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Oh, the irony

January 17, 2009

For the last few weeks, I’ve been in crunch mode finishing up my new game, Train. I can’t tell you a whole lot about it except this:

  • It’s one of six in a series titled “The Mechanic is the Message”
  • It started as a design challenge to myself to experiment with the expressive potential of game mechanics.
  • In the early days, I talked to three other people about it. Ironically, they are all named “Ian”, and no, that wasn’t intentional. About 60 people know about it now, but it’s still a pretty small circle.
  • It’s non-digital, made by hand and took about 8 months to design, prototype and test and one month to build.
  • It will be shown publicly for the first time this summer at the Game Education Summit at CMU along with the second game in the series, Where my people come from (Ni ceart go cur le cheile).

I was up until nearly 3 am on Thursday night trying to finish it up for an event it was requested to attend to complete it. That’s when one of the Ian’s (Schreiber, in this case), noted the irony of the following: that I was crunching for a game that did not have a ship date, did not have a publisher (on purpose), did not have any distribution (on purpose) and did not have any royalties or financial return attached to it (on purpose).


4 Comments leave one →
  1. jcaskey permalink
    January 18, 2009 1:59 pm

    I don’t think it’s ironic. I think it means your heart’s in the right place.

  2. January 19, 2009 7:31 am

    I totally agree with jcaskey. 🙂

    By the way, you mentioned that you don’t have any publisher for it yet. But do you plan to have one? Or just realease it as a free print-and-play?

  3. January 19, 2009 8:44 am

    Thanks, gentlemen. I have to agree with James, too. I really enjoyed the process of making it, and solving some of the challenges in its ruleset.

    As for distribution, no, it will never have that, unless I give the rules away for free. It’s not a traditional game.

  4. February 3, 2009 8:14 am

    Maia Koiller, the Savannah Jewish Federation’s representative from Israel, has a degree in education. She believes the Train game to be a great educational tool. That made me think that the best distribution of Train and its 5 project mates is memetic — teachers all over the world copying the approach to help students gain deeper understandings of difficult content.

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