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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Friday Project Update

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Friday update after returning from vacation!

Not a huge amount to report; game testing for Holy Press never occurred (Despite finishing all the components, and getting some ideas for an alternative victory condition that would be a bit less swingy/exploitable).

The testing for Ruin also didn’t physically occur, but a good lesson was learned. The feedback was that the game mechanics had some solid promise, but there were some really good suggestions regarding the stacking system and making it more interesting. In addition, a key point raised was to make sure the base game was fun and smooth to play, and then adding in Legacy elements.

Whoops.

I had been so focused on the legacy aspect covering the bumps in the base game that I’d lost sight of a key tenet of Legacy game design: the base game has to be fun to play, especially since most Legacy games have a “final” board/gamestate that in theory you should be able to continue to play and enjoy that final state as much as you would any other game.

Next order of business with Ruin is to revise the core game to be fast, tight, and enjoyable. However, Ruin is taking a backseat to Mistgore as I work to revise the rules for that and get it ready for playtesting. I’m also going to see if I can convince some of the local gaming groups to sign on for a playtesting group, since not only will that give me a chance to get regular and vital playtesting done, but also help enable others with game designs to do the same!

Until next week!

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Oh I am so looking forward to this you can’t even imagine

Review: Death Angel

Today’s review is for a card game I picked up with a birthday gift card. I’d heard of Death Angel for a while, and seen lots of the expansions floating around as well, but never had a chance to give it a shot. I figured I wasn’t missing out on anything huge.

Oh, how mistaken I was.

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Mini-ish-Update 2

Another update, to give a bit more information on the playtest-driven changes in RUIN. The next section of The Storyteller will be posted tonight, and if you already read the first part, you might want to check again as I updated it and lengthened it to a full 10 pages written thus far.

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Woo, playtesting a game!

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Mini-Update 1

As I am currently hard at work at NaNoWriMo, there will just be a brief update today, with a longer project update tomorrow.

Empty nutshell. Original case for your christmas surprise.

Insert punny caption here.

In a nutshell, first 7ish pages of my NNWM novel ‘The Storyteller’ are done. That’s ~1/24 of the novel I’ve got planned, and I think I should be able to keep up the pace and hit 50K words without issue.

On the gaming front, Ironwatch Issue 51 released, and I’ve gotten some really good and extensive feedback for the Ruin card game following a 3-player playtest. It’s got a lot of changes that will be needed, but I think the next playtest will be that much stronger for it. I’ll give a more detailed breakdown on the feedback tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by, and tune in tomorrow! Cheers!

Friday Project Update

I’d like to start posting my progress on various games, game-related stuff, and similar content, as a way of holding myself accountable (which in turn helps give me the kick-in-the-butt needed to keep momentum up). I’ll give a summary of what I was working on that week, and a blurb on what I’ve got planned next as well.

I’ll post a quick status update for each project now, and then mention then again if they get worked on that week.

The Shortlist:

  • Precedence RPG re-work
  • Mistgore skirmish wargame
  • Ruin card game
  • Primogeniture microgame
  • Negative Pressure board game
  • Ironwatch magazine
  • Mawbeast Madness game
  • Quarantine game
  • Hardwired novel
  • NaNoWriMo novel

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The Monday Game: Musketeers

Another game this week, again using the Boardgamizer web app. I’ll get on to it in a moment, but I just wanted to make a quick note:

Fridays I’ll try and make sure I’m posting status updates for my various primary projects, as I think it will help keep me focused and keep you all informed and (hopefully) excited about what’s coming up next. Stay tuned for this Friday to see what all is in the pipeline!

Now, on to the game!

The Unused Parameters

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Already, this system has two small strikes against it: Roll and Move is good for adding randomness into a game, but can leave players feeling like they have no actual strategic control over a game, and Summoners/Duels is a heavily saturated genre. While there is the glimmer of potential for a Magic the Gathering-style racing game, where you’re sending minions in to grab 3 different things in subsequent rounds, I think I’ll give this a pass for now.

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Chit-Pulling is an interesting system I’d like to try sometime, and Trick-Taking is always fun and a good way to prevent runaway leaders. However, the theme and constraint make this a difficult one for me: namely, I don’t know enough about ballerinas and ballet to make a game with good discussion that doesn’t rely on overly broad generalizations and stereotypes, so I’ll give this one a pass as well.

The Winning Parameters

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This one is great. Cooperative play is a great way to avoid runaway winners, and the short timeframe means we can focus on quick and easy rules for people to learn. I’m actually going to shift the “Horse Betting” from being a Theme, to being a Mechanic: players play cards as a group to affect the various Musketeers, and are betting points on which one will be the most successful in some metric.

Next, the designing!

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