One night in 2008, I had this dream. I was in a youth hostel in Vancouver B.C. watching a young Canadian woman with massive dreadlocks putting away dishes in a cramped kitchenette. I watched her for quite a while as the cups and plates kept popping back out at her from the overloaded cupboard.
Out of the blue, a young man with a shaven head and Northern European
accent asked me, "Do you want to play The Princess Shell?" As I turned
to face the man, he said, "It is the best game in the world."
I was startled and intrigued. "Uh, OK," I replied. At this, the man
reached up to pull a large solid-wood game board off of a high
bookshelf. With dramatic flair, he blew all the dust off the board
before setting it before us on a low coffee table.
"These small tiles are called Secrets," he explained. "They are blown
around the board by an ever-present Wind. This one is the Blind Dog,
this one is the Liar's Mask, and this one is called Grandfather's Axe...."
Unfortunately, at this point in the dream, my brain decided I'd had
enough intrigue and pulled the plug. Even though it was 2:00 AM, I was
too excited to fall back to sleep. With the dream fresh in my mind, I
went into our office (now our kid's bedroom) and started making
notes. I knew I wanted to make The Princess Shell into a real board
game, but I had no idea where to start. After I made a few sketches and
notes, I forced myself to go back to bed.
Over the last 8 years, I have worked on my game in fits and starts.
Thanks to massive amounts of help from my family and friends, it has
evolved into a very original and fun board game with clear,
easy-to-learn rules. I named my game SHELL (the "Princess" part of the
title was abandoned early on) and it is a game of strategy, memory and
luck. I love my game and would like it to reach a larger