We’ve been wanting to start a regularly scheduled game design group to cultivate a local community of playtesters and designers for a while. And now it begins:
Hosted at the amazing San Rafael based gaming store (Gamescape) the first meeting will comence on Saturday, November 19th 6-9pm.
Events will be hosted monthly at the store, where local designers can playtest game prototypes, meet-n-greet each other, and discuss any or all aspects of board game design and manufacture. Everyone is welcome, whether you have your own game prototype, an idea for a game, or just want to get a behind-the-scenes look at the different processes of design and production.
We also have a board on the Gamescape forums to facilitate discussions and answer any of your questions or concerns.
We hope to see you there!
See the full announcement here
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.
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.
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
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.