Weekly[ish] Update – May 17, 2013 1

This post has been a long time coming. I have a great deal to cover, but I’m going to do that in a few smaller updates instead of one huge post. I’ve been battling with depression over the last few months and it has really taken its toll on my creative abilities. It is something I’ve struggled with my entire life, but this episode has been unusually long… and exceptionally dark. For the past decade I’ve been able to power through it, but not this time. So, I just let it run its course and I feel like I am on the tail end of things. I hope this means I can get back to cranking out crazy ideas constantly. Last year was fun.

Tuesday Night Tanks

Earlier this week I quietly hit the publish button on Tuesday Night Tanks. More than anything I’ve done in the past year, people have actively begged for me to publish this design. I’m not really sure what’s so compelling about it, but it’s ready for your consumption. I’m really proud of this design and it is the first game I’ve released since Doubloons! that I have done everything on. From the game design, to graphic design, layout, and rules… it’s all my work.

On top of that, I think it’s a pretty darn neat game. The system has potential for future expansion and I have a bunch of plans. I’m thinking of larger maps with historical scenarios, or 5 on 5 team play. We’ll see what the future holds for the Combat Tankers Division.

Available now from The Game Crafter!

Black Bear Downs

Remember that game I hinted at a few months ago that I designed after Protospiel Milwaukee? I have effectively finished that design. Right now, it’s tentatively called Black Bear Downs and it is about mechanical greyhound racing in the not-to-distant future. I really like this game and enjoy playing it whenever I can. It’s been tested quite a bit and I’m ready to show it to publishers. I know this is fast and reckless, but I feel like this design is similar to Scallywags: I built it, I like it, no need to keep changing it for the sake of changing it. I had some help with the math to make sure I wasn’t out of my mind, but beyond that, the game plays great.

To start the game, players are dealt a hand of ten cards. These cards are used to move dogs during the race. Each card has two colors on it and when you play a card, you must move both of those dogs. You move one dog five spaces and one three. It is your choice which to move the longer distance. Based on your hand of cards, you can place bets on which dogs you feel will finish a the top of the pack. Additionally, each player is dealt one Ownership card face-up. There is one card for each color dog and at the end of the race, the owner of each dog is payed a sum based on that dogs place. The payout for ownership is substantial so this gives you a bit of information to consider when placing your bets.

The game is played over a series of races. I suggest three, but you could conceivably play as many races as you like. It plays a bit like a trick-taking game so you might just decide to play until someone reaches a dollar amount or just go until everyone is satisfied. Your earnings help fund future bets and it is very much possible to bet yourself out of the game. In the end, most money wins.

Currently, I’m not planning on launching this game on Game Crafter, or even making a print and play because it’s so tedious to craft. Also, I feel very strongly that this game is a good candidate for publication and I don’t want to spend a ton of time working on graphic design for something to show to publishers… pro tip, publishers don’t want that either!

Project: Dead End

Very soon, there will be a huge update post to Project: Dead End. The game has evolved very nicely from where it was a year ago and with the help of Neil Roberts, it has been honed into a very playable, fun game. We are currently working on version 0.9 which is two versions removed from where I left off writing about the game. Version 0.8 was entirely Neil’s work and he will be talking about it a bit on his site when we are ready to release 0.9. I am very excited to show the world this game. Neil has helped make it something special and it is VERY close to what I wanted to achieve from the start.

Other Projects

Hedeby… that game I was super excited about last year? Yeah. I’m still working on it. The one thing that has plagued the game since the beginning is game length. This game really needs to be an hour or less and I’ve struggled to get it there. I haven’t touched it since Protospiel Milwaukee, but I have some neat ideas brewing in my head and I hope to tackle it again soon.

Hexploration has been in my thoughts a great deal lately and I want to work on it again. I liked that game, I just needed to find a way to pour a bit more excitement into it. I think I have that ironed out and hope to test soon.

Sock Monster is not dead… but it’s resting. It’s fine as a children’s game, but I would really like to put a bit more into it so that it can bridge a sort of gamer-child gap.

That’s it for now. I hope to share more in the coming weeks. Convention season is rapidly approaching and I am getting excited. Thanks for reading!

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