TempleCon 2015

TempleCon 2015 was a blast. I really had a great time. It didn’t turn out at all like I expected, but it was fun. Sometimes you just have to abandon the plan and have a good time. [WIP]

During the year a list of suggestions gets made of fun board games to play. This list comes from reviews and podcasts. Most of my hot tips on games come from Shutup and Sit Down, The Game Design Round Table, and The Secret Cabal. The 2014/2015 list of games to try:

Sheriff of Nottingham
Android Netrunner
Among the stars
Terra Mystica
Chaos in the Old World
Dominant Species
Blood bowl team manager
Five tribes
War hammer 40k lcg Conquest
Dead of Winter(?) Maybe. Might be too popular.
Kingdom Builder

What actually got played? Well, not anything near what was planned.
Thursday Night:
A panel with Gooder Games about making board games.
Galaxy truckers
Boss monster
Race for the Galaxy
Small World Realms
Level 7 escape 
Android Netrunner 
Five Tribes and Camel Up are the two games which should have gotten played. My wife and I are big fans of worker placement games, especially with cute animeeples. She got to play Pandemic Contagion and loved it.

A Paper Prototype, or a Quick Break from Larp.

As work continues on the 4x Larp, let’s take a little break to look at a prototype game. When I first started this blog digital game design was the focus where pretotyping and prototyping was big parts of that process. Here is a game idea which reached the prototype phase and is going to TempleCon with me to play test. I’m looking forward to reconnecting with an old acquaintance from larp who started a new game company, Gooder Games.

The general idea is that we have two groups exploring and settling a lush green land. The winner is the player who controls the most terrain by placing huts. Each player has three huts. There is one tile (lower right quadrant of the picture) which is a Mountain with a spring. This is the start tile. Sound like Carcassonne? Yup. I made this game because I wanted more Carcassonne. I also wanted to capture the feel of D&D maps.

Shuffle all the other tiles. Each player draws a concealed hand of three tiles. Choose who goes first. That player may either place a tile or place a hut. Huts can only be placed on Hill tiles or Plains tiles. They may not be placed on River or Mountain tiles. Play continues until all the tiles are played.

The winner is the player who controls the most contiguous terrain. Contiguous Terrain is an tile of a similar terrain type touching a hut. So if a hut is placed on a hill, count all hills connected to it as one group of terrain. Like Carcassonne you cannot play into a group of tiles already controlled by another player. You could merge fields or hills together. Its pretty bad if you do it to yourself (it means you wasted a hut), but forcing another players terrain to merge is a pretty potent strategy.

This is a terrible description and covers no edge cases whatsoever. Part of showing off the game and having people play it is to find the emergent strategies, make sure there are a couple and they are fun, and to practice telling people the rules. Eventually that will happen enough times that they can be written clearly.

A surprisingly large amount of game design is communicating clearly. Creating the concept, building a prototype, and testing the game are all easy compared with communicating the rules. There are so many reasons why I’m looking forward to TempleCon, working on a game design for fun is one of them. My wife suggests I do a kickstarter, and shoot for 2 million like Exploding Kittens. A full TempleCon report when I return. But until them more 4x larp.

P.S. Note to self: Do not write blog posts at 9:00 pm. You accidentally publish rough drafts.

TempleCon 2014

TempleCon is this weekend! We’re mostly going to spend our time in the board game room playing all the free board games we can get our grubby little hands on. If we’re not shopping or going to the show, we’ll be playing all those giant expensive board games we’re not sure about buying. Just drooling over the best of the bunch. Over the past few months a list has been forming of ‘must play’ games while we’re there. Click more to see the list!

These are mostly inspired by the Shut Up and Sit Down podcast and reviews. We’re probably also going to squeeze in a game of Lords of Waterdeep, with the expansion, simply because it’s a favorite.

7 wonders
Actually I already played this one once. Looking forward to playing it again.

This looks gorgeous.

Terra Mystica
Area control, town building, fantasy hex board game. Sounds tough, but also fascinating.

Betrayal at house on the hill
Played once. Enjoyed by my wife quite a lot.

Android; Netrunner
Heard many good things about this game. Better to make random decks together and not try and play competitive tournament style.

Resistance, Resistance Avalon
A board game with no board and lots of arguing. Sound like Larp.

Race for the Galaxy? (Maybe)
Big complicated deck building game?  Sure, maybe.

Mice and Mystics
Another game with lots of good things ciculating around it. Still havent seen a review, *cough* Quinns. *cough*

Hmm, tactical abstract arena combat. Could be something there.

Considering that my wife and closest friends will be there with me, we really should take advantage of some cooperative multiple player board games. Hmm. Need to add those to the list. What should I add to the list?