Making Games with Bert & Ernie (Gen Con 2018)
Ernie is creative and impulsive and wants to make great big expressions. He likes rubber duckies and bubble baths and singing songs.
Bert likes things to be organized and buttoned down and squared away. His most cherished possession is a paper clip collection.
At Gen Con this year, I’ll present a two-hour workshop that brings together all the content — and more — from the Bert- and Ernie-focused presentations I’ve given over the last year at Essen, the Minneapolis chapter of the IGDA, the GAMA Trade Show, and CreativeMornings/MSP. Each of those events has been tailored to its audience, and this iteration will be no different.
At Gen Con, a longer time slot will help us go deeper than previous presentations in order to cover how these two mindsets of creativity can collaborate in order to design and produce great tabletop games.
Far from sorting everyone into Ernies and Berts and sending everyone on their way, I’ll talk about the ways everyone is actually a mix of these two creative archetypes, and past that, how a mix of each is necessary to get anything done and have it be any good.
Although the Bert-and-Ernie lens will inform the discussion, the presentation will cover the breadth of game production and creation, addressing and answering questions like…
- How do I find a printer? (And once I find them, how do I talk to them?)
- Should I crowdfund my game?
- How can I sell my design to an existing publisher?
- My game is awesome, but can I please get someone else to write the rules?
- I’m stuck. How do I get unstuck?
Bring your questions, ideas, dreams, and love for tabletop games. Let’s make games with Bert and Ernie!
I gave a short presentation to the creative community at CreativeMornings’ Minneapolis chapter in April about how tabletop games are creative, why creatives of all kinds should consider making tabletop games alongside their other creative aspirations, and how Ernie and Bert illuminate creative mindsets even beyond tabletop gaming.
From Idea to Market at Essen Spiel 2017
I spoke and answered questions about game design and publishing at Essen Spiel last year as part of an industry-only event hosted by game printer Cartamundi.
Protospiel Minnesota is an annual highlight. This year, my testing-and-development attention there was split between the Ruby Hunters (working title) project to be eventually released by the as-yet-untitled Jeff Tidball Brand company, and Dice Miner, an Atlas Games project I’m producing that will Kickstart in March. ¶ Never Bring a Knife was released on the 17th. I made a video to show folks how to play.
A planning trip to PAX Unplugged and soft Facebook announcement this month made public for the first time my plans to publish new board and card game designs under a new publishing imprint in the coming year. Sign up for the Jeff Tidball–brand newsletter to learn more as there’s more to learn.
Metatopia this year was a double feature: I also visited the designers of upcoming Atlas Games release Dice Miner, Joshua DeBonis and Nikola Risteski, in New York to go over that game’s final development decisions. ¶ The deluxe edition of Gloom of Thrones arrived. ¶ A window opened for the Atlas Games warehouse and main office to move northward to Duluth a few months before our lease otherwise expired, so we hustled to make it happen. (The Atlas R&D staff remains in the Twin Cities; we’ve moved to a new office suite in Roseville.)
Protospiel Madison! I played some amazing designs, tested a probable Left Justified Studio 2020 Kickstarter, and exposed a new Jeff Tidball–brand design about the spirit of the greatest teams in baseball to actual play for just the second time.