New News 2018

Hello friends and players,

I just wanted to make a very quick and quiet update, as you may not have heard from me for quite a long time, and is looking a little lonely and abandoned. If we’ve intersected in the great world of games before, and you’ve got any questions that you’ve been waiting to ask me, go right ahead, it’d be great to catch-up. I’m pre-answering a few to get started. 

What have you been up to in relation to making games?

I’ve been doing a lot, but with not a whole lot to show for it, apart from a few quiet credits here and there. I worked with Rule & Make throughout 2016 and 2017, starting with them as Skyward headed toward Kickstarter. I took a lot of game submissions (said no to most of them) and and helped out in various capacities with Hand of Fate and another project that didn’t quite manage to get up again after a bit of shaky start (we were unable to reroute for alternate power). This year, I took a step back and have been playing around with quite a few ideas, none of which have survived very far past the prototype stage. I’ve been working with a few friends on some collaborative designs, but they’re all in very early early stages. I’m excited about a new project right now, but it’s ambitious and strange in a few ways, and it needs more gestating time (actually, I’m working on a couple of projects that meet that description).

What’s happening with Ragnaroll?

I’m not quite sure. Occasionally I get a message from a backer or a player telling me how much they liked the concept, or the game they played, but over the past couple of years I’ve put a few different versions of Ragnaroll on the table, and they just haven’t felt right. I’m struggling to reconcile my first design, which had some fun and crazy ideas, with my current tastes as both a designer and player. I don’t think I’ll ever be able to let it go, but I’m not ready to return to it yet.

Anything else?

  • I went to Essen in 2017, on behalf on Rule & Make, which was fun! I saw Antoine Bauza in real life. 
  • I’m currently working on a project that solves my gripe with PDF rulebooks using my professional skills.
  • I’m disabling a few features on this site, mainly things that have potential to become security vulnerabilities.
  • As a recommendation, Sidereal Confluence is really great, in that it delivers a truly strange and wonderful and frantic cooperative and competitive experience. It’s not easy to learn or teach, but it’s a galaxy full of fun with the right group.
  • I’m looking for a new job for 2019. If you, by any weird chance, know any game companies that are hiring, send them my way. I’m a bit of a Jack of All Trades with strong writing and editing skills, fierce opinions about graphic layout and rulebook design, dangerous coding knowledge, some very esoteric skills about getting inDesign to talk to a variety of applications using the infernal language of XML and HTML, and, of course, significant game design and development experience, mostly acquired in the tried-and-true method of failing forward.


Best regards,



Odin Day’s Spotlight: A new challenger approaches

This Odin’s Day we’ve got something a little special. I’m currently looking into the possibility of adding on an extra pledge level that will let you bring the game up to 5 players. The game has been fully tested with 5 and we’d hoped to be able add enough dice to stretch to 5 players with stretch goals, but it doesn’t quite look like we’ll get there. The good news is this means adding an extra hero for every backer when we fund. These heroes take the game to the next level, but heroes aren’t just born, they’re made on the battlefield and we’d like your help to choose which warrior to turn into our newest hero, but you’ll need to know what they’re all about first.

(Psst… obviously the art below is just a rough sketch for now. Check out our other hero spotlights to see how awesome the final image will look!)

First up is Olaf Foeseeker.

Olaf Foe-seeker made his name young. He travelled far and wide, always keen to lend his sword to a battle with a storied hero on the other side of the shield wall. While other heroes proved their worth with battle prowess – fighting five men at a time, holding a bridge single-handedly – Olaf watched and waited, saving his strength. And when the time was right, when the battle was almost done, he would pounce, raising himself up by striking other named warriors down. When the great winter came, Olaf didn’t have a great hall or a strong clan behind him but his name and his boasts drew a desperate few. If you fought with Olaf, you would not die in your hall, wasting away from hunger, you would fight and you would kill and your deeds would be remembered in story and song.

