Results for category "Making Board Games"

5 Articles

Dubai: Selected as Cardboard Edison Award Finalist!

Last year in November, I made a game for a 24 hour game design contest on BGG, it was called Burjs, the word “burj” meaning “tower” in Arabic, like the tallest building in the world, the Burj Khalifa, in Dubai.

The game was spawned off of a previous game I had made called Cartel, whose central concept revolved around these 2D cards forming 3D isometric buildings.

While Cartel was cool, and was featured at AMAZE, our Indie game festival in Johannesburg, it wasn’t focussed on its core premise. As such, I felt, it suffered from an identity crisis. I sought to address that with this new design, by focussing strictly on the aspect of building. Simplicity is best!

Many iterations later, it’s now called Dubai for simplicity, and I liked it so much I entered it into the first Cardboard Edison Award. I had to make an awkward game introduction video :)

And Dubai was selected as one of 10 finalists out of 100+ entries! 😀

Much to my delight and surprise! :)

Right now I’m doing some final tweaks and balances to the game rules and structure to ensure that it’s as good as it can get before sending the final prototype (oxymoron!) off to Cardboard Edison for final judging. As that’s done I’ll put the latest files on.

For now, you can read more about the game, its evolution, and find the latest Print & Play files here on BGG :)

 

A great big shoutout to everyone who’s helped playtest this little guy, and given feedback. Trust me you’ll all get credit when the game has some kind of credit page :)

So so happy and flattered and all sorts of good vibes! 😀

 

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 😀

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 😛

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! 😀

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!

Prototyping Cartel – A city building, combat & traitor game

First of all, I’m looking for playtesters! The Print and Play component is being tidied up at the moment, but if you’re at all interested, please get me on my twitter, leave a comment here, or email me at twoplusgames at gmail dot com!

After a couple of playtests, some major tweaks and overhauls, I’m happy to show you my latest card game design – Cartel V3.0! 😀

Cartel is a two to four (tentatively) player game where you play the head of a corporation in a Cartel. On the surface, you’re building a metropolis of thriving commerce, but in the shadows, you vie for dominance against other Cartel lords by racketeering for territories with your hired muscle and manipulating the City by pocketing shady officials… But careful, rely on corruption too much, and everyone may be snitched out by a traitorous member of the Cartel!

Isometric stacking buildings with cards!

The design of this game began with the idea of cards that make isometric, stackable buildings. This idea lent itself to a game of territorial control – and as I’m the BIGGEST Netrunner fan in the world, it had started as a game called Corporate War – the name of a Netrunner card. (How’s that for a piece of pointless trivia :P) I’m not going into the history of this game much more than this 😛

Isometric stackable buildings with cards!

At the heart of Cartel are these buildings, or floors, or businesses, which give you points when they’re A) controlled by your thugs, AND B) placed correctly. There are four types of businesses in the game, each only generating benefits when placed in their preferred spot:

  • A – Anniewares General Stores are worth one point anywhere in the city. They are unrestricted in placement because Seven Elevens don’t care where they are.

  • T – TopTech Technologies are worth three points when they remain at the top of a building at the end of the game, because tech giants need a view.

  • G – Groundhog Coffees are worth two points when they’re on the ground floor, because I’ve never seen a Starbucks on the second storey.

  • D – DoubleDown Casinos are worth three points when they’re connected to another Double Down, because casinos need to be big.

The businesses are set up in the City, and each cartel boss vie for control with…

The Muscle

The thugs are what keeps what’s yours yours, and helps you move into what’s not yours. As you build businesses in the City, you gain more members in your gang, which you use to move around the board and control buildings. Conflict may resolve in the removal of opposing thugs if you manoeuvre a superior number into the right place!

Thugs are also one of the ways that the game may end – when any player reaches 10 thugs in their gang, the game ends because one of the gangs has reached super notoriety, and scoring commences.

The Muscle vs The Muscle

No honour among thieves

There is another set of cards that represent city officials, the proud people of City governorship… that you can get into your pocket to do your bidding. In addition to adding to your score, each personality has special powers when you buy them into your service: Constable Fernandez can call a police raid and force all thugs in one place to evacuate their current location, Senator Johns is less subtle and can pull two thugs outright off the street with a crackdown order, and Warden Manny can keep your thugs from being thrown off the streets entirely, returning them to play as long as you have Warden Manny in your pocket…

Get City officials in your pocket to do your bidding.

…So why would you ever lose Warden Manny? There is more than one copy of every pocket card, so when you hold any pocket personality, when someone else plays another of the same name, yours is immediately discarded. The corrupt are fickle by definition!

Pocket cards also provide the second game-ending condition – The Snitch. When corruption becomes impossible to cover up, one of the cartel lords can turn state witness and rat everyone out, ending the game. The Snitch is worth A LOT of points. How much? I haven’t decided yet – it’ll require a heck of a lot more playtesting to get a feel for the points. It should be a large enough payout that it should win any game outright, but it should also be possible to overcome if a player has a solid enough stranglehold on the city’s territories.

