Monday, December 21, 2015

More ION Award preparations

I guess I sort of let the NaGaDemon die this year. I am not really happy with my game, but it is playable.

I have still been preparing my games for the Ion award. I had some materials printed up at The Game Crafter. They look really good.

Over the next few days I will submit them.

I have been watching a kickstarter called "secret Hitler". It seems pretty similar to Resistance.  I don't think I will back it because after having played a few games it seems too random.

We played a game where I should have lost the game for my team, but we won anyway.

I also got Alison to play eminent domain with me on Friday. We tied even though she did a production trade strategy and I did a tech strategy. I really like the game.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

NaGaDeMon - Day 26

I haven't been working on Archipelago very much. I have added colors to the cards, but I realized that I needed to start getting my card games ready for an ION Award submission.

I have been rewriting rules and editing artwork. It is a lot of work, but it it going along fairly well. I need to work harder on the sorcery rules, but the game is a pretty big concept to deal with in the beginning, so the rules are hard to write up.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

NaGaDeMon: Day 12

We played more Archipelago tonight at the board game design meet-up. It went poorly. That is a good thing because it revealed a flaw in the game.

A player got to play way more cards than the others, and ended the game in three turns. This was unexpected.

I need to figure out how to fix that.

The new art was well received though.

Monday, November 9, 2015

NaGaDeMon: Day 9

I have played my game 4 times so far. Right now it looks like the picture on the left, but I am making artwork like the picture on the right, so perhaps the next play will be easier to explain to people. Somehow I find that people find games with more finished artwork to be easier to understand. I found an island generator here which I am using for the card art.

I am currently considering how to change scoring, and also trying to make the splay mechanic more obvious.

I will write up the rules some time soon.

Monday, November 2, 2015

NaGaDemon Day 2

I skipped day 1.

I am in the brainstorming phase. I want to use the splay mechanic like innovation or chibimob. I think that sorcery, inc. could be a good theme.

If a card were arranged as follows:
Where R is the rule text, and 1-4 are symbols then they could be splayed multiple directions for interesting results all around.

The question is, what rule text makes sense to put? Similar ones to the ones that Sorcery already has?

Then you could have an engine core that is either a converter or a producer, and then you would build around that and gain benefit by stacking your cards correctly.

If cards could be both, then the rule text could allow for weird interactions like "the output of this card is doubled", or "this card needs 50% less justice."

I guess it is bed time.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Changes to Sorcery

I need to think about Space Game a bit before I go further. It seems like there are more modifications that I need to make.

Also, I just finished a rework of the Sorcery, Inc. artwork. Here is a sample of the new look:

I think that I will be printing up a new copy and trying it out soon. I have some modifications I want to try.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Dino Meeples

I have rewritten Space Game again, and have another design group meeting this week. I hope to get some good feedback about the new version there.

Additionally I was asked recently by a friend to 3d print him some custom meeples. Here is how they turned out:

I am pretty happy with them. I might add custom meeples to my website. Also, I finally took a picture of all of the Moai that I have made:

This accounts for every color filament I own.

Friday, September 11, 2015

D: Herniaria!?

Just last night I got a rough draft of the new Moar Moai board artwork that I commissioned. So far I like the direction that it is going. Honestly I haven't played the game in a few months, so hopefully this will encourage me to spend some more time on this game.

I like how that the artwork is simple. It seems that that is how people like to brand things at the present time. I am excited to see what it will look like next iteration.

Most of my time over the last few weeks has been being spent on the game that I am currently calling Space Game (formerly known as Jurassic Space). I have revamped the cards and reworked the rules. I played four more games, incorporating feedback from each game. I am just ready to rework from the ground up for the second time (v0.3, I suppose). Here are some cards as they stand before the next rewrite:
The game is decent, although it is really complex. That is what this rewrite is about. Trying to maintain the feeling of the game while cutting out all of the stuff that is not technically necessary, and streamlining the stuff that is necessary. It is going to take a while, but that is fine with me.

Also, I just realized that next month I am expecting to receive my copy of High Frontier 3 (which is the inspiration for this game). I am really looking forward to it!

Sunday, August 30, 2015

ChibiMob: A Review

I was asked recently by Marc Di Stefano if he could use some quotes from me in his current kickstarter campaign. This will be the fourth time that I am quoted in a kickstarter campaign :).

He also offered to send me a copy of the game that he is kickstarting, and since it arrived yesterday I played a few more games of it (ChibiMob) with Alison last night. We first discovered this game during a design contest (probably last year?), and have played it on and off since then. We were supposed to only play one game last night, but but we ended up playing more.

I thought that I would write up a review of the game (I just backed it on Kickstarter, so this seems like a good time for a review).


