October 1, 2011Lots of news. Tic Tic Boom is now in distribution with Alliance Games and GTS. Alliance is the biggest nationwide comic and game distributor in the USA, so this is very exciting. As of now, the orders have been small, and I'm looking at ways to get the word out and promote the game. I've also been busy at work with my second game, which is still in the 'Top Secret' category. I've got a prototype running and am ready to start play testing with friends. This time around I'm going to look for a business partner to share in the creative fun.
There is a new review.up on Board Game Geek. It's my first video review. It does a good job briefly explaining the game. The game wasn't as intricate as he would like, but you can't please anyone. He also is convinced the game is named is Tic TAC Boom, which I've noticed is a common mistake.
On a personal note, I have found a graduate school program I'm very excited about. It's a Masters in Psychology with an emphasis in Creativity Studies at Saybrook, located in San Francisco. It's my goal to do counseling work to help people explore and develop their creative ideas and process. I'm planning to go visit the school next month to get a first hand view and talk to admissions. Wish me luck!
June 27, 2011I had a great time with everyone at Madison Elementary school. I was reminded how much I love working with kids, and that talking about creativity is fun. Because I hadn't taught twenty people to play at one time, I tried something new. I grabbed a small handful of kids before the class started and taught them how to play. Later, I had them each teach Tic Tic Boom to a small group of their peers. I was really impressed with how well everyone did. It was fun to walk around the class and listen to the different ways people explained the game.
I finally made it up to Seattle. I didn't get to tour around the city going to game stores the way I would have liked, but I did make a couple good contacts. I met with GTS, a distributor out of Everett. I dropped off some games on a consignment basis. I'm not sure if this will turn into anything, but I'm glad the game is available now should stores request it.
I also went into Gamma Ray Games, on Capital Hill. I met with Eric the owner and he had some great recommendations for me and picked up a few copies for his store. One thing he pointed out to me was to make sure I had reviews up online before I appear in Game Trade Magazine this August. People will see the add and want to know what is being said about the game. Good advice.
I've made some contacts on Board Game Geek, and found a few people willing to review Tic Tic Boom. Last week I had the first review go up. Pete wrote a wonderful and in-depth review of TTB Classic. Check it out.
Until the appearance in Game Trade Magazine, I'll be trying to get some more reviews up online, and getting all my ducks in a row. Sorry about the lack of updates, thanks for reading.
May 14, 2011This week I was invited to be a special guest at Madison Elementary School to talk about inventing, creativity, and Tic Tic Boom. I met with 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders throughout the week for just under an hour each. I enjoyed getting comfortable speaking to the kids, and was grateful for the opportunity to observe groups playing TTB. I ended up teaching a small group kids how to play, and then letting them each teach their own group how to play. I was impressed with how quickly all the groups were off and running.
The other big news is that Tic Tic Boom is being picked up by Alliance distribution, who work with over 2000 stores in the country. I had twice been given their VP's contact information during my road trip with Lindsay. After exchanging a few phone calls and emails, I sent off a copy for consideration. I'm currently finishing up a product promo page for them, and then TTB will go into their magazine next month and they will take preorders to guage demand. This news is promising, but time will tell if this ends up being my big break or not.
March 19, 2011Several events coming up in the next week.
Next Friday, March 25th, I will be at Windup Here in downtown Olympia for their monthly game night along with another local game creator from Vancouver. The fun starts at 6PM.
The following day Lindsay and I will be heading south to the Portland area for Game Storm, a reigonal game convention. This is my first trip to a game-con and I have no idea what to expect. We're not getting a booth or anything; the plan is to show up with a suitcase full of games and see what happens.
In other news, I bought a great little camcorder yesterday and I plan on getting some instructional videos completed before the game-con next weekend. Finally, the TTB Classic score sheets will also be finished before the game-con.
March 6, 2011Home at last! We had a great time with our friends in the Columbia Valley. We played games and had our first Geocaching experience. Then it was off to Portland. We weren't sure what to expect as it was a Saturday, which tends to be the busiest day of the week for game stores.
