Creating a Love Letter

By Seiji Kanai, Designer

The inspiration behind the birth of this game goes back 2 years in time.

A designer named Takuya Saeki devised an idea at “Game Market,” a board game trade show that’s held in Japan. The idea was to set an extremely low price (500 Yen) and to design a game within that cost. A lot of game designers participated in the project and challenged that price cap by various methods.

I decided to go for the most obvious of methods: cut down on the component cost. A printer was in on the project, and had a special low-cost service for printing a set of 16 cards; the offset sheet was shared with other designers. I joined that. That was the birth of “RR”, a perfect-information two player game, and it got a pretty good reception.

The project ended at that point, but I was transfixed by the challenge of making a game consisting of only 16 cards, and decided to keep doing games for that low price.

After “RR” came the game “R”, which was, due to the shortage of cards, also a 2 player game. But I wanted to make a game that could be played with 3, or even 4 players.

Only 16 cards for four players got me thinking, and I ended up with the idea, “have one card in hand, draw one, play one” (I love the tension when you draw a card).

However, as the deck would run out quickly, I figured that eliminating players would make the deck last just a teensy bit longer. For card effects, I wanted something that broadened the player’s guessing and deduction.

And thus, “Love Letter” was born.

And by luck or skill, it was received extremely well. It’s a big honor for me to be able to take part in the other fantastic games in the Tempest series. I thank everyone at AEG who came all the way to Japan to visit Game Market, and I am deeply grateful to all the great people who have helped developing the Japanese game scene to a degree that it caught the attention of AEG.

It is my hope this little game can fill the role of a true love letter to all the world’s gamers, as well as to all who have yet to discover the world of gaming.


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Author: Edward Bolme View all posts by

Edward Bolme is one of AEG’s developer/producers, and the brand manager for Tempest. He is also a novelist and a 25-year veteran of the hobby gaming trenches.