Over a year ago, I was playing a lot of Dominion and Ascension, and I wanted to see if my other favorite boardgame was online. It didn’t take long to find http://www.keldon.net/rftg/, a Windows application to service a neural network AI research project for Race. But I was hooked. I played hundreds of hours. Playing multiplayer and surfing the web between turns, two things topped my wishlist: to queue up lots of multiplayer games, and notifications to let me know when I had a new turn. As it turned out, the game was completely open source, and I started to poke around under the hood and play, and poke a little more.
I also started digging into the history of the game. The designer, Tom Lehmann, had worked on a lot of cool stuff, and it turns out he was local. And it turned out that he was part of the dancing community and we had friends in common. My friend Alex made an introduction, and pretty soon I was playing boardgames with Tom and company in his friend Don Woods’ epic boardgame den (complete with slidey ladders).
Tom saw the digital release we were creating for Ascension, and was open to the idea of collaboration on what my friends and I have been itching for: a mobile version of Race for the Galaxy. I didn’t need to hear any more, it was off to the races. And as the cherry on top, he suggested we work with Keldon Jones to integrate his incredible AI to the game.
The game has come a long way. There’ve been a zillion revisions, folks over on Reddit and BoardGameGeek have helped us zero in on areas that could be improved through our beta, but the whole time, we’ve been having a lot of fun making this. I’m really proud of what we’ve done as a team.
Time to go play!