Showing posts from 2018

Multi-use cards

I realize that the longer I play games the more drawn I am to card games. Cards are just so darn versatile. You can use them to do nearly anything. I have been thinking a lot about multi-use cards recently.

Obviously multi use cards are when cards in a game can be used for more than one thing, however cards are not just single or multiple use - there is a spectrum of multi-usedness that ranges from single use cards, all the way up to many use cards.

Single use cards:
Splendor is a good example of a game that has single use cards. There is not really anything to do with any card in Splendor except to play it to the table for its points and free money.

Clank is another. In clank, once you have a card, you really just have to play it for its effect.

Dual use cards:
Temporum is a good example of dual use cards. The player cards each have an ability (which consists of the money that they give when played, and the text that they have in their effects box), and also a scoring bar, which tell…

Madness and Motu

I have been working more on the Citadel of Madness, and on Motu. I finished up another round of changes to the Citadel, and am ready to playtest it again. I also finished up a new version of Motu, and played it twice on Tuesday - once at work and once at the board game design guild.

Here are my notes from the BGDG:
Make it obvious that activate is bottomHouse, meeple and x are all the same.Taking over more islands should cost more shellsPower up gather again!Swap gather to 2x and action to 1x shells.Ability to lock out cards by playersReword Marioso - to activate one card per turn max.Tie leaders and gods to strategy cards for legibilityCombine worship & deify, and trade & sacrificeUse goods as cost for abilitiesPut worshippers in corner of blue card, and tuck that corner.Up player interaction I will work on updating this stuff as I have time to. Perhaps I will even drop the game to a 36 card game from a 52 card game if I combine the strategies together.
The kickstarter for The…

Yet Another Brain Dump

I took The Citadel of Madness to the Board Game Design Guild meeting, and played it again. This  time with entirely new playtesters, so I got to see what a first time player feels again. I asked for first time players, so I am glad that I got them.

Here are my notes (*** means that I am going to do these things first)

Level up converters?Feels slow to take one action at a timeKeep track of who to pay?Swap white cubes for brown***End score: 17-1-2-6Encourage people to build more machines - how?Award points for more machines? ***Hiding actions in rooms failed - the game is just complexDrafting one card feels lame***take multiple cards as an action ***pay extra to take extra cards ***free cards every turn?drafting (or crappy actions) yield timebalance energy felt more valuable than othersremove balancebalance costs 2 generic energydon't make start device give specific energystarting device not able to upgrade?minions that can upgradeauto refresh minionsactivate all your minions as an …

More Motu

We played another two games of Motu (formerly Micronesia) the other day. Here are my notes:

Labor is a better Gather than Gather - Possibly make Gather also build more farms?
Islands should be worth 2 points each (or 3 if they have less places to tuck cards)
Laka sucks. Fix it.
Arohirohi should be: activate 1 ability n times.
Check the gods - they need to be weaker than the leaders without followers.
Hina is totally broken. Make her say 1+(n/4) points instead of 1+n points.
Perhaps some limit to the number of gods/worshipers per god is necessary. This will prevent the godsnowball of doom.

During the first game, I deified Hina, and then just won the game without any contest in four or five rounds. The game ended 13-26, and was not very fair.

Alison contended that Hina needed to be changed, and I agreed. She said that no strategy could overcome it, and I wasn't so sure. It seems that that there are multiple options for beating it, but they would all involve composing a good collecti…


I have recently been working on Micronesia a lot. I am still trying to find a good name for it - I might just go with the Maori word for island - Motu.

Either way, the game is ready to be brought to BGDG. I will have more to report about it after the 24th. Here is the end of my last game:
The left player won, but given one more turn, the right player would have won. It felt really close.
The game is still super unbalanced, but it is fun to make those crazy combos. I think that it plays like a Carl Chudyk game, which is really fun to me, given that I like his stuff a lot. I just have to make all of the cards broken the same amount, and then I will enjoy it even more.
I have also made a website over the last two days - one that is not yet complete, but at which you can see some of my icons. I need to still add a search feature, but once that is done I will have a much easier time keeping my new icons posted when I draw them.
Here it is (such as it is): https://publicdomainicons.firebase…

I Aten't Dead

I took a few weeks off from anything board games because after a reorganization at work, I suddenly found myself working on a far less desirable technology. All is well now, though. I went on a job hunt, and through the hand of providence secured a better paying job closer to home that allows me to set my own hours and work from home some times. I start next Friday.

I played two games of The Citadel of Madness on Friday, and had a pretty good time. Here are my notes from the games (and my explanations of them):

Name should be printed on both sides on part cards (I need to make it visually obvious that cards can be rotated 180 degrees, and making opposite facing names would do this. This is a really obvious solution to the issue, so I am happy that it was arrived at).Return all active workers to your mat (somehow the refresh action on the mat didn't say that, so I need to modify the action)Any ability that had an arrow takes your turn (this needs to be added to the rule doc, because…

Post SaltCon slowness

SaltCon was super fun. I played a bunch of games that were new to me, bought a bunch of games, and also pitched the Citadel of Madness to a publisher with moderate success.

My favorite game from the convention was Santorini. Alison's was Clank!. We had played neither before. As a result of this, I have a good idea for a birthday present for Alison.

