As some know, I’m the primary author of the O’Reilly book Mind Performance Hacks: Tips & Tools for Overclocking Your Brain. For my next hack, I mean trick, I propose to collaborate with my friend Clark Rodeffer (
) on a book with the working title Games Unboxed.
This book, which is quite far along, and which we expect to submit to a publisher in Q4 2008, is a collection of games you can play with “standard equipment”, meaning things like Chess and Checkers sets, standard decks of cards, six-sided dice, pen and paper, coins, and other things you might have around the house if you’re a gamer, including beer and pretzels. There have been several books like this in the past, the most notable of which is probably Sid Sackson’s 1969 collection A Gamut of Games, which is so magnificent it has its own Wikipedia entry. We aim to be just that magnificent, or more so — a collection of designer games that incorporate the game design lessons of the last 40 or so years since Gamut, including the German games revolution; a collection of games that might come in a box, but instead come in a book.
We currently have roughly 170 game submissions, about 20 of which are definites so far. We’re aiming for 100 games in the finished book. We’ve been rewriting the games we like (for clarity and house style, not to change the rules or take credit for them). When we have 25 we think are in publishable shape, we’ll submit them to some publishers in the form of a book proposal. We’re not just editors or rewrite artists. Clark and I will each have anywhere from half a dozen to a dozen games in the book ourselves.