One Morgan City man's dream on Valentine's Day two years ago has become a surprise hit in the worldwide board game community that he didn't see coming.
Jason Dinger, a former Army corporal, the IT and purchasing director, loves to woodwork and play board games in his spare time. It was his board game about fishing in the Gulf of Mexico, "Captains of the Gulf," that got picked up by European board game company Spielworxx and has been sold out on presales at online stores.
The game won't make its debut at the gaming convention, "Spiel," in Essen, Germany until the end of the month.
"It's surreal because my intention was never to be published but to create something unique that (my wife) Donna and I could enjoy together that celebrates my heritage," said Dinger, a self-described introvert. "It's a literal dream come true. I'm more of a wallflower. I don't like a lot of attention. So it's cool but it's kind of awkward. Not in a bad way — I'm just not used to all the attention."
Dinger playtested the game with board game groups across the state, including some in Lafayette and Broussard, and shared some pictures with Andreas Odendahl, the creator of the award-winning board game “La Granja.” Odendahl said in a Twitter post that he was honored that Dinger was inspired by him and his game and shared the images with his followers.
Dinger then was invited to multiple board game conventions across the country. Captains of the Gulf" sold out on presales at one major gaming website in only seven hours The game even spent a week on Board Game Geek's hotness list, reaching the No. 6 spot.
Dinger is still working on other Louisiana-themed games. His next game, "Crescent City Cargo," a logistics game set at the Port of New Orleans, is being evaluated by Spielworxx. He also is working on a game he calls "Sweet Harvest," which is about sugar cane farming, and "The Acadians," which is an exploration and settlement game that he is trying to make thematic to the actual history of when the Cajun people settled in Louisiana.