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23rd Orctober 2014: Soo...back from Essen and Spiel and had a brilliant time playing and discussing and thinking about board games. Came back with a haul of 20 new games and some wonderful memories. The desire to complete the process of actually making Orctions exist is greater than ever.
1st Orctober 2014: Soo...it's Orctober. The month of the Orc and a time much looked forward to. Two weeks today, our glorious warleader, Elliot 'The Orctioneer' Symonds will be off on his quest to Essen. Meetings are lined up. Finance is in place. Final designs are to be refined and within these 30 days of Orctober we fully plan to be placing the order to have Orctions made.
26th June 2014: Soo...been getting carried away with all the ideas and designs for Orctions. Trystan Mitchell has been brilliant again. If you ever need an illustrator with his kind of style then he is very professional and a pleasure to work with. Essen will be attended again this year, by our glorious leader, Elliot Symonds, all alone. Orctions has promise we feel. Do you like the Orctioneer?
10th June 2014: Soo...genius has struck again and the feedback (or absolute lack of) has been gnawing away in the old subconcious and then BOOM...a moment of Muse magic. Thank all the Dark Gods for giving me another spur to prick the sides of my intent and all that. Orcs. Orcs. Orcs.
5th June 2014: So...had a truly excellent time at UK Games Expo. Young Sebastian became the UK under 16 Ticket to Ride champion. Scot came in top 10 in the Nationals. I destroyed four pre-teens at TTR. Gave a presentation to a den of Dragons and entered into a redesign competition. Met some lovely new folks and bough a LOT of games. The best moment though was when I took Ed to shake the hands of Ian Livingstone and Steve Jackson and thanked them for creating Fighting Fantasy and bringing a whole world to my life. Ian and Steve were gracious, spoke with Ed and told him how they both used to cheat and how Steve couldn't finish 'House of Hell' like Ed. To then have Ian Livingstone wave at Seb, Ed and I later in the day was a moment of Geek heaven.
29th May 2014: So...it has been an 'interesting' time. As usual. Kickstarter was not a success for us. We should have listened. Trying to do two games at once was advised against but we went and did it anyway and fell short of the targets. This however has all led to something MUCH more interesting. In two days time, our glorious leader, will be on stage at the UK Games Expo pitching Vickrey to 5 genuine Dragons of the Board Game World. The adventure and the excitement continues. The fact that Scot Symonds qualified for the Ticket to Ride National Final there is another story which you may want to hear but basically involves a denouement where in a final regional game he had to finish first with Elliot in last place...you can guess what happened.
12th December: So...the year is coming to a close and our Kickstarter campaigns are live. We doubt very much that either will hit their rather high targets, but you know what? We have had some fun on the way. Tonight we played our games with some invited guests and then auctioned off a huge range of board games by a variety of methods to raise money for The NNAB. Not only did we have a huge amount of fun but we raised £2200 for a local Norwich and Norfolk Charity. That is important to us, and therefore we have succeeded so far, no matter if the games become a manufactured reality or not.
Five Great Guys on Stage. Enduring an Audible Bid Rotation Auction Method.
30th November: So....just before 11:00 on this auspicious day we pushed the button on the Vickrey Kickstarter campaign. Captured on video there was much rejoicing when after the countdown of virtually the entire Symonds clan the mouse was clicked and our dreams were launched with our first game. THEN at just before 14:00 we launched our second game on Kickstarter, Quirkative Joker Poker. The strategy is a tense one. Two games launched at the same time. However, to test the market in such a way is irresistible and we look forward to whatever results transpire.
18th November: So...lots of work has been done on both our Kickstarter campaigns which will launch at the beginning of December. The auction lots are growing for the 12th December party. Artwork for the QJP box is nearing final stages. Quotes are in for production and our brilliant partners Naked Marketing won EDP Small Business of the Year. Excitement is building as we advance towards something to be proud of.
2nd November: So...we are getting closer to our Launch Party of Vickrey and QJP. We are keeping a lot of the QJP art secret at the moment so when we go with our Kickstarter campaigns for both games at the end of November it is a big surprise to a lot of our fans. The Launch Party will allow people to playtest both games and to pledge their support via Kickstarter as well as having a totally fun evening and a very Quirkative Charity Auction of board games and other Geek ephemera.
31st October: Happy Goth Christmas. So...we went to Spiel in Essen and had the most amazing time meeting with friends and businesses that pretty much cover the whole industry. We played and discussed board games and brought back a vast haul of cherished treasures. If there has ever been a more motivational and enjoyable convention then we would like to know where and what it is. Plans are afoot, links have been made and inspiration levels are at an all time high.
