(82 comments, 3 posts)
I am a Game Designer who loves the fun and challenge of a well played game. I love talking about games and finding new and exciting ways to introduce them to my friends, loved ones and anyone! That's what this is about.
Home page: http://www.cartrunk.net
Posts by John Moller
The full title would be Cartrunk Entertainments XL Series of Games, but that’s a mouthful. We’ll use the shorthand when possible.
Games in the series will be referred to as “title” XL. Let’s say we make a version of Darrell Louder’s Compounded (by Dice Hate Me Games,) we’ll call that CompoundedXL. It’s not planned yet and there have been no formal discussions, but there may be potential in the project in the future. Don’t get excited. It’s not part of the first XL Series season.
We actually don’t have confirmations yet for which games we can pursue. I’m still hoping to rectify that very soon. In the meantime we continue to crunch some numbers.
We’ve been looking at all kinds of supplies, which leads to great moments of inspiration. One thing that truly inspired the renaissance of this idea was a trip to Lowe’s. Home improvement stores, craft stores, toy stores and the like are on my “must stop” list. I’ve also been searching recreation equipment and sporting equipment. Another item I’ve gotten fairly well versed in are boxes.
One thing that many games in XL Series Season 1 will have is dice. Not all games, but many of them will involve dice. We’re looking at several options, but the one I keep returning is from the United States Postal Service.
Turning an 8 inch square box into an 8 inch six sided dice is fairly easy and not as bad an economical choice as you’d think. Per unit, before customization, each dice would cost approximately $1.70. That’s not bad. The cost of customization varies for each game, so I won’t get into that.
As a blanket estimate, with those prices, the first game I’d like to create would cost just under $100.00 to produce. With specific numbers in hand I will definitely be contacting that publisher this week.
Other games are falling in line as well. The most expensive game we are considering at this point would cost about $350-400, not including labor. (Labor on the first game would be minimal, construction would be less than one 8 hour day for one person.)
It’s starting to feel possible. It’s starting to feel like we can do it. Now we need to confirm that we’re allowed to do it…and we’ll move to the next step.
Thanks for joining me on this journey. We’re very excited about the potential for XL Series Games.
When I decided to take Cartrunk Entertainment as a serious business (and there was a time nearly two year ago that this was the plan,) the concept was that it would be an entity that took games to places and encouraged people to play them. It was supposed to make gaming more accessible and show the possibilities inherent in the hobby. We wanted to promote the joy of gaming, the value of gaming, and anything else positive we could think of.
There were two reasons this was silly for me. The first being that I have an awful schedule for this kind of thing. I tried to make myself available for parties and events. Basically renting myself out for “game night leadership.”…but I just couldn’t work a schedule that made it useful and do-able.
Now, in the end that didn’t matter. I was offering a service that after about 6 months of offering became very obvious no one was interested in. This I completely understand. I’d love to blame the price I was charging on the reason no one was interest, but the truth is…I never got to the part where I haggled about price.
It was a bad business idea, and I accept that as a learning experience. it cost me only time and that was certainly bad enough. Time is very important to me now (it probably was then as well.)
…Somehow though, I still want to return to this concept. It still intrigues me…but I think, as with most things, you’ve got to have a gimmick…you need to find your niche.
Something I’ve been toying with for a while has resurfaced. Two years ago, I began developing an idea I referred to as “Big Ass Games,” a decidedly family un-friendly title. The concept was to pioneer life sized board gaming based on hobby/euro-games. I’d seen some images of Life Sized Catan and Monopoly. I’d seen a large scale Jenga in person (since then, the same people have shown me giant croquet.) This stuff fascinated me to no end. It’s games played large. It’s finding ways to take our hobby outdoors and create a whole new level of entertainment.
So, as we head towards the spring and summer, I’m trying to get together a few games that I can take to parks and festivals for people to play.
The problem becomes legality. It’s a licensing issue for the companies. The minute I were to paid to even take one of these games to an event I would be on the hook for intellectual property theft. I can’t charge people to play, so any festival which I would need to pay for booth space would be right out. I’d be severely limited in where I could present and what I could present. Even private parties who took me on as a hire/rental would cause certain problems.
None of this is insurmountable. I have made some connections over the past two years that will hopefully help me in securing rights to make some of these games a reality.
I have about six games developed on paper right now. We’re working out proposals for these games as well as cost estimates for creation, transportation, storage, maintenance and operation. This will not be cheap and easy to do (which is why we’ll need to secure rights to do it.) Hopefully we’ll find a few publishers who see the promotional and marketing benefits of having this kind of thing exist. We need to make it as affordable as possible
I’m not expecting to turn a profit on this. As with everything else I seem to do, I just want more people to experience games and have a good time. I would like it to eventually be at least revenue neutral. Covering the cost is the ultimate goal.
Now you know a little more about what we have in store. I expect to start approaching some of the companies in the next two weeks. We’re going to continue to develop the games and do our cost estimates so that when the words is given we can begin construction.
That’s where we are, and that’s where we’re going right now.
We’re not calling them what we were calling them, btw. We considered calling them Triple X Games, but that’s got a bad connotation to it as well. We’ve settling on a new name this week, so we’ll let you know about that next Monday.
We’ll see you then and hopefully have more to report as we begin this journey in earnest.
Thank you all for your patience over the last several months. I’ve been having an identity crisis and I’ve really been unsure how to proceed with Cartrunk.net. I think I’ve figured it out at this point and the reactions from a few conversations I’ve had in the last few days have been positive enough to reinforce that belief.
If you turned in today looking for my thousand word diatribe on Catan, I’m sorry. I tossed those plans out this morning while I was editing the post.
Cartrunk.net is no longer going to be the home for any kind of reviews, session reports, photos or videos of actual board games. That period of this website is over. We’re going to concentrate on something different and get back to our roots.
Don’t worry. We’re still about board games, and we expect to be about board games in a big way…but definitely not in the way we have been. I can’t keep that up and I’m letting people down. We’re going to try something new.
Starting April 1st, 2013 (which is a horrible time to claim to start something) we’re going to start posting once a week on Mondays at 9am. For the first few weeks it’s going to be about launching the new project. Updates on how it’s going and maybe asking for support. We’ll explain why we’re doing it. What we hope to gain…really explain the plan and I hope you’ll be on board for it.
Cartrunk Entertainment is still in charge of the Unpub Program. We’re going to run Unpub.net in addition to the other things we’ve got planned. We’re taking some time to make sure we can do that, which is why we’ve been working on the substructure of Unpub that many of you don’t see and the superstructure of Unpub.net which is changing.
Life is a journey. Always has been, always will be. There are paths and twists and turns…and things are going to be always changing. I followed a path I liked…but wasn’t able to do as well as I wanted. I found a different niche which has been really awesome from a personal and professional standpoint. It’s time to return to here and see where this all fits and how we can make life and life in gaming better for everyone.
Again, Thank you for your patience. Specifically putting up with vague teases and wait for its. We’ve got big things planned…it just takes time. I started Unpub without a business plan of any kind, no direction…just a dream. I can’t do that again. We’re working towards something I think you’re going to love.
Have a great day and keep on gaming!
See you next Monday!