Long time no see!
It has been a long time since we talked and boy has a lot of things happened. Last we got to chat was back in June of 2018. Since then I've been married, finished school, sat for my boards, and have been licensed in Oregon.
Writing it down makes it seem like a short sentence isn't enough to convey the range of emotions, hard work, and time that has gone into that process. There was so much more that went into all that time. The highs, the lows, the long ass waiting period, the short nights and long days. I can't just encompass it with a sentence.
That being said, that's not why I'm back up and running. Having just got back from GameStorm a day ago I'm ready and raring to move forward with my Kickstarter plans for Escape the Dungeon. I've got completely registered in Oregon as an LLC and have begun the process of working through some quotes to get the game printed. My next steps are to print up some review copies and send them out to people to review and hopefully drum up some good will before it launches in August.
Escape the Dungeon has been a love process that I've sometimes hated so much I've not even touched it in a years time. However, the time has come that I need to push it out the door and allow it to fly. This is both because I can't conceive of any new tweaks that are needed with the game and...I'm done with it. I want to move on and build expansions for it and build other games.
In other news, while at GameStorm I was able to debut two other games that I've been working on and had some good portions and some bad portions. The Space Mining game (previously Space Game) turned out ok. There are still some tweaks I need to make on it and a LOT more playtesting but it's in a good enough position I don't feel the need to really work on it too hard. As for Under Attack (new to you), it turned out really well and I had a lot of players who wanted to play. However, that also ensured I got a lot more feedback from it. The biggest complaint was how alike it was to Stone Age and other games like it. And...yes. I can completely see it and need to fix it. There was also the request to make it more cooperative and less competitive. While in the minority making it more cooperative might do the same to it as it did to Escape the Dungeon. In that, it completely changed the way the game work for the better and I couldn't think of changing it back.
Well, I'll leave off for now and hopefully get some sleep. I'll talk to ya'll later!
Has anyone heard about this yet? A quickstarter? Apparently it's a challenge from Oscar Lhermitte, a long time Kickstarter creator. He's made a challenge to come up with a project and refine it in 3 months. Additionally it will be on Kickstarter less than 20 days, ask for no ad support, have no stretch goals, AND ask for less than $1000.
This intrigued me. I started working on another game when I found out about it but realized that Sorcerer's Duel is actually a better game for it. I've already had numerous play tests of the game and made refinements already. In fact I have a surprise for you all. I've been playing around with card layout ideas and come up with one for Sorcerer's Duel I think will work well. Additionally I've reworked the decks once again and have uploaded the files to Dropbox here.
Once I have the Kickstarter page up and nearly ready I'll ask for advice on it and then launch. See ya'll soon!
So it's been a number of days since I hosted Space Game and Sorcerer's Duel at the Second Saturday Playtest. Overall things went well. While playing Space Game however, some players were receiving elements from planets that didn't have that element associated with them. I realized I'd made a mistake and packed Space Game Mine cards wrong.
Given that fact, the play test itself wasn't a great measure of how the game stood at the moment. I also realized that by increasing the distance of some of the planets from Airia, the trips to go out and gather materials and supplies further exacerbated the problem of "lost time." Lost time is where a player can only complete 1 action on their turn while leaving the secondary half of their turn unused. This is a common problem with board games. I had thought by increasing the distance and manipulating the actions a slight bit would relieve this issue. I was mistaken.
I haven't been able to do it yet but I need to fully deconstruct the board, the cards, and the actions available and revamp the entire thing. I may move to add an asteroid or derelict vessel in the game to liven up the starting portion of the game where it's not very quick. Additionally given the distance between planets and Airia, it has increased the gameplay tie as well. I want game play to sit at no more than 1 hour, (including explanation). It's currently sitting at well over 1.5 hours.
As for Sorcerer's Duel, it also had some issues. Two players dueled, gave various feedback while playing, and then asked if they could play it again. The thinking was that the player who lost, had just been dealt a poor starting hand and was not able to get things up and running.
That was not the case. It in fact boiled down to 1 card in particular that was screwing things up for him. I knew that that particular card was causing issues with the game, and had taken steps to mitigate it. However, those steps I'd taken had not done much to change the outcome.
Typhoon, the cards name, allows you to rotate 3 elements in the center 180 degrees. Originally this only required you to have a certain amount of mana. Then I added the caveat that a player needed to discard a card to actually play it. This additional caveat didn't help much at all. So now I added in that Typhoon needed to be destroyed after play, as well as increasing it's mana cost. I'm hopeful this will mitigate some of the issues. I also reduced the number of Typhoon cards in the deck.
I also added in two other cards with this. One, Mulligan, allows the player to discard their entire hand and draw back up to 4 cards. The other, Chaos, allows the player to rotate all cards 180 degrees. This has the benefit of mixing up all of the elements to the opposite side, not just by choice.
I'm hoping that with these additional cards as well as the reduction of replayability of Typhoon will ease playing and increase fun. For the rules sides of things I also stated that the element cards at the beginning of each round must be set back to their starting state. (i.e. two facing one player and two facing the other player)
If you want the new decks and ruleset it's available here.
I'm still not sure who's reading this blog but I'll continue updating as I work on various games. Last you heard I was getting antsy for progress. I was fortunate that last night, during my game night, two of my friends, who play many card games (including MTG), were able to play Sorcerer's Duel and give me some good feedback. Together with them I made some upgrades to the deck and even gave the spells names. Although some are quite good and others are...a stand in, I felt a lot better having worked on it.
Additionally they pointed out some flaws in the rulebook that I hadn't even noticed. I feel I'm getting better writing rulebooks as I progress down my path as a game designer. Like many other skills, you need to use the skill, hone your skill, and refine what you've worked on before to gain any increase or mastery of said skill. That said, I still have a long way to go as well.