Our first stop was Red Castle Games where we met Travis and shared Tic Tic Boom. Travis works in Portland with many of the game stores and was a wealth of knowledge. He told us all about game conventions in the NW, including Game Storm in Vancouver, WA which we will be heading to at the end of the month. Travis was excited about the game and encouraged the owner of Red Castle to pick it up and even contacted some other game stores for us. Furthermore, he advised us on which stores to visit in the area and helped us plan the most efficient route to visit all the stores.
It turned out to be our busiest day of the trip (and the most successful). In all we visited eight stores in the Portland area and four stores picked up the game. Several of the stores we stopped in were having big game tournaments and did not have time to meet with us. We hope to schedule some appointments when we are back in the area at the end of the month for Game Storm.
After Red Castle we swung out to Gresham to Nexus Games (no affiliation to the Roseburg store that picked up TTB a few days earlier). It's a cute store ran by a husband and wife that appeared to have a pretty loyal following. When we arrived, Travis had beaten us there and was already talking up the game which made things nice and easy.
The other store to pick up the game was Finneganís, a LOVELY toy and game shop right in the heart of downtown Portland. We met with Karen, and even after Lindsay accidently flung half the deck all over the store, she happily picked up some copies for both her downtown store and the Finneganís south of Portland in Tigard. "WaitÖdid you come up with this game?" Karen asked after we demoed the game (maybe my favorite quote of the trip).
The trip is over. In all I'm excited to say that 14 more stores now carry Tic Tic Boom. It's great to feel my dreams coming more and more tangible. The next couple weeks are going to be spent making contacts and planning for the game convention at the end of the month. I also plan to make a trip up to Seattle. Even though it's so close I have not had a chance to make it up there yet. But before all that, a day off to relax and enjoy home.
March 4, 2011Oregon has treated us very well on this trip. We're now in Hood River enjoying a nice lunch at Sage's Cafe after visitin G. Williker's Toy shop. It's a very cute shop with a HUGE selection of games and toys, including Tic Tic Boom. A lot has happened since the last update.
After doing laundry in Eureka we went down the street to North Coast Roleplaying. We played with the owner a bi and he picked up the game. Then it was off to see the Redwoods. We hiked and saw some amazing sites before heading to Ashland for the night. During the drive, Gamescape of San Francisco called and ordered some copies of the game for their store. They are right on Divisadero and have a great and goofy staff.
In southern Oregon we sold some games to Astral Games in Medford and then Castle Hill Games in Grant's Pass. If you are into Warhammer at all you're going to want to check out these stores next time you're in southern Oregon. We also sold some Games to Nexus Games in Roseburg and then stopped in Eugene.
We arrived in Eugene without a place to stay and decided to find a cafe so that we could look on Couchsurfing.org for a place to stay. When we walked into the cafe we found a group of people with a sign reading "couch surfing". It turned out they were having a couch surfing meet up and so we hung out with them for the evening, played some Tic Tic Boom, and stayed with Keven. After eating a great breakfast and doing some morning reading in the hot tub, Keven took us to the local rec center to play some ping pong. Great time! We then headed across town and sold games to Evolution Gaming.
We have the afternoon off to hang out with our friends across the river and enjoy a break from driving and marketing. Paths will be hiked, wine will be drank, and laughs will reverberate through the Columbia valley. Tomorrow it's off to Portland for one last hurrah before heading home to Olympia.
As before, everyone we've met has been wonderful and almost 2/3 of the stores we've gone into have picked up the game. Even stores that don't carry the game offer helpful feedback and recommendations. It's all very encouraging and I'm going to have a lot of contacts to make next week...after taking a deep breath. I'll also be posting pictures from the trip.
