Inspired by the Pitch Pitch Pitch made here evening organized by Ulule and motivated by the game review by Catherine Watts Cowan, I decide to finalize the graphic elements of the game and I equip myself for a limited manual production.
Yannick and I focused particularly on the illustrations of handbooks and characters. The rules are simplified and made less academic. New tokens are adopted and all elements of the game are reviewed to be attractive and provide pleasure for players.
This is the current phase of the game, and as I write these lines, I know the most important result: I have fun setting up my production workshop, this information and transactional website. I also enjoy producing beautiful objects, as I humbly believe that my game has become.
I also enjoy knowing that other people are playing Conversion. I hope that some of you will decide to try it.
The Crowdfunding Adventure
This phase of the project began with the first German part played during the 2019 New Year's celebrations.
Inna Beliantseva, a colleague, played with her friends and reported a great experience, suggestions for improvement and even solutions.
Thanks to Alibaba's bidding function, I found a Chinese printer with excellent customer service, ready to do business with me for as little as 100 games per language.
Crowdfunding was not as popular in 2012 as it is today. So, I decided to try my luck on the platform ulule.
The experience was beneficial because I played several groups, and a new element was added to the mechanics: the runes. It was the opportunity to get the first official review of the game by Catherine Watts Cowan.
Unfortunately, I have only received support from family and friends.
2012 Yannick Bouchard
After having magnificently illustrated the cover of the game box, I entrust Yannick Bouchard with the task of taking over all the elements of the game: board, cards and handbooks.
The purpose of this upgrade is to obtain professional illustrations to attempt self-publishing. With a limited budget, Yannick does an excellent job.
The game is translated into English by a small local firm and into German by Nora Krahl. I prepare all the files for sending to a Chinese printer. I plan to print 800 copies of each language, for a total of 2400 copies.
I feel ready for printing, but the website is another story. I can't find a partner to develop and maintain it. I lack the time and skills to do it myself. So I'm putting the project on the shelf until a turn of events happens.
2011 New York Toy Fair
The direct contact of Chinese printers through alibaba.com opens a new door for the Conversion project. Indeed, direct prices make limited production possible. I am no longer looking for a publisher, but a distributor.
Stéfan Brunelle from Asmodée proposes to take a prototype Conversion to the important 2011 New York Toy Fair, in search of a distributor.
To make the best possible impression, I entrust the illustration of the box to Yannick Bouchard. I'm getting Adobe Illustrator to revamp the game board, as well as all the other elements of the game. I often work hard until 3am to meet the fair schedule.
Once again, the answer is negative despite Stéfan's efforts. No distributor shows any interest in this game.
2008 Publisher Needed
The harsh reality hits the project. After touring almost all potential publishers in Quebec and France, the concept of the Conversion game did not find takers. The concept is appreciated but the game is too expensive and doesn't correspond to any proven recipes.
I am not the only one who has to make this observation: the field of board games is populated by countless talented but unpublished inventors.
Production costs in the West are prohibitive and interfaces with Asia are difficult and require the intermediary of an agent
2007 The Conversion Name is Adopted!
The name Conversion and the principle of the logo are officially adopted for the presentation of the game during the exhibition of prototypes of Jeux au boute, in Chertsey in 2007.
Following negative comments on writing on paper and a second game shortened to the extreme, the stakes and players' handbooks are added to the contents of the box.
2006 The Hybrid Version is born!
After three weeks of hard work following the meeting with Mr. Morissette, president of Ilot 307, the "Gamma" series of the Conversion game was created.
Research is now done on the game board, in specific areas such as carpets, beds and fireplaces. This is the birth of the so-called "hybrid" version.
The color has reached the game board, Admittedly not very skillfully.
2005 Online Version
In 2005, my former co-worker Slawek Jarosz plays the Good Samaritan and converts thousands of lines of code from my Windows application into PHP for a web interface.
This distributed interface allows my former colleagues at EMS Technologies/Advantech to play two network games in the evening after work. The game board has become practically useless
2000 Beta Version
The year 2000 saw the birth of the Beta versions. The size of the tray has been reduced to 75x75 cm (26x26 inches) and the number of rooms to 40. The appearance is almost as rough as for the 1996 alpha version. With the features supported by the application or the subsequent website, the game board is only used to move the tokens.
1999 Windows Application
After spending all my evenings finishing my Ph.D. thesis, I worked very hard on a Windows application with a text interface here. This application managed all aspects of the game, from distributing characters and secret hiding places to searching and conversion.
The first part with this application took place at Annick Goulet's, probably in 1999. The mechanics of the game were made easier, but the wait was long to get access to the application, each player in turn.
1996 The First Ever Game
This is the first version of the game board, with its imposing dimensions of 80x80 cm (28 "x28") designed for a large group of players (12). The tray has 56 pieces, and one can recognize the general organization of the castle which persists until today.
For the part organized at Benoît Lussier's, this tray was accompanied by stacks of research cards, held by a paper clip. The order of the cards in the pile, painstakingly elaborated in preparation for the game, could not be guaranteed following the players' searches. Although the game was already attracting interest, the mechanics had to be reviewed...