Dracula Themed Event Cards for Mad Scientist: the Game

He 'vants to be your monster!

Now that vacation’s over…

Sure, Walt Disney World was super fun and my kids had a blast (OK, yes, so did I) but its time to get back to work. – KO

So, knuckling-down, I’m back on track and working with joshuanimation for the artwork for the Mad Scientist event cards.

Here’s a look on the Dracula themed event cards with the artwork he created for me:

Mad Scientist Dracula Event Card: Fangs A Bunch!

Fangs A Bunch!

Mad Scientist Dracula Event Card: Garlic Toast

Garlic Toast

Pretty cool no?

As the game is targeted at kids, I wanted to artwork to portray a fun and somewhat comical theme. I think he’s captured that exactly.

Hopefully next up are the event cards for the Wolfman.

Posted in Board Game, Card Game, Mad Scientist
by Kevin Oedekoven
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Potential initiative: Darkside Productions and Lightside Studios

For Art, For Action and For Fun

I’m working on a two-pronged concept and plan that I think (and obviously hope) will turn out some really cool artistic creations.
I’m currently calling the ideas: Darkside Productions and Lightside Studios

Lightside Studios

As a teaser for Lightside Studios, the concept is going to require I find the right place to do some time-lapse photography. What I’m hoping to both capture and create is pretty specific, so the studio can’t just be some random place – it has to be just right.

Darkside Productions

As a teaser for Darkside Productions, what I’m considering is likely going to require I purchase some software to do some digital editing and maybe even set up some episodic short films. I currently have a couple ideas that I need to work through. One is a work of parody and the other a “this vs. that” style of short presentations.

Stay tuned as I work out the details.
Maybe it’ll be as cool as I envision, or maybe it’ll be a total flop.

Only time will tell…

Posted in Products
by Kevin Oedekoven
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Bazinga! Sheldon Cooper - Big Bang Theory


April Fool!

You’ve fallen prey to one of my classic pranks.
No, I didn’t actually win an award from the ICGS..

In fact, to be completely honest, there is no Ipsum Certanum Gaming Society.
For the record, Ipsum Certanum is Latin for: the contest.

Nor is there an Exponentia Reprehendo Club (the spell-check club) to check over the rules.

At least not to my knowledge. I made the whole thing up… websites and all.


Posted in Holidays & Happenings
by Kevin Oedekoven

KORPG™ sweeps prestigious game contest

Killing it at the ICGS 2014 Gaming Awards

I’m certain most of you in the industry already know, but the prestigious Ipsum Certanum Gaming Society holds a yearly contest for upcoming game and game developers to showcase new products and rising stars in the game development community.

This year’s contest, like all others before it was to be held in conjunction with a gaming convention (in this case the Western States Gaming Trade Show) but apparently someone failed to get all the paperwork filed in time. As a result, the ICGS chose isntead to hold an open call for game developers in the region.

The Categories:

Categories for games included family games, learning games, card games, dice games, and buddy games.

The Contest Rules:

To be a valid entrant, contest rules required a game be at least in prototype stages and had to include the following:

  1. A fully playable set of game parts and pieces including any dice, board, cards, etc. Points would be subtracted for each piece a game was missing or was unclear how it was to be used,
  2. A complete set of rules. Points would be subtracted for incomplete, unclear, or illegible rules.
  3. A short description of what led to the development of the game. This narrative was to include all inspirations pertaining to the game itself.

After enduring a significant amount of prodding from my kids, assuming it would simple be good for drumming up some press for KORPG™, I reluctantly agreed to enter one of my games in each category.

And so I sent the following games to the judges as entrants to the contest:

And as a lark, I sent in a deck of Pinochle Cards with instructions on using it as a character assignment deck for the Gaming Accessory category.


Games were judged on a variety of criteria, including but not limited to the following:

  • Completeness of game.
  • Quantified level of fun experienced by all judging play-testers.
  • Rule spelling and grammar as judged by the local Exponentia Reprehendo Club.
  • As well as various smaller voting criteria for sub-categories such as “Best Depiction of this or that in a game.”

