So who wants some exposure?
Newbury & Hobbes: The Plot Thickens...
This morning, I woke up to a bit of a, er, kerfuffle on Facebook. For anyone who didn’t see it, a UK games convention posted up a callout for a graphic designer to do some work for a local board games cafe, reworking their branding, menus, adverts and possibly even logo.
Then the second paragraph started with the dreaded words “Unfortunately, the budget is zero”.
An Introduction to Tabletop Game Design: Round 2!
A while ago, we announced that we’re working on Newbury & Hobbes: The Curse of Menamhotep with talented author George Mann. For anyone who missed it, the game is based on George’s long-running series, The Newbury & Hobbes Investigations, but unlike a lot of the licensed games we’ve created in the past it will be a brand new chapter in the series! We’ve been working on the story with George, crafting something that works as a game in its own right but also ties into both his existing novels and the ones he’s planning for the future of the series. Working directly with an author on a game that’s set in their IP is a bit of a dream, and we’re having great fun with it!
Needy Cat Newsletter Relaunch!
We’ve been busier than ever these past few months - to the point that we never had a chance to post up a retrospective of the Introduction to Tabletop Game Design courses that we ran from May to July! In short, they were a massive success. Each course sold out, and was an absolute pleasure to run. We had attendees from all over the UK, and even one who came all the way from France for all three - talk about dedication!
Finding Games Episode 4: Jack Caesar, River Horse Games / Caesar Ink
You may or may not have noticed that we have relaunched our Needy Cat Newsletter. We realised that we had SO MUCH STUFF to talk to you all about and we were struggling to get it all out through our social media channels. So, the obvious solution was to relaunch our newsletter and celebrate it with a giveaway!
Needy Cat’s Second Birthday Party!
As a game designer for River Horse and independently as Cæsar ink, Jack spends much of his time thinking about fun ways to randomly generate numbers, the life cycles of monsters, and why a wizard decided to make a talking sword in the first place.
He can be found designing cool new dungeons on twitch every Monday at 8.00 GMT.
Finding Games Episode 3: Nathan Dowdell, Modiphius
On Wednesday we had our 2nd birthday party at The Dice Cup, a fantastic gaming cafe in Nottingham City Centre. We were very excited about the day and were positively buzzing (it may have also had something to do with the incredible cake a delicious gooey brownies we had in tow).
Needy Cat Games Turns Two!
Nathan’s been in the industry for almost a decade, starting out on licensed Warhammer 40,000 games like Black Crusade and Only War before working with the Modiphius on the third edition of Mutant Chronicles. He’s been full-time with Modiphius for a while now as Lead Developer for their 2d20 System, where his work has included the award-winning Star Trek Adventures.
An Introduction to Tabletop Game Design: Watch It Now!
It’s incredible to think that when we started this venture two years ago that we have achieved so much in just in such a short time!
Join us for a day of gaming at the Dice Cup and be in with a chance of winning a signed copy of Hellboy The Board Game by signing up to our newsletter!
Finding Games Episode 2: Matt Jarvis, Tabletop Gaming
When we set up Needy Cat we knew we were going to be designing tabletop games, but we really wanted to do more. One of the things we love about analogue game design is how accessible it is; if you like games, and you want to design one... well, there's not much stopping you. It's not like designing a computer game, where there's a minimum level of technical know-how required, or many other hobbies where you have to spend ages figuring out what you're doing before it starts to feel satisfying. Point is, all it takes to design a tabletop game is the will to do it and, as a minimum, a few scraps of paper.
What a weekend!
In this month’s episode of Finding Games, Sophie has a chat with Matt Jarvis, editor of Tabletop Gaming.
Finding Games Episode 1: Annie Norman, Bad Squiddo Games
We've just got back from a week off - and dear me, we needed it! That said, it was only sort of a week off because although we weren't doing any client work, we were busy putting the final touches on the first Introduction to Tabletop Game Design course, which happened on Saturday. And guess what? It was a roaring success!
Hellboy: The Board Game Wave One Breakdown
Presented by Sophie and released once a month, Finding Games is a journey into the weird world of the tabletop games industry. Each month Sophie will interview someone involved in the tabletop games in some kind of professional capacity; we'll hear from game designers, illustrators, graphic designers, writers, manufacturers, distributors and all sorts of others. Each episode will feature a conversation about how that month's guest ended up making games for a living - and some of their journeys might surprise you!
Tip of the Day: Painting Models Quickly
It’s an exciting time here in Needy Catville. We’re working on some incredibly exciting things behind the scenes. We’ve got a couple of new games coming out soon that should be announced over the next couple of months. We’ve recently launched our three-part series, An Introduction to Game Design, where we’re inviting people to join us here in Nottingham and learn all about how to design their own board games. We’ve hit $50 a month on our Patreon, so it looks like we’re going to be launching a podcast! Oh, and here’s a big one - Hellboy: the Board Game has started shipping!
Tip of the Day: Effective Procrastination
While I’m never going to win any awards for my painting, I like to think I know a thing or two about painting stuff quickly and to a decent standard. So, for Matt and anyone else who struggles to get stuff done quickly, here's the Hewitt Method of Bodging An Army Together in Ten Pretty Easy Steps!
Tip of the Day: Idea Boards
I have a large writing project I'm working on right now. I need to get it done to a deadline and it involves a lot of maths and thinking and working stuff out. I have spent hours on social media trying to pretend this isn't happening. But sadly, it is.
Tip of the Day: First Steps
When I start designing a game, my first step is to scribble all my thoughts about it down into a notepad. What’s the theme? What’s the scope? Who’s it aimed at? What are the key mechanics? How do you win? How do players interact? What do I want the players to feel? All of this gets jotted down in no particular order, just to get it out of my head and clear some brainspace. I’ll invariably find that, as I’m doing it, fresh ideas pop up - so I write them down, too.
Design Diary: A Sense Of Closure
Starting a new design can be a daunting prospect, because in your mind you’re always going to compare it - however subconsciously - to all the finished games you know. One of the most common issues I see among new designers is the notion that they can’t start until they’ve thought of everything, or that they can’t try the game out until they’ve written all the rules down. This is rubbish, and it’s one of the best ways to run out of steam on a project before you’ve even really started.
Design Diary: Finishing Touches
It’s safe to say that Hellboy took a bit longer than expected, once you factor in all the bells and whistles that got added in during the campaign! And our schedule wasn’t exactly sparse to begin with, so Sophie and I have basically transformed into stunted work-goblins over the past few months, only leaving our dank cave to eat food, go to meetings and gather raw materials to feed the ever-hungry prototyping table.
Hellboy: The Board Game has been in solid development for around seven months now, and it feels like even longer than that. It's lasted over half of Needy Cat Games' lifespan! (Oh, we had our first birthday last week - I meant to do a blog post about it, but we've been too busy...) There's still loads more Hellboy in the pipeline, but I'm proud to say that the rulebook for the main game is about to go into layout…