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Heroscape Lead Designer, Craig Van Ness, leaves Hasbro...

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 09:00 AM by truth
Heroscape Lead Designer, Craig Van Ness, leaves Hasbro to start a game company!

Craig Van Ness--yes, that Craig Van Ness--sent along this message with some very interesting news!

Be sure to read to the end to find get a tease of what he's up to. Anything I've seen from him is golden, so it's definitely worth your attention! (PROTIP: subscribe to the linked Youtube channel--as mentioned below, the included video is just the introduction to a whole series.)

After working for Hasbro for 21 years, I left in May of 2016. Since then my brother and I have been busy creating games. It was a hard decision to leave Hasbro. There are so many good people that work there, but I felt it was time. I wanted control over all decisions concerning the games that we create and market.

Working on Heroscape was a blast. In many ways, this fansite really added to the fun and excitement of working on a game system like Heroscape. I remember coming into work and one of the first things I would do, after getting a cup of coffee, is check what the fans have to say on Heroscapers.com.

There is something special about the Heroscape players. I met many of the players at the Heroscapers Gen-Con tournaments and at the booth at Gen-Con. When I attended Gen-Con, I would play the winner of the big Heroscape tournament. Sorry, I did not attend this year, but I will be there in 2017, I promise.

At the Heroscapers tournaments, everyone is having fun and many players are taking it very seriously, but in a good way. I have been a part of game groups before, and there can be what I would call "jerk" players. For some reason, when I went over to watch the tournaments, these "jerk" players were really hard to find.

The community Heroscapers has built is amazing! You can spend hours and hours on the forums, just reading, not posting.

The other thing I really liked about Heroscape was that we created the brand and the story. To create a world for players to play in is challenging and satisfying. Storytelling and world creation is challenging and probably the most fun you can have as a game designer. I got a taste of it at Hasbro, but I wanted more. When designing a strategy game, one of the goals I try to achieve is to create a game where players talk about their game experiences as if they were part of a story.

For me, strategy game design is an exercise in cleverly hiding an interactive, ever changing math problem or mental puzzle for the players to solve. IMO, the good math problems or puzzles have many correct answers and many ways or paths to get one of many correct answers. The interesting part about board gaming is the interaction. A good game will allow players to have a plan based on the current variables, some visible and some hidden for surprises. When another player does something to affect your strategy or one of those surprises is revealed, you can then react and adjust your plan. The journey has to be fun and repeatable.

Check this out. We thought it would be fun to create a YouTube channel that shows how we are starting a company as we are doing it. This is the first episode, more to come soonÖ

We canít wait to show you what we have been working on!

--Craig Van Ness
Total Comments 24


TREX's Avatar
Very cool indeed. I'll be watching.
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 10:05 AM by TREX TREX is offline
stay_golden_PONYBOY's Avatar
Awesome. Best wishes on what I'm sure will be a very successful venture. Looking forward to future news and releases.
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 10:35 AM by stay_golden_PONYBOY stay_golden_PONYBOY is offline
TheAverageFan's Avatar
Sweet. I'll give it a look-see.

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 10:36 AM by TheAverageFan TheAverageFan is offline
Hahma's Avatar
Awesome! Good luck with the new company.
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 10:46 AM by Hahma Hahma is offline
chas's Avatar
For the Lord God Omnipotent Reigneth Forever And Ever Hallelujah!

Its about time, man. Guess you took a money hit, but what the heck...
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 12:10 PM by chas chas is offline
GaryLASQ's Avatar
Very, very cool. I will enjoy following the progress of the new game company. I hope the ability to "I wanted control over all decisions concerning the games that we create and market" leads to better distribution decisions; like separately packaging uniques from commons for retailers, just as an example.
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 12:34 PM by GaryLASQ GaryLASQ is offline
Updated September 6th, 2016 at 02:58 PM by GaryLASQ
TGRF's Avatar
@GaryLASQ I always thought that was an intuitive idea with the packaging. Otherwise everyone would only buy one of the uniques, and the retailers would inevitably not want to buy them as the real sales are with the commons. Kind of sucks for us, but great for sales. Plus, more figures for custom creators to cut up.

Posted September 6th, 2016 at 12:49 PM by TGRF TGRF is offline
TGRF's Avatar
I'll go ahead and ask the question: is there any speculation that he could bring HS back?
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 01:07 PM by TGRF TGRF is offline
caps's Avatar
I doubt he owns the IP for HS, but that would be neat. With Hasbro pushing out AotP, I doubt they want to let someone else publish anything for the system.

Best of luck, CVN! I look forward to seeing what you create.

Wouldn't it be cool if he started hanging out on the forums now that he is not a Hasbro employee?
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 03:16 PM by caps caps is offline
Hendal's Avatar
yep, very exciting news, good on ya, thanks for sharing
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 03:46 PM by Hendal Hendal is offline
raXas1516's Avatar
He does not own the IP as Cap said, but he definitely is free to start making customs, which I know probably won't happen but it definitely is possible.
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 04:49 PM by raXas1516 raXas1516 is offline
Tiranx's Avatar
Super excited about this news. I havn't been excited about something posted on the home page for a long time now.
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 05:16 PM by Tiranx Tiranx is offline
Johngee's Avatar
For one thing there was ANYTHING posted on the Home page for a long time to even get excited about. However, this is fantastic news, not that I'm going to get overly emotional about it, but oh what the heck WHOOOHOOO!

Where can we send in our resume' to join this new company? Or maybe for now we should just set up a separate Forum Page to discuss and critique ideas for new games with Da Man himself (CVN), if he is going to be "lurking" on this site again.

In any case I will definitely check out and subscribe to this youtube channel in order to watch this seedling grow and hopefully bear abundant fruit. Best wishes for a successful endeavor.
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 10:11 PM by Johngee Johngee is offline
Tmac2200's Avatar
Just the thought of CVN possibly making customs makes me drool.
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 10:55 PM by Tmac2200 Tmac2200 is offline
Augray's Avatar
"Wouldn't it be cool if he started hanging out on the forums now that he is not a Hasbro employee?"

I would not be surprised to see him become a little more active around here.
Posted September 6th, 2016 at 10:56 PM by Augray Augray is offline
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