Design Stories

End of 2016 update

Hello and happy holidays to everyone. We hope the year has been good to you and that you've made many fond memories around the game table. This year at Yanaguana Games was incredible and we have only our fans, friends, and families to thank. We just want to give you an update on what the year was like and what's coming up starting in January.

We started 2016 by showing at PAX South where we promptly sold out of our first print run of Stir Fry Eighteen! From that point we of course moved to reprint the game in a more suitable retail box (those of you with the '16 Pax South Take-out Box have a rare bird on your hands). You've no doubt seen our handy little tuck box but we'll share it below with it's cute little hat on.

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After PAX we spent much of our year dealing directly with local retailers across the U.S. with some success. We are working on adding a page with all of our retailers soon as well as working towards alternate distribution methods. We will keep updating on that front, but if there is a store you'd like to see our games in, please drop us a line.

Towards the end of the year Andrew and Marshall started working on a game involving guitar picks. It's evolved wonderfully into a full board game with some really fun mechanics and it's getting great feedback in initial play tests but more on that later.

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We also unfortunately had to say goodbye to one of our team at the end of 2016 as well. Alex Clifford is one of the co-founders of YG and quite frankly this company would not exist without him. Alex moved to the UK shortly before 2016 began and was an amazing team member to get up early mornings for Skype meetings with us late at night for much of the year. The realities of working from overseas eventually became clear and Alex gracefully handed the reigns of the company over to Andrew and Marshall. We will always have a seat at the table here for Alex and he remains our close lifelong friend.

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That brings us to 2017... PAX South here we come! Andrew and Marshall are proud to show their new game off at PAX South 2017. We have a demo booth in the tabletop area again and will have a small on hand stock of our published games there for sale. We will update more soon on that but for now, enjoy your New Year celebrations and be safe!

Boston FIG and Connecticut FIG

Hello again everyone! It's been a busy summer for us at Yanaguana Games and the Fall is starting off in a similar fashion. We will be at both Boston Festival of Indie Games on September 10th and Connecticut Festival of Indie Games on September 17th. We are proud to be a part of both shows as they are truly dedicated to what we are as indie tabletop developers. 

 Join us on Saturday September 10th at MIT for Boston FIG.

Join us on Saturday September 10th at MIT for Boston FIG.

We recently attended TempleCon in Rhode Island and the folks there were not only awesome and great fun to game with, they plugged us into the FIG events. We really appreciate how welcoming the tabletop community is no matter what State or Country we are in. It's a sure sign that not only do we love to do this, but that the people we make games for are super friendly and fun to be around.

 Join us on Saturday September 17th at  Newington Tabletop Shop  for CT FIG.

Join us on Saturday September 17th at Newington Tabletop Shop for CT FIG.

Both FIG events are one day only so be sure to register and come out to either one! We will have copies of both games for sale, and chances to win games or maybe even a fortune cookie.. 

Playing Games is Important

Today I'd like to talk a little bit about how important it is to play games as both a designer and a non-designer. Those of you who follow the blogs know I recently moved from Texas to Rhode Island. The move went well and we are settled but we only know a few people here and I haven't had time to go visit some game shops with all the unpacking and such. I only recently realized just how badly I've been craving a good tabletop gaming session.

I solidified this notion via text message when talking to Andrew about the fact that it has been over a month since I've played any table top games. I've been designing and working on all sorts of game related things but haven't taken the time to enjoy this passion that led us to this point. Noticing this has made it a priority for me and until I fix it I won't be fulfilled. The point is that it's important far beyond the desire to "play games". I need to play games to remain a solid game designer, father, husband, and co-human to all of you.

Games teach us that we can use our minds to improve our situations. They teach us that interaction is important and may not always be what it may seem. All games make us pay attention to the rules but the BEST games make us find ways to manipulate the rules in our favor. I find that when I play games regularly my mind is sharper and my ideas are generally better or more cohesive. The thought process is that when you are consistently playing attention to rule sets, or board states, or other relatively complex ideas of economies that can be found in games; You will improve your sense of judgement and overall decision making which carries over into your daily life. 

The most important thing about games is that they are fun and you enjoy what you play. The distinction for board games is that we get to go out and feel these tactile pieces and cards while interacting with other people. I find that while all types of games are fun but tabletop games are often the most satisfying to play due to the brevity and attrition involved. It's something I think everyone should try to incorporate into their lives and families. 

If you aren't a regular gamer, think about grabbing a copy of Stir Fry 18 when we have them available in a couple of weeks. It's a light game about cooking stir fry with bluffing, deduction, and loads of interaction. We certainly would appreciate the support, and I think anyone can learn to play and enjoy SF18. Stay tuned and it should be available very soon. 

Taking the Plunge

This week I get to write my second article for the site and it's about "change". Call it jumping off the cliff, heading out into the great unknown, or even taking the plunge as seen in today's title. The main theme here is that change and adaptation are essential elements of business, game design, and life in general. That being said I'd like to share some of my personal experiences with change and "taking the plunge" in both game design and in life. 

First I'll start with the MAJOR life change that I have been waiting to share. My family (Me, Courtney, and Harrison) is moving to Providence, Rhode Island in a little over a week. We will drive all the way from Texas together to start a new chapter in all of our lives. We are super excited about this but it's certainly not been easy saying goodbye the last few days. 

Courtney is an ultra talented Hair stylist and colorist, with aspirations of being involved with Fashion Week in NY. She will be starting at a salon shortly after we arrive. I will be heading up the Yanaguana presence in the Northeast, attending conventions to bring you more games and be closer to more retailers and events. Harrison is starting at the law firm of Pull up diapers & Little Einsten Esquire. 

That all being said you might be asking "how does this relate to game design?". The fact is Yanaguana was founded when Alex and I jumped off a cliff together and formed the company (signing papers legal blah blah blah) shortly after Pax South 2105.

We then encouraged Andrew to jump off the same cliff soon after. We all jumped when we self funded print runs of games to take to convention. It's a pattern of major changes and calculated risks that have led us to this point and I'd say adaptation is something Yanaguana does well. We roll with the punches, and figure things out as if we were solving just another design issue. 

Stir Fry Eighteen (Yes it's STILL sold out, coming back soon) was most certainly a "take the plunge" moment. I've described how it was designed last time, but it really was just a matter of a scribble and a few choices. The stipulations on the BGG forum were a challenge, and I jumped when I accepted it, fortunately it worked out substantially as Stir fry seems to be a favorite of all I share it with. 

Without getting too redundant I just want to say that the past year and a half have been a series of very big decisions leading up to this relocation, and the future of our company. It's in a great place, we are expanding our reach and are able to meet weekly to stay on task. I will take the plunge and jump off the cliff with the members of this company. I urge you all to take the plunge in your life, or if you have done so then share with us how it's gone. 

Thanks for reading, my next article might have a bit of snow on it. See you all at Pax East?