15th October: So...artwork is now being produced for another game of ours. Quirkative Joker Poker is being developed from a game often played by our circle of friends into a world wide phenomenon.
8th October: Naked Marketing have come back now with the Vickrey card design and again Elliot has surrounded himself with talent. A wonderful bold V design by Dan Bradfield will make the cards iconic while staying true to the values of the Vickrey brand. Plus the template of the card stays true to the 'Mixing Fantasy with Reality' theme.
7th October: Lots happening in the world of Quirkative. New images, designs, launch parties, charity auction bookings and Essen build up is all very exciting. Have a look below at the wonderful box cover design that Trystan has worked up. The words will change a bit but we are very happy with the pictures.
25th September: I cannot believe the wonders that have been created by Trystan Mitchell of The Bigfoot Studio, Cornwall. Trystan has made our glorious leaders dreams come true with his glorious comic inspired skills. Please do look at the board he has created in the Vickrey tab and the design history of where we once were. But for now, in this blog, just relish in the glories of The Bin Rummaging Monkey.
23rd September: Can it only have been twelve days? Lots of change. Lots of work. Quantum leaps forward.Play testing of board game Monkey Miners. Vickrey getting closer. Corporate videos produced. Art work developing. Too busy to type much but watch this space.
11th September: A monumental day. Received the delicious artwork from Trystan Mitchell for the new look Elliot Auctioneer which will grace the board of Vickrey.
9th September: SO...it has been an interesting could of days. Elliot, glorious leader, has been out and about doing Charity Auctions for Break, The Benjamin Foundation and CLICSargent and we have got closer and closer still to final versions of developing games. Charity and supporting our local community will always be important to us. Let's make it clear why. We enjoy it. We relish in giving back to our community and it is a truly rewarding experience to support those who need support. Doing it through games and auctions is just bliss. Do take a look at our Charity Auctions page to see some of the things we have done.
6th September: SO...to be fair the interesting times have continued. Elliot and Paul 'Bov' Beevis have had a massive falling out over understanding of the importance of design and business acumen but it has been resolved. This does mean that a lot of the work that Paul did for Vickrey will NOT be used. We do however retain the rights to use the 'Inside Elliot's Auctions' work and the Quirkative logo. This is good news. We would like to be able to use Butler's Bins as well as it is just so God damn funny and will irk Caroline Butler for the rest of her days. Naked Marketing have been employed to work on the board and get it ready for print and other illustrators are being looked for for future projects. This is how the board looks now.
29th August: SO...interesting times indeed. On the day that Elliot sent the final version of the board for Vickrey to the professional designers Naked Marketing, Paul Beevis sent an email wanting to come back into the Quirkative fold. Paul is a brilliant man, a superb individual, a designer of great skill and experience and his talents have been expressed on many occasions and demonstrated on this website. Below is the image that Elliot created for Vickrey with PowerPoint, Thinkstock and some of Paul's work. We wait to see what the final version will look like when we send the files to China for manufacture.
23rd August: SO...been on holiday for a week. Lots of trips to car boot sales looking for rare games and some basic ones for 'recycling'. Carol Vorderman's Sudoku is SUPERB if you want a load of little round pieces of cardboard. I do, so I have been lucky in now finding five or six sets of the game. It is also amazing what some people are willing to give away for a couple of quid. Found an un-punched Carcassonne and a mint Terry Pratchett Thud game, but perhaps most exciting was a sealed Monty Python game which the trader said he wanted 20p for. I said it was worth more than that and gave him 50p.
15th August: SO...spent last night playing Vickrey! with Naked Marketing and Namco Ban Dai representatives. Got to say the feedback was utterly superb and the recognition from other businessmen about the opportunity and scope it provides, combined with the fun and strategic elements. Feeling proud and even more confident than usual.
13th August: SO...spent a decent part of yesterday making contact with image licensing companies and the evening collating spares from old board games. Really interesting to also critically evaluate the design qualities of 'Made in China' games and those made in our own fair isle of England.
11th August: SO...we split into foraging parties on Sunday morning to scour the carboot sales of Norwich! Really interesting seeing what type of games end up being sold. We were looking for pieces for prototypes, good boards to use in mock ups and IDEAS. Board gaming has come along way over the years we know but sometimes looking at other game sectors brings forward some superb concepts. Monkey Miners will be enhanced by Scot I am sure, but will no longer be a Monkey Miner game.
