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Showing posts from 2016

The ongoing tale of rules editing

With the Ion Award submissions deadline looming I have been editing my rules documents pretty consistently every day of the month so far. That hopefully means that I will get done on time, but you never can tell.

The Age of Vikings is coming along quite nicely. The document is much better than it was on the first of the month. I have pretty high hopes for this one. The game plays well, and is strategic and fun, however it does tend to take a long time. I think that this is definitely the year to submit it to the contest.

The only problem that remains (as far as I can tell) is the unification of modes of speech - Sometimes I tell the reader of the document to do things (e.g. "If you have 3 coins, Move your ship"), and sometimes I tell the reader that the players will do things (e.g. "Any players that have three coins must move their ship"). I need to make it all the same, so that it isn't jarring when I switch between both modes of speech

In the past I have had t…

The month of rules editing begins

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By the end of NagaDemon "The Madness Place" was playable, but not finished by any stretch of the imagination. Alison and I played a game right at the end where we finished the entire game, and though it all worked, the game definitely was too big to take a proper swing at in one month with a full time job and a family.

With NagaDemon over, I have been trying to clean up my rule documents for submission to the Ion Award. I have three games that I will probably be submitting this year: Terran League of Defense RobotsThe Age of Vikings, and The Dragons' Game.

I think that I am furthest along with Age of Vikings, in that one I have finished moving all of the rules around, and I have caught a lot of the grammatical errors. I will still have to do more work, but I am feeling like this one will definitely make it in time.


The rules for Terran League of Defense Robots are currently being shuffled around. I need to look them over for grammar still, and I am not sure if I like a…

NagaDemon 2016: Day 27

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Contrary to popular belief, I am not dead. I just took a vacation and totally worked on my cards a whole bunch during that time. My wife and I got through two entire games of "The Madness Place" (my NagaDemon), so technically I have already won, however I still need a lot more work to make the game play smoothly.

Currently the rules are as follows:

There is a hexagonal board composed of a center room, and 6 surrounding rooms. The board grows during the game. Players have a pawn that starts in the center room, and also a set of completion tokens. Players start with 7 cards from the deck, and a character card. Every player gets three actions a turn, and for their actions they can do any of the following:

Move your pawn to any room that there is a clear path to (must be either unnocupied or fixed)Draw a card from the deckPlay a card (either build a construct/machine/clank/device or impress a spark/minion). Pay the cost on the bottom of the card to play it.Science! (modify a cons…

NagaDemon 2016: Day 17

Things are going at full steam right now (ha ha). I think that I will print off my first version of the cards tonight and try the game out some time this weekend. I have given each player unique abilites, combined clanks, minions, constructs, and sparks into one type of card (so the rules for them are all identical), and I have now only three types of cards: ambulators, machines, and devices.

The ambulators are built by paying the cost on the bottom of the card, and activated by paying the cost on the left. They provide the benefits listed in the on the right, and have the abilities listed in the center. Ambulators have a Spark modifier of 0.
Machines are built in the exact same way as ambulators, however they have a modifier of -2, which makes them easier to build than ambulators. The other difference is that machines cannot be moved unless the person moving the machine spends 1 strength per output symbol on the machine.

Devices are built in the same way as ambulators, however they h…

NagaDemon 2016: Day 11

I sort of took a few days "off", so I am a little behind. I have given stats (but not abilities) to all of the 148 cards in the main deck, and the 12 character cards that currently remain in the game. I haven't yet made all of the room cards, so I still have work on that front. I also have a lot of mechanics dreamed up, which I will outline here:

Players start with a player card that has stats similar to any other normal card. Each player card has a generic backside that gives them +2 "Spark", and perhaps other generic bonuses so they can remain hidden until they want to reveal who they are (and still have a bonus).

Each player card has a special objective that they can complete for bonus points, most of which has them repairing the castle in order to complete it.

Each player can build clanks and add cards to clanks and other core parts by using "build points" which they get based on their cards in play, and which refresh each turn. Clanks have stats,…

NagaDemon 2016: Day 3

I have 294 card names created... All of them are based on actual things from the original comic (people, things, places). Perhaps I bit off more than I can reasonably chew, but I going to try making as many of them as I can.

I will probably end up throwing out half of them.

At least I won't have to come up with that many names of my own :)

Todo: make game abilities for them all...

This is going to be a hard NagaDemon

NagaDemon 2016: Day 2

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I am beginning to work on my idea - turning it into a game. Right now I am in the "throw all of the ideas together, and then figure out how the mechanics will work. I am thinking that powerful cards will produce 3x the stuff that they take to make, and the weak ones will go nearly to producing 1x as many things as they take.


I haven't yet started on the naming of the rooms. I am just brainstorming all of the cards right now.

Getting geared up for NagaDemon

I played roll for the galaxy and broom service for the first time on Friday. Both were interesting, however I like race better than roll right now.

Broom service was quite interesting. There were elements of set collection, press your luck, and second guessing the other players.

