Cartel News – Korea, A maze, Piston

Cartel is a card game that I’m working on that’s in prototyping stage. You can get the Print and Play files here.

So many things going on! I’ve kinda left Cartel alone for a while, and all of a sudden, it’s sprung back to life with not one but THREE bits of exciting news!

 

Finalist: 2014 Korea Board Games Contest

Cartel has been selected as a finalist in the 2014 Korean Board Game Contest! Annually, Korea Board Games runs a game design contest on Board Game Geek. This year, the theme was “fast play” – or games that end in 60 minutes, and Cartel just so happens to fit that very well, so I entered it.

Out of 214 worldwide submissions, they selected 25 finalists, and I’m super proud to say that Cartel is among them.

What’s also very cool is that on top of the usual finalists they also selected five elementary school kids’ designs! How cool is that! Very cool to see that Koreans actively encourage game design as a proper career path even from a young age!

 

Set phaser to A MAZE 2014

Cartel is being shown at A MAZE 2014 – Third International Games and Playful Art festival, right here in Joburg! I’ll be there, there’ll be dedicated people there to teach the game to anyone who wants to play, and it’s gonna be awesome :D

What both of the above means is that I have to make some prototypes to A) Send to Korea and B) get it made to be played at A MAZE, so that got me thinking – what can/should I update in Cartel?

 

Piston City Cartel

So there’s this idea that’s I’ve been kicking around in my head. That idea is Piston City. A Steampunk Noir setting where crime isn’t only bad, it’s dirty. Where government regulate the “air” you breath, where steam vents can be, and how tall your umbrella can go. But all rules are more often broken than enforced, and steam-powered automatons run half the city’s businesses and amenities. Or do they?

Cartel: Piston City Racketeers

In this vision of Cartel, criminal rackets build legitimate businesses so they can acquire steam automatas legally (regulations require a registered business, along with site-inspections, for an automata to be issued), then put them to more nefarious uses, like territorial battle among rival Cartel gangs.

The idea is that I can take Piston city and stick multiple titles under its umbrella, and make a bit of a cool running story type thing around it. Build a world that I’d love to populate and grow and nurture into the scumbag dystopia of mecha and dirty cops I love to hate!

What do you think?

1. Should I not bother with it cos I can’t dictate what publishers – if I ever get that far – do with a game?

2. How do I name the buggers? I *would* like to start names with the game title itself, so like Cartel of Piston City… Or Cartel in Piston City… Cartel: Piston City… That sounds retarded. Right now Piston City Cartel sounds the least wonky… But again yea,h I wanna start with the game title :P

3. How’s the art look? Does the art and the story line up? :)

 

If you’re interested in giving Cartel a play, you can download the Cartel Print and Play files here right here!

 

Awesome, thanks for catching up with me on Cartel, please comment if you have any questions! :D

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Ultimate Johannesburg Boardgaming Guide

I’m a Joburger boardgamer, and I’m always on the lookout for:

  • More games to play (good ones, though I’ll try everything once)
  • More people to play with (boardgames are all about the meta – playing the same game with different people makes it a completely different experience!)
  • More flexibility (the more groups you know the more you can find the right time to fit around your schedule)

If any of the above ideas tickle your fancy, I issue you my official Seal Of Awesome. So many people stick to their regular playgroup and never venture out of it, so I thought it would be great if we all came together in glorious boardgy more often than the annual events!

 

The focus here is on playing

I have collected here from my experience and some grapevines some of the best ways I know to get playing with groups outside of your immediate friends.

 

1. Boardgames Joburg group on meetup.com

Joburg Boardgamers meetup group

Meetup.com is a great place to find common interest groups who are well-organised and regular… Yes… Regular. the Boardgames Joburg Group is a great group that has a general meetup at least once a month where people bring and play a pile of different games, and often has themed meetups in between for the popular choices (For example Catan and Dominion).

Notable games being played: Every kind of game, really.
Frequency:
Once a month minimum, often 3-4 times a month.
Base: The most common venue is around William Nicol close to the N1, but it varies.
Contact: http://www.meetup.com/Board-Games-Joburg/

 

2. Amuse Cafe Boardgame Tuesday Nights

Amuse Cafe

Amuse Cafe is a cool little pub/bar joint in Linden that is super boardgame friendly. They have boardgames that patrons can pick up and play any time, but they’ve set aside Tuesday nights for boardgames. Once a month it’s a quiz night, but boardgamers still welcome. They have decent pub grub, liquor license, and amazing Glühwein when winter has come. Lots of character, it’s like a Central Perk for boardgames :) I’d go more often if my Tuesdays weren’t already taken by Capoeira.