Olaf Foe-seeker Rough

Our testers have found Olaf to be one of the most heroes difficult to play, but also one of the most rewarding. Many of the other heroes Paths to Glory provide a reliable stream of glory, but Olaf needs to bide his time, relying on Fate until he can find the perfect moment to strike. His very presence can strike fear into the hearts of other heroes and can change the dynamic of the game as other players do their best to not fall into Olaf’s traps. The Hunter ability can be used to pounce on players who have left their hero at home without enough support, but also adds a great degree of flexibility, if you can stomach the glory cost.

Next, we have Brenna Battleborn!

There are many tales of babes born on the battlefield. The seers say it is an omen of a great but cursed warrior. A child so born will grow into a strong warrior but is fated to die as they were born, covered in blood, screaming and surrounded by loved ones. Actually, to a Viking, that doesn’t sound half bad.
Brenna Battleborn Rough

Brenna isn’t afraid of death, and any player that uses her shouldn’t be either. To head towards a glory victory, you’ll need to flirt with danger, pushing Brenna into battles she won’t win and might just lose, taking best advantage of the Fate cards available. Other heroes are faced with a tough decision when battling Brenna as slaying her can end up in a pretty large glory gain for her player, more than enough for her inevitable revenge.

Ready to rally behind your hero?

We’re giving you lots of ways to show you support for your hero, and a week to do so. We’ll be counting up all the results across all the social media.

  • Tweet with #ragnaroll and your hero’s first name, #Olaf or #Brenna
  • Share or like our Facebook pictures of Olaf or Brenna
  • Vote in the BGG poll, and add your thumbs to the BGG pictures of Olaf or Brenna
  • Shout out your hero’s name in the comments below!

Odin’s Day Spotlight: Freya the Red

Freya Spotlight

Freya was but one of her father’s seven noble-born children, and with so much noble blood around it was all but inevitable it would come spurting out. The sole sister among a brood of brothers, Freya refused every suitor brought to her and took to the sea instead. She would raid, like her father before her, and came to be known by the bright red sail of her flagship. If you saw that sail, you knew that death was coming in with the tide.

While Freya went a Viking, her brothers smiled at each other across the table but plotted behind close doors. It seemed that every time she returned, another brother had met with an unfortunate accident, a hunting arrow gone astray, a fall from a horse, accidentally falling on one’s one sword several times in a row.

When Freya left her on her last raiding season before the seas froze over, only two brothers remained. The oldest and the youngest, and she hoped that when she returned, the surviving brother would be greeting her with open arms and not waiting weapons. When she finally returned, she found herself greeted not by a brother, but by a father, still defiantly clinging to life. He had grim news, both brothers had met with another unfortunate accident. The clan would need a strong leader for the dark times ahead, he told her. A storied warrior with a reputation to be feared.

Continue reading

Odin’s Day spotlight: Hilda Shieldmother

Today’s also our very first Odin’s Day of the Ragnarol campaign, also called Wednesday by the English. While Thor might be the most famous god of the Viking pantheon, it’s his daddy Odin that will be hearing battle prayers in Ragnaroll, and that gives his name to the most middle of the week days. Thor was loved by the working man perhaps because, unlike his father, he favoured strength and honesty over guile, and his iconic hammer was symbolic of this, a tool of labour, not of war. Odin, on the other hand, was a god for those who did not sow, and delighted in the wars and battles of men. Odin was a god of kings, jarls and heroes; a god for the bad times ahead; a god for hump day! So every Odin’s Day we’re going to feature one of the heroes of Ragnaroll. First up is Hilda Shieldmother, the fierce lady you see in our main image.


Nobody weak survived this far into the long winter of Ragnaroll. When everything else was falling down, when brother turned against brother, and banditry was rife, Hilda stayed strong and held her ground. There were other heroes in her clan, men who called themselves leaders, but their ambitions were often bigger than their raiding parties, and it wasn’t long before the people of the clan looked to Hilda as a voice of reason. But nobody makes it through the long winter innocent, there were some hard choices to make in those dark times. Hilda’s not a maiden anymore, she’s one mean mother.

