A few weeks ago, during some “quality” time with my family (aka quarantine), my wife suggested to me, to “paint one of the little men” with my son to pass the time.
At first, I was a bit hesitant, but when he, 4 year old wit that he is, declared, that he is a “big boy” now and that I had promised to make some models with him, once he is a “big boy”, I had no further excuses. So, I sat down and thought about what miniature I could give him to paint.
As he has had no contact with TV series or any “brands” so far, there was no starting point for me there. We also try to raise him in an open, liberal and non-violent manner, so that playing “war” was not an option for me as well.
Luckily, I had a few peasants from Fireforge Games left. And one of the tools, I think a dung fork, sparked in my brain the association with a medieval apple picking tool. In this moments, the idea to build a non-violent tabletop game for my son was born.
|I know, the big axe looks not so peaceful…|
I started to talk about the miniature and painting it and playing a game with it. And I said, that the game was about apple picking. And my son got more and more curious, until he, all of a sudden, became rather hesitant and asked, if we were going to play the game „against each other“. In hindsight, I am happy that I was very sensitive in that moment and sensed my sons fear of playing AGAINST me and most likely LOOSING against me. Of cause loosing a game is a valuable lesson, but it also might kill any motivation from the start.
This experience resulted in the insight, that my son is basically the best source for all questions that I have and that he decides at what pace we do this. I don’t want to bore him, so i try to get him as invested as possible.
If you want to know more about the process, check @modernsynthesists podcast, where we chat a little more about the process:
After we had developed the basic rules and played the game for almost a week everyday, it was time to evolve. As almost all hobbyists, my son quickly craved for more and different models, so I took a deep dive into my bitzbox and found some farm animals I had bought second hand long long ago (for the life of me, I cannot recall the manufacturer). Additionally to this input we had started the #applepicking28challenge on Instagram, where wonderful people started to build their own apple pickers. I felt so touched, that I thought that these wonderful creations needed some rules on their own.
Therefore, I sat down and worked on the first “expansion” of the game, so you will find in the following document two rules: the basic apple picking rules and the advanced apple picking rules, which will give you some add one to the scenarios and fun tools to help you pick apples.
So, without further ado: