Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Frontline and Phantom Follow-Up

The response to the Frontline and Phantom AARs has been wonderful!

We have received extremely positive feedback and the pre-orders for both games have jumped!

Next week, we’ll upload 2 more. Frontline will include a look at vehicles, and Phantom will cover a US Navy strike mission.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Frontline and Phantom

The AARs for Phantom Leader and Frontline are up on the DVG site!

For me, these two games cover some interesting ground in gaming that has only been rarely touched upon…

FRONTLINE (1 to 4 players) – A WWII tactical infantry combat game. Tactical, means small in size. In this case each card is one soldier. Here’s what makes the game unique. There are a lot of WWII land combat board games. Most however, look at the battles on a much larger scale. In those games, each piece represents hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of soldiers. Rarely do games get down to the individual soldier level.

Another unique aspect is I’ve drawn on my CCG design experience to make each soldier card an individual with personality worked into the cards through game stats and flavor text. For example, your riflemen are not all the same. They have different skills, and you can get a feel for their story and personality from the flavor text. This gives the game a strong Band of Brothers feel.

We have also refined the design to be quick playing and action-packed. Most tactical games are slow moving, with lots of complicated rules. Just the opposite of what you’d expect from such a game, but there it is. Frontline can be played in under an hour. For tabletop gaming of a tactical situation, this is huge!

Finally, the art is amazing! Wan has done a great job of capturing the style and period of WWII.

PHANTOM LEADER (1 player) – This is a solitaire game that places you in command of a squadron of US jet fighters flying missions during the Vietnam War. First, Vietnam is kind of a forgotten war in gaming. Yes, there are a few games, but not very many.

Phantom is also designed to let you get to know your pilots. Each pilot has unique skills and handles the stress of combat differently. As you fly missions they build-up experience, which will improve their skills. This puts you in a position to make some tough choices. Do you keep flying your good guys, until they’re too shaken to fly? Or, do you give your new guys a chance, rest the good guys, but have a harder time completing missions?

Phantom also takes into account the political supervision of the war. During the war, the military leaders had their planning dictated by political issues back home in the US. They were not free to attack whichever targets made the most military sense if it would hurt the political situation. This made their missions tougher because enemy defenses that could have been destroyed were left intact. High value targets were ignored, while low value targets were attacked. Frustrating? Yes! But, this was part of the war, so it is part of the game. As a side note, some of the young officers who endured this in Vietnam later went on to be some of the US’s greatest commanders during Desert Storm in 1991.

Okay, on to the pre-ordering pitch...

Pre-order now! I want to get these games printed and share them with the world, but the only way to do it is to get about 60-70 more pre-orders for each game. This is a small number of pre-orders, and these are some of the best games to come out of our company.
If you'd like to see more info and art on either of these games, their titles above will take you to their pages on our web site.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


In a day or two we’ll add AARs (After Action Reports) of a Frontline battle and a Phantom Leader mission to the DVG web site. We’re planning the AARs looking very cool with graphics of cards, counters, etc.

If you have any interest in air combat or ground combat games, please take a look. Both games can be pre-ordered now. By pre-ordering, you get a 20% discount, and we have a special promotion where you get your name printed on all the boxes.

Phantom is a solitaire game and Frontline is for 1 to 4 players. Both can be played in an hour.


One of my all-time favorite books is Neuromancer by William Gibson. In 1984 Gibson invented “cyberpunk”. He dreamt up the internet when there was none, and populated it with cyber cowboys cruising dataspace to earn enough creds to buy their ramin noodles at the corner kiosk.

Wiki Neuromancer

Anyway, I bring this up because, as I remember it, the first line of the book goes something like, “The sky was the color of television tuned to a dead channel.”

Well, it’s been 11 days since our TV took on that dead channel look. I must admit, I miss it. I didn’t think I would, but I do. I was never a big TV person, but I’d watch for a few minutes here and there, just to break up the day.

Hey Mr. Gibson, if you’re out there, thanks for an epic creation!

Monday, June 15, 2009

...And Static They Ate

June 11th came and TV died.

The first day was the hardest. TV was a handy companion. Bored? Turn it on, surf, see nothing of interest, forget you’re bored, turn it off, and wander away.

The kids took it a lot better than I thought. I call them Generation-S (for Stimulation). If a kid isn’t doing at least 2 things at once, they’re bored. In most case at least one of those things must be electronic. When *I* was a kid we were lucky to have even one thing to do. Of course, that’s when dinosaurs roamed the earth. But still.

In place of TV, they’ve renewed their interest in gymnastics and have even started learning Spanish. They google Spanish words several times a day and can even hear the pronunciation. The Spanish thing might be because the only channels we get are in Spanish, but I figure what the heck? Learning is learning. New words of the day…

Pero = Dog
Que = What?
Papa = Potato

Saturday, June 6, 2009

"Let Them Eat Static!"

