Tuesday, February 28, 2017

More things than expected

Much of my time recently has been spent gearing up for SaltCon. If you don't have tickets yet buy some now, it starts on Thursday!

We played a game of The Perfect Moment, and also Avalon at work on Friday. Avalon is a fun lying game. I like it much better than the other lying games that they all love, because you can actually deduce things. I was the Assassin once, and we totally aced the entire game, and then I guessed Merlin as well (though we won the game). On the second game, we won as the good without them guessing Merlin, and then on the third game the good guys won hard core until the Merlin guess, which made the bad guys win. So, I won two out of three games.

On Friday night we had a local game group get together, and we played The Perfect Moment as well as Age of Vikings. I practiced teaching it in preparation for my presentation on Thursday. We figured out some parts of the presentation that need more work, and my wife engineered a killer game engine that blew the competition out of the water. She won with about 80 points (which is more than 20 points higher than I have ever seen the game go before), so that was pretty cool.

I could have built the same engine to mirror her, but I wanted to see how it would fare if she was unopposed. It was really powerful. I haven't yet decided if it was brokenly powerful or not, but I think that I will probably modify one of the cards involved to make it lose some of its speed (which would probably still leave it as a viable strategy, but not allow it to get as out of hand.)

The game is really about finding those power combos, though, so I don't want to nerf it that hard. It is not like all of the other players do not have access to the exact same abilities (since you can worship any player's god that you want.)

Here are my notes from Saturday night:
  • Armor - make it better
  • Gimp the god of trading tokens? Multi deity?
  • Fix the helpful card - make it have the new costs.
  • Clarify how to draw leaders order in rules
I am feeling more ready for the presentation than I was a week ago, but I still want more time practicing. I have been playing the game at work a fair amount, and it is helping out, so hopefully I am ready on time.

I am also making some changes to Terran League of Defense Robots - I need to arrange another play session to test all of them out to make sure that they work. I should do that some time in March.

Also, I just set up a page on Patreon to get funding for my various creative projects. If you like any of my games, and want me to continue working on them, feel free to support me and tell me which game you want me to work on. Right now I tend to work on whatever game is interesting to me at the moment, but I wouldn't mind having direction from the masses.

Finally, I have some exciting news: Polynesia was just declared to be a finalist in The Cardboard Edison. I have been working on it for quite a few years, so it is not entirely surprising to me that of all the games that I submitted it was chosen.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Two playtests, One day

At work we played The Age of Vikings at lunch. It went fairly well. We nearly finished the game in an hour (which is quite a feat). If we had finished I think that I would have won, however that is not guaranteed.

The game is getting its final polish before I present it to the judges for the Ion Award. It seems to be going well, however I have two more test presentations at least before I consider it all done. When I play against the judges, I want them to be able to understand the game, but not have any real hope of winning (because I know the strategy, and they don't). Here's to hoping that I strike the right balance.

We also played a game of The Perfect Moment tonight, and had some things that we wanted to change and or try out. Here are our notes:
  • Flowers should say "Swap a face up card with a card from your hand. Do this once or twice."
  • Add 1 (or more) face up card to simulate another player.
    • Everyone can use the ability on it that is facing the center of the play area?
    • Players may also score the card for points?
  • Post the new artwork to the internet. (done)
  • Update the rules to match the current way of playing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Somehow, nothing of interest has happened.

I brought The Perfect Moment to the last BGDG meeting. It was at Demolition Games for the first time. The venue is nicer than the last place that we met at. We had 11 people, and only one person brought a game (which only supported two players). I presented The Perfect Moment, which received good feedback. We decided to change the Ring card to allow players to trade cards. I also showed off my new artwork for the first time. They liked the new look better than my original look.

I have gotten the laser cutter working really well. It cut out all of the cards for The Perfect Moment. I should probably have it cut out tiles for Terran League of Defense Robots, but I have not spent the time to do that yet.

I have, however, been preparing to present The Age of Vikings at SaltCon. The Age of Vikings was declared a finalist in the Ion Awards this year. That has been where a lot of my time has gone, but I have also been fine tuning my laser cutter, and cutting out cardboard Montessori materials for my wife.

I have also fallen in love with Tigris and Euphrates recently. It is an interesting game. There are a lot of things that you can do, and the available strategies are pretty cool. I have been playing the android app, but I am thinking about buying a copy of it.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

The Perfect Moment

I have been making good progress on The Perfect Moment, my submission to the current Button Shy contest.

My wife and I have played two more games, and it is still an interesting problem to resolve. The amount of choices that you have some turns is really high, so people prone to AP might not do so well when trying this game out, however we both love puzzles, so it works for us.

I came up with a really good strategy last game. It worked well for me. The strategy was to play two cards that are the same color but have no overlapping abilities. Then you have access to score all cards of that color as long as you can rotate your cards freely.

Getting cards that meet those requirements is left as an exercise to the reader.

I think that I will remove more attacks. They still slow down the game and don't improve your position.

As a sidenote, the rules can be found Here, and the cards can be found Here.

Here are my notes from last playtest:
Keys should say "draw a card"
Cards that discard and then draw only draw if you discard?
Swap out Rings ability for "Return a card to your hand, play a card from your hand."
Add icons to cards in place of numbers

The artwork is also improving. I spent about 15 minutes and made a card template that makes the cards look much better than the normal flat appearance. I also selected (With the help of the spirit of a co-workers wife) a font that looks pretty nice.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Lasers and Wallet Games.

Last weekend I built a laser cutter. I intend to use it to make higher fidelity hex tiles than I used to be able to make (and also square, and round ones as well.) I bought some cardboard, but haven't yet tested it against cardboard. It cuts through paper like nothing, so I think that it should work. Now I need to make up artwork for the tiles for TLDR.

I have just also discovered a new contest, and hope to enter it (in addition to all of the other contests that I entered this year. It is the Button Shy Wallet Game Contest, and it looks pretty interesting. They limiting factors make it quite a constrained game design, which really tends to focus my mind and make things move along more quickly for me.

As a side note, I really respect Button Shy for inventing an idea that I totally also invented (albeit a little after them). Also, the published Avignon (which I totally play-tested and provided feedback for). They are one of the companies that I would like to publish a game through, because I can get behind their way of publishing.

I already have a first prototype even though I haven't known about it for three days. Right now it is about engineering the "perfect moment" through the use of time travel (righting a wrong, killing hiler, making someone fall in love, etc). Each player has four cards: two in their tableau, and two in their hands, and they try to make them match in a specific way in order to score points. The more matches you make before the game ends the better your score. The abilities that are available to the players are limited based on what cards are out.

I hope that it goes well. The first playtest was a little bit complicated, but the game did end successfully, so I have a good start.

Finally, Terran League of Defense Robots is moving along a little slowly right now. I have spent so much time on the laser cutter that I haven't really done much on anything else. Perhaps this weekend will remedy that.