A Flood of Fun

The fine folks over at BoardGameNews have been posting a series of Two by Two design diaries that I wrote for them.
A wide-eyed unicorn peered out of the dense underbrush of the inland jungle. The sandy beach spread out before her and, beyond that, a grey and choppy sea that swelled to fill the bay. And there amidst the wind-tossed waves, the strangest sort of boat approached – short and squat, deep-bellied with no sail to speak of, capped by a peaked roof. Monkeys leapt and screeched across the deck and a pair of mourning doves cooed softly to each other in the rafters, taking shelter from the rain. Nervous, the unicorn watched the ark approach. The raindrops flowed beneath her hooves and out onto the beach where the ever-rising waters swallowed up the sands. She raised her head and stomped her hooves against the loamy earth, calling out for her mate on the far side of the island, praying for an answer...

Part I - The Flood talks a bit about the game's origins and how it got me out of a design slump I was experiencing at the time.

Part II - Keeping One's Head Above Water provides some insights into the process of pitching a game to publishers and describes a trip I took to Origins Game Fair in 2007. I described the same trip in greater detail (and with a different focus) in a BoardGameGeek thread.

Part III - Higher Ground describes Valley Games, the "friendly local game publisher" who will ultimately be publishing the game. They're a two-man operation based out of Okotoks, a small Alberta town just outside of Calgary. In the 3 or so years they've been in business, they've built up a pretty impressive portfolio of games (particularly high-quality reprints of classic Avalon Hill titles). They're increasingly turning their attention towards the family game market, however, and Two by Two is a significant part of those plans.

Keep your eyes peeled for Part IV - Rainbows and Unicorns, which should make its appearance on BoardGameNews next week. That one will discuss the game's split personality and some of the branding and positioning decisions that Valley Games made to help ensure that the game reaches and appeals to its intended markets.

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