Game Design Contest: Prioritization and Playtesting

So, following the feedback from Alien Ambassadors and my inability to get a game test over the weekend, I’m looking at a next-available-playtest date of Thursday, with the due date for a finalized game concept/presentation on Friday.

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‘Twas not meant to be, methinks. Not for 2017, at least.

Unfortunately, that’s not really doable, especially if any issues whatsoever persist in the v2 Ambassadors iteration. I’m feeling that more and more it’s looking like I’ll be getting one playtest per week, meaning that I have to drastically rescale my games in progress to account for these likely shortcomings. I think I’m suffering slightly from a bit of frustrated expectations from players: Green-Circuit Mercs didn’t make a fantastic first impression, and the second revision did better but it still wasn’t a sought-after game. Alien Ambassadors did slightly better, but I think my players are possibly starting to be disinterested in trying new games.

More under the cut, along with the new schedule:


I feel like the best solution to this issue is to basically “complete” the games I have in-motion at the moment. For example, Holy Press still needs art and blind playtesting to get the rulebook polished up (and in that order, since nice art tends to be a good draw for cusious players), but I feel that the core gameplay is “done”. That said, here’s the new schedule, pared down to account for only one playtest iteration per month:

  • Cardboard Edison Award: January 31st
    • Holy Press: Submitted, at Prototype step
  • Trick Taker Challenge: March 6th
    • Green-Circuit Mercs: Not submitted, at playtesting step
  • 2017 Northwest Luci Award: April 7th
    • Alien Ambassadors: Not submitted, at playtesting step
  • Button Shy Wallet Game Contest: April 23rd
    • Boatbuilders: Not using for contest due to component revision, at playtesting step.
    • The Order of Artemis: Not submitted, at prototype step. This one I’m shelving indefinitely, as I feel there was way too much stuff that needed a lot more polish before it would even have a strong core gameplay loop.
    • Mamluki: Not submitted, at playtesting step. Also shelved, but mainly until after Green-Circuit Mercs is released because there will be heavy art and logo crossover, and I want the shared universe to feel well-represented between the two games rather than try to meld them after the fact
  • Thunderglyph Survival game contest: April 30th
    • Hunter’s Quarry: Design step. This one is veeery tentative, and will probably unfortunately get shelved too. I love Thunderglyph’s art and such and I think the game has a ton of promise, but I want to make sure I revive my playtest base instead of screwing that up and crippling myself for later testing stages.
  • Big Box Challenge: June 5th
    • No design yet
  • Gamelords Dungeon Crawler Challenge: August 15th
    • No design yet, although I have a strong inclination to use a previously-shelved rough outline idea for a Legacy-style dungeon delve game.

Current focus is on testing Green-Circuit Mercs and Alien Ambassadors, and getting those out of the way as well as getting Holy Press developed into a final releasable game.

This is really rough, as I feel like a screwup for eyes-bigger-than-stomach, as well as potentially damaging my only playtest source at the moment. I’m also going to be pushing to see about other playtest options as well, but that will require some checking around to make sure it fits comfortably with home, work, and Ironwatch needs as well.

Until next time; I think I’ll be working on cranking out the design outline for ClikB8 this Friday. Please let me hear your thoughts in the comments and reblogs below. Cheers!

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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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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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Game Design Contest: Preparing the Wallet Games for Playtesting

So, continuing from my designs for Boatbuilders and Mamluki on Wednesday, I’m continuing that design so I can get some card decks ready to use off of Paperize.

First, though, the most important part of any game design: the logo! (courtesy of CoolText) I’ve always found having a logo for a game gets me 100% more invested into seeing it through, even if the logo ends up being discarded en route to the final iteration of a game.

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These might undergo changes/improvements later, but they’re plenty good enough for now. Onwards to the rule/card designs!

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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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