by Dylan Grey, game designer
If you’ve ever been to a convention, you probably know the delicious feeling of sitting around with new and old friends, laughing and enjoying getting to know each other. Lots of times, you’re just chilling, but sometimes, you’re playing games, sharing stories, or crafting together. At MISTI-Con 2013, my very first convention, I was thrilled at the prospect of playing a game with my new found friends….until I realized, the game I wanted to play didn’t exist. This beautiful Harry Potter convention, perfect and immersive and wonderful, had every Harry Potter board game on the market–and none of them were what I wanted. Checkers. A couple puzzles. Wizard’s Chess. Scene it. But no role-playing game, no tabletop game, no have a couple drinks and duke it out for house points to prove once and for all which house is the best (Ravenclaw, obviously).
Flippantly, and perhaps after a few drinks, I announced that I was going to make the game I wanted. I’d designed a few games, and brought several to a playable, playtestable state before. It wasn’t going to be that tough to get what I want.
I went home at the end of MISTI-Con and broke out the markers, some bits of tape, and a handful of dice. In a little under a week, I had an extremely rough copy of what would eventually become New World Magischola: House Rivalry. At that time, it was full of mischief, the boy who lived, and a whole lot of unflattering house stereotypes. It was clunky, it was long, it was ugly….but it was mine. I loved it fiercely. It didn’t have a name, but shortly, I had friends vying for the chance to play “That Harry Potter game.” I knew that I was onto something, and made myself an ambitious goal of bringing a polished, playable version of this game to the table–quite literally–for MISTI 2015.