“How to Play” Video: The RallyBird Baseball Board Game

I hope you enjoy this and it makes sense. The rules book requires only 2 pages to teach the basic rules. There’s also a page that explains the components, a page that shows an example of play plus variant rules, and a few more pages of help for beginners plus a F.A.Q section. So while I try to cover all the bases (get it?), I want to repeat that the basic rules require only 2 illustrated pages.

Guess what, this baseball board game is available for purchase! Today, May 8, 2018, you may purchase it here: https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/rallybird-baseball

Play ball!

What’s in the Box? Unboxing The RallyBird Baseball Board Game

Yes, what I hope is the final prototype arrived. We’re moving along quickly now! In this video I open up a new RallyBird Baseball Board Game and explain its components. Along the way I discuss my purpose with the game and how the pieces fit in, what they do, and where they go on the board. I also discuss the rules booklet and what it offers. Stay tuned–I will soon make a “How To Play” Video. This game will be available for purchase as soon as I can complete proofreading the latest prototype.

As I try to emphasize in the video, I designed the game for what I searched for and could not find in other baseball board games: playability, short game time, and meaningful decisions for both offense and defense. All too many of the easier baseball boardgames seem to imply that defense has no decisions (and that offense’s decision is nothing more than a die roll).

Technical note: I tried to improve the sound on this video compared to my earlier ones. There’s a slight fluttering sound… I’m hoping it will go away as YouTube processes it. This is probably magical thinking. I have a lot to do before opening this game for purchase, and finessing video sound technology is not first on my list. Thanks for your patience.


Video 2: Baseball Has Dynamic Topography


This video describes my theory of the baseball diamond’s dynamic topography. The 4 bases have different altitudes of value in the landscape of imagination where baseball resides. I hope my analysis shares a way of looking at baseball’s structure as a game that increases its appreciation. It’s a way to understand and enjoy each base as bringing its own set of attributes in an offensive-defensive struggle.

***Please overlook my migrating use of “topography” (the shape of the landscape) and “topology” (usually about abstract or geometry shapes, but also can mean the “topographic study of a given place, especially the history of a region as indicated by its topography. ” [definition.org]). I think either word can work for this discussion but I shouldn’t mix them up as I did accidentally here. *** 

This theory impacts my baseball boardgame, RallyBird Baseball, in small ways but for the most part I think is intrinsic to the basic rules of baseball. My next theory video will be on baseball’s dramatic structure. Play Ball!

Update: The manufacturer has put what I hope is the final prototype in the mail to me.

Video: Baseball is Not Symmetrical

This video, my first, serves two purposes. One, to test my new video equipment and all that goes into making a video. Two, to briefly explain my theory of the ways that the game of baseball is and is not symmetrical. This theory impacts some of the design elements of a game I designed, the RallyBird Baseball Boardgame. Available late spring 2018. http://www.rallybirdbaseball.com While the field is symmetrical, baseball’s game play is not.

Play is counter-clockwise. The significance of first base is a lot different than third base. Home plate is not much like second base in value. I try to explain the asymmetry of a common short hit to the right compared to the left. Because runners move counter-clockwise, the opportunities for offense and defense do not work out symmetrically. To offer one example, with a runner on first base, a short hit is likely to see the fielder trying to throw to stop the most advanced runner shortstop covering 2nd base. If the hit is to the right, the throw might hit the advancing runner, so the only play is sometimes at first base. If the hit is symmetrically to the left, the fielder’s options to get the out at second base don’t have that runner obstacle. This is not a 100%, rigid prediction of events, but a tendency that is not symmetrical.

Because this was my first video I left some observations about the diamond unstated… the uphill topology from home plate to first base, the slightly uphill slope to second base, the slight down slope to third, and the steep fall from third base to home plate.

PS. I’m still waiting for what I hope is the final prototype for proofing and then publication!

Edit June 5, 2018: I replaced the video link above to the current version without feline interference. This second attempt allowed me to make a few additional observations.

Project Update: RallyBird Baseball Board Game Publication Date

I’m back from my baseball research trip at Dodger Stadium. What’s left for me to do before the RallyBird Baseball Board Game is ready for sale?

  1. I’m waiting for the updated prototype to arrive in maybe two weeks (early May). This is the 4th and, I intend, final prototype.
  2. I’ll check the rules booklet and cards for typos, make sure the box illustration margins are symmetrical. It should be ready to go, with no more than minor adjustments. Or so I hope.
  3. I’ll use this updated prototype for commercial photos that help consumers understand what it is and the fun it offers.
  4. I’ll use it for a How to Play video. I’ve been promising this and think it’s a good idea. The game is simple, but probably easiest to understand through this method. Now, making a video entails a lot of things. A place to shoot, image and sound quality, light, framing, memory space in the camera, editing. I don’t want it to become a complicated task. If people unconsciously expect professional quality, well I hope I don’t completely disappoint them. I haven’t done this before and need to get it right. I was hoping to use my phone, but my tests suggest this won’t work. So I may need to buy a video camera. While I could offer the game for sale before I finish this video, I do mention this video as complete in the rules booklet. So I’m hoping to complete this first and do it quickly.
  5. Then the game is ready for sale! I want this to happen before the end of May, 2018.

Game Glimpse! RallyBirdBaseball Board Game Action… Walk-Off Home Run: A Short Time-Lapse Video


Here is a very short time-lapse video of a play tester’s Walk-Off Home Run when playing the RallyBird Baseball board game… the player token rounds the bases… teammates rush out of the dugout and leap around him at home plate. (I recommend you set play speed to 0.5 if you can.. click the control to the lower right beneath the image.)

The video also shows a typical Defensive array of Glove tiles on the board. The red-numbered Glove tiles reflect previous Offensive success moving a runner against them. In this situation, after the successful Home Run, Defense will have to remove the red tile in the upper left (left field of the board). This was a walk-off home run.

But if it hadn’t been the end of the game, it would make Defense’s work more difficult as she has only 5 Glove tiles left that half-inning. She wouldn’t have had enough Glove tiles to cover all the 6 zones on the board. That means she’d have to leave one Zone empty, using the lower value printed on the board. Offense would have to guess which one as Offense selects his tactics first and place the At Bat card face-down, then Defense sets up the Zones.

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 11.28.25 AM
Note the 6 Glove Tiles on the board. Some have red numbers, some have white. The Red numbers reflect previous Offensive success against them. They’re usually higher numbers now, but vulnerable to removal. Removal means Defense would have to work with fewer than a full set of Glove tiles, and use the lower numbers for those Zones printed on the board.

This was sad for Red, defending above. Fortunately, she enjoyed delicious revenge in a following game. After trailing in score in the 7th and 8th inning, she successfully used the (optional) RallyBird power in the 9th. The RallyBird gives the underdog in the 9th inning the choice to re-roll when on Offense, but the RallyBird flies away as soon as you miss one of those re-rolls. Red put runners on the bases then pushed them forward with small ball infield hits again and again (thanks RallyBird). She came back 4 runs in the 9th inning to win. Now Red was cackling and proclaiming RallyBird love, and Blue was cursing that bird. So there!