WHAT A PIECE OF WORK IS A GAME!

If there's one fringe benefit to editing an online website it's that occasionally a strange and unknown item will magically appear on your doorstep. Such was the case when I received a recent package that, upon opening, contained something called "piecepack". It's a strange collection of wooden bits and pieces along with a small rulebook listing several games. So far so good and nothing seemingly out of the ordinary. The really strange bit is that the game is a "public domain" venture. Normally I'm leery of such projects that are merely trying to exploit the latest buzzword while offering nothing especially new.

Piecepack is the brainchild of James Kyle. The idea is that it's a standard collection of game parts that can be used to play a multitude of games. (There are detailed requirements as to the exact specifications of the pieces.) The catch is that any company is free to construct a set matching these specifications and sell them, for profit, with no royalties. In fact, individuals are free to create their own sets and play with those.

So what it really is, is an attempt to develop a boardgame equivalent of the standard deck of cards. I think the success of the venture depends very much on whether or not a "killer app" can be developed. That is, a game good enough that people are willing to buy the sets simply to play it. I'll keep you informed...

-Greg Aleknevicus

Based upon the Xxxenophile card game, this not so Cheapass game from James Earnest features artwork and a theme based upon Phil Foglio's Girl Genius comic series.

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