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Road to SXSW : Bringing Breaker Blocks to SXSW 2016

I’m Jake, I run a solo studio called Spriteborne, and with the help of a laser I design, manufacture, and distribute original tabletop games from start to finish under one roof. This year one of my games, Breaker Blocks, was nominated in the 2016 SXSW Gaming Awards. Earlier this month I made the drive from the Philadelphia suburbs to Austin, TX, showing off my game at the show and vying for a community choice award. This is a postmortem breakdown of my experience, including what went right, what went wrong, and what I think could be improved upon in the future. My first game, Yomi's Gate, was nominated in last year's SXSW Gaming Awards. If you want to read about...

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On Blocks and Tiles and Making a Tabletop Game in Three Days

11 days ago, I released my first commercial game into the world. It's a game I spent about a year working on, agonizing over details and design and balance. I packed a lifetime of strategy game criticisms into a single game that I hope addressed them all. I learned a lot along the way. There's still a long way to go from here to sustainability, but I'm getting there.  6 days ago, 2 days after my first exhibiting convention ended, I started conceptualizing a brand new game.  At the Philly Game Forge, we do monthly game jams. Every month, there's a new topic and we're supposed to spend about 12 hours over the course of a single week turning that...

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Road to SXSW - Postmortem

In the weeks leading up to SXSW, and the impending launch of Yomi's Gate, I wrote a blog series called "Road to SXSW" in which I talked about the origins of the game and some of the challenges I've worked through to make it happen.  Now the dust is settling, SXSW is over, and I have thoughts to share on the experience. A full, stream of consciousness post on the experience would be incredibly long and difficult to follow, so I'm going to do what many game developers do and write a postmortem about it. I'll catalogue what went right, what went wrong, and then summarize with what I think should happen in the future.  Note from Future Jake: Now...

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On the Pricing and Release of Yomi's Gate

I have several announcements to make regarding the release and pricing of Yomi's Gate.  Yomi's Gate is releasing on Friday, March 13th here on  The full release will come in several versions.  Yomi's Gate Deluxe ($120): This version will include black maps, a black samurai army, a red samurai army, a black oni army, a red oni army, and a hand-crafted, solid acrylic, laser engraved box. The deluxe edition will also be the only way to get red armies.  Yomi's Gate Standard ($60): Includes black maps, black samurai and oni armies, an orange samurai army, and a blue oni army. The acrylic box is an expensive, time-intensive creation, so this version won't come with that. I'm looking at getting cardboard boxes...

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Road to SXSW - Unpredictable

This year, Yomi's Gate was nominated in the South by Southwest Gaming Awards. I'll be showcasing the game at the festival from March 13th through March 15th 2015. Between now and then, I'll be writing a series of articles discussing the game, where it came from, how it was made, and the kinds of challenges I've encountered along the way. This is one of those articles. Week One: Why Yomi's Gate? - An article about why I'm making this game and not something else.  Week Two: The Shape of Things - Insights into how I go about creating pieces for Yomi's Gate.  Week Three: Making the Map - Words about how I made the map and the prototile, modular board for Yomi's...

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