Path to Glory

Gain 1 glory for each of your Vikings that is lost or slain. Gain 2 glory when Hilda successfully defends.

Unique Battle Ability

• Hold the Line • 2 glory
Reroll all of your Vikings with a Snakes result. Your opponent must use axes to slay as many Vikings as possible before using axes to take stores. No Vikings are lost or wounded in this battle.


If Hilda is slain defending your hall, gain 2 additional glory. If Hilda is the only one of your Vikings slain in a battle, gain 2 additional glory When Hilda dies, flip this mat to the revenge side.

Hilda in action

If you were going to hold up in your hall with anyone all winter, you’d want it to be Hilda. With her path and abilities centred around defense, Hilda’s determined to bring her clan out of the apocalypse alive and will sacrifice glory and honour to do so. With Hilda, you might send a few single raiders off early in the game, to their death and your glory, saving more stores for later in the winter. But like all the heroes of Ragnaroll, Hilda shines in battle and you’ll need to offer a juicy enough target for other players to risk facing her in battle. Of course, you know that your opponents expect Hilda to stay home and protect her stores, so they might be inclined to leave their own stores lightly guarded giving you the perfect opportunity for a surprise raid, but then they know that you know…

Hilda’s Death condition also provides some interesting options and a nice chunk of glory, making her revenge inevitable (and perhaps sudden) if you can have her sacrifice herself in defence of her hall.

Next Odin’s Day…

So what do you think of Hilda Shieldmother? Perhaps she’s a little too pragmatic for those of you who have their ambitions set on carving a name for yourself with some epic raiding. Well, next week, you’ll meet another lovely lady of the apocalypse. They call her Freya the Red and that’s got nothing to do with the colour of her hair.

The State of Ragnaroll, August 2015

Hail friends and followers,

Today I’d like to catch you up on what’s been happening at End Game Games with Ragnaroll over the past 6 months or so. I’d like to start with a little apology to anyone who’s a date from me in the past. Development with Ragnaroll has been ongoing but real life has thrown in an unexpected interruption over the past couple months. I’m back on track now and can commit to staying on that track through the upcoming Kickstarter and beyond. Continue reading

Game designer tribal warfare

In the first post in this series, I described 4 (rounding up from 3.5) tribes of game designers, each tribe with a core value system that its members shared. Of course, like any categorisation, these tribes are somewhat arbitrary and necessarily forced, but I find putting things in boxes helpful, as it brings clarity to both the box and the thing you’re putting in it. This post, I’m going to take the concepts of the tribes and mix them together, not just because the real world doesn’t neatly fit into the 4 discrete boxes, but because this will actually be helpful. We’ll find that some tribes share values that interact harmoniously and that designers taking ideas from both of those tribes can create some really fantastic games, but other tribes have values that are mutually exclusive and that trying to design while adhering to the beliefs of both tribes can lead to troubled development and a troubled final design. Personally, I often find myself at the dark crossroads between two of these opposing tribes and thinking about this has definitely given me some clarity, and I hope this post will help you come to terms with your own game design tribal identity. Continue reading

Tabletop Deathmatch: Post-match Breakdown

The 2nd season of Tabletop Deathmatch has just wrapped up and, while I felt the first season was a little more genuine and less staged*, I maintain this is must watch viewing for all tabletop designers and cage fighters out there, but before we go any further: SPOILERZ! Watch the season and the finale before continuing! Or decide you’re too lazy to and just read my breakdown. Continue reading

3.5 tribes of board game designers

There has long been a deep chasm in the realm of board games. In recent years, the chasm has narrowed and even a few bridges have built, but there are still some gamers who will not leave their side of their rift for the land on the other side. In board games, the grass is always greener and much more fun on your side. I don’t have a name for the rift, but there is a name for the two sides, Euro games and Ameritrash. In this post I want to move beyond that simple divisive line by creating even more divisions. Don’t worry, I’m not trying to start a new board game cold war, this all has a point, but you’re going to have to trust for me now. Continue reading

The State of Ragnarol, March 2015

Hail friend!

