Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Birth Of A New Game

It's been months since Toy Fair '09 and the future NYC extravaganza is closer than the past one. I have been so active doing other toy biz things that has been barren.

Included in that biz is tracking all the efforts on our 2009 game, Quad•Doku. It's emergence got me thinking about the varied labors of getting a product licensed, developed, produced and released to the market by a good industry partner.

No question, the birth of an offspring is a true miracle. The delivery of an infant from the womb into the world is an ultimate creation. Though physiologically unable to personally make such a delivery, I have been a co-contributor to the process twice. Seeing that new born after nine months of development is indeed remarkable. I've been struck by the similarity of the human miracle to the miracle of licensing and birthing a new game with a marketer.

I had this revelation when Cadaco recently delivered my new game, Quad*Doku, into the retail world. Looking back, the development period was at least nine months, maybe longer. From planting the seed for the game through the defining stages as "my baby" took shape, there was much excitement and anticipation. I wasn't showing vague black and white ultrasound images of my baby, but rather a real looks like, playable creation, a real game! Like any expectant parent, I couldn't wait to show-off my baby publicly. And first exposure would be to partner companies needed to complete the delivery into the toy and game world.

Guess what? After three or four of those exposures, I had no partners! Disappointed, I put the effort on the shelf and did a bad thing, I aborted the creation! However, the lingering desire to create a word game to supplant Scrabble kept swirling, and I had a "don't give up attitude". I decided to start a new creation complete with better play features and a very cute name. Rather than just being Baby X, I gave the creation the name, Quad*Doku. That name came from my imagined connection to the hugely successful Sudoku. I can only thank the toy and game gods that John Lindsay, President of Cadaco, had the product sense to pony-up for my baby and agree to partner in the daunting task of getting the trade to love a new word game! The baby was finally born!

I knew from my Milton Bradley and Hasbro years that a new product concept, even from the best creators, faced odds between 90 and 100 to 1 that it would arrive at Toy Fair. I'm thrilled that the result of our labor (much assistance came from life partner, Leslie) has ended up in master cartons with a real order number (No.747). Only time and many, many consumers will tell if our creation will survive in the cold world of retail toys and games. Like any proud parents, we have very high and hopeful expectations that our offspring will be a success in the real world. Go baby Quad*Doku, go!


  1. VERY cool. Love the name and packaging. Fantastic, Ron! And you DO look stunning PG.

  2. Great article Ron! Love the pregnant pic! Put that on the next release of The Toy and Game Inventor Handbook!!!


  3. Your hilarious photo may be the cure for post-partum depression. I love word games (Scrabble is my favorite) and would like to give your new game a try. Good luck.