Timeless Boardgames Day - Accessible Boardgaming

I went to a boardgame day yesterday, one that I hadn’t been to before, and of course, if I’m compelled to write about it, it must’ve been pretty great, right? Spoiler: Yes!

Mission, vision, etc

Firstly, Timeless Boardgames is a relatively new online shop in SA. I got in touch with them a while ago when I first heard of them, marketing an interesting concept of renting boardgames instead of selling them. It was an interesting concept with the goal of making boardgames more accessible to everyone - buying a big box of components is a big investment usually, and renting before buying would lower that barrier to entry for newcomers to the hobby who don’t necessarily do a ton of research online before purchasing, or know exactly what they may like or don’t like.

Unfortunately the rental model never took off, I’m sure with good reason. However, the heart of their mission: Making boardgames more accessible, lives on in these Timeless Boardgame Days.

Try before you buy. Heck, just have fun.

This is the point of their boardgame days, and that makes quite a subtle but very interesting difference.

The typical boardgame days we find around are a hobbyist’s gathering. The message is usually: “Everyone bring games, anyone can play anyone else’s game!”. With the secondary message “Don’t have games? Don’t worry! We all love to share our games, just come!”. While the boardgame community is very welcoming, newcomers don’t understand that, and are often daunted by the thought of “I shouldn’t go if I don’t bring games”.

Timeless Boardgame Days flip that on its head - the message is specifically “Come play if you don’t have games!” - they have a huge selection of open games (almost the largest single-ownership collection I’ve ever seen) for you to play, and every month they open new games based on a voting system - you can vote on which game you want to see in the next Timeless Boardgame Day if you’re at the event, which is very fun.

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A day out

This focus accessibility has made these day events very successful in a short time. There is a cover charge of R60, but that’s really nothing for a day’s entertainment.

The venue is spacious, clean, with nice sturdy chairs. So often cheap plastic chairs get destroyed (granted the laughs those generate when it happens are great, but I’d much rather not see potential injuries)

You get free tea, coffee, juice, biscuits, brownies, etc etc. The desserts are a really nice touch, and lunch can be bought at a reasonable price. It was a boerewors roll, and you’re free to top it up with a selection of salsa, which is also a nice touch, and doesn’t remind me of the usual convention food standards.

Great company is to be had as everyone is super friendly and there are always staff on hand to explain or run the open games. Non staff are also more than happy to play with too.

Overall, Timeless Boardgame Days is yet another great addition to the growing list of places to play boardgames in Joburg!

Details

I’ve put the details in my Ultimate Joburg Boardgaming Guide 🙂

 

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Beat Attack + missiles + turbo = 0.06 update

We’ve been hard at work on Beat Attack, and it has resulted in a nice update both visually and mechanically.

Look at the difference! 😀

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New features include:

Character select + Speed select. You can mirror match too!

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The Bear has chuck attacks:

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And Landshark has missiles!

And there’s a turbo speed setting that goes up to 170bpm

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You can now play it live on Gamejolt, where you can IMMEDIATELY LEAVE YOUR COMMENTS OMG INTERNET POWER

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It’s now got its very own page right here.

And we’ve started a the Beat Attack devlog on makega.me to document its progress.

Thanks for keeping tabs on us and Beat Attack!

♩♩ Beat, beat, beatbeat, beat beat beat beat beat, beatbeat, beat beatbeat, beat beat beat… 😀

Bodybag (The Cleaners) - our #GGJ15 Criminal Resolution Physics Simulator

Global Game Jam is the 48 hour annual Game Jam that happens all across the world with a unified theme. You can play the game here:

Bodybag (The Cleaners) playable link

Bodybag Global Game Jam page

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The theme this year was “What do we do now?!”

This was a tough one - the previous Ludum Dare’s theme was, to me, a lot more restrictive, and thus felt more interesting. It’s the old saying of if you tell someone they can do anything, they most likely will end up doing nothing. Restrictions breed creativity.

So we tried to break the theme down into restrictions we can try to apply:

  • “We” - “It’s What do we do now?”, so that implies some kind of group game - implying multiplayer, which is my personal favourite. But multiplayer experiences tend to not do as well in jam setting (as we discussed in the previous Ludum Dare blog), and we just did one in our previous LD, we also wanted to stay away from that.
  • A sense of being thrust into something unknown - that’s the feeling those words “What do we do now?” elicit. We wanted to make people feel that panic and confusion.
  • Not a scripted narrative adventure game - we realised very quickly that the theme lent itself too much to a kind of point & click adventure that would have players solve things by working out contextual puzzles, so we wanted to stay away from that. We wanted to base the game on a mechanic rather than a stream of content.

Bodybag Simulator

The deed is done, the mark is now a body. “What do we do now?”
Now, we call the Cleaners.

Bodybag is a game about what happen after the inconsiderate asshole assassins leaves a messy botched job behind. It’s your job to get rid of the body in whatever way necessary.

  • It can be played as a 2P game with each controlling a character, or ambidextrously by a single player. This
  • It’s a physics-based game which we haven’t really had experience with before - No More Boxes was physics but this had elastic bodies and all that which relied a lot more on physics than wrangled quasi-physics.
  • Not sure on the name 🙂 “The Cleaners” sounds better but a tad generic, “Bodybag” sounds too heavy-handed… But for now this’ll do 🙂
  • We either overscoped or underestimated the tweaking it takes to wrangle a physics system to do what we want it to do. In any case we had quite a few things that we wanted to include that didn’t get in, which would have been easy to implement, but we were too busy working on wrangling the physics system.
  • So we didn’t manage to finish everything we wanted to 🙁

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  • Learnt a bunch about physics bodies in Unity, it made me understand why Chariot (that game I learned about over the weekend) made their design choices (round characters, among others). I feel much better equipped to make more crazy physics games now 🙂
  • Learnt to do level design. Something I’ve generally stayed the hell away from.

Timelapse - 48 hours in 30 seconds:

Team:

  • Steven Tu (art and level design)
  • Loet Jansen Van Rensburg (code and physics)
  • Tim Harbour (Superb score)

 

Once again, GGJ15 game link:
http://globalgamejam.org/2015/games/bodybag

Play now:
http://www.twoplusgames.com/bodybag

Thanks for your time, hope you enjoy the game! 🙂

Dead Run Update 1.0.4 - Here’s A Little ‘Thank You’ For Mauling 1.4 Million Zombies To Date.

Our live zombie kill count on our site is currently at 1,539,546 (1,5 million) zombies killed! Thank you for loving and playing Dead Run!

We’ve also heard your feedback - and so Dead Run update 1.0.4 is a little ‘Thank You’ from team Twoplus.

Update 1.0.4 Highlights


mailer_Dead_Run_icon_hat A Hat Button Appears!
- Did you know that you could get and change hats? If not, it was because we were silly and kept this a secret.

mailer_Dead_Run_icon_flashYOU GET A FLASH MASK!! YOU GET A FLASH MASK!! EVERYONE GETS A FLASH MAAAAAAASK!!!


mailer_Dead_Run_icon_vegaViva Las Vegas unlocked!
Thanks everyone for killing zombies so fast that we were caught unawares! 1,459,163 maimed so far!


mailer_Dead_Run_icon_nextWhere’s the next global achievement?
Come find out and help take back the city!

 

And more improvements and minor fixes. You can check out the full list here.

We hope you enjoy the update and the game!

As usual, feel free to drop me a mail, or get in touch via Twitter or Facebook.

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