Long-belated update!

Heya everyone,

My apologies for such a long delay since my last post. Life has become insane in the last few months, and I’m currently in the process of packing as my wife and I will be moving to an entirely new state here in just a week!

So, a quick update on the progress and status of various projects, below the cut:

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Friday Project Update

Hey folks,

Firstoff, many apologies for the radio silence this month. I’ve had a large load of time-consuming work to deal with, and unfortunately that and other stresses have meant I haven’t had a lot of free time for post-writing.

However, that’s not to say nothing is being done; quite the opposite in fact! I’ve been fortunate enough to be working with my dad in developing the professional-level art for Holy Press. While I’m still working on getting summer game playtesting group together since my primary playtesting group evaporated for the summer when school let out and the undergrads went home, the art is coming along beautifully, and I’m really excited for where the game is rapidly going.

Hopefully by the end of summer, the art creation will be complete, and presuming I’ve been able to get in blind playtests by then and refined the rulebook to iron out any remaining rule inconsistencies or fuzzy areas, Holy Press will be ready to purchase at the end of summer. I’ll also be pitching it hard to as many different eligible companies from Cardboard Edison’s Compendium as I possibly can, so (fingers crossed) I might be picked up for professional publication/distribution!

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An example of an Act tile. I am excited beyond words about all of this

For now, though, I’m going to be probably posting a bit less often as I work through the last of the time-intensive work projects and stress factors. While I’m on vacation next week, the following week I want to make sure I touch on the idea of Buystarter, and why I’m really excited about the idea of using that for RPG and wargame publication moving forward.

Until next time. Cheers!

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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Friday Project Update: Green-Circuit Mercs

Just a small update: I had a chance to playtest the newest iteration of Green Circuit Mercs with my loving and long-suffering wife, and a minor miracle occurred:

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“Hey Mikey, he likes it!”

While she normally is a fan of board games, she’s markedly less so for card games, especially competitive ones, so already there were two strikes against it. In addition, I am absolutely terrible about explaining my homebrew game rules to others in a logically concise and coherent fashion, and she is a very competitive and precise player: this was another strike, as it can often end up with me accidentally forgetting a key rule that throws a game into turmoil.

Still, after a slight bit of eyebrow-raising during the initial rule explanation, we hopped into it and she grasped it straight away, and proceeded to almost steamroll me. I lucked out with an aggressive early game that managed to provide the Tech cards to supplement my Cyborg deck and help me win more bids than I otherwise would have  in the late game. After it was all said and done, I won by a relatively-narrow margin, and she said she had a lot of fun. The only dislikes she had against it were just with the competitive and card-focused aspects of it, which again were issues with the game style as a whole rather than specific mechanical issues with GCM.

Overall, I’m incredibly excited. Now all that’s left is getting some blind playtesting in so the rulebook can get refined and streamlined; I’m also looking to do the same with Holy Press, as I have a relative who has offered to do artwork for it for free!

Hopefully there will be more of that to show off in the coming months, but until then I at least have two games basically ready to get fine-tuned and published! I’ve joined Cardboard Edison’s Patreon, and this gives access to their Compendium of game publishers looking for submissions. I’m incredibly excited to be able to submit my game to multiples of these, and while a game design contest is all well and good for publicity, this might be an even better way to break into the industry and start to make my name known.

Anyhow, that’s it for this week. Next week tune in on Monday for the next Boardgameizer design, and the next iteration of the Alien Ambassador rules. Cheers!

 

Friday Update: Green-Circuit Mercs playtest results and ClikB8

Sidenote: Whoooops. This was supposed to be posted last Friday, and I completely forgot about it sitting in my drafts.

So I had a chance to try Green-Circuit Mercs yesterday evening, with the new player-specific decks and the revised Threat values. I have to admit, I was incredibly nervous going into it: previous GCM playtests had left me a bit discouraged and worried that I was going down the wrong rabbit hole for how to address the previous issues with enjoyability of play.

It went fantastically.

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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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The Cardboard Edison Award Contest Update

So, the tl;dr of this is that unfortunately, Holy Press didn’t win a spot in the finalists. A shame, but it looks like the finalists field is quite good looking so I understand there was probably fierce competition.

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Maybe next time, buddy

While it didn’t become a finalist, there was some incredibly-valuable feedback from judges regarding points they liked and didn’t like for the game, as well as areas they’d suggest expanding on in the future. I wanted to group all of that together below and go over my thoughts in response to the feedback.

What was the game’s strongest aspect?

  • Very original approach to a programming game!
  • It’s a unique game! It’s a mix of party and strategy games. You’ve got the goofy mad libs mixed with programming actions that combine for a very odd mix that could fit into that niche.
  • The theme and mechanisms are interesting and engaging. There is a solid platform to work from in this game. The concept of writing my own commandments is awesome.
  • Cute concept, great player count spread.
  • The game looks like a lot of fun! Love the programming mechanic. Very cool!

It seems like having a light programming game was a really popular point. The theme was very much a divided opinion (as shown in the below section of what they thought the weakest aspect was), but overall I got the impression that the theme was ok, but it should be approached carefully to avoid being overtly or directly offensive to religious and secular players.

In light of the feedback, I’m definitely glad I changed the mechanics to continue movement from where you ended the last turn rather than starting from the center, as that I think really helps make the programming feel important rather than making each player turn feel like a trial-and-error exercise.

The other feedback is below the cut!

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