Thursday, February 27, 2014

Targeted Heat

I have been working on Dancing Robots a fair amount recently. Some blind playtest responses came back and I am trying to figure out what to incorporate from them.

One thing that is guaranteed is a lot of rewriting of the rule book. Another likely change is the wording of effects on the cards.

Alison and I played a game last night were we tried out an idea that a blind playtester came up with which I will call 'targeted heat'. Basically if you overheat you have to first blow up the parts that you activated during the last move before you blow up your other parts. This forces the player to consider their dance moves more carefully.

About the rewording of the cards effects: I have posted a thread at BGG which should hopefully help me to get the wording issues that I have worked out. It is always great to throw things at a community of people and see what comes out of it.

No more progress has been made on the Collusion or Moar Moai front, but with painting the kitchen occupying most of my time I am not particularly surprised.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

The weekend of almost everything

Friday we played three games of Collusion at work (the dream game). Large changes were made to the rules. As always the newest rules can be found here.

The big changes that were made cause the game to be much simpler. They include:

Removing money from the game entirely. (now you just get bonus goods for selling above the average and lose goods for selling below the average).
Obsolescence/Spoilage is now a rule in the game. Players lose 50% of unsold goods to give a penalty for selling too high.
Increased demand: Each turn one more demand card is drawn than was drawn the previous turn.

With these changes the game is faster and simpler. I will continue to play it and post how it changes.

On Friday night we were invited over to a game night. We played one game of Moar Moai and a few games of Love Letter. They seemed to enjoy both of them. I think I will end up buying Love Letter.

Also, a lot of people have been playing Dancing Robots and writing up reviews for me recently. It is good to have things happening that I am not the doer of. Hopefully I get the rest of the artwork soon so that I can break out of my current Dancing Robots holding pattern.

It appears that I need some rules rewritten to explain it to people better. Also it appears that I need to change the way that cards are laid out. Hopefully I can work on that some time soon.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Collusion

We have had some sick girls over the last little bit, so I have not gotten into much gaming recently (That is besides the regular Resistance games at lunch, and the periodic games of the game that I dreamed up).

Recent playtesting has made some changes to the game. I am not really happy right now about the pacing of the game. It takes too long to play, but I am not sure what to do to make it faster. Perhaps I will make the profit margins larger.

Also, I think that the name of the game will be something like 'Collusion', or 'Price-Fixing'

Right now the rules are as follows:
Each player has a color. Your Goods tokens are tokens of your color.
Each player starts with 4 Goods tokens.
The game alternates between selling and buying phases.
If any player ever has 30 money they win the game.

During a selling phase:
  • nd4 are rolled, where n is the number of players. The sum of the roll is m, or the demand. This will be used to calculate how many goods will be purchased at the end of the round.
  • The player with the most Goods goes first. In the event of a tie, the player who has the most actual cash (meaning non game currency) on hand goes first. Players with fewer goods than the player that just played are skipped (so that everyone ends in the same round of play).
  • Players take turns 'offering' one or more Goods for sale at a price (2-6). To do this they place the good on the board at the back of the queue which corresponds to the price that they are attempting to sell at.
  • Players may discuss with each other the price that they desire to sell at, and attempt to form alliances and fix the price wherever they want to. No agreements are binding.
  • Players may always offer 1 or 2 goods for sale, but may only offer more goods for sale if they have at least double that many goods (E.G. having 6 goods enables you to sell 3 at a time, and 8 would allow you to sell 4 at a time)
  • Play proceeds in a clockwise direction.
  • When all players have no goods left to offer, roll 1d6, and modify the demand according to the following table:
Roll123456
Modifier-2-1-0+0+1+2
  • m Goods are sold in the following order: Lowest -> highest price, first -> last good offered.
  • All remaining goods are not sold.

During a buying phase:
  • The players may all buy as many goods as they desire.
  • The price of goods is calculated thus: floor(a) where floor means round down, and a is the average (mean) sale price of last round. Sale price does not include the price of goods that were not actually sold. 
Options:
Use median sale price - 1 instead of average round down for the price of goods.
Remaining goods could deprecate (obsolesce?) in value. Perhaps lose 50% of your unsold goods each round?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

A Dream Within a Dream

I have played a few more games of 'The Dream Game', and it seems to be coming together a little. The biggest game played was a 4 player game that ended up being pretty fun. (We had some collusion and price fixing going on, and a player that broke the price fixing was the one who ended up winning).

Right now the rules are as follows:
Each player has a color. Your Goods tokens are your color.
Each player starts with 4 Goods tokens of their own color.
The game alternates between selling and buying phases.
If any player ever has 30 money they win the game.
During a selling phase:
  • nd6 are rolled, where n is the number of players. m Goods will be purchased at the end of the sell phase where m is the sum of the roll (m is known as the demand).
  • Players take turns offering one Good for sale at a price (1-6).
  • The player with the most Goods goes first. Players with fewer goods than the player that just played are skipped (so that everyone ends in the same round of play).
  • When all players have no goods left to offer, the Goods are sold in the following order: Lowest -> highest price, first -> last good offered.
  • All remaining goods are not sold.
During a buying phase:
  • The players may all buy as many goods as they desire.
  • The price of goods is calculated thus: floor(a) where floor means round down, and a is the average (mean) sale price of last round.
Options:
Use median sale price - 1 instead of average round down the price of goods.
Remaining goods could deprecate (obsolesce?) in value. Perhaps lose 50% of your unsold goods each round?
Add an extra -2 to +2 to the demand after everyone places their goods for sale. This would allow for an imperfect prediction of what will happen each round.

