Project ALPACA live on Kickstarter 1/18

Ludology Lab’s very first table-top game will go live on Kickstarter on Thursday, 1/18/2018! It’s the next step in game publishing and I’m a bit nervous/excited about it, but I think it will be worth it. I have been jazzed for about the past week(s) trying to put as many ducks in a row as I can think of, but I now it’s time to breathe for a moment and see what happens. It’s an odd feeling to see an idea in your brain actually become a Real Life Thing.

I remember when I first came up with the idea for Project ALPACA. It was called PARADOX at the time and I was on the Georgia coast three years ago. The core mechanics are the same as they are today, but it had no theme whatsoever. Just two people staring at each other. I thought being abstract was really deep and mysterious, but after some play-testing and shopping around I soon discovered it was actually just confusing. After my first prototype, a programmer I know suggested that I try coding it to test it for the “paradoxes” that were present in the original rules (the game broke a lot). So Project ALPACA was actually the first full computer game I ever coded. I learned C# and made a very basic command line version of the game. The computer opponent was three lines of code, but was eventually tweaked so it wouldn’t lose the game on purpose. I realized that it would be better to play with real, actual people (who made interesting choices), so the tabletop version of the game was conceived. That brought us up to a year ago. After all that time and energy and morphing and changing and rewriting and learning, here it is.

From janky command line to cardboard and art.

Traditionally, I start a lot of projects and never finish them. I’ve been trying to get better at this. I wanted to share what pushed me to try and get this game finished. It’s been a mantra of mine whenever I’m looking at big goals I have for myself in the future, incomprehensible goals that seem to lofty at the time, the kind of goals that make you question whether you should follow them into the unknown. Put yourself in the following scenario: If you were on your deathbed and had one last chance to look back at your life, ask yourself, “Can I live with myself never having done this?”

And that’s your answer.

Mine was “no.” And here we are!

(Thank you, Rudy.)

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