Posts Tagged ‘ The Great Heartland Hauling Co. ’

MY GAME DESIGNING LIFE

Well, folks, Heartland is hauling.

My first tabletop game design ever has been released to the public! What a cool milestone for me. A few years ago, I never would have imagined that I’d be a published game designer but if I’ve learned anything over the years it is that things don’t always goes as planned and there are still good surprises in the world!

The game is being well-received and we’ve been getting some solid reviews. Check out this review by Tom Vasel of The Dice Tower:

I even spotted the game on the shelf of my local game store. It’s pretty neat. I am so glad that people are liking the game.

The Great Heartland Hauling Co. on the shelf at Gamer's Sanctuary in Flint.

The Great Heartland Hauling Co. on the shelf at Gamer’s Sanctuary in Flint.

There is this funny thing that happens when you are a creative type. When you are working on something that you feel is important, great stuff, you start to think about what’s next and wrestling with identity questions like “did I get lucky or am I good enough to do it again?” At least that’s how it works for me. I try not to get too stuck looking too far out in front of me but when things get rolling it feels important to keep building on the momentum that is already working for you. And when things get buzzing, I find that they’ll keep buzzing if I can keep up. I guess that’s what Jim Collin’s Flywheel Principle is all about, but I digress.

The difficulty for me is that one idea leads to another and then I have to decide which idea to pursue. Sometimes this is an easy decision but not always. And that’s the tough part, sometimes being creative feels like work and other times the muse drops an idea into your lap. And sometimes the best stuff comes from the stuff that feels like work while other times the stuff that just happens is the best stuff. It’s important for me to remember this when I get lazy. It’s then when I need to open up a blank Word document and just start typing until the page is filled. It’s then when I need to pick up a deck of cards and start shuffling and dealing and making pretty shapes until something clicks. And when the works feels grinding, I need to remember, too. I need to remember to step back and take a break because sometimes things come together when you aren’t even working on them directly. The tension is to remember and live in-between both places.

And I’m just talking about the creative part of designing games, or any other creative pursuit, here. This doesn’t take in to account the work involved in getting a game published, the business of the work. In between great ideas you have to learn to get a sense for when something is ready and then figure out how to pitch the idea and who to pitch it to. Or you have to decide if you want to produce it yourself. This is fun and creative in it’s own way, but it calls for a willingness to do your homework and listen, and I mean really listen. When people don’t like something about your game, or song, or story, or painting this can feel very personal like someone is saying your baby is ugly but if you are willing to listen you can learn, even if you disagree.

Maybe this sounds a little bit like chaos to you. But to me, it’s a very exciting process that gets me pumped up. I feel alive when I am bringing creative pursuits to life. Even when it hurts because it’s hard and frustrating, it still makes me feel alive, pain is like that sometimes. It jars us awake and aware and makes us present to the moment. When I remember thing part about the creative process being the thing that makes me feel alive, I can settle in and do the work I love to do because I’m free from having to worry about the final product. I no longer have to ask those questions about whether or not I’ll be a one-hit-wonder because getting published is just a perk that sometimes follows doing what you love.

These days I’m not so worried about whether or not I’ll have new ideas that are worth publishing, I am just focusing on the process and trying to enjoy each step along the way. And in the midst of that, some stuff will get published and some won’t but either way, I’m still having fun doing something that feels important and has potential to bring people together. For me, that is what makes this important work. Time to get back to it.

LINK ROUND UP: THE GREAT HEARTLAND HAULING CO.

What a ride! We’re trucking toward 75% of our funding goal as I get this post ready. Thanks so much for your support so far.

In case this idea got lost in the social media mix, I wanted to make it clear that when you pledge at least $25.00 on Kickstarter you will get one of the first copies of The Great Heartland Hauling Co., hot off the production line and shipped to you anywhere in the U.S. or Canada (At $35 you get worldwide shipping!). So we’re not just asking to you to get our game going, you get something in return; a super fun, portable card game that plays with 2-4 players!

If that offer doesn’t whet your whistlein a major way, he are some of the latest links where you can learn more about the game and the process involved in putting the game together before you make your pledge:

Designer Diary on BoardGameGeek.com. This is a fairly in depth look at how I came up with Heartland Hauling and how the game made its was to Dice Hate Me Games for publication.

Futile Position Interview. I was interviewed by Michael for his site FutilePosition.com. We talked about the game and a little bit about my thoughts on game design in general.

The Green Couch. This is a link to my previous post that has even more link and info about the game, including my podcast appearance on The State of Games!

Here’s the video promoting the Kickstarter Campaign. I’m nervous that folks are missing my stellar acting but skimming past it on Kickstarter:

Heartland Hauling Video

Last but not least, here’s a link to the Kickstarter page where you can pledge your support, and get rewarded in games!!!

Thanks again for your support. There is much more to come if you are willing to hang with us. We’ve got reviews, and other exciting news coming down the pike!

WE’RE ROLLIN’ WITH THE GREAT HEARTLAND HAULING CO.

