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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The Monday Game: Alien Ambassadors and Mistgore

So, first an update on Mistgore. I’ve been working on this for the last week or so, bitten by a bug to get this up and running soonish so it stops creeping into my other game design thoughts. I’ve got the basic rules, the first two warbands, and (most of) the first City module if you wanted to take a look and let me know what your thoughts are on it so far!

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We’ve got a new game design contest, this time for just a “great game,” the 2017 Northwest Luci Award. (They’re good games, Brent.) I’m excited for this one, as the contest finalists will be at the Evergreen Tabletop Expo, which is near my family and relatively close geographically!

Slotting this into our existing schedule:

Unfortunately didn’t have a chance to test Green-Circuit Mercs this last week due to playtesting the 2nd edition of the Stop Thief playtest, but going to try and get in a playtest game this Thursday with the local game group hopefully so we can get the design hammered away for that one!

Picking our parameters will be below the cut!

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Plus, now I found out there’s a gaming expo almost in my backyard in the form of ETX

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The Monday Game: Mistgore

Quick notes/changes for Boatbuilders before we get into the meat of the design for today: Having attempted to build the boat structure a few times now, I can reliably say the best way to do so is so that each edge of the initial vertical Hull overlaps. This makes for a stable-enough base structure that the Deck and finally Sails can be added on.

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Like this, but you can get away with way, way less of an overhang. Alrighty, that said, moving on to Mistgore!

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So, I had a typo when I mentioned how the die comparison works in comparing it to Warhammer’s Strength vs Toughness chart. In actuality, it will be more of a Weaponskill vs Weaponskill test:

  • Your Stat is equal to enemy Stat: 4+
  • Your stat is greater than enemy Stat: 3+
  • Your stat is twice or more than enemy Stat: 2+
  • Your Stat is less than enemy Stat: 5+
  • Your stat is half or less than enemy Stat: 6+

Average/human baseline for all stats will be 3, which should give us a decent range to work with assuming any stat is capped at 10.

So, below the cut are my design parameters for Mistgore. Remember that this is the same underlying system as for Triumvirate, so I want to try and keep whatever aspects of those two similar that I can.

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The Monday Game: Triumvirate

Before I dive into the (different from most Mondays!) game design, I wanted to touch briefly on two new game design contests that have cropped up:  the Button Shy Wallet contest, and the Gamelords Dungeon Crawler Challenge . Slotting those into the to-do list for designs, we have:

I’ll be excited to start chunking away at these soon, but that will have to wait till Wednesday. for now, the Monday Game design for a wargame I’ve had vaguely planned is below the cut!

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Friday Update: Holy Press Submission and Brainstorming for Mistgore

Had a lovely playtest of Holy Press last evening with my wife, and managed to knock the last few corners off of Holy Press. While there’s still lots of room for polishing, I think the base game is ready for taking the gameplay video and submitting it this weekend!

In addition, I’ll be doing a little brainstorming on Mistgore and what my goals are for it, specifically underlying mechanics and statlines, as I want to make sure that’s not falling by the wayside while I’m working on these board game contests!

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Overall Impressions

She really, really liked it. My lovely wife is really good about giving honest feedback, and she’s also a board gamer like me, so she’s got a good eye for mechanics and gameplay that make sense versus those that need trimming or readjustment.

Mandatory Changes

I incorporated all of the Mandatory Changes and even quite a few of the Suggested Changes from Wednesday’s post, and overall I think they were perfect additions.

  • When book starts printing on a word tile, you don’t get that word

This was a clarification of the “Start printing where you left off last turn” change made

  • Shuffle dispensations and tithes, and just use 3 at a time from that deck

We played with 2 Tithes (of a deck of 6), 2 dispensations (of a deck of 6), 1 Global Tithe (of a deck of 3) and 1 Global Dispensation (of a deck of 3), for 6 total markers out at a time. The stroke of genius suggestion was that the cards just get shuffled into a single deck, and you have X cards in play at a time. Maybe everything is Tithes or Dispensations, but for the most part you should get a mix of both.

Another suggestion was that the # of cards from this deck in play be reduced based on the # of players. This might need some further playtesting, but currently I was thinking that players use 8 cards minus the number of players, to a minimum of 3 cards. That, or just a flat 6 cards for 2-4 players, and 3 for 5+

  • Play until someone hits 10 Scriptures

As it turns out, the “continue where you left off” method both feels like it flows more naturally, but also makes the gameplay really refreshingly dynamic on top of how it already felt, and it also makes it surprisingly easy to reliably get a unique Scripture each turn. As a result, we bumped the number of Scriptures needed to trigger the endgame up to a biblical 10. This would be just 5 for 5+ player games, though, as I think 10 would take the game from around 45 minutes to play to something more in the neighborhood of an hour and a half or more.

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If Holy Press sells out of even a single print run, I’ll be simply inconsolably happy

Suggested Changes

  • Optional game mode
    • Keep back 6 Factory tiles when laying out board
    • When you land on a Factory tile, after adding your word replace it with a Factory tile from the top of the unused tile deck and add your tile to the bottom of the deck
    • All players get a free rearrangement of 1 Route token at the start of their turn

This was an idea mentioned to increase the craziness of a given game, but one important idea my wife mentioned was to not introduce this alternate mode until the second edition of the game. I think this is a sound idea, as that way people’s first impressions of the game aren’t hampered by a rulebook with untested game modes cluttering it up.

With that said and done, I’ll be recording and editing the gameplay video, and submitting it this weekend to Cardboard Edison. Wish me luck!

Next we’ll be moving on to a discussion for my goals for Mistgore, on both a micro and macro level.

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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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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