Chibi Mob is a light-weight* strategic card game with elements of drafting, hand management, action point allowance, something like deck building, and a small amount of 'take that' in the last few turns.
*This game feels like an incredibly weighty light game. There are not that many rules, but there are a lot of options for both strategic and tactical play.

My wife and I both like the game, and it plays well with two players. The guys at work like the game too, and the game plays well with more than 2 players. This means that it has seen the table quite a few times (Which is some thing that not all games get, since I like buying games so much).

The game seems to take about 10 minutes per player, and it allows for 2 to 6 players. This means that it is perfect length for two players, and isn't horribly long for 6 players. An interesting element of the game is the modularity, which allows you to tailor the game to your desired game length. If you want a longer game, just add in more packs of gangsters.

Visual Appearance:

The cards are covered in crazy chibi mobsters that are both cute and sometimes menacing. I'll let the art do the speaking:

The symbols are mostly intuitive. The money, attack, and influence symbols are fairly easy to figure out (and are the most often used ones in the game). Some of the ally abilities are a little hard to figure out just by looking at the icons, but there is a reference card for each player that deals with that.

One thing that is a little bit confusing on the first play is that there are multiple attack and money symbols based on what mob you are dealing with. There is no in-game difference between the symbols, so perhaps they should be unified, but I do understand that it is a thematic choice to have them different.


Each player gets two starting goons and the starting bosses are laid out. Players take turns either playing their goons to: hit a boss (scoring points), pay off a boss to gain a new goon (add a card to their hand), ally with a boss, (gain a permanent ability), or they "pay" their goons to pull them back into their hand (no money is lost during this action, as money isn't consumable).

Every goon in your hand can be used for one of three stats, but otherwise have no other abilities.
The cards are two sided, and have the bosses on the back of them. The goons abilities are all pretty balanced, though certain goons are really good at one thing and horrible at all others (like the ninja with 6 attack, one money, and no influence), which makes them awesome in one particular situation and horrible in the others. The inverse is true as well: there are a few goons that are really well rounded, which means that they can help in any circumstance, but just not as good as a goon that specializes.

Hitting a boss:

Hitting a boss gives you points per attack the boss had, and all you have to do is exhaust enough goon cards from your hand to match the bosses attack value. This is a great way to earn points, but interestingly enough the points are not guaranteed to count at the end of the game because the last boss in the city is considered the 'kingpin', and any bosses of the same color as him are not counted if they were hit.

The 'kingpin' rule is one of the most strategic aspects of the game, because players are able to (by careful play) deny other players of quite a few points, or assure that they do not lose their own points.

Paying off a boss:

This action gives you an extra goon by matching or beating the bosses money score. This is a great way to avoid having to pay your goons so often. Each goon is worth 1 point at the end of the game, so this is not the best way to gain points, but it does help a little.

Ally with a boss:

Probably the most interesting of the actions as this grants you a permanent ability that varies in power based on the boss allied with. These abilities range from bonus stats to the ability to take extra actions or even score differently during the endgame. Alliances are worth 2 points each, so they are a moderate source of points.

Paying your goons:

Grab all your exhausted goons back into your hand. It seems like a good strategy to try to perform this as few times as possible during the game.

Final thoughts:

This is an excellent, quick game. Don't take my word for it, though. Print it up and play it yourself. I am a firm believer that that is the best way to determine if you should support a kickstarter campaign.

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Guilds of Space

I have have been able to play 3 more games of Jurassic Space since I last posted here. The game is progressing along nicely, although it still needs a lot of work.

I am about to start doing more research so that I can make the plant growth smoother (right now you plant large monocultures of plants, but really I want to have a way that you can build 'guilds' of plants, and then just have them grow all together.)

I also intend to replace the map of the solar-system with a randomized map.

In other news, I have been getting a good amount of orders for twist counters at my storefront website (linked in the upper right). I am working on making smaller counters for people that are interested in smaller counters, and also making the dual counters smaller (because most people will use them as a score tracker in my opinion, and so they will only need to print 10 numbers on each to reach 100)

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

Jurassic Space

My new game is currently called "Jurassic Space". It is a concern balancing drafting game where you build an ecosystem on a space habitat and then transport it to a planet that wants the resources.

I have been working on it for two weeks. Friday I played my first game of it, and since then I have played two more (one was a 3 player game, and it works with three players).

Here are some cards:
And the map:
I need to write down my rules so that I can record how it changes during the creation process.

I hope to play a game of it at the Sandy board game design group meetup (if we have the time). We are meeting tomorrow. For anyone who is interested, the group is here.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

A report of the most recent Sandy board game design group meetup

I went to the board game design group meeting last Wednesday. We played three games.

