Tag Archives: john wick

John Wick extends preorders on the Big Book of Little Games

Apparently he’s having some printer problems and has extended pre-orders, I think through the end of January.  I found out about this in the latest Pulp Gamer’s Out of Character podcast.


John Wick

John Wick is an interesting character, he designed the fairly well known Legend of the Five Rings and 7th Sea role-playing games, both RPG and card games, for Alderac Entertainment Group, and has received Origins Awards for his work.  He’s another one of these hyper-productive game designers who is able to turn ideas into games with remarkable speed.

But what I wanted to talk about right now was his business model.  He has an interesting approach in that he sells PDFs for all of his games, regardless of size, for $5.

We’re talking Wilderness of Mirrors, his 20 page spy game, and we’re also talking Houses of the Blooded, his $45 RPG/LARP of political intrigue: both $5 PDFs.  It’s a great way to sample a game by dropping $5 on it and then deciding if you want to buy the printed version, plus you have the PDF for easy reference at the table.

His most recent production, The Big Book of Little Games is a 250-page collection of ten of his short-form games in one print edition for $35.  Preorders closed in early December, so hopefully I should be getting my copy soon and I’m really looking forward to it.  He recently completed The Aegis Project, which explores the insanity of being a mecha pilot and being mentally-bound with a multi-ton robotic death machine.  It should be quite interesting, I’m hoping that he’ll be done with the final edits soon.

He gives good interview, I most recently heard him on The Game’s The Thing Episode 94.

Reverb Gamers Master List #5

Have you ever introduced a child to gaming, or played a game with a young person? How is gaming with kids different than gaming with adults?

My sister has three daughters.  Before the third came along, when the two were still in primary school, I’d always say “You are my two favorite nieces in the whole wide world!”  Then the day came when they said “Hey, wait!  We’re your only two nieces!”

I still love ’em, though.

There’s a board game called The Amazing Labyrinth.  The board is set up in a grid with certain pieces fixed in place, the end result is that you can push an entire row or column of tiles, and there is one more piece than there are spaces on the board.  In your turn you push one row/column, causing the far tile to drop off (this is the ‘push’ tile for the next player) and you try to form a path from your pawn to a treasure.  Everyone has a certain number of treasure cards dealt at the start of the turn, if you get to one of your card’s treasures you score the card and place it face-up in front of you.  First player to score all of their cards wins.  It’s an amusing game and can really screw with your eyeballs, very simple, fairly fast, and a lot of adult gamers enjoy it as a break from more intense board games.

I gave this game to my nieces and they had a lot of fun with it.  I also gave my latest and youngest niece a newer version of the game for younger kids where the playing board is much smaller and plastic with a couple of sliding pieces to change your movement paths.  Very simple, but a good introduction to the series.

A couple of years ago we corrupted my wife’s youngest niece with some Bella Serra starter packs….

So yes, with great relish I have corrupted young’uns.

Gaming with kids is different in that it requires a lot of patience.  They have much shorter attention spans and tend to be more fidgety than most adults, so it can be more difficult to keep them engaged.  This favors shorter games, I don’t think I’d consider longer than a half hour game for kids in the lower half of primary school.

I have not tried getting a kid involved in role-playing, but games such as Happy Birthday, Robot or  Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, both by Daniel Solis, or Cat: Revised by John Wick would be ideal for that.

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