Our journey began in the spring of 2010 when we first bought our badges for GenCon online. We had been designing games off and on for years but had yet to turn any of them into a product for sale. The idea of attending an event full of gamers and industry professionals was really exciting, and we both knew that GenCon was going to be inspiring and fun. We live in a small town in British Columbia, and drove an amazing four days across Canada and to Indianapolis through the Ontario border.
On day one, we showed up to join the vendors and teachers participating in the Trade day workshops and meetings. This was our first opportunity to hear from successful designers about what storeowners are looking for when they buy games to sell, and the inner working of the industry. We attended every lecture and workshop on turning a prototype into a solid product ready for sale. Mike Gray, Owen Stephens and Stan! all gave us pivotal advice that we have already begun putting to use. We were in the front row of all their workshops and they were gracious enough to answer all the questions we could come up with.
Gencon was an amazing experience, and it is no exaggeration that our week at the con changed both of our lives. We immediately knew that GenCon was the ideal setting for us to get serious about game design and to launch our products. Our games are now ready to show the world and we cannot wait to set up our booth. Returning with our own games for sale this coming year is the realization of a dream that we have put a lot of work towards.
Brad Finlayson is the founder of Game Point, and has been working on Symetra, originally called G-Aim Cosmic, since 2003. During this time he has had many people support the game with playtesting, art, business planning and prototype production at the GameCrafter. Symetra is the first completed game for the G-Aim system, although there are many other sets at the prototype stage.
Part of the inspiration for the G-Aim system came from the “Glass Bead Game” which was the focal point of Herman Hesse’s novel “Magister Ludi”. The Glass Bead Game encompassed and connected all subjects and objects into a game that was not only competitive, but also educating and enlightening. Before reading the novel, Brad already had in mind the plans for a gaming system that integrated roleplaying, tactical tabletop and collectible card games into a modular system that could play any of any type of game and incorporate any idea a player may have. Brad combined this with the principles of the Glass Bead Game and geared the mechanics to reward players who use creativity and lateral thinking in addition to logical, linear thinking.
Deduction Junction was the first game created by Justin K. French, the game designer for Game Point Game Systems who attended GenCon with Brad in 2010 and is coming back to GenCon this year. Deduction Junction was originally designed in 2009, and its latest incarnation was entered this year in The Game Crafter’s Mystery game contest.