Saturday, May 10, 2014

Super Showdown - Where did you have YOUR shodown part two: Greece!

This trip to Greece, several years in the making, was the perfect place to do our "Where did you have YOUR showdown" feature.  

Over the course of our trip, we visited Athens, Crete and Santorini.  We were resolved to play the game as often as possible and in as beautiful a location as possible.

So - without further adieu and with large thanks to our inspiration "Ant and Anna" who classed up the river Thames with their game play antics, here is our Greek Showdown!

First, a beautiful dusk game against my wife.  

Next, John and Jodie learn the game on a beautiful Crete patio!

Now that John had a taste for it, he destroyed me against a gorgeous ocean backdrop.  (Yes, that's a look of dismay - I wasn't sure what was worse, him winning or him tormenting me about winning...)

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Paranormal Investigation Card Game - Two Great Tastes....

...  That taste great together!

Let me take you back an exciting year ago to my entrance into the Paranormal world.  Through a good friend and creative dynamo I know I joined an organization called the Paranormal Illumination Society.  This group's mission statement is to bridge the gap between the normal and paranormal.

A noble mission, but what did that MEAN?

To me, it meant dipping my tootsies into the turbid waters of the extraordinary world we live in.  I joined to seek my own answers and my own impressions of that great big world and its mysteries, not to have someone tell me the answers they have.

Now when you put this paranormal investigation angle up against the mission and goals of Touch Paper Press and you have all of the makings of a great game.  Additionally, we had the unique challenge of creating a game that displayed the various elements of the paranormal and entertaining world.

Types of Investigators

There are believers out there who are trying to prove that the Paranormal world is true, they just want to open the door so that you can see for yourself.  The world to the believer is complicated, scary and wonderful.

Skeptics on the other hand believe in hard science and that the mystic road is one of misunderstanding and that the truth often lies in scientifically explainable events.  There are degrees of skeptics ranging from those who hope to find something to prove them wrong all the way to people who think the whole thing is silly and that the world MUST be shown that truth is a light-switch!

Frauds don't care whether an event is true or not, they are along for the ride and typically have an agenda all of their own for being involved.  Sometimes it's excitement, sometimes it's to be a part of something, but many times it's simply because there could be profit to be had.

Mediums on the other hand feel that to believe the paranormal is obvious and self evident.  They aren't even interested in proving anything to anyone necessarily.  Their goal is simple: understand the message behind the paranormal event and once understood, take the correct or appropriate actions.

Your typical investigation has all of these elements invested, which makes for a dynamic and often intense evening!

Tone and Feel

Knowing the motivation of the primary game elements was a huge hurdle, and one we felt good about.  However, we needed the tone and theme and FEEL of the game to be completely in synch.  This meant the imagery had to match perfectly.

No problem!

We instantly fell in love with the turn of the century timeframe.  It was a time of superstition, and religious dominance.  Man waged war against the paranormal and supernatural with a fervor that has since been muted by science.  Technology was developed to test the paranormal world in bizarre ways.

And the imagery, O man, the imagery.  Science fiction imagined such a peculiar future of scientific gadgets to be used to sniff out the truth.


Simply put, the game is played in three "phases".

Phase one is the deduction of which hidden mystery card you should try to reveal.  You do this by seeing one (or more) of five different cards that are face down, while your opponents see other cards, then, reading what other players are doing to determine, ultimately, where all of your cards are.  Fun!

Phase two is about getting down to the nitty gritty of revealing the cards that match your agenda and win criteria while preventing others from doing their own.

Phase three is typically preventing the fraud from winning by either running out the deck, or revealing enough mysteries to lock him out.

Best thing about the gameplay?  This game takes, on average, 7 minutes to play!

We hope you enjoy Paranormal Investigation as much as we enjoyed designing, playtesting and producing it.

Thank you!