Bees and other social insects have always fascinated me. The way they all work together, instinctually, to thrive together is both amazing and inspiring. When I was a child, I was fascinated with ants and would dig holes nearly as large as myself into ant hills to try and learn more about them. The game SimAnt was a perpetual favorite of my youth, and more than one ant farm graced my desk. When I moved out to Philadelphia from Wisconsin I found myself in need of new hobbies, and decided to take up beekeeping. This was an activity I had been interested in for some time, and took my new home as the perfect time to begin. I’ve been at beekeeping for nearly 6 years now. It has had many ups and downs, but I enjoy it overall. You can read about my first few years of beekeeping at my other blog here, animaltree.org.
As time went on, I also found myself engaged with games more and more often. Gaming is far from a new hobby for me. I’ve been a dungeon master for Dungeons & Dragons campaigns since the age of 8. Though board games were a bit newer endeavor for me they were still familiar. My work in a historical society in Philadelphia brought me a few opportunities to incorporate archival materials into existing board games for education purposes. I first tackled this with using Settlers of America: Trails to Rails to add in materials we had on labor and monopoly issues related to the 19th century railroad industry. The project was successful, and I have looked for more ways to work with games for both entertainment and education ever since.
This past year I was inspired to begin work on my own game. This was in part thanks to the Philadelphia Game Makers Guild who has assisted me in the past. I was further encouraged when I presented the idea of game about being a wild bee hive to Dr. Deborah Delaney of the University of Delaware and found her enthusiastic about the idea. This further motivated me to move forward with the game and the drive to create something others to enjoy. It has been an interesting journey so far, and I hope you will join me on it through these postings over the next year as we work to make this game a reality and bring it to market in fall of 2018.