Notable games being played: Pub-style games, so more casual, but anything goes too. Also a monthly quiz.
Frequency:
 Once a week, after 18h30.
Base: Linden: Shop 12 Manlam court 34 5th Street, corner 4th Avenue
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/AmuseGamesNight

 

3. Animeworx Boardgame Fortnights

AnimeWorx Boardgame nights

AnimeworX is our local mainstream geekery retailer, and known for hosting a couple of different clubs. Their games evenings used to be weekly but had been changed to every two weeks (that’s what fortnightly means, I’m sure you know what it means, but that was for *their* benefit). Could you say just say “Fortnights”? Cos it happens to be night too? Or do you have to say “Fortnightly Nights”? Anyway the AWX evenings are good ones, they’ve even been thoughtful enough to disallow Warhammer games, which in the beginning kind of overtook most of the tables (because they get REALLY sprawling and isn’t very social :P). This has made the event a lot friendlier and social.

Notable games being played: X-Wing miniature game, Netrunner, but also whatever else happens to be there. Great variety. No Warhammer!
Frequency:
 Once every two weeks, after 18h30
Base: AnimeworX, Brightwater Commons
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/AWX.AnimeWorX/events

 

4. Outer Limits - Public Holidays & other whens

Outer Limits Melville

On most public holidays, Outer Limits (the quintessential Joburg hobby shop!) hosts boardgame days. It starts right from the crack of the morning light (ok 9am) and runs till about 5-6ish. Super kudos for converting their holidays to work days, but a fun work day! Plenty of people turn up, plenty of different games get played. Outer Limits also has regular game nights for Magic the Gathering and Heroclix, two super popular collectible games, so definitely look them up if you enjoy those monstrously addictive games. They also do an annual Lory Park Zoo games day where we all go hang out at the Lory Park Zoo, play with big cat cubs, gorgeous parrots, enjoy nature and boardgames, in support of the great conservation work they’re doing just here in Midrand. It’s sublime!

Notable games being played: Everything ever.
Frequency:
 Once every two weeks.
Base: 8 Main Road, Melville 2092
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/outerlimits.melville/events

 

5. DeeTwenty Geeking Venue

DeeTwenty Geeking venue

 

(photo credit: mbLife - http://www.mblife.co.za/Passion/DeeTwenty-Geek-Street-Pippa-Tshabalala/)

DeeTwenty is a new concept in the boardgaming socials – a few intrepid geeks once had the same thought I did (riiiight up there in the opening paragraphs), so they started up a venue dedicated to geeking. It’s a really different concept – it’s not a restaurant, you don’t have food there. It’s not a shop, you’re not be tempted to buy something shiny, it’s not a pub, so you’re not gonna get sloshed, it’s just a simply pure geeking venue. So how it works is you pay for use of the venue. There are daily, weekly, monthly membership options, and they regularly have events going on. Check their calendar to see what’s on!

Notable games being played: Probably everything ever.
Frequency:
 Often, check the calendar!
Base: 18 Consuenol Dr, Randburg 2194
Contact: http://dee-twenty.com/calendar/

 

6. Netrunners SA Events

Android: NetrunnerSA 2014 Regional Championships

ANR:SA is our local Netrunner players community. We have events at least once a month, with cool swag and excellent people to play with, so if you enjoy deep, strategic card games, come join us! Netrunner is the BEST board/tabletop game ever. Richard Garfield took Magic: The Gathering, fixed all the gameplay problems with it (mana-screw syndrome, impossibly large card pool full of useless crap, decks that run themselves), then Fantasy Flight Games took the design and fixed distribution problems (Living Card Game format means no random boosters and stupid expensive singles, three-per-deck card limit means no stupid 30-of-a-single-card broken decks) and now it’s just sublime.

