Last night at Swamp Castle, we had a very special Guest of Honor- none other than Zev Schlasinger of Z-Man games. He travelled all the way to Atlanta from his home in upstate New York to hear what Atlanta's gaming most incredible game group had to say about a small pile of prototypes he's been considering moving into further development and to see (but not sample) the "Zev Zinger", a honorary drink prepared by Steve "Cocktail" Avery. A great time was had by all- F:ATtie Aaron Tubb was there, as was lurker Jeff Jarvis (where we get the term "Jarvising" from). Dan Baden, designer of THE GREAT CHILI COOK OFF and FIREHOUSE FLOP was on hand to impart his sage wisdom and damning criticism and martial arts expert and Navy SEAL Mark Zoghby ran security to keep out unwanted nerds.
I can now truly attest, having met the man, that Zev is in fact awesome and should be sainted in the AT canon. Over the course of the evening, we talked a lot about game design, what works and what does, business matters, and what Z-Man Games is doing and trying to do. And that something? Make a million dollars with awesome and unique games. I can stand by that.
Now, the games. Several unpublished prototypes were played, and some of them didn't go over so well as was expected. One of them had dice thrown at it, which in Swamp Castle parlance means "epic fail". One about XXXXXX seemed to be a big hit but I was in another game (XXXXXX) that didn't go over so well. A couple of possible reprints were also looked at along with some redevelopment ideas, particularly for XXXXXXX. One of the games we played resulted in a raging gorilla spawning inside a locked bathroom. I'll never forget that.
But the star of the evening, outside of our heroic Brooklynite, was definitely XXXXX. It is a potential GAME Z. The theme is completely new, original, and one of those "why the hell hasn't somebody done this before" things. In the game XXXXX XXXXXX XXXX XXXX XXXXX, XXXX! It features XXXXXX XXXX XX, XXX, XXXX, XXX, and XXXX. I don't know about you guys, but that's a game I would buy in a heartbeat. I think it would have huge market potential based on the theme and concept. However, it was also very, very rough and needs some serious development work done in order to get it up to speed. Like I told Zev, when I play a game and I'm doing something I've never done before, that's signficant to me.
Of course, we also rapped about obscure movies a little and alienated everyone who's not ever seen DELLAMORE DELLAMORTE or BIG MAN JAPAN. We also talked cuisine and I felt like I had to apologize for the pizza all night since Zev grew up in Brooklyn. Come to think of it, I don't think Zev ever wound up actually eating anything. I guess the idea of "Georgia Pizza" was too off-putting.
So yes, Zev really is a great guy and Z-Man games has some really interesting stuff in the pipeline. There's one in particular coming out next year, XXXXXX, that I think is going to be a smash hit in these parts. Watch this space.