A Different Way To Play Cribbage
It seems like yesterday and at the same time it seems like a million years ago. Wayne and I have been friends since we were elementary school age kids. He was back in the old home town for a family visit one week and I was still living there so he stopped by to say hi. This was the late fall of 1989. He starts telling about this different way to play Cribbage, on the table top, cards face up. So we gave it a go and rather enjoyed it.
Some days later after thinking about what we were playing I connect with Wayne and we start talking about how how fun it was to play Cribbage that way but it seemed to lacking in some areas. Well over the following days, weeks and months we exchange a ton of ideas targeted at creating a real board game based on this new play style for this age old game. Still blows me away as to how long it takes and the amount of trial and error you have to go through to truly develop even the simplest of ideas.
Cribbage The Board Game Is Born
Anyway, keeping a long story short, we used local printers and suppliers to produce our first edition of "Cribbage The Board Game". It was a game box with plastic playing board, cards and fold up scoreboard. After demonstrating the game at Dufferin Game Room Store in Brandon, Manitoba we came up with the second edition which was game board only in an envelope style package. The board was a hard plastic game board stuffed into a paper envelope. It didn't fold out or lay very flat and there was nothing else with it, just the game board and of course our unique game playing instructions.
That was the real work, defining and refining the playing instructions for "our game". It was unique, it was ours and we toiled on those damn instructions. I never realized the significance and how challenging it is to create instructions for your creation.
Well it didn't take long and we realized we needed to improve on our second edition so we came up with a better constructed game board, a box instead of an envelope, we added playing cards and a traditional Crib board to mark the score. This was truly a cottage industry, our homes were our factory and our labour force was our wives and children. It was crazy. We were using the kitchen oven to shrink wrap the games and doing what ever it took to produce that finished product. That's the one that is in the photo accompanying this article.
By 1992 we're on our 3rd edition. A different size and shaped box, new logo, a roll-up game board. That fall and early winter Wayne and I went on circuit. We set-up interviews with any and every television and radio station in Saskatchewan and Alberta that would talk to us. We went to a number of retailers across the Canadian prairie provinces who were carrying our game and did in-store demonstrations on how to play. It was a lot of fun, a lot of work, a lot of reality. But it paid off, we sold thousands of games in the weeks that lead up to Christmas and the coverage that we were getting from the media caught the attention of one particular marketing agent.
Bam, it's 1993 and a cat from the west coast had us heading down the streets of gold. He parlayed a licensing agreement for us with a major Canadian toy and game company. We had arrived, damn near we thought. Boom to bust...shortly thereafter the company goes bankrupt and we are not going to be wildly successful. It was a nasty gut punch that took its' toll. But here's the thing, here's where the reality lies in what it takes and what it means to "soldier on".
Never Give Up
To my personal good fortune I had a friend and inventor partner with the tenacity of a pit bull and the vision of an entrepreneurial eagle. At the time of this writing it has been 24 years since that fateful event in 1993 and throughout all those years Wayne just couldn't, wouldn't and never gave up. He was like that Every-Ready battery bunny (just not so pink and fluffy)...he kept going and working and trying different approaches. He knew in his heart of hearts that this game we had created was just too good, too fun and too worth it to stop trying. He's always been that guy... strong work ethic and a belief system that we all should aspire to. Never, ever, ever give up! You're the bomb Wayne.
It has been a journey...for sure!
So now here we are, in the age of internet technology and the opportunity to reach out to the globe. Please accept our invitation to be the proud owner of your very own Cribbage The Board Game