8th August: SO...the old brain has been working overtime on development and a conversation yesterday at 25:am has left our glorious leader all inspired. A new, secret deck, for Vickrey! has been worked up today and well may be used in a game on Wednesday with the wonderful boys at Naked and a couple of special guest gentlemen players.
7th August: SO..had a thoroughly productive weekend working on Monkey Miners. Ran a green light thinking session with 8 to 10 year olds and I have got to tell you that they are finer and more productive than any session I have ever run with business men and women who a jaded by fear and years of oppression. Monkey Miners then leapt ahead with design concepts and now we are in discussion with our favourite pressed bits producer, Agust in Canada.
1st August: SO...a very interesting day yesterday. Worked up a new Vickrey! deck to prove the concept of licensing with a brand as strong as ours. Then out in the evening to discuss developments of QJP, Steffankamp and Fruits. (Fruits is a new game). Then in a moment of absolute genius, the catalyst of which was young Maddie talking about Sharknado, a new concept for Mytholomix was created. Elliot retorted about how he came up with the animal disaster portmanteau word of Gibbonami in response to the Sharknado twitter conversations and Scot said that was a good name for a game. BANG! Mytholomix was instantly revisited and built upon. Watch this space!
Picture Title: 'Evil Ell, is stalking the world.'
29th July: SO...an interesting weekend of plans and planning. Decent research conducted and comittments made. QJP is advancing and will probably end up being 'boxed' in tin and Vickrey! redesign of board keeps on progressing to get scales and look and feel correct. Board games will always remain best but cashing at Poker on the weekend was good as well. Hmm...now there's an idea that needs exploring more. A board game where you put your own money on the line.
10th July: SO...plenty of 'stuff' going on to take the steps needed to make the creation of Vickrey! come true. Estimated costings and models built. Business plans built. Conversations had about potential routes for production. We do know that 'design' has to be done eventually and a game manufacturer will have to be decided upon but the current aim is to get to a really, really, really, decent prototype.
26th June: SO...Barney Phillips is just a GOD. Provided me with 3 5mm thick boards in a large size this morning at 25:am Business Networking group. Looks very good. Paul Beevis should be proud of the work he has done to enable us to get close to a real prototype where we can hopefully win some investor's hearts and minds to speed this journey along.
25th June: SO...we had a few tensions recently that is all for the best in the journey to make Vickrey! a reality. Tomorrow should see us with a deck of cards that feel like cards and not hand made bits of cut out paper glued to thin bits of blue thick paper PLUS a board that is a professionally printed design on 5mm thick board. Exciting times and the dreams are building.
11th June: SO...feeling the need now to really start pulling together the detail on Vickrey! and it all pretty much relies on art work. There is research to be done for costings but it would all be basic prep. Very excited as well about our two other games which we dare not really mention. It might be a very good idea though to go through the process with 'QJP' to iron out issues of production as it is a simpler game to correct if things go wrong.
4th June: SO...been a while. What's been happening. Well a lot of work on Vickrey! especially by the art genius Paul Beevis. Lots of very good design work with care and attention and hidden jokes. We need to trust his entire vision coming together and we look forward to it. Other news was the attendance at UK Games Expo which formulated a lot of our ideas about how to market and produce games and has also inspired Scot to actively take the next steps with two games. One of his own entire creative genius and another based on a concept by our illustrious leader Elliot Symonds. Elliot is also still very bullish about his bellowing bungee jump which can be seen on You Tube. Please watch it. Easy to find. Just put in Elliot Symonds into You Tube. Website is obviously still just a device to build content and ensure that people realise we are real and actively working behind the scenes.
12th May: SO...in case you have not seen how cool our glorious leader is under pressure, watch his You Tube clip as he jumps off one of the world's highest bungee jumps. Elliot raised over £3000 for the NNAB on the 11th May, jumping with 19 other fund raising dare devils off the Verzasca Dam in Switzerland. Just put 'Elliot NNAB Bungee' into YouTube and turn the sound UP!
22nd January: SO...been in a period of contemplation woven with intense activity at trying to source licencing for comics that will work well as a mechanic for Vickrey! and I have got to say I am reasonable excited about a lead given to us by the wonders of a relationship on Twitter. Amazing research tool but what came good was a twitter follower and friend via the Tumbletick writers account. Anyway, phone calls made, emails exchanged and now very happy indeed about the potential that is provided. Fits with the original board game concept. Need to get a board finalised and a box designed but pretty much there. Additional game testing to tweak some of the mechanics and we could be looking really good for Essen and Spiel 2013 mit Comic Action. Booked the hotel for an October road trip which should be legendary. The creative process is great but it is the business acumen and potential which is really causing almost limitless levels of desire and excitement.
