Blinks - A Board Game With A Mind Of Its Own

Created by Jonathan Bobrow

Board games with pieces that respond to your touch, react to one another, and think for themselves. They won't take over the world, but they might try :)

Latest Updates from Our Project:

Blinks New Game Reveal and Approaching Gold Master
about 1 month ago – Sat, May 11, 2019 at 02:56:24 AM

Hey Backers!

In April, we hosted some local game nights at NYDesigns and received such useful feedback, including feedback on our written instructions for games. It is a blast to watch people get into character and read the rules and then do a "3, 2, 1 blastoff" chant for one of our newest games… wait for it… any guesses? This one is our Blinks Game Tutorial for next week. 

This week, we are sharing a pensive puzzler. That’s right, while we strive for all Blinks games to have a social component, it is not necessary and of the 12 launch titles, each one reaches a different genre, game mechanic, or recommended number of people. Today we’re sharing the solo, cooperative, or possibly competitive incremental game, Honey.

Honey - optimize your buzziness

Included in the Social pack (12 Blinks included), Honey, has quickly become the solitary puzzler’s favorite or really I should say that any time Dan isn’t coding a game for Blinks he attempts to find a more optimized arrangement for Honey with 12 Blinks. Honey is 1 part cookie clicker, 1 part tangram, and 1 part systems thinker executive desk toy.

What is Honey? How is it played?

As you might have guessed, the game is about a bee ecosystem (or hive) and it is your goal to optimize the hive.  So what does optimization look like and what is the goal? Our goal is to satisfy the queen. There are four classes of citizens in Honey: flowers, worker bees, broods, and the queen(s). They each are able to take raw material and turn them into a resource. 

...Take me to the video already... 

Flowers (green) for example generate pollen with a single click. 1 click = 1 pollen. If you click once a second, we would say that you are generating 1 pollen per second(pps). A flower filled with pollen (all 6 LEDs bright) can evolve into a worker bee, or pass its pollen to a worker bee to turn that pollen into sweet, sweet honey. 

Worker Bees (yellow) are, as you imagined, great at working, and so once you have created a worker bee, you are now really in the game. A flower next to a worker bee will automatically generate 1pps. A worker bee next to 2 flowers will have 2 flowers generating pollen at 1pps. A single flower with 2 worker bees attached will generate 2 pps (1 pps per worker bee). worker bees make honey from this pollen but they needs someone to turn that honey into Royal Jelly for the queen.

Broods (orange) are kind of like Rumpelstiltskin, except instead of spinning straw into gold, Broods turn honey into royal jelly. They can only receive honey from worker bees that generate the honey, so honey does not get passed from bee to bee. (I guess you could say “bee not to bee”)

The Queen(s) (purple) is who we are here to serve, and who will surely be pleased (at the very least) when we make her enough Royal Jelly. There may be more than one queen, we don’t imagine that will work out so great for you, but you should totally prove us wrong, I bet there are some really awesome configurations that make multiple queens totally worthwhile.

So that’s how you play Honey. Make a beautiful hive that keeps your queen happy, or optimize for pps efficiency. What’s the fastest pps you can imagine?

What started a fun single week experiment from Junege Hong turned into one of my favorite experiences developed by Dan King. One more reminder that the games we’ve invented in-house are pretty sweet(no pun intended), but the games that come from our community are really blowing our minds.



Join us in NYC

We’ll be bringing Blinks to Columbia Alumni Association’s Family STEM Day. Click here for more info!

We can’t say anything yet, but it’s possible that if you are in Los Angeles or the surrounding areas, you'll want to mark your calendar for June 11-13th. Blinks are planning to make a special appearance and we want to make sure you are invited to the party.

Getting to Gold Master

Along with our manufacturer we are moving things along. They received our printed instructions insert, which I promise to post next week, as it can’t hurt to have lots of eyes on it before printing them all. We’ve requested a full case of Blinks (20 boxes) packaged to completion to test in-house before giving the thumbs up for 1980 more.
 

Show Us Your Love 

Like our Facebook page. Join the We ❤️ Blinks group. And say hello in person at one of these events. We are working around the clock to lock in firmware, get gold master production samples, find capital partners to grow Move38 and take care of the Move38 mascot, Ernie 😘.

Covered in honey,

Jonathan + The Move38 Team 

Blinks Developers March Update
3 months ago – Wed, Mar 20, 2019 at 12:47:09 PM

Hey Blinks Devs!
 

In our last general update, we shared a bunch of the progress, some production delays, and another one of our launch title games, Flic Flop. We wanted to get back into the groove with you devs, as we’ve seen some really cool stuff sent our way.
 

GDC 🚂🕹 Train Jam

The unfortunate reality of building a company means that we can’t be everywhere we want to be at every moment (although we try), however, being somewhere in spirit feels almost as cool! Thanks to Dev-Backer, Keir Miron, Blinks were being jammed on at the Annual GDC Train Jam, a nearly 50 hour game jam where game developers make games while riding a train across the USA to attend the Game Developers Conference in San Francisco.