February 27, 2011We're sitting in a Laundromat in Eureka, CA dining on coffee and doughnuts, reflecting on the great weekend we had in the Bay and getting ready for a couple meetings later this morning. It's been great having Lindsay along for moral support and her expert salesmanship. We spent Friday walking all over Berkeley and pitching the game to independent stores. I was happy with the reception that Tic Tic Boom got, and am now happy to say that three Berkeley area stores are now carrying the game.
The first is Mr. Mopps, a toy and game store. We had set up a meeting with the owners, who were busy all day meeting with a rep to order new products. We went over the game play with them and talked about the business for a while. They are a younger couple who just bought the store in October and are having a grand reopening in April. It was fun to share enthusiasm with new entrepreneurs like myself. They bought a box of games and seemed excited to sell them with the story of meeting us. We also got to talk to the rep they were meeting with and picked up some valuable information.
The second store is Games of Berkeley, a big game store located right near campus. We didn't have a meetings scheduled but we lucked out that the owner was in and had some free time. He had been in the business a long time, and didn't have the enthusiasm that the young couple from Mr. Mopps did, but his business sense was appreciated. He was impressed with the quality and bought a half dozen copies for his store.
The third store is It's Your Move. It's a beautiful store with a wonderful staff. We talked to Will for almost an hour between the two times we went in. He was a great resource on how to get your foot in the door, and strongly recommended hitting up the Gama game convention in Las Vegas this March. Iím not sure if it'll be feasible to go, but it's something to set up for next year.
Overall, I was surprised at how critical the packaging and price point were in making the sale. People seemed genuinely surprised at the quality of the product, and were impressed that an independent game on transparent cards could retail for $11.95. We heard some funny stories about people coming into game stores with games packaged in plain cardboard boxes hoping to sell them to the stores. I was also grateful to see how welcoming and excited the game community was. I'd heard a lot of stories about it being a ruthless business, but this has not been my experience at all to this point.
We were only able to stop by a couple stores in San Fran, and those meetings went well too. I hope to get some orders in the coming weeks. The next stops after Eureka are Medford, Ashland, Eugene, and Corvalis (all in OR). Stay tuned for more exciting updates!
February 18, 2011Tic Tic Boom is now available at Wind Up Here in downtown Olympia, located at the corner of 5th and Washington. Also, I will be taking a roadtrip down to the bay area next week to promote my game and see some friends.
February 14, 2011It's been a busy week. I've shipped out all the presale orders so expect them this week. I'm also proud to announce that Tic Tic Boom is now being carried by Danger Room Comics, located in downtown Olympia.
February 10, 2011Big day today! I finally got to pick up the order and I now have 84 boxes of cards in my parents basement; over ONE TON.
Now it begins. As some of you know, I decided to rework the directions of Tic Tic Boom Classic. I'm working with the designer now to put the finishing touches on those so I can start printing, folding, and stuffing. Then it's go time. Thanks for all your support and love throughout this long three plus years. Lets hope it all pays off.
January 29, 2011I received word from the shipping broker that the shipment will arrive Monday into Kent, WA and clear customs by Friday. I am very excited, and now I am trying to figure out how to pick it up at the docks. I'm in total shock that the day is coming up so soon! I've also added a few more alternate rules today. Check it out!
January 14, 2011Lots of news to report. The shippment is on it's way and is expected to arrive in Seattle the first week in February. If you've made a pre-order I will be sending them out the week they come in. If you haven't made a pre-order, you've got until the end of the month before the price goes up to the regular retail price of $12.
In other business news I have been starting to show my game around town. I'm feeling confident that it'll be in at least a store or two when it is released. I have also received official word that my copyright has been accepted. This is exciting and a relief. I also had my first interview. You can check out the podcast if you click the link below. Oh, that reminds me, I want to add this to the "Press" page!
I've also been slowly adding some great alternative rules for TTB Classic. They're some good variations, and as soon as you've gotten the basic rules down I recommend trying them out.
January 9, 2011Tonight I will be a guest on the "Leave it to Cleaver" internet radio show. The show starts at 8pm EST and I will be on around 8:30. Check it out HERE I'll post a link for the podcast when it's available.
