In the New Year we decided to focus more on Juniper Games, so this is what have we been up to….
We have done lots of research to decide what type of business to become: ‘sole trader’, ‘partnership’, ‘Ltd’ etc with all the legal and financial implications that go along with this. In the end we decided that the best way forward was for Ben to be a ‘sole trader/Founder/Overlord’, I’m the ‘blog writer/wife/baby sitter’ etc, and Oli and James are games designers. We can decide if we become something else once we are closer to launching the game(s). By becoming official we have now done the scary thing of getting a business bank account, starting our accounts and have got some exciting cheque books with Juniper games on them but rather boringly our bank cards only have our names on them.
We have decided to be exhibitors at this year’s UK Games Expo in June. This has meant lots of form filling, planning, paying scary invoices and a trip to Ikea. We are looking at this year’s Expo as a test run, to figure out what works well and what doesn’t – so when we are ready to launch a game, we can get the show right first time to ensure our game is successful. We are going to be in Hall 2 with the other starter stands (Booth 2-C11). We’ve got a few quirky ideas which we hope will grab people’s attention. So if you’re going to the show, please pop along and say hello and play test one of our games. If you are short of something to do the first weekend of June, why not come to the Games Expo – it’s a great way to test out new boardgames before taking the plunge and buying them.
Ben has been working on Defenders of Dragonfell, loading it onto Tabletopia and starting the endless cycle of playtesting to get everything well balanced. He has also been sorting artwork, which of course has meant buying lots of sketch books, a display tablet, watching endless episodes of Draw with Jazzaand drawing drawing drawing!
Oli has been working on The Space Game and play testing different strategies and player counts. As a heavier Eurogame this is really important as the best games have a large number of equally effective strategies to maximise player choice.
James has conceived a Robot Maze game and has got busy with the laser cutter and buying things from China for play testing. Progress is good and the core mechanics are starting to come together!
We have a life outside of Juniper games (although sometimes it feels like it is taking over!)
Ben and I have been working on our garden. We rotovated it when I was pregnant, but winter and what feels like an entire gravel pit/builders merchant full of stones and rubble mixed in with the soil meant we didn’t put grass seed down in autumn as intended. So we have been hand digging the soil to remove stone/bricks/breeze blocks etc, and pulling up many MANY weeds. Oh and of course being SUPER busy looking after a very energetic 6 month old!
James and Tabatha have been to Canada, visiting family, being tourists, wedding planning and buying boardgames. It’s Tabatha’s birthday in May and she is having a Harry Potter party. As research, we have watched all the films and I’ve started on the books again. Tabatha has been busy making lots of props and the rest of us are working on our costumes.
Oli and Tash have been travelling the wilds of Vietnam in search of new ideas for board games, and good food of course. Travelling light, they were only able to pack a deck of cards and a miniature chess board and got their fix of gaming through multiple rounds of cribbage whilst bumping along the coastal railways. Among the many amazing sights they saw and the wonderful people they encountered, the languid and watery Mekong delta stood out for its vibrant markets, both on and off the water, and for its friendly locals. It was only a few board game cafes away from being a paradise! Now there must be some way of porting the exciting atmosphere of the floating markets to a board game…