The first game we played was Sorcery, Inc. It went well, and everyone seemed to enjoy it. We played with my new cards (The ones that I added art to recently). Ryan said that he really liked the main mechanic of the game. :)

The second game was 'Snake Wrangler' it was a press your luck dice game, and it went fairly well (though we changed some rules during the game.)

The third game was Near and Far (A new game by Ryan Laukat (in the same world as Above and Below)). It was really fun. Probably the best game that Ryan has made (in my opinion). It was a RPG/adventure game where you have a guy that gains magic artifacts, traits, and fame.

You have a different fame score in each civilization (the humans might like you and the hog folk might hate you) sort of like Grand Theft Auto 2 (which I played once in my teenage years). Being the most well liked person wins you the game, and probably before the game is done being developed it will be culminated by a fight between your character and the bandit lord that is annoying everyone in the area.

It was very thematic, and the mechanics (though not yet entirely balanced) seemed quite well thought out and were very interesting.

I for one am looking forward to this game being on kickstarter. I know that I will back it.

I also added dual counters to my storefront. They look pretty cool, and they should allow users to track things that go from 1 to 100. Before I start really publicizing my storefront I want to have better images of the counters, and to have more colors of filament available for printing with, but I am working up to that.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Sorcery, Inc. card art

I had a crazy idea the other day, and had to try it out. My 'Sorcery, Inc.' game is quite hard to understand for most players (even people that play a lot of games can't seem to figure it out), so I thought that artwork would help.

For the background of the card I had an idea of a circuit board magic circle, which I couldn't find any examples of on the internet. I thought it was beyond my skill level, but since nothing existed I started anyway. It is still in the beginning stages, but I am quite pleased with how well it has gone so far.

Soon I will print them up and bring them to the Sandy Board Game Design group to see how other designers like them.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Kickstarter Successful

My first kickstarter campaign was successful. I am currently trying to fulfill things, but that doesn't mean that I have had no time for gaming :)

I played some Dominion yesterday at lunch (I lost by 1 point because my treasure maps took too long to collide) We also played a game of Dead Drop (which was pretty fun.)

Sunday night I played 5 tribes for the first time, and I liked it quite a bit. It had randomness and strategy in the right proportions. Alison said she would enjoy playing it again.

Once I fulfill this campain I intend to buckle down and make cards for MOAR MOAI! and for Polynesia. I might get crazy and make some for Sorcery Inc too. Who knows?

Monday, July 6, 2015

1 week of kickstarter

A week into the kickstarter campaign and I am 600% funded. I honestly didn't expect it to go this well. I did spend some up front time advertising it among certain crowds, but I have gotten more people than I can account for.

Additionally, I am quite surprised at how many people were willing to pay extra money for counters of a different color. Perhaps I should have opened up more slots for that, but at the present time I would rather have a very successful campaign that I fulfill quickly than a campaign that gets me a lot of free filament and takes a long time to fulfill.

I have started printing bases for the rewards (Since those don't depend on the choices of the backers - all bases are the same). I can print 21 in about 2.5 hours, so I expect that I will be able to print all of the bases before the campaign closes.

I think that this will make me able to fulfill faster than people will expect. I hope that it makes people more likely to back my projects in the future.

Now I am starting on a site where people are able to order their rewards from me. If I get it done on time, then I will use it in this campaign, otherwise I will probably use it after the campaign ends to take more orders (I think that I will be doing this for anyone that wants counters after this campaign ends).

Also, High Frontier 3 is the coolest kickstarter available on the internet right now. When I say that I mean that it is better than my own. High Frontier is a realistic space exploration game that some people call a simulation more than a game. It is super fun, but unfortunately it takes a long time to play. The fun is so great, that it is still worth it.

Blank Twist Counters - record the state of your games easily -- Kicktraq Mini

Monday, June 29, 2015

The Kickstarter post

Here is the promised Kickstarter campaign.

I am sort of tempted to contact the people that support me first and preprint their things (so that I can ship most of the counters that are printed the day that I get funded). I think that that would go over well :).

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Jurassic Universe

After talking with my coworkers about the new Jurassic World movie I had a dream about a new game. It is 'Jurassic Universe'. Basically the players try to build themepark space habitations that have balanced ecosystems (full of dinosaurs obviously, since the people all like seeing dinosaurs) and attract lots of tourists. I am not quite sure of the winning condition, but I think that the game could be fun to make.

Probably I am going to be drawing some space dinosaurs soon.

Also, I am making a Kickstarter campaign for the twist counters that I have been 3d printing recently (pictured to the right). I hope to launch it this week, so hopefully that goes well.

