New beginnings

It’s a new dawn, a new day, a new life…
All things must come to an end, even (or especially!) games.

Last week I had an ending of my own: I spent my last day at my permanent job (working as a risk manager for a small bank). And in some ways it was even more of an ending; for over ten years I made my living in financial services, but no more.

Endings make space for new beginnings.

Playing two games at the same time is hard and frustrating for most. So we tend to not start a new game until we finished our last. Ending a game creates the opportunity to play a different one. It might be more fun, or less. But you won’t know until you play it.

Ending a job creates the opportunity to start a new one. I didn’t quit my job to sit on the couch and do nothing, while slowly (quickly!) seeing my saving fade as snow in the sun. I quite because I got an offer for something that seemed like it would be even more fun than what I was doing before.

As of now I’m working for a company called oneUp (yes, that’s the right way of capitalizing). What they do is run projects within big companies as though they are startups.

Big companies and startups have things in common (they want to make money, they hire people), but there are also a lot of things quite different in how the two are run. And it’s not easy to convince a corporate manager that she should throw away the project plan, fail fast and break things. But these are essential ingredients if you want to copy the stellar rise of Snapchat, Spotify or Uber.

Boxart for the Startup Thinking Game (v1.0)
So oneUp wants something that helps them explain these and other concepts in a fun, engaging and interesting way.

”Fun, engaging and interesting you say? That sounds like….”

Yes, it does. It does sound like they should be using a board game!

And that is exactly what their thoughts were.

Which is where I come in.

I’ve been writing this blog for my own entertainment and educational purposes. I’m happy that other people seem to enjoy reading it as well and that I’ve gotten some very nice compliments (thanks all!). But I never thought it would actually lead to anything.

I’ve never been so happy to be proven wrong!

It turns out that writing about board game design can put you in the searchlight of a company that is looking for a local designer, eager to have you help to create a truly unique educational and marketing tool.

So… As of now I am an official (in the sense of getting paid for it(!)) game designer!

So now what?

I know the gist of what oneUp wants to have created and I know some of their ideas around this: I’m to build them a board game that explains how startups function. It should be fun, engaging and interesting. And it should play in half an hour or less.

That should be easy right? Piece of cake, walk in the park… Right? Right?!

Yes it’s a challenge. But one I’m very happy to be taking on. One I’m excited to take on!

And I’m looking forward to taking everybody along in the design process. That might be on this blog or I might start up something new specifically for the project (I’ll have to discus with my new paymasters on what their preferences are. Getting paid is awesome, but it does put a bit of a dent in your freedom to do whatever you like… 🙂 ). Either way, I’ll be sure to keep you posted!

Closing thoughts

Step by step – and with a little help from others – anything can be achieved
I never really had a concrete plan, but I had sortof been hoping to be able to slowly scale up my game design work while I scaled down my “actual” work. That slow process got jump-started with this incredible opportunity.

I’m not spiritual, don’t believe in karma (even though Los Buenos makes heavy use of it!), have always thought that the law of attraction was nonsense. But I can’t deny that the job came to me because I write this blog. And it’s all completely logical: I go out there and share what I do, so of all the people who are doing something similar (or more awesome!), my work shows up more easily. Still, it feels like a reward somehow…

So perhaps two take aways that will hopefully inspire you:

  • Good things sometimes really do come to those who do good
  • It’s not impossible to turn a passion into a job

Further reading

This is a blog about game design, even though the above isn’t that much. Luckily I have two old posts that sortof makes sense:
All in-game resources are temporary (which is because games end!)
The time value of resources

About the author

Bastiaan_smallHi, I’m Bastiaan. The goal of this blog is to learn about game design. That’s hopefully for you as the reader, but just as much for me as the writer.

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  1. Andy Williams

    All my best wishes for your future, it’s great that you will be able to make your living by doing something that you love so much. I’m not jealous, but only because I’m retired and am able to spend all of my spare time doing my favourite things.

    1. BastiaanReinink Author

      Hi Andy,

      Thanks for your comment! I’m very happy with this as well. It seems you’ve got things sorted out as well though. What fun stuff are you doing? Any game design?


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