And guess what? I won!

And I didn’t just win, I swept the competition, taking top honors and winning in nearly every category!

Mad Scientist: the Game:

Mad Scientist: the Game took top honors for Best Overall Game and Best Family Game and Most Requested Game to be Replayed. As a result of winning Best Overall Game, I was honored with winning the Novum Elit award in its inaugural year, given a small grant to help in developing my next game, and will apparently be asked to judge next year’s entrants.

ICGS 2014 Novum Elit Award

ICGS 2014 Novum Elit Award

Zombie d6-lite:

Zombie d6-lite unanimously won Best RPG, Best Single-Dice Game, and was also chosen for the highly coveted Dave & Gary Award – a crowning achievement in my game development career.

ICGS 2014 Dave & Gary Award

ICGS 2014 Dave & Gary Award

Swimming with Sharks:

Swimming with Sharks won for Best Overall Learning Game and Best Overall Game Mechanic for the nature in which determination of when the game ends is done. I sure am glad I chose to really “nerd it up” with this one before sending in the cards.

Hunters vs. Vampires:

Hunters vs. Vampires won for Best Overall Dice Game and Best Game Depiction of the Undead in a Positive Role – a category judged by some pretty serious Vampire LARPers  (one of which threatened to actually drink the blood of any hunter he turned.)

I Shoot Randy!:

I Shoot Randy! won for Best Overall Buddy Game and Best Game Depicting Fantasy Violence in a Comedic Manner. Best depiction of fantasy violence in a comedic manner was a close call between I Shoot Randy! and a Munchkin clone until a Google reverse-image search uncovered that the clone developer had stolen the artwork from a variety of abandoned Deviant Art profiles.

Role Assignment Deck:

And most amazingly, the Pinochle Deck I sent in won for Best New Use of an Old Gaming Product!

Suffice to say I’m without words…

I’m told the award ceremony is scheduled to be re-aired on 4/1 but is possibly already posted on the ICGS website.

What can I say?

Posted in Board Game, Card Game, d6-lite, Dice Game, Hunters versus Vampires, I Shoot Randy, Mad Scientist, Roleplaying game (RPG), Swimming with Sharks
by Kevin Oedekoven
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Give unnecessary rules a boot to the head

Spring cleaning for your rules

Call it Spring cleaning, Getting Real, trimming down, slimming down, or just giving excess rules the boot. Regardless, its that time of the year, and we’re all put in a mind to throw open the shutters, windows and doors, roll up our sleeves, and get to work doing that Spring tradition of cleaning out some clutter.

I say you should also turn that focus on your game.

Boot to the head

Boot to the head

As was discussed by Lacey and Max in this comment thread, there’s a sweet-spot in every game where the rules are just enough to make a great game and not get in the way. Players inherently know where it is… they generally ignore rules that are overly complex and encumbering to the flow of a game (grappling anyone?) and let more streamlined house-rules replace these anchors.

And we’d all like a good tight set of rules that just makes for a really fun game right?

So just how do you find that sweet-spot?

Well, it’s not as hard as you might think. In fact, it’s easy. Simply start removing rules and see where the game leads. If the rule isn’t necessary, it’ll be obvious and should be left on the cutting room floor where it belongs.

But even if it is deemed needed, wait to see if a simple ruling will suffice in lieu of a codified rule. If that’s the case, then continue to leave the rule out. Don’t rush to put back what you’ve managed to remove. Instead seek a streamlined rule-set with as few returned rules as possible.

Your focus should be to only return those rules to the codified and necessary pile if they can’t be replaced with rulings.

Play-test your game repeatedly to be sure your rules are as slimmed down as possible.

Now go do some rule Spring cleaning and give those unnecessary rules the boot.

Posted in Board Game, Card Game, Dice Game, Game Design, Roleplaying game (RPG)
by Kevin Oedekoven