The Friday Game: Quartet of Hours

Apologies for the quiet week! I’ve been doing some creative writing, and didn’t manage to quite coordinate to get in a playtest of Mistgore last night. Next week will see game testing resume as normal, ideally, and I’m hoping to get some blind playtests going for Holy Press and Green-Circuit Mercs, so their rules can be refined to the point that they’re only waiting for final art for production/publication!

Today, I’m going to get the game design I meant to do earlier up! We again return to good-old Boardgameizer for the design prompts.

The Unused Prompts

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To be honest, this one is just too open-ended. I feel like this is possibly a solve-a-maze game but with hidden or partial information, but not sure and not really feeling that the prompt “grabs” me. That said, given the constraint a perfect name would be “Sneaky Buggers.”

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I don’t know what it is, but the idea of math and word games tends to give me hives.  The Theme and Victory condition here don’t help much either. Presumably there could be a game somewhere in here about trying to lie in a classroom vocabulary test and basically other players trying to sabotage your efforts to BS through the test, but again it doesn’t really grab me.

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Game Design Contest: Boatbuilders and Mamluki

As I had posted yesterday, there’s a new board game contest out: Button Shy Wallet Game Contest, with submissions due by April 23rd. Today I’ll be hammering out a rough idea outline for the game, but with playtests focusing on Green-Circuit Mercs in the immediate future.

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The prizes aren’t amazing, but in my current situation exposure is far more valuable than an extra hundred bucks

The parameters of the overall contest are as follows:

There will be 2 different categories you may enter, using the components listed for each.

Wallet Game

  1. 12-18 Cards (Must be Standard Poker Size)
  2. Vinyl Wallet
  3. Score Paper/Pen
  4. Rules (Note: We print on a small 8 panel rules sheet. Take a look at any of our previous games for an example of how much room we’re working with)

Wallet Game Plus

 

  1. 12-18 Cards (Must be Standard Poker Size)
  2. Up to 10 coins* to be used as tokens, markers, etc
  3. Vinyl Wallet
  4. Score Paper/Pen
  5. Rules (Note: We print on a small 8 panel rules sheet. Take a look at any of our previous games for an example of how much room we’re working with)

*Coins: 10 max. Can be up to 4 different denominations (example US penny, nickel, quarter and dime). You may also use heads or tails.

 

We can submit up to one game per category, but I think we’ll just focus on one or the other. As always, Boardgamizer will be used for parameter generation after the break!

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Game Design Contest: Spirit Quarry

Fingers crossed that Holy Press does well for the Cardboard Edison Award contest! Please feel free to stop by and enjoy the pitch video if you haven’t seen it already. This week, I wanted to crank out the initial outline of ideas for the third of the three game design contests: The Thunderglyph Survival game.

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That is some cool damn art. I’ll be using Sean’s stuff as filler pieces and inspiration in the rest of this post too!

Two sections from their contest that bear some mention and highlighting:

1. Theme

This first year is dedicated to the “Survival” theme. It could be on a stranded desert, post-apocalyptic or any theme that fits in the Survival thematic. For reference, we are using the Secret Island designed by Sean Thurlow which will be our official illustrator for the winning game. You can get inspiration by his original design or create a world by yourself.

2. Design Criteria

  • Streamlined (A game that is divided in fast turns but with interesting and engaging gameplay)
  • Well-tested (Good built rules without loopholes or mechanics exploits)
  • High Replay Value
  • Originality

For this contest, we got two different design categories:
A) Main category: Euro Game
B) Filler category: Any game type is allowed

The difference between the Main and Filler categories are the prizes:

Main category first prize of 500$ USD + the possibility to publish the game with ThunderGryph Games with a 1000$ USD royalty down payment.

Filler category first prize of 250$ USD + the possibility to publish the game with ThunderGryph Games with a 500$ USD royalty down payment.

Second and third spots for each category will receive every game ThunderGryph Games publishes during 2017.

Might as well shoot for a Eurogame in that case! Quick recap on the definition of a Eurogame, courtesy of BoardGameGeek:

Most Eurogames share the following elements:

  • Player conflict is indirect and usually involves competition over resources or points. Combat is extremely rare.
  • Players are never eliminated from the game (All players are still playing when the game ends.)
  • There is very little randomness or luck. Randomness that is there is mitigated by having the player decide what to do after a random event happens rather than before. Dice are rare, but not unheard of, in a Euro.
  • The Designer of the game is listed on the game’s box cover. Though this is not particular to Euros, the Eurogame movement seems to have started this trend. This is why some gamers and designers call this genre of games Designer Games.
  • Much attention is paid to the artwork and components. Plastic and metal are rare, more often pieces are made of wood.
  • Eurogames have a definite theme, however, the theme most often has very little to do with the gameplay. The focus instead is on the mechanics; for example, a game about space may play the same as a game about ancient Rome.