I will post here when the campaign goes live to keep you all  updated.

Monday, June 8, 2015

A new game

This week we had a meeting of the Sandy Utah Board Game Designers group. We played some Moar Moai, some Polynesia, and a game that Ryan Laukat started making (it was named something like 'Tale of the Swords'). It was lighter than most of his games that he has made so far, and Alison and I both liked it a great deal more than his previous games (we like light strategy games, so it was closer to us as an audience.)

The game seemed pretty much like a redwall adventure/strategy game. You get a race of sentient furry/slimy animals and go around gathering mystic swords and other artifacts and then you destroy 'monsters' with them (where monster is defined as a predator animal). We actually finished an entire game of it (which has never happened in the game night time frame that we set up.) When he finishes this game I am looking forward to the kickstarter.

I picked cats (figuring that I'd be playing as feisty tom cats, but they ended up being fat lazy lap cats), Alison picked hares (which moved around a bit and bred like bunnies), and Ryan got mice (which started the intergenerational cat/mouse blood war and also pawned their swords for gold).

Alison's hares were traveling all over the board and collected a few swords to slay two monsters while Ryan was attacking me and building cities all over the local countryside. My cats were mostly just laying in a pile and breeding because the cards that allowed me to move never came up for me in the first half of the game.

During the middle of the game Alison's hares started to reproduce rapidly and get lots of point cards that allowed her to gain points from occupying various territories. My cats finally started to move and they discovered the nests of many Rocs and sat on the eggs (for good measure). Ryan built more cities and killed a monster.

By the end of the game I found a card that gave me points for sitting on artifacts (fortunate, since my cats were in egg heaven), and got some dusty old tomes fir bonus points. Alison killed her two monsters and kept breeding prodigiously. Ryan started building boats to visit other continents, but wasn't very successful. Alison ended the game by overbreeding (when you run out of dudes the game ends).

Alison and I came in first and second with scores in the mid 70s and a gap of only 2 points, and Ryan was 10 or so behind. It was a good game.

In other news the 3d printer is having some trouble. I have yet to figure out what it is, but I think that the model of the turner is nearly complete. I have a version with icons on it and a version that is blank.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

A non-working 3d printable twist counter

I tried to 3d print a twist counter (like this failed kickstarted campaign that I bought into).

My second attempt is below:

It doesn't yet twist, but when it does the STL files are free for the taking.

I am using tinkercad to edit the file. Here is the link to the file.

Sunday, May 31, 2015

A talent show

After some 3d printing, painting, and working on boards I showed my games off at a talent show. It was fun and people seemed to be impressed with them. This upcoming Wednesday we are meeting at the Barnes and Nobles for game playtesting. A link is here. Join us if you are interested.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

3D printer GET!

I went went halfsies with my brother in law on a RigidBot 3D printer. We built it yesterday and I fooled around printing for a few hours. The first few prints were pretty rough, but I think I am getting the hang of it.

The full sized ones are 1 inch tall. The leftmost one was the first 'successful' print, and the second one is an average print. The next two are printed 63% of the normal size and the upper right one shows that if I set the extruder too hot there are consequences. the lower right one is 50% size. I think that I'll go with the 63%, as they seem to fit on my MOAR MOAI board best.

The sale that we bought the printer on ends at noon. Get yours fast.

Sunday, May 24, 2015


Though I haven't yet got my cards back, a few things of interest have been happening recently, so I thought I would post.

I played Acquire for the first time. It was really great. I intend on playing it again. It is exciting to find an old game that is still really fun.

I drew a new map for MOAR MOAI. I tried to combine the score tracks with the resource tracks for the first time. I think that it looks awful.

For this reason I talked with Dave about drawing me a better map. He has some good ideas, and I like his art style, so I am looking forward to his product.

I set up a new game night for the Sandy board game playtesting group. It is next Wednesday. We are meeting at the Barnes and Noble near fort union, so come if you can.

I also found out that my Uncle is an artist. I like his artwork style, and I could see hiring him in the future.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

True colors

I have been preparing to print off some new high fidelity Polynesia cards for a talent show. It has been quite a task, but I did discover a way to mass modify the color profile of cards.

With imagemagick installed you call:
mogrify -format tif -colorspace CMYK -profile ISOcoated_v2_300_eci.icc *.png

Which converts the source pngs to tiffs with the chosen color profile (drivethrucards requires a profile that has less than 300% ink coverage, so this is necessary.)

Here is an after and before of a farm:

After that, I had to use scribus to build a pdf out of them, and then I could upload them to get them printed. I don't yet know when they will arrive, but hopefully it will be before the show.