My name is Arthur Franz IV, and I want to make high-quality board games that can provide decades of fun to like-minded hobby gamers.
My introduction to gaming was through the usual suspects – classic Parker Bros. and Milton Bradley games like Clue, Operation, Stratego, Life. As a young man I fancied myself a good chess player until I tried to play a computer (which stomped me) then joined my high school Chess Club (and never won a single match). I did enjoy UNO until a shockingly late age (late 20’s) because of its social aspect. My family still holds an annual Sorry! championship on New Year’s Eve using the old roll-and-move rules from the 80’s.
In high school and college I got into role-playing. We played most anything we could get our hands on – FASA’s Star Trek RPG, Earth Dawn, D&D 2nd Edition, Star Wars, Traveler, Rifts, LUG Star Trek, Decipher’s Star Trek game (seeing the pattern?)…. My emphasis at a young age was on telling good stories, which may explain my earning a Bachelor’s in English and an MFA in Creative Writing! I published several short stories in the late 90’s before settling down and starting a family. Lately, though, I am finding collaborating in real life much more compelling than creating fictional storylines in my own silo.
I greatly enjoy games that can be played with groups of people, and for that reason I am drawn to co-operative games like Forbidden Island, Pandemic, and Dead of Winter. The Castles of Burgundy is great fun, and I am partial to Splendor, though I have a hard time getting it to the table, so I play it on the app at least 5 times a week. Other games I love include Star Trek: Five Year Mission and Twilight Struggle. Simple mechanisms and strong replay-ability are big selling points for me, which I hope to replicate in future designs from Uplink Underground Games.
I currently work as the Learning & Development Manager at a chemical plant for a major oil company. I am responsible for managing the regulatory compliance training of over 400 people, and I lead a staff of 8 people. So naturally hobby board game design is my hobby (meta-hobby!). My experience in project management in my “day job” gives Uplink Underground Games a big advantage as an emerging company. I expect us to expertly manage deadlines, milestones, and incremental progress towards long-range goals, because I manage global projects and large budgets every day.
As a new game designer, I am inspired by the variety of game mechanisms being employed. We are in a golden age of board games right now! Whatever we produce at Uplink Underground, we will strive to add something fresh and new to the landscape.
The current plan is to unveil our first design sometime in August 2016. We are developing a very cool abstract board game (Code name: “Lightning Bowl”) around American football that lets the player become the Head Coach and call the plays. We have created an audible mechanism to let coaches change their plays at the line before the play is resolved, which to my knowledge has never been done before in a board game. We are entering our 3-month play-testing period, so if the game fulfills its potential we will launch in August right before football season starts. It is very exciting, so stay tuned!
Thanks for visiting our page. If you want to reach me, e-mail me at UplinkUndergroundGames@cox.net.