As before, I’ll be picking the general idea from a Boardgamizer set of generated ideas and continue the primary design under the break!

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Definitely loving the almost Venus Fly Trap appearance of this weird thing.

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The Monday Game: Cardboard Kingmaker

Another Monday Game! We had an awesome playtest of Holy Press this weekend, and I can’t wait to dive into the ideas and content that will be changed and added, but for now I’ll save that for the Wednesday update for current game designs.

I’ll also be doing a playtest of Restoration Games‘ Stop Thief remake, so I can’t wait to see how that will go as well. But first, onto the game design!

The Unused Parameters

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This one seems like a really complicated big-box game, something like Troyes meets Samurai and has an insane 4X baby. This could be a fun design, but I think I’m going to pass just because the sheer scope of it is quite a bit larger than the game size I like to usually shoot for in Monday Games. The Acting mechanic could have some really fun Charade-style results though…

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The Mechanics here are interesting, but not sensational, but the contrast of the weirdly dark Theme along with the Constraint is making this seem like an odd airborne Snowpiercer-for-kids game, something ominous but maybe in chibi graphics?

The Winning Parameters

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The Theme and Constraint for this one just feel insane, so yeah I’m definitely going to use this weird game. Already the ideas of trying to infiltrate tiles into enemy tile pools seems like a great start, and I have an idea for how to make the mechanics feel dangerous (the original idea that cropped to mind with packing tape and rubber gloves seems a bit excessive now that I reflect on it).

Plus, I’ve got a title to boot: Cardboard Kingmaker

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Basically this, with crazy frenetic action revolving around cardboard

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Brainstorm: Upcoming Game Design Contests

So, this Wednesday I’m going to be going over a few upcoming board game design contests, and come up with some rough ideas for each of them. I’ve been having a ridiculous amount of fun with The Monday Game, and figured I might as well jump in feet-first into game design contests to try and get my name out there a bit.

Before we jump into that, I will be working on Mistgore later this month, but it’s currently on a temporary hold as I work on getting the Ironwatch Annual year One rough draft ready, and get acclimated through the (very minor) teething pains of my new 3D printer; No, not that shitty paperweight, an actual good printer (MakerSelect)!

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Just to show off the Canva cover I made for the book…

All this in addition to writing more for my Hardwired series; I’ll be starting to post these on Wattpad in a bit, after I hit the halfway point of public chapters and am writing more on the unpublished second half of the book. Anyways, enough with all that, and onwards to the game contests!

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The Monday Game: Eagle Academy

Time again for another game design from Boardgamizer! I also have some plans for a few other games and content I may be talking about later this week, but for now, onto the game design!

The Unused Parameters

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This one seems like it would be a weird bluffing game, sort of like a trick-taking game combined with Clue. As much fun as Mysterium meets Power Grid with animals sounds, this seems way too complicated to give proper justice to, and most of all the idea doesn’t really resonate with me so it would be an uphill fight to get a good idea structured and playable. Plus the Constraint is weirdly easy, although incorporating it into the art style could yield a nifty effect.

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This one is weird. Just weird. I feel like this would end up being a cross between Charades and Dance Dance Revolution, and co-op on top of all of that I think. It could be fun, but I think the winning parameters have a bit more promise for a wider audience.

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The Monday Game: Hunters of Transylvania

Time for a Monday Game design, again courtesy of Boardgamizer. A quick side not before we begin is that I’ll also be working the remainder of this week on getting Holy Press to a v1.0 playtest stage, so I can give it a shot over the holidays. After that point, it’ll re-enter the work queue I outlined on Friday’s Update.

The Unused Parameters

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This one seems like it could be a fun and colorful Icarus-style game, with players trying to fly higher and higher and cooperating for access to parts of their wings, attempting to avoid angry gods and betting in some fashion to determine who gets what wing components. Might be a fun one, but the Constraint is primarily (imo) restricted to simple game mechanics and art style, so I’ll be passing it on for heartier fare.

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This seems like it could be a really interesting deckbuilder, but in a reverse format from normal deckbuilders. Make it so you draw a hand of cards, trying to control aspects of governing and being emperor of an empire, with lots of cards for the various aspects of the simulation. The leftover cards is a way to make sure you burn through the deck quickly, but cards aren’t uniformly “good” to play so there’s a lot of weighing how much good vs suck the card provides to play at a particular time.

It’s got a lot of potential, but I love the Theme of the winning parameters too much to not make it the design for today.

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