Board Gaming with a Pandemic Sense of Time

Snow falling on pear blossoms, pic March 14, 2020 from my home office.

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This morning I’ve been weighting and boxing up The RallyBird Baseball board game for shipment. Times are almost normal, but like the rowers in Hokusai’s “The Great Wave off Kanagawa” we’re braced for impact. This painting is a kind of talisman of my mother. Since childhood, I’ve always wondered if the rowers made it through the crash of water with their sleek craft still afloat. Those craft look so sleek and nimble, the sailors so steadfast, I’ve tended to think that they will.1024px-Tsunami_by_hokusai_19th_century.jpg

The threat of the virus is impacting my family, as yours, in more than one way. So far, it’s all indirect, but still serious. One elderly relative has postponed her cancer surgery. Another is has had to postpone the difficult and volatile transition from living normally at his house to the acceptance of the facts of old age and moving to an elder care home. I need to fly to assist them–does flying to them mean I would be likely to bring the virus to their home? What can I do? At least three relatives have had their work suspended for weeks. Younger relatives are out of school. How will they make up the needed learning? You have experiences like this, I’m sure.

It’s serious, a historic scale event that will bring changes afterward that we can’t anticipate. Now team sports are suspended… What does that mean? Baseball fever was high a few weeks ago, and with it, sales of my board game rose. Now we have that damned other kind of fever, and no baseball at all. How strange, and how awful. It’s not important, but I continue to try to sell my game.

For board gaming, gatherings in public places are temporarily in decline. I wonder if, during our home quarentines, as we wait for the curve to roll forward and wash past us, board games will find more time on tables in people’s homes. They certainly could, if the need for social distancing, school closings, and work changes means couples and families are together under one roof in ways that seem like a strange, ominous holiday. We wait for it to be over. And while we wait, what should we do?

As in many market niches, for years now, there’s been economic pressure to move board gaming manufacturer to China. Will that continue? RallyBird is made in the USA, but as I look for ways to bring cost savings to you, I’ve seen how overseas manufacture makes a difference. Will we reassess the feasibility of a far away supply chain? Well, once things return to normal, why would we? Change is difficult. The one constant is that things change, but we can’t anticipate all the consequences. As I get older I remind myself to cherish the many good things in normal life and not take them for granted. I wonder if the eventual relief we share from the threats and harm of this pandemic will help us feel a re-enchantment will all that we have which is already so wonderful.

My work continues. I received word that one of my trademark applications passed a legal hurdle, and moves forward. I’m continuing as before, shipping my game to amazon in the hopes that it makes it easier for you to pick up at lower costs and possibly free shipping. Thanks for reading.

The RallyBird Baseball Board Game is available on amazon.com here.

Here’s a link to the most recent rules PDF. 

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Coming Soon… The *Mini* RallyBird Baseball Board Game with painted wooden pieces

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I think the painted wooden figures for the Glove zones make the game even more “play me”. Small, but portable, cute, costs less, and less to ship as well. It’s the same game as the regular sized RallyBird Board Game (which is still for sale). I’m waiting to receive a copy of the mini RallyBird rules from the printer. If everything is OK, I’ll let it fly free on the market. Below is my updated, annotated unboxing video:

 

How to Play the RallyBird Baseball Board Game video (with narration and dynamic illustration)!

Not only does this video revise the one I posted last week in organization, it also adds my narration. It includes why play RallyBird, a thorough rules explanation, FAQ, sample of a real play session, and a picture of me. In the final portion, after being methodical for so long, some personality and exuberance escapes!  Cheers!

How to Play the RALLYBIRD BASEBALL board game (new video)

UPDATE April 6, 2019: the new version with audio is here:

The old version is below. I’ll be removing it soon. Thanks!

This just completed HOW TO PLAY video offers lavish illustrations! It goes over the various rules thoroughly from different directions, so I think it should be clear. The rules are easy!

This video offers all the information right now in pictures with words. It’s silent. When I have time I’ll edit audio narration.

Thank you!

Prototype of the Mini RallyBird Board Game

Yesterday, the third prototype of the Mini RallyBird Board Game arrived…

I left the scissors in the photo to help you get a sense of the small, portable size.  The smaller size also means cost savings for the consumer, both for the game itself and cheaper postal fees. Gameplay is the same, but some of the components are a little different, and I’m adjusting the game board accordingly to help match, and for visibility.

I was able to make revisions and order a fourth prototype…. this is progress!

Here is a link to the rules PDF: RallyBird Rules, Guide, FAQ .

You can pick up your own copy of the regular sized RallyBird Board Game here.

 

 

Additions to the RallyBird Baseball Beginner’s Guide

Discussions with early purchasers of the game motivated me to make a few pointed additions to the Beginner’s Guide pages of the RallyBird Baseball rules. These all have to do with the individual details of the cards–the ways in which they stand out from each other. A casual glance from a new player may not be enough to notice these idiosyncrasies.  (You can learn more about my rationale for it by watching my video explanation of baseball’s asymmetricity.) These At Bat differences will impact the success or failure of your offensive decisions.

You can see these changes in the red font of this screen capture:

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To be clear, none of this changes any rules or text on the cards. These discussions by the way are so helpful. I welcome your comments and questions. Play ball!