Bastiaan Reinink

Jul 032016
 

So do we go forward or turn around?

So do we go forward or turn around?

Half a year ago I officially quit my last assignment at a big London bank. I had been developing risk models, which though not bad, didn’t fill my heart with joy.

Six months I’ve spent, delving into the world of board-games.

Initially I had thought to do something in the digital domain: Board-games that included augmented reality, or a platform which could be used to play / develop games on. Unfortunately I’m not a software developer, meaning I’d either have to learn that trade, or hire people to create the actual product (whatever that might’ve been). The risk seemed too high in either case and I stepped away from that.

Instead I dove into what was initially a side-project: Developing my own (physical) board-game. Plus learning about everything that went with trying to make any money off of that.

I’m picking up bits about marketing, sales, production, business, next to the “technical” part on how you actually go about designing an interesting game.

The last half year I’ve learned more about more different subjects then I did in the years before that.

Unfortunately, one of the things I learned was that actually making a living off of designing board-games is very hard indeed. It’s not that big a market and there are a lot of people who hope they have the next Monopoly or Catan.

It’s been a long time since I wrote for this blog, mostly because my attention has been at everything else I’ve been doing. I do still regularly write though, so if you’re interested in board-game design, take a look at: Make Them Play
I don’t see a reason why the game I’m developing would be a failure. But I’m realistic enough as well to know that it’s extremely unlikely it’s going to be a big hit. Which means that I might get a bit of money out of it, but nothing close to a decent yearly salary.

At the beginning of 2016 I gave myself a year. A year to try, to learn, to fail. And if I didn’t do the latter, perhaps to continue on the road taken afterwards.

I haven’t failed. But I certainly haven’t succeeded yet either.

On the one hand, I learned so much in the first half year, it’s not unreasonable to assume that the second will bring an equal amount.

On the other, all the learning in the world doesn’t put bread on the table, unless you are able to turn it into something people are willing to pay for.

I wouldn’t mind if at the end of the year I have to look back with a smile, admire what I tried, but admit that it didn’t work out. That it wasn’t sustainable.

What I would mind is going back to what I did before. To working 9-5, for a company I didn’t care overly much for. And that is what might happen if it doesn’t work out what I’m trying now.

The year is half gone. The year is half left.

At this point I don’t know from which side to look at it.


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!

Apr 182016
 

A screenshot of my new blog: "Make Them Play". More content to follow soon!

A screenshot of my new blog: “Make Them Play”. More content to follow soon!

Lately I haven’t been posting as much to this blog as I used to. The reason?

Work!

When I was doing an assignment I would find that outside of working hours I wanted to think about anything and everything except for the thing that made me money. And the result was a constant stream of ideas for blog-posts.

Now I’m designing board-games and I find that all my thoughts go towards… Designing board-games. Or marketing of board-games. And playing board-games. Changing the game I’m working on. A new idea for a game. Or… Board-games!

And while this is very interesting (to me), it’s in general not very personal.

When I started this blog (over 5 years ago!) it was to keep friends and family informed of my then-travels. It expanded a bit, to include mental and emotional travels as well, but it was always about something that very directly impacted my life.

Now, I’m finding myself having all these other ideas (yes, about board-games) that I want to share.

I could re-purpose this blog, turn it into something about board-games. But I can’t imagine most of the people that read it now would be overly interested. While (hopefully) a whole bunch of new people would come in.

So a better option is to start a new blog, where I can share my more “work” related ideas, whilst keeping this one for the personal stuff.

It feels a bit weird to talk about one blog on another, but hey, if it works…
When you’re reading this, “Make Them Play” will be life. The idea of it is to learn about board-games, for the reader, but just as much for myself. This will mean thoughts, experiments, philosophy. You might be interested and if so, please do start following it. Or you might not be; feel free to ignore it.

This will mean I most likely will have even less inclination to write here. My idea is to keep writing about personal stuff when it feels important, but I can’t predict when that will be and I’m most certainly not going to force myself.

Perpetual Wonder might have fewer updates or it might die a quiet death. Both of which are fine: All things in life are transient. Things on the internet especially! 🙂

Thanks for reading so far!


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!

Apr 072016
 

Voluntarios - Set-up and ready to be played!

Voluntarios – Set-up and ready to be played!

It’s been a bit over three months since I said life as a freelancer goodbye and plunged into the world of board-game development.

When I started on this endeavor I expected I would feel a lot happier. The funny thing is, that is not really the case. Don’t get me wrong, I love what I’m doing, but I wouldn’t say I’m happier.