I plan on playing a few more games of it in the near future. Perhaps I will have more updates to make to the rules.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Dream game resolution

I tried out the dream game three times yesterday. The game is pretty darn broken, but it does have some elements that are really cool. I think that I could rework it into a good game with some work.

Perhaps I will do that over the next little bit.

Monday, February 10, 2014

The second dream game

I had another dream about a non-existent board game, but unlike my last dream game, this game might actually end up as a viable game. It has elements of worker placement as well as the opportunity for people to undercut each other.

In my dream the game was an ancient Indian game called 'Vataya'. I will transcribe my middle of the night notes here, and comment on them.

Everything I wrote at 1-1:30 AM is in normal text. Everything I add is either bold or italic.

Here are memories of the game in the dream
Players trying to get the most money. The goal of the game is revealed
There are barges and river places. Each player owned one barge, one section of the river, and the city locations on both sides of that river section.
Each district on the side of the river produces types of goods. One type of good to a district.
Certain types are worth more or less. This doesn't really make sense from a balance perspective.
When the barges land the goods are all sold wherever they landed.
The owner of a barge can collect a fee from everyone with a thing (with some goods) on the barge. This allows you to make money just by sending goods up.
Apartments are rented. This was probably more like pieces of land were rented, but I wrote apartments.
People can build and rent apartments to also make money. I don't recall any building actually occurring, but you did have to decide to get into that business.
You can undercut prices to get more renters. This is the coolest mechanic that I can remember from the game.
Here is interpretation that I made after waking up
Game Order: Produce goods - different types worth different amounts. But each player can only produce one type? Here is where the worries about different types first comes in. It seems best to have each good worth more in only one landing point.
Load Barges: pick a barge, each player owns one barge, they go to one place (so you can't load up a barge and go to multiple places or go to different places each time). Owning player charges a fee (I recall the fee being 1 money per unit of goods).
Move Barges: fee is collected, goods are sold. Perhaps goods are worth more or less at different times.
Build rent apartments: There was a track. ?sometimes there were fewer renters? Renters rent lowest apartments first, but with higher apartments you make more money. Perhaps every apartment gets rented, but the highest one loses out?
Here is later considerations (because I couldn't go back to sleep)
In your own district, your goods are worth -1, in one other player's, +2.
Selling goods set a price. Top n/2 price slots sell for one lower than the lowest price. 6 price slots total?, (numbered) 2-7

Now, what the game seems like to me ever since I woke up for real:
This could be a fun game, but it would probably be a little to complex. I will have to make up a version of it and see how it plays out.

In other news, here is a link to an example animation of dancing robots. Hopefully all of the rest of the art comes in soon.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Templar Intrigue Rules Typo

Since the rules for Templar Intrigue were finally posted we played a few games of it at work. (I printed up a copy since the game hasn't even been officially printed yet). The game works great as a 7 or 8 player game. It is fun to try and figure out which players are loyal, and which players are traitors to their cause. The 9 player version on the other hand is not really that good.

The 9 player game is played like this:

Team 1: 1 king, 2 templar traitors, 2 monks
Team 2: 1 grand master, 1 archivist, 2 templar knights

King asks Templar who is the grand master. With perfect play there are only two options:
1) 2 players have 2 players pointing at them and one player has one player pointing at him.
2) 1 player has 2 players pointing at him and another player has 3 players pointing at him.

In either case the king knows that only players with two fingers or more pointing at them could possibly be the grand master (the two templar traitors will tell him truly the grand master). This narrows the choice of a grand master down to two Templar.

Then: the king asks one monk to interrogate another monk. There are two options:
1) The monk says "He is the archivist"
2) The monk says "He is loyal to you"

If option 1, then the king knows that monk 3 (the unpicked monk) is loyal because either 1 or 2 must be the archivist
If option 2, then the king knows that monk 2 (the interrogated monk) is loyal because if a monk calls a monk loyal then the monk must be loyal (think it through and it makes sense.)

The king points the newly discovered loyal monk at the remaining unused monk and determines if he is the archivist. if he is loyal, then the king wins. If not, then the king has a 50% chance of guessing anyway.

The funniest thing is that the original version of the rules did not have this problem (there was one more templar knight and one fewer templar traitor). I have talked to TMG about it, but they have not replied yet.

Now, about my game: my Dancing Robots artwork is apparently very close to being done. I will post more here when I get it. Finally, I have enough parts to make a first go at animating entire robots, so I should be doing that soon.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Mother Sheep: the Massive Surprise

Over the weekend we had a double date and played a few games of Love Letter. It seemed to be fairly well received. I like the simpleness of the game (your goal is clear, every turn you only really have two options laid before you, and there are not that many components), but I still don't like the fact that the game has so much randomness in it.

At a family gathering on Sunday (apparently there was a large sportsball game at the same time, but we were not even considering watching it) we played some more Love Letter, and also a few games of Coup. They seemed to like Coup a fair amount. I am still sad that I didn't get a copy of it.

They wanted to play Resistance, but we didn't have enough time.

Scott and Sheila also brought Mother Sheep, which was a surprisingly fun game (considering that it was made for players 8 and up) where you place tiles out in an attempt to surround sheep that are placed arbitrarily on the playing surface. I would recommend it to anyone with an eight year old.

I have still been working on my Dancing Robots website. The robots don't dance yet, but they are getting closer every day. Hopefully I will have something before too long.

Also, Dave told me that he is almost done with the card art (so I should be posting more pictures before too long). Hopefully sooner than later.