Tactics: The Shades_Stone of 2

shades_2s.jpgThere is a phenomenon within Zhadu that has become known as the Shades. A “shade” is a space or spaces that remains hidden from a particular stone while still residing within the range of that stone. This is caused by the very nature of a particular stone’s range of movement and at times due to the presence of other stones.

Only the Stone of 2, Stone of 3, and the Stone of 4 are susceptible to casting a shade depending on where these stones actually reside on the board. The limited range of the Stone of 1 and the diversity of the Open Stone renders both of these stones immune from casting a shade. Read the rest »

Tags: Zhadu | Tactics | Shades

Rhythm in the Process

Many years ago, a friend of mine inquired about how I was doing in terms of the designing process for Zhadu. I responded that I felt guilty for I hadn’t put any time and energy into it for at least a month. I told him that my concern was whether or not I had lost my “touch”.

He told me not to worry about about for when I did “step back into” it, Zhadu will be better than it was before. Puzzled by this, I asked him how so. He simply said,”Because you will be better.”

The epiphany of that moment dawned on me for sometime. I realized upon further reflection that there was a “rhythm” to my ‘craft’ or process. A rhythm that I could trust. I had become so attached the idea that the “discipline” of my craft required that I engage the game every single day – i.e. journaling, sketching, etc. There is something to be said for this because the game does need an investment of oneself. But there is another side to flow as well – repose. I looked at this as the silence in-between the notes of a musical piece.

Over the years, I’ve come to appreciate the fact that each one of my games had a particular rhythm to it while I was creating it. Some required a non-stop, up till 3am kinda energy, while others simply continued in more slow and deliberate fashion. One must also cultivate an awareness of the factors in ones life that influence or impact ones ability to ‘surf’ the process. I realized that creating spaces of quiet, inside and out, became part of the work itself.

The challenge at times is knowing when and how to “break” a particular rhythm and change it accordingly. But that is for another discussion 😉

Tags: Process | repose | rhythm | energy

Zhadu: Legend of the Sharing

Welcome to my first original collection of classic strategy entitled “Zhadu : Legend of the Sharing.” Originally created in 1993, this latest edition includes an enriched narrative and storyline that will provide timeless moments of challenge and intrigue.

Zhadu is the first chapter of a sacred journey told through the eyes of a fictional traveller named “Hakummar.” By way of his journals and letters, we will slowly unveil the secrets that lie within this ancient practice known as Zhadu. Learn more>>

Tags: Zhadu | Classic Strategy


In 1993, I was given the task by a mentor of mine to create a special kind of game. That very night I had a dream that I was on sitting before an old man on a mountain somewhere in India. In the center of the rug that we were sitting on was a wooden bowl. I was intrigued by the design for the bowl was not round, but more octagonal in its shape.

As I proceed to look at the bowl, the old man lifted his closed hand, leaned forward and began to drop small colored stones into the bowl. I watched him carefully for he was doing this in a seemingly methodical way. Slowly moving his hand in various positions above the bowl, he would drop one stone at a time. The colors varied from blue, yellow, red, etc. I also noticed that he was looking into the bowl the whole time he was doing this.

When he dropped the last remaining stone into the bowl, he sat back and just looked at me. I felt bewildered at this point. It was as if he was waiting for me to do something. Although I was unsure about what this all meant, I was curious about the stones. So, I leaned forward and looked into bowl. To my surprise, the inside of the bowl was engraved with some intricate, geometric pattern. Each of the stones occupied a single space and seemed to form a pattern themselves. Read the rest »

Tags: Zhadu | Origins | Enigma | Dreams

Zhadu Guidelines – redesigned

For many years, I endeavored to find ways to bring the storyline of Hakummar more to the forefront in Zhadu. Although the original guidelines had a page or two written with a sampling of narrative, it wasn’t enough to really provide a context.

So, in the Fall of 2006, I decided to re-write the entire guidelines from the perspective of the character Hakummar. We learn about Zhadu from his journals and letters. The writing was a new and enlivening experience for me for I had the story inside me for many years and now this was a way to share it. Being an artist at heart, I also took the time to do the graphic design of the entire guidelines as well. This was complimented with an illustration done by a professional fantasy artist, Alan Pollack, whom I worked with to visually bring Hakummar to life.

Only the few people who have acquired Zhadu post Fall of 2006 actually have the new guidelines. For those new to Zhadu and those of you who have acquired Zhadu in the past, you may preview the guidelines here: Zhadu_Guidelines (2.4MB .pdf)

Tags: Zhadu | Guidelines