I stayed up way past my bedtime last night for the launch of The Great Heartland Hauling Co. on Kickstarter. Heartland Hauling is a card game I designed that is being published with Dice Hate Me Games, a company that puts out accessible tapletop games with interesting themes. Last night, July 31st, at 11:59p.m. we launched the game on Kickstarter which is a crowd-funding platform that helps people bring their ideas to life.

In the first few hours of the project we had more than 10% of our funding goal met but we have got a long way to go! I wanted to share some ways that you can help me make my dream a reality! Here are some ideas:
1. Pledge. Pledging on a Kickstarter project is safe and secure. Essentially, you are pledging your support by pre-ordering the game. Your credit or debit card will only be charged after the project closes and only if we reach our $10,000.00 goal to print the game. If you like fun, strategic games that don’t have a huge learning curve, you’ll love Heartland Hauling. To learn more about the game and publisher and pledge your support go here:  http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dicehateme/the-great-heartland-hauling-co-a-card-game-for-2-4

2. Share. Please share the link to the Kickstarter project with people who you think would be interested. Marketing for this game is pretty grassroots so the more you share, the better chance we have of being successful! There’s even a link on the KS page where you can pin a cool infographic on Pinterest to help get the word out. Here’s that link again: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/dicehateme/the-great-heartland-hauling-co-a-card-game-for-2-4

3. Learn. Get more info about the game and publisher by visiting the Dice Hate Me Game website. You can also visit the game’s page on BoardGameGeek, the best source on the planet for casual gamers and gaming enthusiasts. If you are a BGG user, please “thumb” our images and forums to make info about the game easier to find.

4. Listen. I was recently interviewed on The State of Games, a Dice Hate Me Podcast where we talked about Heartland Hauling and some other fun games you might be interested in. Check it out and share: http://dicehateme.com/2012/07/the-state-of-games-episode-33-the-one-about-the-heartland/ 

I will also be featured on a soon to be released podcast called Funding The Dream on Kickstarter with Richard Bliss, The Game Whisperer. Check back here and look for here it soon.

5. Follow. Stay up to date with all happenings related to The Great Heartland Hauling Co. by following us on social media:

facebook.com/jkotarski

facebook.com/dicehateme

facebook.com/heartlandhaulinggame

and on Twitter: @jasonkotarski, @dicehateme, @monkey238
Thanks so much for helping me to get this game rolling! We’ve got a long haul ahead of us so I hope you enjoy the ride, or at least the view from the passenger seat!

THE GREAT HEARTLAND HAULING CO. TO BE RELEASED BY DICE HATE ME GAMES

There’s some big news at The Green Couch today!

If you have been following me for long, you’ve probably heard about a little tabletop game I designed called Over the Road. About a year ago, I announced that I had signed on with a company called Cambridge Games Factory who wanted to release the game. After a year of waiting for the project to make it’s way up the long list of releases scheduled with CGF, I decided I was ready to move on. I requested that CGF terminate the contract we had entered into so I could explore other options for bringing my game to life. Ed Carter, owner of CGF, graciously released me immediately and wished me luck in finding a new publishing home.

Today, I am extremely excited to announce that it didn’t take long for the game to find a new home! On the very day I was released from my contract with CGF, I received a call from Chris and Cherilyn Kirkman who offered to pick up the game for publication with their company Dice Hate Me Games!

Chris and Cherilyn’s vision for the game is really exciting and I knew right away that Dice Hate Me Games would be a great for me and my game. With new art and a new name, the  game is headed to Kickstarter later this Summer and is expected to be released in the first quarter of 2013.

Here’s a sneak peak at the art and the official press release that went out today:

Dice Hate Me Games Keeps on Trucking

(Durham, NC) – Dice Hate Me Games is loaded up and ready to put the hammer down with its newest release – The Great Heartland Hauling Co.

In The Great Heartland Hauling Co. players take on the role of medium haul Midwest truck drivers doing their best to make a living by hauling goods for big suppliers. Players truck to various locations around America’s Heartland, picking up and dropping off goods using matching cards from their hands. Most locations have native goods that require fewer cards to load; other locations may pay a premium for those goods but may also require more fuel – and time – to get there with the cargo. With limited space in each trailer and only five cards in hand at a time, players will have to expertly manage their resources, as well as play the odds and press their luck to be the best trucker on the road.

The Great Heartland Hauling Co. will offer a lot of replay value through the use of cards to create a variable board set-up each game. The game will include 60 goods cubes, 4 thick cardboard trucks, and 46 resource cards – required for pick-up and delivery – that are drawn from a shared draft board, as well as 20 fuel cards, which are used to move about the Heartland.

The Great Heartland Hauling Co. is a game for 2 to 4 players, ages 10 and up, and designed by Jason Kotarski. It is set for a late-summer Kickstarter campaign with a Q1 2013 release from Dice Hate Me Games.

For more information on The Great Heartland Hauling Co.Carnival, VivaJava and future Dice Hate Me Games releases, please visit www.dicehatemegames.com and sign up for our newsletter.

Keep watching here for more updates coming down the pike!

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