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Thinking Out Loud

Monday, July 03, 2006

Forbidden City @ Origins 2006

Aside from loving to play boardgames, I also love designing games. I was beginning to get a little distraught after such a "dry spell" after designing MLB SportsClix for WizKids back in 2002-2003, having had several games reviewed and subsequently passed on by quite a few game companies. But I think I may have turned the corner with Forbidden City, my most ambitious design to date, which coalesced last fall and was prototyped and playtested Winter 2005 and Spring 2006.

After revisiting and refining the rules and game balance after the Geekway to the West, I got in touch with a good GeekBuddy of mine who looks over incoming designs for Z-Man games. After some chatting, he agreed to take a look at Forbidden City. I was pleased to hear that their initial playtest was a positive experience, and that he would be taking the Forbidden City prototype to Origins to playtest at the Z-Man Games booth. What a great opportunity!

So I was a bit anxious over the weekend, unable to attend Origins myself, living vicariously through the Geekposts and emails from some of my buddies. But lo' and behold, I received some very good news from some of my fellow BGGeeks regarding Forbidden City.

This was from Jay Moore (MUKid) a good gaming buddy of mine here in St. Louis --

Oh yeah, one last exciting thing - guess what was being playtested by the Z-Man guys? That's right, Forbidden City, creation of local gaming hero Jay Little. They had several games out on a table in the board game room and were testing them all. Forbidden City got very positive reviews from everyone. Apparently everybody really enjoysit, and thinks the endgame scoring is one of the coolest things they've seen in a while. I think we might have a winner, Mr. Ynnen...... congrats.

And another BGGeek geekmailed me this morning with these kind comments from Origins --

My wife and my two fellow game designers gave Forbidden City the once over. They all really, really enjoyed it. John, who has a tough time keeping Settlers and Puerto Rico straight, won by one point using the card collection strategy. (He was in last for most of the game). It was a great game that was enjoyed by all of them. I may have them give me more comments to pass to you, but I think you've got a winner. Best of luck to you!

I'm completely biased, so it's impossible to remain objective, but I really do think Forbidden City is an excellent game that fits in a gameplay experience/style niche that's currently sitting empty. Of all my designs, it's easily the most ambitious and creative concept I've developed, and I'm crossing my fingers that Z-Man (or some other publisher) will fill the same and pick it up.

Big thanks to all the many, many Geeks who helped playtest and brainstorm for Forbidden City. I picked a lot of gamers' brains to get some great feedback and fine tune the rules -- and if Forbidden City does get picked up, I'll be sure to include a shout out to all of 'em in the rules.


  • Congrats on the positive feedback from Origins. That's a good sign. I wish you great success getting it published.

    When can you tell us more about it?

    By Blogger Gerald McD, at 10:27 AM  

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