Publishing Upate: Pizza Theory

Its official. We now have a signed contract with Gryphon Games to publish Pizza Theory!

They have promised to have it on the market no later June 2012, although ideally it will be ready in time for SaltCon next year (February).

Ion Award

Writing from SaltCON in the great snowy Utah.
Pizza Theory won the Ion Award for best strategy game! We also immediately got two offers from publishers at the convention. We will update you with any developments, so come back soon!

Development Progress

Starting now I’ll be trying to keep a weekly log all our game design and development. Not only will it keep you up to date on the status of our games but it should give you a pretty good idea of the process we use to make our games. Also it will encourage us to stay on track by making at least some progress every week.

Pizza Theory
We’ve been finalizing our latest, and hopefully final, prototype. Due to problems we were having with pieces getting knocked around during game play we’ve switched over to a peg and hole system.

This week we made all the pegs by cutting a wooden dowel into 1″ segments, then Brian spray painted the pegs the player colors: red, white, and green. Each peg took several coats of paint, but now they’re looking pretty good.

While Brian worked on Pegs I worked on card design for the 6 ‘cut cards’ players use to declare their cut selection. Up until now we had just been using different suits from a deck of playing cards, but we wanted some official cards to make our prototype look more complete when submitting the game to prospective publishers. The design is ready for a home print, but we’re considering getting them professionally printed by SuperiorPOD which will require some minor reformatting.

Empower
We Play Tested Empower with a few new rule variants:

  • Removing the turn order restraints to allow a more flexible turn.
  • This seemed to hurt the game flow more than help it.

  • Try new unit set-up formations.
  • We’ve been trying to make the early game feel dynamic without being too slow or boring, still a work in progress, but we getting closer to a happy medium.

  • Change Boar Rider into a Paladin.
  • Although the boar rider was a fun unit its player activated ability didn’t really fit the style of passive combat the rest of the game has, the Paladins mechanics fit the game better, and so far don’t seem to upset the unit balance, but we still need to play-test him in a 3 & 4 player game.

That’s it for now, hopefully we will have some more updates in the coming weeks

~ Greg Powers

SaltCON

After some internet research for Board Game Design competitions, Greg discovered the Ion Gaming Award. A “design competition that recognizes unpublished or newly published tabletop gaming designers. ”  Sounds perfect!

We submitted the descriptions for Pizza Theory and Empower by email back in November 2010.  Pizza Theory was accepted as one of the 4 finalists in the strategy category (out of 22 games in 2 categories).  So we get to present Pizza Theory in front of the judges at SaltCON.

SaltCON is a gaming convention in Salt Lake City, Utah on February 18, 19 2011.  I’m driving out to Utah with my wife and Greg for the Con.  None of us have been to a convention out there before, so we will get to meet a lot of new people.  And my wife is looking forward to seeing some snow, I just hope there isn’t too much on the drive.

-Brian

Projects Page and The Beginning of a Game

We’ve updated our Projects page to give a preview of some of the other ideas that we are working on.  These are all designs that have come far enough so that Greg and I can play them against each other, but they aren’t ready for other playtesters yet.

We start a game when either of us comes up with an idea.  Sometimes it is just a theme, other times it is a detailed game mechanic.  Then we toss ideas back and forth until we can agree on a basic outline of how the game might work.  Next comes several brainstorm sessions of writing rules and sketching charts until we have enough rules to play with.

After that, we alternate between playtesting the game (while making up new rules) and discussion, where we rewrite the rules with our previous changes and plan the next play.  It is fun to play a game when you get to change the rules as you go.  Though it’s harder to win when there isn’t a victory condition yet.

-Brian

Hello Board Gamers

Thank you for visiting Powers Games.

My name is Brian Powers, and I like board games.  My brother Greg and I have been playing board games since before I can remember, and we’ve been developing board games since spring 2009.

There are three main reasons we created this site.

One is to give us a location to describe our “completed” games.  Though from the perspective of a developer, I’m not sure a board game can ever truly be finished.  I guess we’ll stop making changes once they get published, unless we get to make expansions too…  You can see our two games with complete prototypes under the “Completed Games” menu up top.

The second is to let us chronicle our works in progress.  While we have over a dozen concepts that will probably never see daylight (or screenlight?), we will describe the projects that show promise.  Once a game does get to a playable state, it can be very helpful to let it out in the air; to see it from a new angle and try to get some fresh ideas to improve it.  This includes playing it with a friend who hasn’t seen it yet, or writing down all of the rules onto paper, or trying to describe why it will be awesome to the internet.

And of course, we created this site to be a blog.  Both Greg and I will share our thoughts on all aspects of Board Gaming.  Some of the things we would like to discuss in the future include: game reviews, interesting game mechanics,  social aspects of gaming, our experiences as game developers, and the relevance of board games in the internet age.

I would also like to add a disclaimer that we are not strictly board gamers, and we may touch upon console, PC, physical (gasp!), or imaginary future games in this blog.

There are games.  And there are Powers Games.

-Brian