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!
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?
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.
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. :)
Decided it was a good time for an update.
Mini Dungeon - Working hard on this concept. I like the portability of it and the replayability. I've had multiple playtests from multiple people, including running the game multiple times over days myself. This game is coming along nicely and has 'a good flow' (player's comment) about it. It's moving from Alpha to Beta staging. I'm starting to think about layout, colors, and ways to present the game to make it easier to understand.
When originally thought of this game, I was inspired by donjon and the black and white maps that were procedurally generated. I liked the black and white theme and made my maps similar to those. As the game progressed I was introducing colored cubes to represent things such as treasure chests, monsters, and doors. This allowed me to make things easier to count with victory points, but as another player pointed out, 'using small cubes directly on top of the board makes it hard to see any paths.' More thought is needed for this issue.
Escape the Dungeon - I finished writing the rules, uploading documents, and am starting to receive parts from my suppliers. I hope to have a playtest of the game, in it's "Final Form", before I run some Blind Playtests at GameStorm Con. I know I'm probably going to have a few minor changes to implement before Gamestorm but I don't see any major changes before that.
Pocket Games - This is an area that has started to capture my attention. Games that can be created and played by people with only 18 cards. I've come up with a few ideas, themes, that I want to work on, (Space, Kittens, and Social Deduction) but haven't yet made them coherent enough to start actually creating a prototype. More thoughts on this later, I hope.
MicRxobe - This was a failure, I admit, but I've gotten some good ideas about what to do. The game itself is ready to be purchased and played. The area I was...lacking, was a following. I told myself that at 1,000 Twitter followers I would put MicRxobe up on Kickstarter and I did. What I failed to take into account was advertising among those followers beforehand, reviews from other gamers, and a lack of polish on my page. I thought that $200 was a pretty low number, that I was just begging people to throw down $9 for a game in the US. Well, not really. I had my failure, I've looked at what needs to happen and I'm going to make it happen. Just not now. The game deserves a launch and entrance into the world, but I've got other projects that need my attention. I'll be turning back to it later.
I'll leave anyone reading this, with this. If you want to be a playtester of Escape the Dungeon, head on over to the Contact page and let me know. The more people play the game, the more feedback I get, and the better I can try and make it.
Clearly I didn't make my goal with MicRxobe. I thought the game itself was ready, and that I was ready with the community to introduce it to. I set a smaller goal of $200 because I wanted to introduce it slowly.
At the current moment, I'm not even introducing it. I made the decision to cancel the Kickstarter with a heavy heart but knowing that I would try to cull together information about the failure and relaunch at some point.
I've revamped the page here on Alerion Games to give more details and better pictures of the game itself. In fact I've revamped most of the website. There haven't been many changes that can be noticed from the front but on the backside of things...
I'm unable to put more time into MicRxobe at the moment as I'm gearing up for Gamestorm 2018 and planning on running Blind Playtests of another of my games called Escape the Dungeon. This is a game I haven't had the chance to talk about here but I talked about it quite often when I was with the Four Fine Fellows here in Eugene.
I've put 4 years into ETD and am much more comfortable to let it into hands, not my own, than any of my other games. I've also noticed a trend of mine to like Dungeon crawler games. I'm not sure if this is a flaw or not but fundamentally Escape the Dungeon and Mini Dungeon are two completely different beasts that happened to come from the same mind.
I may choose to spin Mini Dungeon off into space as a better theme, but for now I'm working with what I have.
If you'd like to be a Blind Playtester for Escape the Dungeon, head over to Contact, and let me know. I'd like as many opinions as possible.
One man team heading the independent board game company in Eugene, OR.