The SPIEL fair is Essen is approaching; we will visit it on Saturday, October 20. With a calendar full of appointments, we are currently in fast-forward mode to finish the presentations and edit the videos of our tests with children. While editing, it is fun to see again and again how children appreciate the game concepts. We’re confident this will bring smiles to the faces of game publishers!
Today we conducted the final tests of our new games range. Previous testing had proven that the games worked well, so today we concentrated on filming children while playing. The last details were fine-tuned, new
prototypes prepared, and after a long day of play-testing we went home with a camera full of playful evidence.
We just got back from our first visit to the Nurnberg Toy Fair, which was really, really impressive. Quite different from Essen, much larger, more toys of course and essentially no players. That last one is a bit weird at the start, but it also means you get to see everything quite well. There’s two big halls for game publishers and the focus is more on children’s games and family games and less on expert games. Which is interesting for us, as we always have a lot of child game concepts. The rest of the halls was also inspiring to see, there were even more game publishers to be found beside a lot of exciting ideas, game components and mechanics. And who wouldn’t want to see a life-size pluche dinosaur?
"Cupcakes" by bluegum, http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1155519
Hurray! Today we signed (all three of us!) a worldwide license for two of our games and now it’s official! If everything proceeds according to plan the games will be published before the end of the year, so then we will be able to tell you more!
After pitching concepts from our new portfolio at SPIEL, we now have to produce prototypes. Interest was great – so it’s production in quantities. Luckily, we can use some advanced equipment, like laser-cutting machines, to help us with the more repetitive parts of the job. We have come to appreciate the smell of plastic burnt by the laser.
Last week we visited SPIEL, the famous fair for board and family games. Although our schedules are filled with all the appointments we have, we also try to take a look at the new releases. And, as Spiel is essentially a consumer fair, it’s interesting to see families play various games. At some booths, they have to read through the game rule leaflets or helplessly wait for assistance from a host. At other booths, all players are fully engaged in play. Occasions like this prove the value of clear, compact rule sheets!
Spring is in the air – a new season of game development has started at Sixeye. We just had our first of a series of brainstorms. What a great stage to be in: the sheet still empty, anything goes, restrictions postponed, expectations high. And at the end of the day: a pile of densely scribbled papers, on top of which lies a long-list of promising ideas to be developed. Playtime at Sixeye!
The New York toy fair (officially ‘American International Toy Fair’) has ended. Blogs and reviewers are summarising the trends. Some are pretty predictable: the merger of physical board games with electronic devices (iPad!) is taking off, physical activity is promoted through electronic toys and games, and the inevitable Angry Birds are on a pig-hunt in digital, physical, cuddly and other forms. We like the trend that Reyne Rice of the Toy Fair called ‘simply social’: family games that bring people together, are easily played, take little time, and promote social awareness in a number of ways.
Our first prototypes from this season’s ideation round have left the workshop and are on their way to the game publishers’ test panels! In the final stages of game development, a host of detailed decisions have to be made. We always test our prototypes extensively by ourselves first, then with children, and we are confident we have shaped the games to their optimal format; a fine balance of luck, strategy, complexity, fun, and value-for-money. Test panel members, whoever you are: enjoy!