Game Design Contest: Preparing The Order of Artemis for playtesting

Following up from where I left off Friday; firstoff, a logo!

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You can’t go wrong with a logo. Well, theoretically you could, but it’s highly unlikely.

So this one was interesting to work with; I’m slightly afraid it may need a lot of revisions (similar to Green-Circuit Mercs) in order to get it properly balanced. Ideally it should be pretty damn straightforward, but of course that could easily go to hell and need lots of fiddling or some mechanic could be completely untenable when played by players outside of my own brain: that’s what playtesting is for, after all!

Oh, and the format turned out to be open enough that I was able to make the game an instance or iteration, so there could be other Order of Artemis games in the future that could be compatible or something. That very much depends on player feedback to the game, and if it’s enthusiastic or mediocre. In this case, I perused a random generator until I got some ideas I liked, and decided on “The Lure from Beyond.”

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You can’t go wrong with Lovecraftian monsters and intrigue. Well, theoretically you could but its highly unlikely.

Continuing the design under the break!

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Friday Update: Wallet Game restart and The Order of Artemis

So I had a chance to play Camel Up last night, and enjoyed it a lot! Coup was also played, during which I tried the infinite Ambassador strategy after making a crucial and damaging error early-on and lost terribly while having a grand time.

However, as I attempted to demonstrate the core ship-building aspect of Boatbuilders, a crucial problem emerged: The table was a laquered smooth wood, and there was a gentle but steady AC vent overhead that was providing an almost-unnoticed breeze.

It was impossible to even get the base set up, let alone anything else.

This is a problem; while I knew breezes and smooth surfaces would be an issue, I hadn’t realized just how bad they could be compared to my relatively-controlled test environment at home. I think the game can be rescued by including 2-4 card clips in the set, and let players adjust how many they used depending on desired difficulty, but the problem is that will immediately bring us outside the scope for the limitations of the cards-only design Button Shy had asked for. So, while I am definitely wanting to hold onto Boatbuilders as a fun, light “pouch”* game, we’ll need to do a redesign asap for a new cards-only wallet game.

*In the vein of games such as Love Letter, Lost Legacy, and Cypher. Mostly just 18ish cards, and maybe a half-dozen small unobtrusive components.

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The designing will begin under the cut!

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Revision to Grimdark Future: Inquisition

On the Ironwatch side of things, the rough draft for Annual Year One is done, so hopefully that should be out in the next two weeks or so!

A quick update today: I revised the GDF:Inquisition rules so that it now uses the normal Quality tests, but with an extra Minor die that can provide an advantage instead and works better with high-value Skills as well. I also tweaked the Missions list, so it’s actually achievable with 1-2 units per player.

Lastly, Tano from OnePageRules pointed out that it might be easier to frame the whole thing as a GDF:Firefight module so I didn’t have to rewrite everything with 95% of the material kept identical. I agree, and so the new set just needs a GDF:Firefight ruleset/army list in order to use.

GDF: Inquisiton rules v2.0

GDF: Inquisition Character Sheet v1.0

Please let me know what you think of the changes in the comments and reblogs below! Cheers!

Grimdark Future: Inquisition released!

So I managed to finish getting the rules banged out for Grimdark Future: Inquisition! This week is spring break so the playtesters I rely on are out of town until next week, so I figured I’d focus on finishing off this project first!

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The rules are basically a further refining of skirmish GDF: Firefight, in the same way as it i a refined version of basic GDF. I ditched the d66 system I originally had as I realized it was a nightmare in the way I originally had designed it, and instead went with the basic roll and a ‘Minor die’ that can provide a bonus to your main roll if it rolls well enough. Player bonuses affect this second die, and it can explode, so there’s a chance that any task can be successful, but hopefully not skewed in the way that the d66 roll setup was making it.

GDF:Inquisition Base Rules v1.1

GDF:Inquisition Roleplay Supplement v1.1

GDF:Inquisition – Battle Brothers v1.0

GDF:Inquisition – Human Defense Force v1.0

GDF: Inquisition – Battle Sisters v1.0

Let me know what you think in the comments and reblogs below!

The Monday Game: Grimdark Inquisition/Age of Fantasy Roleplay

First, a side tangent for Mistgore and Mamluki/Boatbuilders: the Mistgore playtest documents are ready, but while they are ready I’m still working on expanding the available warband lists to include Pirates, who focus on lots of enemy control despite not having a lot of armor or overt melee/magic power. Playtesting for Boatbuilders/Mamluki and the next iteration of Green-Circuit Mercs hasn’t happened yet, but will be happening later this week.

Moving on to a current mini-project…

As you’ve probably sussed out from previous posts and such on the matter, but I’m good friends with the designer of One Page Rules, Gaetano Ferrara aka “OnePageAnon.” I quite like the rules, and feel it’s a refreshing breath of fresh air compared to the original game systems he’s adapted and streamlined.

That said, Gaetano focuses a lot more on the wargame-scale side of things, while I definitely like mixing my chocolate and peanut butter and focus more on skirmish games and RPGs.

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Brief Update for Green-Circuit Mercs

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Just finished tweaking the cardset, and not a ton to elaborate on beyond what was touched on last week. Basically the changes made were:

  • Fixed imbalances with player # vs Threat, so now it should be a reasonably achievable goal rather than a hopeless task
  • Swung the points for Techs and Plants upwards, so you’re only getting an average net loss on the first round of cards. The abilities also got a very, very healthy injection of power and utility, so it should now feel like using an ability is a powerful thing, instead of an annoying and nigh-worthless bonus
  • Each of the 4 Bidding decks is now built around a heroic theme: Trickster, Highguard, Biosmith, and Cyborg. They focus on, respectively, losing bids, winning bids, Plant cards, and Tech cards. Hopefully this should add more layers of nuanced choice, and add some interesting strategies for play in addition to kicking the door open for more hero Bidding decks in the future.

The new version of the cardset is here, and the updated rules are here.

Going to be trying it out tomorrow, along with the prototype for Boatbuilders; I’ve got a very good feeling Boatbuilders will be a fairly good hit with not a ton of changes needed, but I definitely want to polish the dickens out of it before marking it off as finished.

 

Friday Update: Green-Circuit Mercs Deadlines

Got a chance to do some playtesting of Green-Circuit Mercs yesterday, and while the feedback was very valuable, it was clear there’s a lot of changes and a lot of balance needed before the game is ready for publication.

As the deadline for this is in less than a week, unfortunately I don’t think its possible to make these changes and playtest the revisions in a timely fashion to get it done and ready to go; that’s the downside to having only once/twice-a-week opportunities for game playtesting, something I’ll touch on in the closing thoughts. Still, several players expressed interest in playing/buying a final version of the game, and I’d rather revise it until it’s a solid hit concept rather than generate a bunch of assets and rush the publication of a game I know isn’t mechanically sound just to hit the contest deadline.

Revising our schedule to account for this, we get:

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The detailed breakdown of the feedback and my thoughts/changes on them is below the cut!

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