In other news, I'm gearing up to, hopefully, be complete with Escape the Dungeon's box and rulebook. I'm going to be spending the weekend reworking the artwork and layout of the rulebook and box to accommodate the new size. I'm wanting the box to be an 8x8x2. I feel this is a good size for any box and will allow for the additions of expansions when I can create them.
With all the news out of the way I leave this with you my readers. The updated versions of Sorcerer's Duel. Print, play, and give me feedback if you will.
Sorcerer's Duel Pnp
I’m getting antsy again.
To further explain, I feel the work I’ve done on some, ok all, of my games has stalled a bit and am wanting to get something out in the world.
To date, I’ve nearly completed the upgrades to Escape the Dungeon, further refined Space Game (still no good title), costed out some projects, and created a 2 player game, Sorcerer’s Duel, that is going to have minimal artwork. (Kinda like Cheapass Games)
Despite all that work, I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything. I do acknowledge that Space Game and Sorcerer’s Duel need more playtesting and Escape the Dungeon needs to be printed in review copies and subsequently sent out to reviewers. My 2 main issues with that is, I don’t have a big pool of play testers to use AND I am currently limited on monetary capabilities.
I could easily start up a quick Kickstarter for Sorcerer’s Duel but don’t want another failure on my hands. What do you, my unresponsive masses, think?
PnP Playtest (Sorcerer's Duel)
I have built a PnP of a two player game I've been tooling around with for a bit. Feel free to download, print, and play this game. If you have any questions, please ask them. If you have any suggestions on ways to improve it, I'm all ears. It's purposefully created in greyscale for ease of printing and may stay like that for production. (unsure)
At the current moment it will not be available for purchase. This is not due to any copyright issues, but more of the fact the game is just not ready for release.
It requires a print of 2 (12x18) sheets and 1 (8.5x11) sheet as well as 2d6 dice. 1 d6 and 1 d3 is even better for the game but 2d6 will work just as well. This works out to be 36 cards, 1 rulebook, and 2 dice. It would be packaged into a tuckbox of sorts.
It’s an EGG day!
I’m currently at the Holiday Inn in Springfield, OR. I’m here for the Eugene Games Gala, aka EGG, for their game day. There’s probably 20 people here, besides me, enjoying games and making connections. Although small, the atmosphere in here is jovial and enjoyable.
I’ve played Escape the Dungeon once and Space Game once here as well. I got good feedback on both games. I don’t think most of the feedback will make it into the games, rehashing of old concepts, but it’s always nice to make a connection.
Sadly I was not able to stay the entire time because I had a food tasting for my wedding in September.
I was able to go to the 2nd Saturday Playtest and Playtest Space Game again. That Playtest went much better. I’m having issues with catching up. It seems like when one player gets their engine running the other players are left in the dust and they can’t have a chance at winning. The point spreads of the wins reflect that. First game was 16-12-1 and the Second game was 12-5-1.
Each time, that player either didn’t understand the actions of the game, had a hard time deciding what action to use on their turn, or just never got a productive turn where all the cards were in their favor.
More thought is is required to fix these issues!
First week back from Gamestorm 20 and I’m already hard at work on a new game. I got the idea on the drive home. It’s a space based mining game.
I haven’t built much story into the game just yet, but the mechanics are working quite well already. I playtested it today, for the first time ever, and there were no major glitches. (Unheard of for me) And I literally mean the first Playtest. I haven’t done any special work on it or any internal playtesting at all!
Here are some screen shots of the creation and playtesting that went on.
Its clear I have more work to be done on it, but for the most part, things are smooth. I need to add in action cards for players to use on their turns as well as the ability for players to upgrade their ships. (Maybe as an expansion?)
Space Game (Still a working title) will be made into its own page here pretty soon so you can see what’s going on with it.
As for Escape the Dungeon, I’m hard at work refining that game as well and am almost ready to declare myself done with the game and be ready for work on an expansion for that game. I’m thinking...different terrains.
Well...As you can probably tell, it’s Monday and I didn’t post for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. As with happens with conventions, I was very busy, very tired, and making friends.
Things went well at Gamestorm 20. I got to meet a lot of fun people, had Escape the Dungeon played multiple times and got a lot of good feedback. Over the course of the next month I’m going to be updating the game to tweak the Wizard, rewrite the rules (Again!), and make the icons bigger.
We are planning on Kickstarting Escape the Dungeon next year around this time. Stay tuned for updates.
In other news, I’ll be working hard on other games in my repertoire. Additionally we may have a special announcement about something to do with Game Lab, but I can’t say anything yet.
Gamestorm 20 Day 1
Here we are, Gamestorm 2018 Day 1.
I haven’t done much work as Algerian but since wearing the polo shirt, I’ve been recognized multiple times. So that’s a blessing.
Ive already ran Virulence (by Genius Games) twice and ran Ascension (by Stone Blade Entertainment) once. My game Escape the Dungeon will be run tomorrow twice.
I’m intending on using this Gamestorm to further my brand and play games. I’m not so worried about selling anything but to slowly meet and greet people. If I make a few more connections this year I’ve done a good job. Well, that and to pretty much finalize Escape the Dungeon.
My initial idea is to release Escape the Dungeon Q4 this year. The likelihood of that however is...not quite reality but also not quite a pipe dream. With my marriage, the end of school, my ARRT exam, and life all coming down around the same time, I’m afraid that EtD will fall by the wayside. I’ve built too much into the game to NOT give it my full undivided attention.
Day 1 is moving along. Expect an update tomorrow. :)
One man team heading the independent board game company in Eugene, OR.