Crowdsourced Quality Assurance

What’s the fun of crowdfunding a project if we simply do all of the hard work ourselves 😘 The Blinks 12 release titles are fun, seriously, really fun. But don’t take our word for it, try them out with your friends. While some aspects of the games might be fine-tuned to play best with the commercial Blinks designs, the Dev-Kit Blinks should be able to play all of the games just fine (and some of us think the dev-kits look cooler).

So how can you help us? You will receive a message from us with 3 games that we would like you to try out, If you can load them up and get some play time in the next 1-2 weeks, we’d love your feedback. If you are feeling ambitious, we have a few outstanding features from games that we are hungry to code ourselves, they are fun challenges and they are posted as issues in our GitHub repos.

 
Blinks & Drinks – Local Game Nights 

Are you in NYC? Come out for Tech & Toy Play Night or Blinks & Drinks 🍻 as we like to call it 😂Mark your calendar for Wednesday, March 27th 6pm sharp, details are in the eventbrite

Blinks Devs IRL

About 1/3 of you have joined the forum, and we’d love to have the rest of you join us there as well. The resource is free, easy to join, and filled with other Blinks enthusiasts ready to share best practices and tips on building the next hot Blinks game. More-over, it is the perfect spot for organizing meetups with other Blinks Devs in your locale.
 

best,

Jonathan + the Move38 team

Production Updates, NY Toy Fair, Game Preview
3 months ago – Sat, Mar 09, 2019 at 12:28:21 AM

Hey Backers!

Call us Punxsutawney Phil, it’s been a hot minute since we’ve been in touch and we’re poking our heads out of our Blinks-filled hole to give a big update. To be on theme with the weather in NYC❄️, let’s start with a snowball of momentum.
 

The Flickiest of Games, the Floppiest of titles

A new game included in the Social Pack(12 Blinks), Flic Flop, is ready for the lime-light.


Flic Flop is like shuffleboard and Tron had a baby. Up to 3 teams flic or slide their Blinks to attach to the flopper, a goal at the end of the table. Attaching at just the right time is key. When a tile attaches to the flopper it takes on the color of the flopper, scoring for whichever team's color was being displayed. Tiles that don’t attach remain on the playing field and can be stolen if knocked into the growing flopper base. This game has proven to be just as exciting for our younger audience as it has been at the bar.


NY Toy Fair

Wanted to make the Blinks sign out of Blinks, but we only have the samples you see here
Wanted to make the Blinks sign out of Blinks, but we only have the samples you see here

Move38 was invited to be part of the NY Toy Fair Inventor’s Day, an event specifically for Toy Industry titans to begin conversations for new product lines and relationships. We raised a bunch of eyebrows and have opened a lot of doors for bringing Blinks to the next level(that’s my gamer speak). While it is too early to announce anything from these meetings, as our earliest supporters, you’ll be in the loop as things progress. 
 

The Hard Part

“A delayed game is eventually good, a bad game is bad forever.” ― Shigeru Miyamoto

Game designers are familiar with the above quote, and in startup culture, the more common mantra is the following

"If you're not embarrassed by the first version of your product, you’ve launched too late" ― Reid Hoffman

In 10 years from now, I will happily be embarrassed by the first version of Blinks, but not now. The production units are, simply put, beautiful. The hands that have held them have commented on how Blinks are unlike any other product they’ve held. We’ve spent endless hours on perfecting the physical form, which is only ONE aspect of the experience. The interface feels like magic and our games are so darn close.
 

Reality of Making Hardware

A few different revisions of hardware making friends with each other
A few different revisions of hardware making friends with each other

It is all becoming clear, it is called“Hard”ware for a reason. Luckily we are surrounded by a support network: from the Blinks Developer Community, NYDesigns and Futureworks in NYC, our manufacturer, JETTA, in Guangzhou, and you, our champion backers. The manufacturing process takes time and our production schedule now lays out that Blinks will be arriving stateside in July. We know that this might be disappointing for some, but once again, we settle for nothing less than making your game nights the envy of the neighborhood. 

We thank you for being such a motivating part of our journey and hope you will rally friends and family as we get Blinks out of the gates and into your hands. 

the Sushi Roll cases are meeting our specifications
the Sushi Roll cases are meeting our specifications

One More Thing… Game Night

Our friends have selfishly😜 invited us over to play test and shoot the video we shared of new gameplay, and we’d like to open that up to our community as well 😘. Are you in NYC? Would you like to join us for a game night? We are collaborating with our startup incubator, NYDesigns, to host Tech Toy Play Night on March 27th.