The Snitch

Join me in The City

So that’s about it for the game. There are a few things I hadn’t spoken about like the road cards, which provide a sort of a limit to where buildings can be started, as well as the payment for for building up being discarding of cards, and the way you generate resources (card draws per turn) by occupying a tall building, but those are details that hold the game together while the exciting stuff happens. I LOVE thematic games, and with Cartel my goal was to create a game where you actually feel like a criminal lord jockeying for territory, using every available resource, while the cloud of being Snitched out hangs above everyone’s head.

If you’re interested in helping me playtest Cartel, just get in touch with me (leave a comment here, or get me on my twitter, or email me at twoplusgames at gmail dot come) and I can send you a Print and Play copy of the game when it’s ready! (It’s still quite messy right now despite the clean look it has in the photos)

Thanks for reading!

 

My Rouge-like Card Game [Wits Board Game Jam]

(Edit: Added a bit more nuance to the mechanics of Dungeon Power)

This weekend, there was a Board Game Jam at the Wits Game Design Lab – open to all and sundry who wanted to try their hand at creating a game with not code and pixels, but pencil and paper. I was there, along with a few members from makegamesSA, and had an amazing time inventing, musing, playing, and re-inventing :)

I had gone into this jam with certain expectations, having a game in my head that I wanted to make already. The first half of the Saturday was consumed by this one – A deck-building game about advertising where you are an agency morgul, amassing fortunes, hiring employees and pitched for clients. We prototyped it up quickly and had many arguments over it – in the end it was deemed too complex and too similar to existing mechanics (Thunderstone) for a short jam and I abandoned it. Ernest picked it up and turned it into another game.

But then I made something else! Everyone worked on a couple prototypes, but in the end this one grabbed my imagination and interest the most: The Rogue-Like Card Game (RLCG)

 

How to make a game

Before I tell you about RLCG, I just have to give a big shout out to the Wits Game Design peeps, who organised the Board Game Jam. They had a cool lab, complete with all kinds of cool stuff – tiles, counters, dice, tokens, a guillotine with which I cut my cards, and all kinds of little bits, which really drove home the essence of game makingit’s not about the code or the graphics, but the game – the set of considered, defined, and tested rules which make an interaction fun.

It’s about challenging people and creating tension between players, and creating choices which turn into opportunities for everyone involved to feel thrilled and invested. This post on the Board Game Designers Forum describes it very well, and you do it with naught but writing some stuff down on bits of paper and some more bits to keep count of something, and then it’s all in the rules of the game, followed by a lot of playing and testing and tuning.

So if you wanna make games, give it a shot. Try it, stop imagining that it’s hard, imagine instead what you want to show people!

 

Introducing The Rogue-Like Card Game:

In brief:

RLCG is an asymmetrical card game that pits an Adventurer against the Dungeon Master (with multiplayer to come!).

The asymmetrical play means that the two players play differently. The Dungeon master lays out the dungeon for the adventurer to move in. There is a certain ratio of boons and banes in the Dungeon Deck (following deck construction rules), so the adventurer is never completely overwhelmed. The dungeon builds Power over time, and its master can make use of the stockpile of Power to wake slumbering evils, or he may choose to save his power to assault the hero in another way. Power tokens can be taken into the dungeon’s power stockpile, or be invested on the board, over face-down cards. When an adventurer slays a minion, the dungeon loses power from its stockpile equal to the cost of the monster. This creates an interesting choice for the dungeon – does he hang onto the power, where it could be lost, or does it invest it on the board, where it’s safe from the adventurer’s attack? The dungeon may also create disinformation by investing power onto cards that aren’t monsters, creating the illusion that they are indeed monsters.

Each turn, the Adventurer moves through the rooms of the dungeon. If the dungeon has enough Power in hand and on the hidden room, it may spring the room’s evils on the Adventurer… Or it may choose not to. The Adventurer may then choose search the room: if it’s something bad, the dungeon need not to pay Power to wake it, but if its a boon, the adventurer claims it. If it’s a monster, a battle ensues.

The game is one of bluffing and calculating risks, for the adventurer knows not what is in his surrounding, but must discover the treasures and slay lesser monsters to build up skills to tackle the bigger fiends, before the dungeon gathers enough power and overwhelms the adventurer.

The hero’s task is to steel himself in the dungeon and defeat enough minions, before assaulting and destroying the Heart Of The Dungeon. The Dungeon seeks to defend itself and kill the intruder.

A varied mix of character cards, dungeon features (monsters, traps, treasures, etc) and skills round off the game by making each combination a unique experience, with some features being stronger against some than others.

Eventually, this will have multiplayer – with multiple adventurers competing to be the first to slay the dungeon heart – but the dungeon may just slay them all first!

 

So, RLCG?

I’ve still got a lot of polishing and testing and tuning to do, but the game is making me very excited :) So hopefully this will get a name as well – I’m not sure what I wanna call this, if you have suggestions please let me know! All suggestions welcome! :)

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