I had a new role in 2022. I am now a game publisher, with the release of Dancing Queen. I created my own brand and business entity – Cili Padi Games. Dancing Queen was a project I worked on for most of this year, starting in January. It was a fun ride getting a game from completion of design to actual publishing. This is just the first step. There is still much work ahead to promote and market the game. I am grateful to the many friends who have supported Dancing Queen.
Despite the pandemic going into an endemic stage and people now coming out to meet friends just like before the pandemic, this year I have not been playing more games than last year. Work has been busy. And it’s work I love. I’ve been spending time on Dancing Queen. I’m not actually going to many meet-ups.
One thing I have developed this year is a three-day training programme under Play With Purpose, to train our teachers to be able to teach the HABA Learning Program, a learning programme using boardgames designed for children aged 4 to 7. It was satisfying to work with teachers who are passionate about developing children. As a long-time gamer I think of HABA children games as very easy. I took for granted that any adult would be able to learn and teach them without issue. Through conducting the training I realised that even if experienced teachers need some time to get familiar with children boardgames. It is something I had taken for granted. It is rewarding to see other teachers I trained now guiding children to play and have fun. I strongly believe play is an important part of growth and development. And this is not just for kids. Adults love to play too, and we learn, understand and remember better when we have a immersive experience. So in my full time work as a trainer, this year I created a boardgame-based learning activity, called Rivers and Lakes. It is an activity which supports up to 100 participants, and the setting is Hong Kong gangs in the 1990’s. It is great fun to incorporate my hobby into my work.
The game which stands out for me in 2022 is Regicide, a cooperative card game which can be played using a standard set of playing cards. Such a clever design and a challenging one to beat too.
I remember Imperial Steam fondly too, a tough and heavy game which keeps you on your toes. You need to plan ahead well to ensure your train company stays competitive till the end.
Pandemic Legacy Season 0 was a memorable experience with my family. I did the previous two campaigns with the same group of friends. It was my first time playing a Pandemic Legacy game with my family. We have played other Pandemic games before. Although the legacy game format is no longer particularly novel by now, the whole campaign was still great fun. We had our crime boss in Shanghai, our secret base in Moscow the heart of enemy territory, and Michelle had her lethal gunbrella taking out enemy spies.
I participated in the Anigames convention in December, showcasing and selling Dancing Queen. I had great fun teaching my game and watching people play it.
One highlight of the year was meeting the designer of Love Letter, Mr Seiji Kanai, in Tokyo. I got my copy of Love Letter signed and I was thrilled to meet the creator of one of my favourite games.
In 2023 I will continue to work on game design. I need to work on marketing Dancing Queen (if you know of friends who might like it please recommend it to them). Other than this I have been working on multiple game design projects, playtesting prototypes and planning what my next project will be. This is an interesting stage for me – I’m transitioning from just playing and writing about boardgames to also creating them. Thank you for coming along on this journey. Happy New Year and may your coming year be filled with many happy gaming moments.
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