Ragnarol has been in development for a long time now. It’s possible you heard of it a couple of years ago, when it was bouncing around in my head, or you’ve played it with me sometime over the past 18 months. It’s getting towards completion, but this last, long march through the snow is proving longer and harder than I had planned for. I just wanted to give you a quick update of what’s been happening with Ragnarol lately and where we’re heading in the very near future! Continue reading

PAXAUS 2014 Tabletop Wrap

I wrote a little about my PAX experience in the latest New News but I thought I’d share just a little more, with some different perspectives, more game and even non-PAX stuff!

PAX impressions

PAXAUS 2014 was a great fun time, but there was a lot more greatness and fun then there was time. We were run off our feet and out of our tables with demos throughout the weekend, and my biggest regret is that I didn’t get to play more games. Thankfully, I wasn’t the only one at PAX, so I’ve collected some post-PAX impressions for all of you! In no particular order:

  • Kick the Table interviewed a bunch of designers at PAX using recording equipment, including yours truly, Allen Chang and Kim Brebach (whose game monstrous is mentioned below)
  • Action Points PAX Part 1 gives a general overview and Part 2 goes deep with interview with board game developers. In Part 1, Aaron talked a little bit about Dungeon of Mandom, a great little game that I picked up from my Japan trip, and that lives in my bag apart from when people borrow it, which is getting to be pretty often since Allen Chang’s been evangelising it to everyone he meets. There’s also a PAX post from Evan’s wife about attending PAX as a more casual game, and another article from friend of the show Sharona at Popculture-y – these are both definitely video game / pop culture focussed, but perhaps you, dear reader, have a broader interest than just cardboard games.
  • Al Caynes of Senyac Games also did a round up, and had a few kind words for Ragnarol. Not playing El Luchador Fantastico Grande was one of my big regrets of PAX. Unfortunately I can’t give you my impressions of the game, but check out the Kickstarter and judge for yourself!
  • Sean Carrol of 93Made Games wrote about his experiences as well, and his post includes a video of the board game funding panel. I believe you’ll hear the ocassional interjection from me and Allen Chang in the audience.
  • The Dice Men have also done a whole episode on PAX and it really does well to sum up how I feel about the Australian design scene right now – it’s about to burst! You can also hear me talk for a few seconds, and you can barely tell I’m completely exhausted and forgot how to use words.

Games I Actually Got to Play

PAX is the 3rd convention I’ve attended in 2014 and it’s great to see some familiar faces, as well as some familiar games. Thanks to a kind volunteer, I actually managed to unchain myself from the booth and play a few games throughout the con, including a couple of works in progress.

I finally got to play Monstrous from Kim Brebach. Kim’s been demoing this for over a year now and it’s been great to get to finally get the time to experience it for myself. I performed appallingly in the game, and just managed to squeak out a non-negative score, but still really enjoyed it. The game is looking super great and I’m looking forward to seeing it on Kickstarter early next year.

I also got to play Time Fight again. Designer Paul Sztajer tells me it’s progressed quite a bit since the Toy and Games Expo. It definitely feels to me like it’s flowing more smoothly but with no compromise on the core mechanic of gladiatorial combat across time and space. I’m really excited about this game, especially because I get to yell THERE CAN ONLY BE ONE! when I finally win (that’s not actually part of the rules).

Post-PAX Mini-Con with Vault Games

New online / pop-up store Vault Games put on a launch day the weekend after PAX, which turned out to be a like a little mini con tgat showed what a great concentration of designers we have in and around Brisbane. I didn’t get to play as many of other indie games as I would have liked as I found myself somehow forced into an impromptu Netrunner draft and X-Wing tournament later in the day (okay, so maybe I brought along my Netrunner draft packs and X-Wing army, just in case). If you check out the Vault Facebook page, you’ll find a post focussing on each of the designers, and you should see Dragonracer on Kickstarter in just one week.



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