With some friendly help at Move38 headquarters(yup, our little startup office) we are going to be communicating more frequently, understanding that even the least-easy-to-deliver news is important to share and that together we can accomplish so much more.

humbled with support,

Jonathan + The Move38 Team 

Blinks Share the Holiday Spirit... And Games
6 months ago – Fri, Dec 14, 2018 at 12:02:20 AM

Hi Dev-Kit Backers!

The holiday bring all sorts of good news, and we couldn't be more excited to share our latest update, we think you'll want to get your hands on these dev-kit upgrades immediately. Here's a short video to show just what we've been working on.

The video is set in a bit of low light, mostly because I wanted to set the mood... I mean... make Blinks look their best. Additionally, the past many months have involved late nights bringing these new features to life, so it only seemed fitting to put you in the right setting :).

Game Sharing + Quick Programming

The BlinkOS Release Candidate has all sorts of functionality that, in all honesty, feels like magic. Try it out for yourself, capture some video of you showing someone what your Blinks can do. If you have any trouble, don't hesitate to reach out to us on the forum.

To get started, here is a link to the latest version of the API, you will need to download it and install it just the same as you have done for the previous API.

Just in case ---> Download here

Tutorial on Install

Need a refresher? No prob, here is a little tutorial video I just recorded with a handy service called Soapbox. Let me know if you found this helpful.

Let us know what you think of the new features in the comments. Would love to host some remote game jams over the holidays, how much time would you like to make your own Blinks game?

all our best,

Jonathan + The Move38 Team

Holiday Gifts, Games & PAX Unplugged
7 months ago – Mon, Dec 03, 2018 at 10:58:35 PM

Hey Backers, 

We’ve got so much to share, so let’s take it from the top. 

Holiday Gifts 

From the start of our Kickstarter, our estimated delivery date has been March 2019. It was a carefully calculated estimate and we are even ahead of schedule. Blinks won’t be shipping for the holidays this year, however, if you would like to gift your reservation of the very first Blinks ever produced, here’s a design that you can simply print out at home or a local print shop to surprise someone with a hint of what will be coming in the new year. 

This photo is of the T1 sample from our manufacturer, meaning that the design only gets more refined from here :)
This photo is of the T1 sample from our manufacturer, meaning that the design only gets more refined from here :)

Games, Games, Games 

We’ve shared a few, and now we want to start sharing more. Over the coming weeks, we'll post play through videos of our newest games. With the help of the community, we’ve designed and built 12, (yes 12!), launch titles for Blinks, all of which are feeling great and offer different play experiences. This is just the beginning!

Each Blink with its own game label shows which game it will be responsible for teaching to other Blinks.
Each Blink with its own game label shows which game it will be responsible for teaching to other Blinks.

If you are a dev kit backer, <insert holiday in which you receive gifts> comes early! You can start playing the 12 launch titles this holiday season. We’ll be personally reaching out to a select group to help us play test our latest iterations. 

Packaging & Game Art

Another major area of progress has been the packaging for Blinks. We’ve made a number of eco friendly decisions, including our paper-pulp insert which is much like Blinks seatbelt for a safe ride to your homes. You can see below a rendering of the packaging.

Each set of 6 Blinks comes with a "Sushi Roll Case" for games on the go!
Each set of 6 Blinks comes with a "Sushi Roll Case" for games on the go!

PAX Unplugged 

This past weekend, we were invited by the Kickstarter Games team to share Blinks at PAX Unplugged in Philadelphia. We took the opportunity to not only play test Blinks games, but play some other games as well. Kickstarter set up the booth to feel like 4 living rooms and it was an incredibly chill way to experience some really creative games. Our space had the following: Status Report, Rewordable, Inhuman Conditions. We also got to play Metal, Root, and Bloc by Bloc. A number of designers at the convention shared their enthusiasm to make games for Blinks too (they also agreed we are totally unplugged :)

Sitting with 3 other Kickstarter games creators, can you tell who made which game?
Sitting with 3 other Kickstarter games creators, can you tell who made which game?

A Present for the Present 

If you would like to support Move38 and delight someone with art/design/math in a beautiful bundle, we are stocked and ready to ship Troxes for the holidays. Troxes share the same DNA as Blinks and are a great way to spend the holidays hands-on and screen-free. To make the gifting process even sweeter, use this code: BLINKSBACKER When you buy 1 item you get 1 item at 50% off.

Troxes are a cross between Lego and Origami, what will you create? Troxes are a cross between Lego and Origami, what will you create?
Troxes are a cross between Lego and Origami, what will you create? Troxes are a cross between Lego and Origami, what will you create?

A belated Thanksgiving

We have a backlog of sooo many interesting stories, hurdles and breakthroughs(these often feel like magic). This process is far from easy, and we would like to share more of that part of the process, too. We consider you part of our family, so we want to express our thanks for believing in Blinks, Move38, and supporting us through this Journey. We're lucky to have you all along for this ride and you can expect more updates, more frequently as we bring Blinks to your homes. 

all our best, 

Jonathan + the Move38 team