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Wooden turtle Gin-Go sculpture.

I hope everyone had a festive holiday season, with a new year offering new opportunities for experiences and new goals or the completion of old plans. I find that the new-year experience always causes me to reflect on the year past. What could I have done better in areas of my life? It could be with friends, relatives, or things in general.

I even looked at my game-designing experience. It actually started back in the 70s as a hobby. Back then, I wrote and performed with musicians and songwriters in The Village, New York. While I was a budding poet of sorts, it wasn’t until I had children of my own that making them toys and stuff that game design took a place in line with other talents.

A younger version of myself along side wooden versions of Squarin' Off, Gin-Go, Ushindi board games as well as other crafts.

Working with wood, I built blocks for forts, toy soldiers to fill them, and with roads for vehicles and race tracks. I could and would buy them games, but hand-made items seemed more personal. Again it was always something I did on the side. As usual, it takes someone outside the box to see that some of my side projects could be channeled into a unique idea or product.

Even then, when there was downtime from the music, I would make my games out of wood. Selling them here and there, sometimes at fairs or holiday events. Like the “Gin-Go Turtle” in the picture. Music has always been one of my greatest loves, if not the greatest. You might even hear some of my songwriting on our Youtube channel under Amura Unlimited, should you like.

Game designing moved up in line, from somewhere near the end of the line all the way up to the ticket window. I went from a few drawings to a file cabinet of ideas. If someone had told me back then that, along with writing and music, that game design would hold the place it holds now, I would’ve vehemently denied it. Even backtracking some of the games I played as a child, I began remembering them with options for how I would’ve wanted to play them.

Like puzzle solving, it’s always a fun time handling problems that come up. Even watching others toss their ideas into the ring and watching the dance between them is a form of music.

So what does this new year bring? More ideas, I expect, for you and for me. Sometimes the ideas you have seem to be frail, and that may be because they’re unfed and need nourishment. Those projects may be itching to be noticed. I know I have a few already. Some I’ve shown the team; others will have to wait until I get them a decent pair of clothes. Don’t be afraid to go over the past year and jingle the brain for loss change. One never knows when one walks over an unseen diamond. I’m hoping this new year brings us the “unexpected.” The kind that blossoms a great smile in our hearts and on our faces.

We’re still a new business when considering our focus level and willingness to encourage our team's full creative potential. The more we talk, the more we listen, and the more we laugh at the hidden gems we find in each other. May you find yours.


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