Notable games being played: Android: Netrunner.
Frequency:
 Once a month, at least. Also regularly at other meetups, including Amuse and AWX ones, as above.
Base: Usually at Outer Limits, as above
Contact: https://www.facebook.com/groups/netrunnerSAevents/

 

7. Outer Limits Pretoria Wednesday Nights

highres_271795072

Pretoria also counts! I haven’t been to the Pretoria Outer Limits, but they look like an amazing bunch over yonder. Every Wednesday night they have a boardgame night, and it looks like a great blast, especially if you’re closer to that side of town. However they’re also close to the Hatfield Gautrain station, so travel isn’t entirely impossible.

Notable games being played: Everything ever, but they also have a few dedicated groups to Android: Netrunner, and even Vampire: The Eternal Struggle, and other classics.
Frequency: Weekly
Base: Outer Limits Hatfield, by Varsity Bakery. 293 Lynnwood Road, Pretoria
Contact: http://www.meetup.com/Board-and-table-top-gaming-in-Pretoria/

 

That rounds off this list for now!

If I missed anything you know, please let me know via the comments under here, or you can Tweet me, or mail me, or whatever, and I’ll definitely add it here and issue updates :)

Play you around! :D

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Making the art for A MAZE Johannesburg 2014

One day, Thorsten Wiedermann, the mastermind behind A MAZE Festival saw that we were discussing the upcoming 2014 A MAZE Johannesburg on MakegamesSA. I suggested that the Joburg mascot could be:

amaze_joburg2

 

Thorsten saw that and approached me to make the art for the Joburg festival, and I agreed with much excitement :D The A MAZE Joburg unicorn wasn’t gonna fly, so I eventually made this baby:

amaze_design_v3_notext

I’m super excited for this year’s A MAZE Festival! :D Last year’s was simply amazing as we got to meet, hang out with and pick the brains of amazing people like Rami Ismail of the incredible Vlambeer team, Sos Sowski the Swedish Mad Scientist of Video Games, and many more.

Follow this page for more details of the upcoming A MAZE Johannesburg 2014!

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(video) Chatting about Game Dev, Comics, Passion Creative Industries in South Africa

I was invited by Openroom.tv to a livestream show Baxoxe with Ray Whitcher!

If you’re a TL;DR kinda person, you can watch the full show here:
http://www.openroom.tv/#!baxoxe/c2ky

Baxoxe is a creative chit chat show that showcases and highlights creatives throughout South Africa – to show South African creatives the diversity that exists in the South African creativescape. (you know, other than advertising)

Baxoxe_01

For the show, I prepared a Pecha Kucha (a presentation format focussed on conciseness – 20 slides, 20 seconds each) speaking about game design theory and what game design and development and communities are all about in SA. It was perhaps a bit over-ambitious as I went into rattle mode, sang a little song, and attempted some Xhoza clicking, but you can be the judge of that :)

We also had a blast answering live twitter questions, had a creative quiz-out (chickens DID cross the road), and generally had a lot of fun in the freezing Greenside cold. Ray was wearing shorts. That puzzled me.

Baxoxe_07

Ray spoke about the comic industry in SA in general, and we discuss how we all should be pushing our passion industries forward.

A big thanks to Odd Cafe for the fantastic venue, the boys and gals of Baxoxe for the invite and organisation, and Openroom.TV for the excellent production. It ran like mice who were not blind in the least :) Baxoxe is a great initiative and I certainly look forward to their future shows!

How are you doing with your passion industry?

Watch the full show:
http://www.openroom.tv/#!baxoxe/c2ky

Baxoxe_08     Baxoxe_05

Baxoxe_03     Baxoxe_04

Baxoxe_06

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Cartel updated, design mock-ups, better rules, Print & Play Files out now!

Cartel is a card game that I’m working on that’s in prototyping stage. You can get the Print and Play files here.

Cartel’s got a big update!

Mockups of the card art (not the design in the PNP, they’re for experimenting with layouts and legibility:

 

card_business     card_building

card_back     card_pocket

 

But wait, there’s more!

  • Completely reworked print and play files, much more white! And colour added in case you want to use it. But you can play in black and white too.
  • A couple of cards were changed for balance.
  • Comprehensive overview added, read that for a quick summary of how the game works!
  • A lot more comprehensive rules – complete with illustrations to make it a lot easier to understand.
  • Card backs included in case you want to use them :)

Click here to Download the latest Cartel Print and Play files

Also please remember to hit the feedback thread on Boardgamegeek - any and all feedback and constructive criticism welcome!

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