#16: Where the Bonus Began (Part 1)

This week I think I’ll start running you through a bit of personal background and designer diary. That way I can head on to the “behind the scenes” look at changes I’ve made, why, and how it can help you that I’ve been promising for a couple months, now. So, first a look at my background. Then, we’ll move on to the 2 year journey that has been Top Deck. On a personal note: thanks to Grant Rodiek at Hyperbole Games for this blog post which encouraged me to move forward and bear it all 😉

Where I come from:
I didn’t grow up loving and playing lots of board games. Sure, we had Sorry and Monopoly, but UNO was really the only game which got played. That is, until middle school when I found Magic: The Gathering. I LOVED the strategy, competitiveness, and options. It was the only game I enjoyed through college. But, it’s pretty tough convincing other adults to play such a complex game. So, I went from a Magic snob to being desperate for any kind of similar mental challenge and social gathering.

Speaking of college: I have a background in graphic design, web site design (old, old stuff), and a little computer engineering. By “background” I mean that I’ve taken some classes and done some work on the side. BUT, I never finished the art degree OR the science degree. So, I can’t say that I’ve done either professionally – nor do I have the credentials required TO do it professionally. Ugh. I sure enjoy a challenge, though, and my Dad has been setting an example of entrepreneurship my entire life.

Where did Lagniappe Games come from:

It all started with a dream.  Sort of. . .

A long time ago, there were 3 guys, Game-Friend, Poker-Friend, and me. My wife and I met Game-Friend and his wife through In-line Hockey. They were kind enough to teach us about Euro-games. We all had a great time with the likes of Catan, Dominion, 7 Wonders, Bohnanza, and Agricola. My wife and I enjoyed ourselves enough that we shared the games with Poker-Friend and his wife. Thus, fun was had by all.

Eventually, Poker-Friend (always thinking) gets the idea that money could be had in this game industry thing. So, he began asking me about, and telling me we’d be great at, making a game. He and I could do all the brain work while his wife and I do all the artwork. I didn’t think I had the time or skill – I definitely didn’t have any ideas :-/

“Game-Friend! I bet he has ideas!” Therefore, I presented the thought to him. He seemed about as enthusiastic about the idea as I was (not very). Since Game-Friend was less than enthusiastic and none of us had ideas, it was easy enough to write it off and move on.

After a few more weeks of playing games and enjoying time with friends, I experienced a very interesting dream. . .

*To read the rest of this story, click part two or part three.

2 thoughts on “#16: Where the Bonus Began (Part 1)”

  1. I’m interested to hear what you “dream” part will be. However, I must say that I am not “unenthusiastic” about your idea of making/creating a game as you have made it sound. While I am currently designing 3 games, I am picking up more of your style, Lagniappe Games Owner Derik, 😉 by making sure every swipe and curve is filled in with awesome detail and flame spitting shock-waves of awesomeness!

    With our our hobby starting up (hockey!), seasaltsweetshoppe.com taking off and doors been thrown open (we cannot pass up this opportunity), the time and demand on making our games is a huge burden. I was just reading some of Stonemeyer’s blogs about Kickstarter, and sometimes I feel there is “too much” information out there. While we can avoid some basic “errors”, we will never learn until we conduct the “trial and error” ourselves.

    With that said, I plan on having WDA soon because I want something out in the market and placed on Kickstarter soon. Even if it fails (which I am pretty sure it will), I will have gained valuable information so if I relaunch it (which I will) next year, I will have more personal experience with the success and failures of what worked and what didn’t. Plus, there is always room for WDA 2nd edition when some money starts coming in.

    Whatever your plan is for Top Deck, you KNOW that I will support you wherever you go with it.

    ~Game-Friend
    Wheelman Games

    1. Thanks for chiming in, Wheelman (I still love that new name).
      The key here is that Poker-Friend seemed to be the only one of us excited about the idea until you and I researched it a bit more. But I get more into those details later on 😉
      I agree, though, that having ALL the information makes little difference if you don’t exercise that information. However, when I launch, I know I will do better BECAUSE of what I’ve learned from other indie publishers. In fact, Rodiek was referenced here because his candid posts about the development of Hocus Poker are what I had intended to do. That post in particular has me rethinking parts of Top Deck (in a good way).

      And I still say that WDA is a great game that will do well.

Let me know what you think