Sunday Alison and I played Forbidden Desert, which seems to me like a better Forbidden Island. My phone wanted to call the game Forbidden Dessert, which would be another game entirely.

I am just about to start NagaDemon for another year. This year I have been thinking of making a Girl Genius themed game that reimplements Sorcery, Inc. But fixes the worst parts of it.

It starts on November first, so I haven't done much more than mull ideas over, but hopefully I can get a lot done by the end of November.

The things that I want to fix about sorcery are the the lack of a scoring method (currently you either win or lose, but you don't really have points), and the overly abstract nature of the resources.

I a…

Arika McClure: the first person to punch out a spaceship

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I just went to my 3rd Board Game Design Guild Meeting last night. Since there were not enough people who brought games, we ended up playing The Age of Vikings as one of the two games that were played. The people seemed to understand the game and we got through an entire game as well.

The notes that I took (of the comments that people made) were as follows:
When someone buys points, following players should have to pay 3 to buy points. (this is sort of against my original idea, however I see why this would seem a reasonable thing to say.)Viking games should have more warfare (This was reiterated at least twice. I need to do some theme work, apparently).Fiddly rules should be on a card (I can totally do this - I already have such a card, and expanding it into a mat wouldn't be that hard)Perhaps there should be disputed territories: when a player takes over an island half way they can block the other player from benefiting from it. (not sure if I love this. I want the game to move alo…

Extinction Events

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Te tried out the chieftains, but they were not balanced. We had to spend way too much effort fighting them off. We have ideas about how to fix that, but I have been working on a new game that just came to my head instead of Age of Vikings.

The new game is tentatively called "Extinction Events" (though that is not really that good of a name). It is about building a species of animal, and using it to survive various extinction events. The player that has the largest population by the end of the game is the player that wins.

The species are collections of cards splayed in various directions (splay mechanic is taken from both innovation as well as chibi mob). The game is still not playable, but it was fun to start it out. Here are what the cards look like at the present time:


I will post here if it becomes playable.

Chieftains to the rescue!

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Friday we played another game of TLDR at lunch, and we did much better. We still haven't finished a game yet, but I suppose that the game is a fairly long one, so it makes sense.

I also came up with a new modification to The Age of Vikings - Chieftain meeples. Instead of gaining threat, players add chieftain meeples to their islands, and those meeples reduce the defense of the islands that they are on. Once another player conquers the island the meeples are removed, or the player may spend an action to remove the meeples. This removes and replaces the 'Threat' mechanic completely. I look forward to trying it out and seeing if it works.

Finally, I have been working more and more on Jurassic Galaxy, and I am getting close to making up a prototype and testing it out again. I currently have planet tiles, tech cards, plant cards, animal cards, and contracts. The animals are not completely finished, but it is coming along.

The Crushing Defeat

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Yesterday we played Terran League of Defense Robots at work for the first time. It went really badly. One player thought it would be funny to play all of the hardest foes that he was dealt, so the players lost pretty quickly. Despite this, three of the players expressed interest in playing again.

Multiple of them seemed to understand how to build a robot and most of them wanted to try to fight off the alien threat.
The mothership that they drew (which was played on the second turn by the turncoat player) was the easiest mothership possible, so they still had a chance when it came out, but they quickly lost as more and more killer aliens appeared.
I didn't learn nearly anything at all from the playtest that could help the game, so it was almost a complete loss for me. The only two take homes were the fact that I need to balance the motherships against each other, and that I need to stress the necessity of cooperation to the playtesters when I introduce the game. It is hard enough t…

A solo game.

I just played a solo game with the Alien Destruction cards in. I added 3 copies to see if it felt right. It was hard, and they are so annoying, but it was doable (and probably easier than double alien meeples), so mission accomplished.

I did, however come up with more balance issues. For one thing, bad draw luck made the final two cards in the part deck the two I needed to defeat five of the first six aliens. That made for a really rough start.

I think that I need to genericize damage in some way, perhaps make any two attack symbols count as one other attack symbol of your choice.

The mother ship was an amazing fight, and also way too hard. I had nearly every tech researched, but I still couldn't defeat her without blowing up parts.

The types that the mothership required were acid fire and lightning 2x each, and there is no weapon that provides that, so I had to use 4 different weapons to get it. I ended up building a monster of a robot that had practically no healing. I blew up t…

Alien Destruction

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Over the last week I played three more games of Terran League of Defense Robots (which also has a lot of other names), and one more game of The Age of Vikings.

TLDR is coming along nicely. The last few games have been pretty smooth. I have added character cards, and modified a lot more about the game. The game is still way too hard, but I have begun to work on adjusting the difficulty in a downward direction. I also have nothing in the rules about how to actually fight, so I need to add that stuff in.

The way that I am decreasing the difficulty might be interesting to some, so I will discuss it now. The game used to get harder each time the deck was shuffled because a new alien meeple would come into play each shuffle, and the aliens would do 1 more things each round than they used to do. This proved to ramp up the difficulty really fast, so instead I decided to add a card to the deck called Alien Destruction.


Players may put any number of Alien Destruction cards into the deck to set …