January 6, 2011The order is complete and on it's way to Washington! Here are some prictures from the manufacturer.
December 27, 2010The final tweaks were made and I was able to get an additional set of directions added to the game. The new version will ironically enough be called, "Tic Tic Boom Classic" and the original version is now "Tic Tic Boom Advnaced". TTB Classic turned out great. Players race to spell "KABOOM" on a communal board while also trying to get rid of their cards. I like it because it's a simpler game than the advanced version while still allowing for some good moments of strategy. It also gives a good foundation that makes learning the advanced game a little easier. I am also excited for people to open the box and realize that they got two games in one.
December 15, 2010TTB is getting a makeover, sort of. I've been hearing a lot that people like the game but think maybe it's a little too complex for your average gamer. I've been hesitant to change anything because I believe the current version is the most fun to play once you get the hang of it and I don't want to dumb it down. After a lot of thought I've decided to include a second way to play TTB inside the box. I haven't settled on the name variation and I'm still finalizing the new rules. I am excited about them because they provide a more simplified game using the same cards that is unlike the original game.
Noember 25, 2010The box situation is all sorted out and I've given the manufacturer the green light to get started. In other news, my listing on BoardGameGeek has already gotten me some attention, I've been featured on the Upcoming card games list. My next project is getting listed in the Greater Games Industry catalogue.
November 18, 2010The Second Sample arrived today. The cards look great and all the alignmnet is taken care of. There are a few minor issues with the box to work out. The design was changed from the first sample and brought about some new issues. I'm working with the manufacturer to figure out the best way to fix them. Unfortunately, this jepordizes the Christmas arrival date.
In other news Tic Tic Boom is now listed on BoardgameGeek.com. I'm still working on getting all the information and pictures up, but this is the biggest online resource for game players and I'm excited to be a part of it.
November 16, 2010I have been brainstorming on future games for my company. There are five games in the pipeline so far that cover a wide range of genres. There is a family party game, a couple of adult party games, a fun divination deck I was brainstorming about with my friend Erica, and most recently a Tic Tic Boom expansion Set that is going to be amazing.
November 12, 2010Just learned an old Yiddish/Hungarian game called Kalabriasz. It's a trump game played using a Pinochle deck and lots of trash talking. Lindsay pulled out the win while sipping on liquer and eating aged gouda with strawberries. It's a rough life we lead.
The second sample has shipped out and will arrive next week. The main changes were to do with the box design and some of the card allignment. If everything checks out, it'll go right into production.
November 5, 2010Currently in Indiana visiting family. Still waiting on the second samples to arrive. Lindsay and I have been getting in lots of TTB, including almost 4 hours last night. We've eclipsed the 10,000 point mark and I'm enjoying a comfortable lead for the time being. Current scores, David: 11065 and Lindsay: 9565.
October 30, 2010It's been three years since this project started, and it'll be another month and a half before a giant crate of games arrives at my door. It's been quite a process so far, and I'm excited to move into the next phase of this business experiment. I thought recounting my experience with the game so far would be a good introduction to this blog, as well as a great exercise for me as I prepare to move forward. Eventually this blog will be used to discuss news related to Tic Tic Boom, but I would also like it to document the trials and pitfalls of other creating a game and a business. So what will follow in the coming weeks is a series of posts discussing the process of the last three years and the game that came out of it.
October 30, 2010Spent the last few days in Northampton, MA with Chris, Kyla, and Renata. It's been great to relax after leaving Omega. It was also good to play some cards. We played the first team game of Tic Tic Boom which was a lot of fun. I like the new dynamics that develop. I still want to try it with a group of six sometime soon. We're leaving today to continue on our mini NE road trip. Next stop is Providence to see Nick, and then on to NH to visit Johnny and Brenda.
Also, last night Lindsay and I started an epic TTB game to 55,555 points. We're going to count all points that we score while playing together, even when playing games with others. After round 1 the score is 1200 for me, and 1025 for Linds.