I am feeling other positive emotions though:

  • An eagerness to start my day
  • A sense of flow while working
  • Joy when people obviously enjoyed playing my game (try it yourself here!)
  • Accomplishment when I strike something off of my todo list
  • Feeling like I’m doing something worthwhile
  • And perhaps most important of all: I never feel bored!

The most shocking thing so far: On a Saturday morning regretting not being able to go to work…
I always thought that happiness was the “end goal”, the thing to optimize for. But now I’m finding there are many other positive feelings that, though related, are distinct from it! (I’m sure there will now be lots of people going: “Well, duh!” 😉 )

All in all I feel I’ve made a good choice in taking this step.

And that makes me happy! 🙂


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!

Mar 302016
 

A game of Voluntarios being played

A game of Voluntarios being played

For the last few weeks I’ve been hard at work developing my very first game. And though that is far from finished, it works well enough for me to feel comfortable sharing it with the world! 🙂

The game places you in a voluntary organization which is set up to help a small town after a devastating earthquake. Your goal is to do as much good as possible (indicated by happy children), by building houses and other projects for the community. You will also need to track your reputation within the organization, as the person with the highest reputation will have the most options when gathering resources.

The game takes about 15 minutes per player (excluding explanation) and can be played by 2 to 5 players. It is a resource-gathering game with a variation of role-selection. The twists are that there is an incentive to give away some of your resources and that you are penalized for hoarding resources.

To play you will need 5 files (all updated as of 8-4-2016):

To play the game you will also require the following for each player:

  • +/- 8 playing pieces that indicate “normal volunteers”. I use red cubes which I borrowed from another game. These can be exactly the same for each player.
  • +/- 2 playing pieces that indicate “expert volunteers”. I use green cubes from another game. These also can be exactly the same for each player.
  • +/- 5 playing pieces that indicate “wooden boards”. I use yellow cubes from another game.
  • +/- 5 playing pieces that indicate “coins”. I use coins from another game.
  • 4 discs in a single color. Each player will need their own set of 4 in a unique color. I used discs from another game. These should be stack-able

The game is based on my own experiences as a volunteer in Peru. I hope that the people I met there can appreciate my efforts at turning the work there into a game.
Download and print the files above, cut out the cards (45 in total, 32 Construction Project cards + 13 Continuous Project cards), read the rules, find some people to play and enjoy!

If you take the time to play I would very much appreciate any feedback you have!

Specifically I would like to hear about:

  • Anything that is unclear in the rules
  • Any questions that came up during play
  • How long did the game take (and with how many did you play)?
  • What did you like? What should definitely be kept in?
  • What was boring, difficult to understand, tedious, uninteresting? What should be changed?
  • What is your overall feel of the game?
  • Anything else you are willing to share

Feedback can be sent to: b.reinink@perpetual-wonder.com.

I hope you enjoy playing as much as I enjoy making this!


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!

Mar 142016
 

sunday evening bluesWe all know the feeling: You just had a great weekend, spending time with friends, your loved one(s), yourself. You got out of the drag and did some things you really enjoy. You got to relax and really be yourself.

And then it’s Sunday evening.

The weekend is over, it’s time to go to sleep. But you don’t really want to. Because as soon as you wake up, it’s a new workday. And who wants another workday?

It turns out that I do!

Since I started for myself, I haven’t had a single evening with Sunday-night-blues.

And this I feel is the biggest change in my day-to-day life.

Because when I was on assignment, I never disliked being at the office, getting the job done. And right now, working for myself, it’s not like I’m singing behind my computer because I get to do work. In both cases there is an interesting intellectual challenge, a feeling of progression and a sense of accomplishing something. But I wouldn’t say either of them is fun.

While I was at the office, I was quite happy with the work. I wanted to do something well and I wanted others to recognize that I did it well.

But as soon as I got out of the elevator, my mind was at that evening’s dinner, what game I would play when home, my girlfriend or anything else. Anything but work really.

“I’m not crying because it’s Monday. I’m crying because I have wear real clothes…”
That is no longer the case. Whilst hiking I think about the game I’m developing. Under the shower my thoughts are whom might be able to help me with my current dilemma. I deeply enjoy talking about what I’m trying to build.

The difference is that I care.

Before I cared about what people thought of me, whether they considered me to be good at what I did, whether I was a nice person. But I never really cared about the work. I was there to earn money. Whereas now I’m building something (which hopefully will earn me some money as well).

How much do you care about what you work on?


Bastiaan ReininkI’m Bastiaan. This blog is meant to give you some insight into the things I run into and perhaps to inspire you to go in search of your own life extraordinaire.

If you enjoyed this (or another) post, if you have something to add or to ask, I would really appreciate it if you would leave a comment!