pic1051354_mdIt was some time ago when I heard about VivaJava: The Coffee Game for the first time. What a stupid idea I thought. In my defense I can say only two things: I don’t drink coffee and I don’t know what even VivaJava means. I didn’t pay attention to any news about this game and I labeled it as a stupid idea. Game about coffee? Really?!

It was also some time ago when I first heard about Compounded. Game about chemistry. OMG, that was bad theme for a game! For me chemistry equaled school and serious problems. Yeah, trust me, I had some problems with chemistry when I was in college. When I saw cover art for Compounded and its logo I really liked it. If only it is not about chemistry, huh?

It was a few months ago when I saw cover art for New Bedford. I saw it on the front page of BGG site and I gave this cover Thumb Up even though usually I don’t do this. Some publishers are my friends, some are not, I try to not thumb up too often. It’s geeks, gamers, users job to give thumbs, not publishers. But well, this cover was a masterpiece. Thumbs up from me.

Three dots. VivaJava, Compounded, New Bedford. Believe it or not, but at this point I wasn’t able to connected these dots yet…


It was BGGcon when I was playing Black Fleet with a bunch of gamers, having a tremendous time and talking about games. At some point discussion was about good game for 7 players and they mentioned VivaJava.

This coffee game?! I asked really surprised.

It’s very good, especially with 6 or 7 players! they replied.

A coffee game?! It was hard for me to believe it.

Yes, it is pretty neat. You should try it. 

That was a surprise for me but, well, if they say I should try, I have to try. I noted down to check coffee game later.

That was an epic moment of my ignorance, but well, I am just this funny dude from Poland, right? After I came to Poland, it  finally clicked. Listen to this…

The cool guy with whom I was battling like crazy in Black Fleet happened to be Darrel Louder, designer of Compounded. I began to investigate this. I discovered that Compounded was published by Dice Hate Me Games, publisher who also published VivaJava. And then I discovered that not only Compounded looks amazing, but VivaJava also is a beautiful, stunning graphic design. And yes, of course, few seconds later I discovered that this amazing cover for New Bedford is part of the team – Dice Hate Me Games.

Oh, really?

It took me a few years. I was receiving different signals and finally I managed to connect it all, to put it on the map along with a Dice Hate Me podcast, with Unpub events and with T.C. Petty III, with whom I was tweeting like crazy at Gen Con 2013 trying to set a session of Robinson Crusoe. It was all here, in front of my eyes.


Every story needs an ending. I prefer good endings and this story has one. First of all, I have Compounded on my desk, signed by Darrell. VivaJava is in my top5 games to bring home from Gen Con 2015. But there is more. I realized one more thing. Super tiny but funny detail. It was Chris Kirkman, CEO of Dice Hate Me Games who bought the very last copy of Why Can’t We Be Friends at BGG.con

In the evening I found one lost copy of this expansion in my luggage and I think I tweeted about this or something, and Chris found me and bought it. Of course, I had no idea that he is the guy behind all these great designs and games. It was few days before I connected the dots.


Two weeks ago Imperial Settlers won Dice Hate Me Game of the Year runner up award. Luckily, at this point I had all dots connected.