October 28, 2010The official Tic Tic Boom! website is going up today!
Explosive Laughter Games
phone: (360) 888 2986
Website design by Perpetual Motion
Game Graphics by Warp Graphics
- Contests -
Stay tuned for contests and promotions.
- Game Press -
REVIEWSTom Vassel of The Dice Tower - Video Review.
Pete Belli - Board Game Geek - Read it Here.
Jamie Slaughter - Board Game Geek - Read it Here.
- About the Game -
Tic Tic Boom is the first release by Explosive Laughter Games. The game is intended to be both for casual and competitive game players; ages 8 and up. It combines familiar game concepts with new ones to create a hot-bed of fun, strategy, and sabotage.
The deck is made up of three suits each with five letters (K,A,B,O,M) and four wild cards. Each letter has a special power to activate. These are more basic powers such as Skip, Giving or Taking a card from another player, or Drawing cards. There are two great ways to play, both inlcuded with the game.
Tic Tic Boom Classic has players racing to get "KABOOM" on the board while also trying to get rid of all their cards. It is designed for game players of all agess and skill levels. Well planned sabotage and big combos are key.
Tic Tic Boom Advanced is another game entirely and meant for avid game players. In this version the cards have individual powers and can also be combined to spell words that make power attacks. These score points and bring more advanced sabatoge into the game. They include such attacks as "BAM", "KO" and "BOOM", which allow actions such as trading hands with any player or making all players draw or discard cards.
- Additional Rules -
Tic Tic Boom has evolved a lot during its three year creation, and it continues to evolve still. There have been a lot of rules that were wacky and fun, but ultimately I had to settle on one clear set for the printed directions. They're just rules though, and I encourage everyone to try out different variations and to find their favorite way to play. I'll be posting some of my favorites here; feel free to email me yours. New ideas are always welcome.
- Variations for Tic Tic Boom CLASSIC -
For a quick game, play to "KABOOM!" or "BOOM!".
Roll Over Play
If you have a Special Power left over from completing "KABOOM", you can use it on the new board. For example, if locking the "B" stack completes KABOOM, you may use the "B" Special Power to swap two stacks on the new board.
If you play two or more of the same color and letter on your turn as a combo, activate the ability of those cards - even when it doesn't lock the stack.
If you lock a stack with a Wild "!" you may choose ANY Special Power to use.
When locking the "B" stack you have the option of switching two open stacks OR reversing the direction of play.
Try changing DRAW TWO to DISCARD 2. It makes the game even faster and allows the possibility of locking two or three stacks in a turn.
Lowest Points Win
The first to complete "Tic Tic Boom!" loses. Try and collect cards and force players to complete KABOOM and run out of cards. A great twist!
Light Your Fuse
Everyone keeps there own score. Upon completing "Tic Tic Boom" and needing just the "!" to win, you must light your fuse by warning all other players that you only need to complete KABOOM to win. Do this by coming up with a clever announcement. Some examples: "The Fuse is lit", "Ignition sequence activated", "Tic Tic Tic Tic".
- Variations for Tic Tic Boom ADVANCED -
So far I've only tried this with a group of four, but I'm a big fan when playing with people who are familiar with the game. You'll have to agree on how much table talk is allowed; we usually play anything goes as long as it's made public to the other team.
When you play an all red "BOMB" power attack you may steal any power attack from a player and use its power (even KABOOM). When you do, move the cards of the power attack you're stealing in front of you and place the red "Bomb" in front of that player. At the end of the round when counting points, you score the points of the stollen power attack and the other player gets the points for "Bomb".
When you play an all yellow "BAM" power attack you switch hands as normal and then put the yellow "BAM" in front of that player. That player loses 50 points at the end of the round for having the Banana Bam! Blue "Boom" of Doom
When you play an all blue "BOOM" power attack you may make each player draw or discard TWO cards instead of one.
Tic Tic Boom is currently available in several dozen stores and through most major distributors nation wide. If your local shop doesn't have it, let them know it's worth checking out.