2nd January: SO...the recognition of the Norfolk business community, the interest from Barclays, the involvement of the god that is Chris Sargisson is all leading to this becoming a reality. Quirkative WILL be producing 'Vickrey!: The Comic Auctions' one day soon. The obvious next steps are to be in a position where we have the absolute design completely sorted for the basic game. Fundamentally, I do believe that the initial set of collectables SHOULD be comics. It works on so many levels and hits so many consumers with associated tastes.
9th December 2012: SO...been working very hard this Sunday on a business plan and wider thinking about the culture of the company. Very exciting times to be launching a company with so much talent in the team and make difference to the gaming world.
7th December 2012: SO...been working very hard recently on developing the next game in our constant quest to be creating the game which will make our last one the last best seller in the world. It is loosely titled MYTHOLOMIX at the moment which we quite like. Elliot Symonds, glorious leader may we all bow down to his bright and shining persona, coined it after using the phrase, "Well it is a bit mixing your mythologies" to his father in describing the game. In other new, Paul Beevis, legendary babe magnet, has been working hard on our Quirkative logo, with many designs getting to the core of what we are all about. We will be playing board games tonight. Probably Village. Mytholomix will get a demonstrations and Elliot will be showing off Vickrey! as well.
2nd December: SO...had a very interesting few days. Been to see a design company who will be working on look and feel of the board, box and card layout. Been developing the next game in detail. Still untitled but feeling quite good. A great old idea will also be relooked at now that technology has got to a level where it is of use to us. This will happen. This dream. This company. This future of the world of gaming.
25th November: SO...a bit of thought, some time, some feedback, some decisions made and it might well be the best idea to go with a single board for the game to be played on. I believe this could potentially reduce cost in production AND make it easier to play for gamers. Easier in terms of not moving about and giving direction in terms of space for cards. It will mean a larger box though for packaging than was originally conceived of and while this will mean a larger footprint on the shelf it is weighed up against more space for an impactful box design. Weight could be actually lighter though. So lots of interesting variables to contend with which makes the whole design process and business modelling so very interesting in a company which makes board games.
22nd November: SO...our glorious leader Elliot Symonds, god amongst men, has delivered to us the four values of Quirkative as well as more secretive Vision and Mission statements. The four values of Quirkative, each which have four guiding principles beneath are, Quirky, Quizzical, Quality and Quartermaster. This generates a highly inquisative and creative company who cares about their customers and all interactions with suppliers but always with a challenging, financially astute, playful yet professional manner.
21st November: SO...what have you done today? Who have you amazed? What dream are you making come true? Yeah, I am feeling the power of self belief with a twinge of challenge. Saw the Archant Future 50 today and was shocked at how many of them I know personally. Shocked by lots of it to tell you the truth. Would be amazed if Quirkative is NOT a Future 50 Norfolk Company next year. There's a goal. Would rather have the objective of 'By 21st November, 2013 at 20:54, we will be able to demonstrate that the 10,000th copy of 'Vickrey!' has been sold and that it has been translated into a minimum of 8 languages and is available on 5 continents in retail outlets as well as on-line. The sales of self generated gaming sets will have generated a turnover of £1m.'
21st November: SO...very pleased with the meeting with our chosen accountants, Lovewell-Blake this morning. It is an endearing and rewarding moment when a professional accountant's eyes light up as they see the possibility for monetarisation with a product designed to have repeat purchase and consumer interaction at its very core. Well, at its core is some damn fine game playing, tactics and strategies, but this is a business as well and the ability to generate additional income from a wide consumer base is very much part of the process of becoming a successful Norfolk company. ONE day, Quirkative, will be in such a financially secure position that its directors and employees will spend most of their time playing games and helping other genius enthusiasts to make their games a reality.
20th November: SO....the word Quirkative was coined on the 19th October 2012. Elliot Symonds sat on it for a couple of weeks after giving it to Barney Phillips to use as a description of his nature. BUT it is such a good name Elliot claimed it back. There is an OLD tweet which proove this and historians can look back in the e-records to prove it from the 2nd November 2012. Both Elliot and Barney know the truth. Barney is still quirkative, but Elliot coined it.
It is the name that Elliot Symonds wishes to name his board game company and tomorrow he will be meeting with the accountants Lovewell-Blake for the first official meeting to form the company which will produce 'Vickrey!'. These are exciting times for us and we look forward to the process of making a board game come into reality and the birth of a company which will grow, thrive and be a Norfolk success story.