Thanks Kahn for the intro!

In about a week, TV as we know it will end. By we, I mean our household. We have never had cable, and have made due with 2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, and 13. True, there are a few UHF channels (I'm not even sure they’re still called “UHF”), but they are usually shows in other languages. The only channels of interest there are some Spanish shows. It seems like just about any show in Spanish is fair game for busty women in low cut tops, be it the News, talk shows, game shows, etc. So, while I don’t speak the language, I certainly enjoy watching the Spanish Weather Reports.

Anyway, our family is trying an experiment. When TV changes to digital we’re stepping off and waving good-bye. We’ll make due with NetFlix, online streaming formats of shows, and Xbox Live. We have looked at the options of getting a new TV or cable, and neither one is attractive. I’ve always been a fan of interactive entertainment such as socializing, games, etc. Having to pay money to get something I don’t want seems a bit odd.

To be honest, my interest in TV is very small anyway. I loved the Sarah Conner Terminator show, now cancelled, and I watch a couple Minnesota Vikings football games each year. Oh well, I’ll see you online Vikings.

Who knows, maybe in a couple weeks, we’ll be clawing our way toward a new TV or cable?

Friday, June 5, 2009

Announcing June 6th, 2009 as being D(VG)-Day! June 6th, 1944 was one of the most important battles of WWII as 2 great armies met in combat. June 6th, 2009 starts the pre-order battle to send two great games to the printer: Frontline D-Day and Phantom Leader. Each week, we will release new information for these games until victory is assured and the printing presses are rolling!

The Frontline rules have gone through another generation of updates. They are still in rough outline form, but many more rules have been added to fill out the sections.

We’ve also updated the Frontline slideshow with new soldier and vehicle cards!

Also added are the Phantom Leader rules. They are much farther along than the Frontline rules, but they still have a ways to go. There are still many blank spots where graphics will be added. http://images.dvg.com/www.dvg.com/phantomrules.pdf

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Kevin's Journey to E3

There are only a handful of days in a person’s life after age 5 when the world is a magical place. As the years go by, a person sees what there is to see, and does what there is to do, and at some point they realize there is very little newness left in the world. True, a person will find something kind of new from time to time, but rarely do they find something so totally new that it blows away everything they had previously seen.

My son Kevin just had his world opened up by going to the E3 video game convention here in Los Angeles. For those of you who have never been to E3, it is a wonder to behold. There are tens of thousands of people, millions of dollars in booths and equipment, and stadium-sized convention rooms, all devoted to video games.

It’s a wonder to behold.

For Kevin, it was earth shattering. He knew that people work at companies and make games, but to see the bigness of it all. In one place. At one time, changed his world. It was a very cool thing for Holly and I to be able to show him.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Jiggly Meat

Holly found an email I sent earlier this year recounting one of our adventures. I share it with you now as a cautionary tale...

It has been tough.
It has been grueling.
Many friends, and a few enemies, were made along the way.

But today, I am proud to announce, the last tub of chopped ham HAS BEEN EATEN!

When I recall that fateful day 2 weeks ago, I shudder. Shudder, I tell you! There it lay, a 2 foot tube of chopped ham. 10 pounds of meat for 10 dollars! How could I go wrong? But wrong it was. Like so many before me, I flew too close to the budgetary sun only to find my wings were made of inferior meat byproducts.

On that first night, I tried frying it plain...
frying it with garlic...
with honey...
and with pepper...
I tried baking it...
As the days passed and its great pink mass continued to dominate our refrigerator, I even tried blendering it into paste and sneaking it into spaghetti sauce. All to no avail. It mocked me at every turn and with every gelatinous bite.

Here's a bit of wisdom for future generations... When all is said and done, you can flavor a rubbery piece of meat with mystery chunks however you like, and you still end up biting into rubbery meat with mystery chunks.

I would like to claim this accomplishment as my own, but I was greatly aided by two turns of good fortune. Good fortune for me at least. Not so good for the innocents who's lives were forever tainted.

First, our dog has an allergy. Twice a day I was able to hide his pills in chunks of this hellish pink flesh. I hope he can forgive me.

The second bit of luck was being able to smuggle several pounds of it into my in-laws refrigerator when they weren't looking. I left their house with a happy wave, saying "I left you a surprise!" That is the level of despair these unearthly slaughterhouse sweepings brought me to. What they ever did with it, I do not know. They stopped returning my phone calls within 24 hours of my delivery.

Being on the outside, you might wonder why I didn't just throw it away? I might have at the start, but as the days passed it became a test of wills, me vs. the jiggly meat.

I would not give in.

I could not!

In the end how could I hold my head up high, knowing I had been beaten by that wiggly mass?

While some might read this as a heroic tale of the struggle of one man against his gelatinous foe, please, read this as a cautionary tale of how all the good and noble things in life can be taken away, one quivering hunk at a time.