Valencia was my first real attempt at designing a real game. It started on a grid square as a very abstract set collecting game. With the help of several great gaming play testers and a fantastic recommendation by Frank Branham, the game moved to the island of Valencia. The next step was to acquire some excellent art work to bring the pieces to life. To this task, I turned to Gail Schloesser (if the name looks familiar, it is the wife of the grand poobah of gaming, Greg Schloesser). I never knew Gail was so talented until she volunteered for the task. To me, this made Valencia look like a game.
After more play testing and some minor rule changes, I sent this game off to the Hippodice competition in Germany in 2002. Although it made the “recommended list” (kind of like honorable mention), it did not make the top three finalists. Comments were that the game worked fine but, it was just a little to “dry”.
At this point, I really thought the game was dead. Several years later, with some encouragement from my friends like Ty Douds and Greg Schloesser, I decide to dust it off and give it another go. Deciding I needed help, I turned to Bruno Faidutti. You can read Bruno’s version of the story here.
Anyway, this core game of Valencia eventually took the form of Silk Road that was published by Z Man Games in 2006 with great cooperation from Bruno.
So, if you are interested in printing and finding some pieces, you can try my original version of Valencia. You will need to supply the following items:
1 six sided die
4 sets of colored tokens/crystals in red, green, blue, yellow
1 start location marker (any token will do)
Tokens numbered 1 to 6 for turn order
After you read Bruno's history of the game (Valencia to Nebula's Hoard to Silk Road), you should read the Journal of Boardgame Design article on Silk Road and then Kris Hall's Gone Gaming interview with Ted about the lack of camels in Silk Road. All very good stuff.