Trailing Uranus!

Dedicated readers of this blog will have followed the design process for my 3-6 player cooperative network building game – URANUS! My hope is that Uranus will be published later in the year. But to get people excited and interested in this new game, we have created a trailer!

Check out the video and let us know what you think.

Pin Badges

We’ve taken delivery of our Dark Imp pin badges. These will be given to children who take part in our schools gamesmaster training days. Aren’t they gorgeous?

Fortunately, they are also available to purchase from our online shop


This week my design focus has been a new bag-building game. In a bag-builder, each player has a bag in which they place a starting supply of tokens or cubes. Each turn, they draw tokens out of the bag and type of tokens drawn affect the possible actions the player may take. It is important that all tokens feel the same, so that the player cannot choose which tokens to draw. 

Using tokens drawn, players may move about the board and acquire more tokens, which, in turn, also go into the bag. At the end of each turn, used tokens are returned to the bag to be drawn in a different turn. 

My unnamed bag-building game uses different colour tokens to allow players to move their pawn around a city map, collecting more valuable cubes and taking associated actions. The game has been an idea in a book for some months, but has now had three prototype versions within a week.

For first version, I adapted the board from my game Throw Down Your Coats. This modular board with identical tiles allows a map to be set up in many different configurations. Having run through the basic mechanisms, version 2 had its own customised map tiles and player boards. Version 3 again develops the idea with dedicated action tokens that allow players to develop their bag, buy multiple tokens, collect more tokens from the board or progress on a development track.

More individual playtesting is needed today, then I’ll be playing this at home with the family – my resident lockdown playtesters. We’ll have to wait a while before external playtesters will be able to get their hands on it. 

The Grand Opening

At our weekly online playtest, we played the latest version of my second restaurant ‘roll & write’ game – The Grand Opening. 

This has been simplified from the original version, but the playtest would suggest that there may be still a little too much to think about at one time. Having pondered the feedback, however, I think that I can make some smallish tweaks that will streamline the whole game and make for a (much) less confusing experience! So not quite back to the drawing board!

Don’t forget

  1. Every Tuesday at 4pm during school closures we are running online board game sessions for families.  Register here (it’s free).
  2. We’ve created a page of board game resources for families in isolation, so do have a look… you might find something useful.


In case you missed it…

On Monday, we released a new video about Three Fun Games to Lighten Lockdown. If you want to see me trying to construct a card house without a table and balance a rhino on top of it… take a look. 

On Thursday, we published a new blog about How to Cooperate for Cooperative Games. Cooperative games sometimes cause more arguments than competitive ones, so how can you get the family to cooperate, come to a consensus and act as a team?

Coming this week…

  • New video: 2 heavier games to get stuck into during lockdown
  • New blog: 90 Second Nerd’s Eight Games