This idea, project, labor of love has been a long time coming and has always been in my thoughts in one form or another. My wife and I moved west in the pre-oughts. Dial-up was all the rage, and google was just just a 1 with a hundred zeros. We drove out with our big dog, big dreams and big student loan, recently graduated from The Theatre School in Chicago we both were armed with the life-long dream to work on the silver screen, we engaged in numerous vocations as we chased our dream and in the free-time I made the first physical iteration of wRiTeR’s bLoCk.
Browsing an antique shop on our trek out west I had come across a version of a cigarette rolling machine that sparked an idea. I tinkered and with some hesitance, I pulled it apart, threaded on some paper and took a look. It was not what I wanted but it was just enough to fuel me.
It was in the garage of our Hollywood apartment armed with a impulse bought Rotozip and a well used Milwaukee cordless drill that I began the pursuit of a physical incarnation of the thought in my mind. Multiple visits to the hardware store. It was when the question, 'Why does a hardware store need to be open 24 hrs a day?' was answered. I would peruse the the aisles finding stimulation of ideas around every corner I would purchase and experiment and create executions of different forms, I finally landed on a design that embodied my desires.
The feeling in the hand, the weight and texture made me smile. I puzzled on an appropriate medium to use as the paper. In a pre-internet - pre-google -pre-amazon world, trying to source something of this specificity was difficult to say the least. In this first incarnation I finally landed on FAX paper. But of course the rolls were too long. I needed to cut them in half. Not an easy task. A saw tore too much scissors were impractical, so using my rotozip i split a roll in two and it sealed the deal as far as a functioning prototype.
I duplicated the form until I had 4 roughly constructed and ready for demonstration.
I fashioned the cards, cut and pasted and then introduced the game to my friends. It was well received and every session always ended in smiles, laughter, surprise and enjoyment.
I then turned to the game manufacturing world to see if there could be interested parties that would want to take the game out of the garage and put it on store shelves. I created a set of rules, a box and armed with a poor man’s patent I decided to try my hand at shopping around to the big game manufacturers.
No luck. I did receive feedback but no one was interested in a game that had individuals put in a spotlight with no ultimate winner. So I shelved it.
Then life happened, and continue to happen. New vocation, several pets, a home, and a daughter. In 3rd grade our girl introduces me to TinkerCAD. I was impressed with the ease of use of the program and had a thought. Utilizing the application, I was able to redesign the tablet in a simplified viable form that improved upon some of the issues I had with original and elevated function giving it new life. I completed a design as proof of concept and had it 3D printed. It was not functional, but it felt good and possible. I was able to see the potential but 3D printing was not cost effective to produce on a large scale.
Thus I was back to the drawing board. There were so many aspects of plastics molding that I was definitely in over my head.
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