Modding Gravwell

Posted: 26th November 2013 by Corey in Gravwell

I’ve modified many of my games, but this is the first time I’ve modified my own game.

It started with the bases for the ships. The original bases looked fine, but the footprint was a bit too small for my tastes. The ships tended to tip during play.

I carefully removed the original bases, cleaning out the holes in the ships with a Dremel. The new bases are Small Flying Bases from Games Workshop.

I then modified the box. I kept the original insert, but I inverted it. Just pop it out and fold all the lines in the opposite direction. Instead of a single trough up the middle, I now have two storage sections.

Lastly, I used some foam for miniatures to create a custom holder for the ships. They won’t rattle around in the box.

Inverting the insert is easy.

Inverting the insert is easy.

Tipping prohibited

Small Flying Bases are 3 cm in diameter. They fit well on the hex spaces on the Gravwell board.

Some way forward for “One Way Out”

Posted: 20th October 2013 by Corey in Game Design

One Way Out is a game I’ve been designing for 6 years. It’s really a game mechanism for which I’ve been struggling to find a game. It is my strange attractor.

I’m going to post an ongoing series about the mechanism and where I’m taking it. In this entry, I’ll explain the mechanism itself.

The “secret aside” of the mechanism is in the card design and interaction. The cards form a playing field as you play. I often call it a “boardless board game,” though that doesn’t seem to resonate with anyone. I’ve seen other games that do something similar, but not in the way that I’m approaching it.

The cards are standard bridge size. Each card has two sections; the field and the tab. The field is a square portion as wide as the card itself, located at the bottom of the card. The field is divided into a 3×3 grid of squares. These squares form part of the board when the card is played. Cards are always played so that the 3 squares of one field line up with the 3 squares of another, without covering any part of any field.

The rest of the card – the non-field part – is the tab. Tabs contain special rules for play. It may discuss a locked door, a trap, a foe or a bonus. When a card’s tab is visible, its special feature applies.

When you play a card, you can cover the tab of a previously played card with the field part of a card, or with its tab. The features listed on the tab are disabled if any portion of the tab is covered.

Crits Happen video review of Gravwell

Posted: 7th September 2013 by Corey in Gravwell, Review, Video
Tags: , ,

I’m so grateful to Tox and Mrs. Tox for putting together such a great demo video and review of Gravwell.



Posted: 7th September 2013 by Corey in Game Design

Had an idea for a nano-game, the next logical step after the microgame trend.



2 to any number


  • 1 card (green)
  • Rulebook


Open the box. The last player holding the green card is the winner.

1d6 * 1d6

Posted: 6th September 2013 by Corey in Game Design
Comments Off

Why hasn’t anyone created a game mechanism that uses the product of 2d6 rather than the sum? It makes for some pretty interesting distribution. The range is from 1 to 36, with 18 possible results and 18 impossible results. Values under 10 are fairly common.

I tweeted this today and mentioned it on the Facebook Card & Board Game Designers Guild. Got some interesting feedback in both places.

I’m just wondering why it hasn’t been used. Seems fairly simple. Is the multiplication too much of a hurdle? Is it less interesting than it seems at first?

Why am I asking questions on a blog that doesn’t accept comments?

BGG Site for Gravwell

Posted: 5th September 2013 by Corey in Gravwell
Tags: ,
Comments Off

I frequently updated the Gravwell page on while I was waiting for the game to come out.

I suppose I will still post some links there, but I would rather others do so.

Gravwell is published by Cryptozoic Entertainment

Posted: 5th September 2013 by Corey in Gravwell
Tags: , ,
Comments Off

It’s been a good year.

At Gen Con 2012, I pitched Gravwell to Cryptozoic Entertainment.

One year later, I was again in Cryptozoic’s booth at Gen Con, but this time I was there to demonstrate the published game.