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Band Room Blitz: Calgary designer’s first game now in production

Andrew Baldock came up with his new table-top game Band Room Blitz nearly five years ago while working on air at CJSW.

He found the band names on the albums he played had similar naming conventions – especially if they were in the same genre.

Baldock stripped down the band names to very generic categories and wrote them down on pieces of paper for what started as an on-air game.

“I started prompting people to come up with an original band name and send that in,” he said.

Baldock would tell listeners the two categories and that the actual band would play in a bit, but while they waited, send him in original band names that fit the categories.

It was a popular feature for his show, so he thought there might be legs for it as a table-top game. Baldock went to a teacher supply store and bought blank playing cards and wrote the different categories on them.

Voila!  The Band Room Blitz prototype was born.

Baldock said it’s done in the same vein as the popular Cards Against Humanity or Apples to Apples.  You draw a category card and players submit their unique band name that fits the category.

Players come up with their own answers, Baldock said – not like CAH where the potential answers are written for you.

“This makes the game feel a bit more personal in that you can play it as offensive and raunchy as you want with your friends, but you can tone that down if you’re playing with elder family members,” he said.

There are modify cards, bonus points for real band names and more.

Torn down and built back up

It’s the first game for Baldock and his company Analog Universe. He’s been working on another game for a while and has ideas for others.

This is one he found success with and one he figured he could produce.

The game theme and how to play it comes easy to Baldock, who works in audio visual for large events. He said the recent COVID-19 situation has allowed him to focus more attention on the game.

But, it wasn’t until he took a version of the game to a couple of gaming conference where that it really got to a place where it could be produced for sale.

Baldock said the hardcore gaming crowd pulled his game apart; they asked questions, told him what worked, what didn’t and what had to change. They even ripped apart his instruction manual. 

At first, he was a bit taken aback, but then realized that it would make the game better in the end.

“Coming up with a theme and how the game actually kind of works came easy to me,” Baldock said.

“The actual stuff that made it a good game, like actually analyzing it and figuring out what makes a game good, that took being torn down to learn.”

Analog Universe Games and the future    

Right now, the game is at the manufacturer. There have been some delays due to COVID-19, but things are back on schedule for a late fall, early winter release, Baldock said.

Baldock does have another game he’s working on.

For now though, he’s just got the one title and it’s not quite a full time job.

There are expansions and specializations planned for Band Room Blitz and that will keep him busy for the foreseeable future.

Baldock is a fan of Stonemeier Games main game designer’s blog. In it was some sage advice: Don’t quit your day job.

“His advice was don’t quit your day job until it is actually impossible for you to continue doing your board games and your day job,” he said.

“So, I’m going to try and keep doing a day job.. for as long as I can. And then once it’s apparent that I can actually live off of my game, I’ll jump on.

You can pre-order the Band Room Blitz game by visiting the Analog Universe website.