When I pitched Citadel of Madness, Ryan liked the game, and said that he wants to see how it will develop, and would consider publishing it if I were to clean it up and change the score cards. I am happy with that. His ideas were quite fun, and I am going to try them out soon. I don't get to go to the next BGDG because I have a dentist appointment planned then, however hopefully by the one that is two after that I will be ready to go with my changes.

I have been drawing more icons, but haven't been able to work on my games very much - it has been pretty busy. That being said, I do have plans to do that soon - once I get the time…

Getting ready for Salt Con 2018

I have been working on The Citadel of Madness a lot recently. I have applied most of the changes that came from the last guild playtest, and they are working well. I also had a really helpful guy on the internet offer to create artwork for the game. The results speak for themselves:

I have been making good strides toward getting the game completed. Even though it is not yet all the way there, it is moving along fairly quickly, and it is making strides toward becoming a easier to understand experience for those involved.
I am preparing to submit it to Red Raven games. I think that Ryan could help to make it a better game than it would otherwise be. Perhaps he would even provide some final artwork for it.
I have also been working on Micronesia. The game is undergoing major revisions. I will probably hold off on anything big until after SaltCon, but the game is definitely scheduled for some more surgery before I am through with this round of editing.
The SaltCon math trade is upon me as…

Back to BGDG

After being sick and Christmas and such things, I finally got back to a BGDG meeting. We played "The Citadel of Madness" with two of Daniel's ideas applied. The two ideas were: removing rounds in favor of "refreshing" periodically, and removing "madness" in favor of "device levels"
Here are my notes [comments], and things that I plan on trying out in the immediate future: 1 color cards are no longer nearly as good - play a card for both energy? The low cost 4 type cost room cards might be too easy to complete - perhaps reduce their value. Time is still confusing 1 action per turn is good - it speeds up the game. Secret rooms? Possible ways to make the game have take that element [as an aside, I don't really want to add that type of play, but I am faithfully typing up these note, so I am recording them here] wipe out one/multiple rooms as an action so that other players cannot score them, and swap point cards with other players. Converters:…

Another feedback braindump.

I met with Daniel Peterson (of Mayday games) to show him some of my games. He was not impressed with any of them. Though that was true, we still had an interesting conversation, and I gained some good insight into what Mayday wants. I think it increasingly unlikely that I will ever get a game published by Mayday, because I enjoy a lot more calculation, accounting, and heavy, repeated planning than they want in a game.

The biggest take home was that I should be designing games for ADHD players, and that the math and accounting all has to happen in a very subtle way to be palatable to players. That being said, I have also determined that if Berrett likes a game, then it is possible that Mayday would like it too.

Here are my notes from the meeting.

The Madness Place:
madness should be integrated into other costs
high level machines should cost more to build
all cards should be level 2, and have the ability to level up (taking actions and or cards and or something)
perhaps tech tree your …

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I submitted Grab the Loot! to DV Giochi this week. I was originally preparing the game for Mayday games, but as I got to know Daniel better, I am not so sure it will fit with the direction that Mayday is going. Grab the Loot! definitely seems like something DV Giochi would like.

I haven't yet finished up with Age of Vikings, however I have been making good strides in Jurassic Universe. My wife and I played a game and talked through some major changes last night. I think it should balance the game nicely. I have also been using math to make the number of cards more correct, and have been toying with re-adding the tech deck.

Micronesia is currently on the back burner, I have been devoting its time to a Chronicles of Amber game currently in a really early stage. The game started when I listened to a podcast by Jason Tagmire, which reminded me of a "hell ride" from the Amber universe. The game is not really appropriate for Button Shy games, so Jason probably didn't help …

Jurassic Space again

The gorilla game is moving along. Rea likes it, so we have played a few games (without a traitor, however). We also played two games at work, and it was well received. The players liked the traitor mechanic. The bad guy might be too powerful, because he won handily, but I can always modify the setup in order to weaken him.

Two players were QA, and as such, they came up with all sorts of interesting interpretations of the rules. I need to specifically say that you cannot lay the gorilla down flat on the table when you are loading it up with other animals.

They also showed the need to come up with a timer to stop someone from taking way too long setting up their turn. They would certainly play the game again, and I am definitely going to continue working on it.

I have also been preparing Age of Vikings for submission to a publisher. I finally have a copy of it assembled again. My last copy was consumed in the Iludo game design competition. When the game won 2nd place, one of the stipulat…

I have a lot of things going on

With the new year, there have been tons of things happening.

I have submitted two games to the Cardboard Edison this year: The Citadel of Madness, and Grab the Loot. The feedback that I got from them was immensely helpful last year, so I am eagerly anticipating this year's results.

I also received a large package of board game parts (which I ordered) in the mail. The most exciting parts was the blue gorilla meeple. I have designed a dexterity game based on it (for the January 24 hour game design contest). It is called "Where there's gorillas there's hope". It is fairly simple, and has a traitor mechanic. When I finally get over this cold, I will certainly bring it to work, and see how the guys like it.

I also have been thinking about the 9 card design contest (I never intended to make a game for it, but one just arrived in my brain yesterday, and it is a really interesting idea. Perhaps you will hear more about it in future posts).

The Icon creation thread has ex…