimer 
  • "A great worker acquisition + worker placement + area majority game, and one of very few games I've playtested that left me aching to play again." - Matt Musselman

Remembrance Day

Another solemn Remembrance Day has come and gone. D-Day Dice, the "storm the beaches" Kickstarter war-game mentioned in our previous post, surpassed $50,000 in funding today. Designer Emmanuel Aquin and the publisher, Valley Games, will be giving out some additional content to commemorate the milestone but they're still waiting on information from the manufacturer before they announce it. At this rate, the funding milestones are being met faster than the quotes can come in from the publishers.

Congratulations Emmanuel, and all the best as the advance continues.