I was too busy tonight to do the full Terra Neo post that I wanted to do. Instead, I’m just going to point out that if you refresh the page, the banner will change. I made one for each game I’ve designed, complete or incomplete, and a generic one that matches my brand new business cards. Anyway, tomorrow is the deadline for Terra Neo, so I will post to my success at midnight when I submit/order.
Actually, I don’t like that there aren’t any images in this post, so I’m just going to post all of the new banners below so that you don’t have to refresh. Woo!
The Magnificent Mechanical Mosaic
The Founding Fighters
This is the first post in over a month. In that time I have acquired a new computer, moved to New York, and survived Hurricane Sandy. Things have been frenzied. The good news is I am settled and prepared to work on this stuff again. The bad news is this game is due in two weeks. Damn. I’m still not ready to post the dragon AI information, but within the week I will be running a play-test of the game, and that should generate a pretty interesting post. Until then, enjoy this great picture of George Washington.
Today’s terrible one-liner brought to you by the Continental Congress, which is exactly what you will be saving in my upcoming game The Founding Fighters. I’ve been hard at work at the gameplay, but the graphics work has been slow. That is, until tonight. So here’s some images and some explanations that are long overdue.
So besides the Dragon board, which I’ve posted before, your adventure will also take place on a map of early America. Starting at the Canadian border, a pawn representing the dragon will work its way down the board until it reaches Philadelphia. I don’t think I need to point out where that is. As you go down, you may enter fields (yellow circles), towns (grey circles), and cities (black squares). The path you choose is, um, a work in progress. More on that in another post I promise. Anyway, when the dragon takes its “turn,” it will roll for its thrashing attack, then determine its movement. While in a city or town, thrashing will not only throw you off, but will also cause “casualties.” This is a mechanic I’m introducing as a secondary defeat condition, although not an alternate win condition. The reason you might want to go into a city is that while there, the dragon may not move to the next space on the map, giving you more time to attack. The trade-off is that in the city they can potentially kill citizens. Again, a Dragon AI post will have more information about this stuff.
My god do I love those drawings. I don’t think I would even be considering doing this game without them. Obviously I’ve vectorized them, but basically I just followed what the artist drew. Anyway, here’s a shoddy character card that I’m posting to illustrate the basic workings of a Founding Fighter. First, there are the stats. During a single turn, a player must allocate 4 units of “effort” into three different actions. The first is movement, and the number of spaces that can be moved is determined by the character. For Franklin, using 3 effort to move allows him to run 5 spaces, while only using 1 lets him move 2. Effort can also be spent on attacks or special abilities, like the ones written on the card. Each character will have two abilities, with one costing a single effort unit and the other costing 2. Finally, whatever is left over will be used to “hold on” during the thrashing of the dragon. Benjamin Franklin is a very slow character, although you just have to take my word for it in the absence of comparison characters, but he is very good at holding on. Thrashing is a modified 2d6 roll, so you can imagine that having 11 hold strength means he can grab hold and stay on through some bad stuff. In terms of special abilities, I wanted Franklin to be a support character, who plods along creating improved circumstances for his teammates. Also, I’m not opposed to the idea that he could be used to slowly crawl up the neck and attack the head using his extreme hold strength. Either way, should be fun.
The other reason for this post, and I guess the title, is that I can’t be sure how consistent my progress on this game will be in the coming weeks. I’m actually planning to move within the month, and that will take precedence over game design. Obviously I will continue to dedicate brain time to the project, but actual work is less guaranteed. I do hope I can bring this game to completion, since I am increasingly excited with it, but I just have to put it out there now that it’s not my first priority right now.
So a few important things have happened in the last two weeks. After the announcement of the new Game Crafter contest, I pulled together a few ideas that I was considering. I then made a post on Reddit asking for the opinions of random internet strangers. Although I won’t duplicate the post in its entirety, here are the three options I presented.
#1 On the Wall
Months ago I worked on an archery game that was tested and deemed “not fun.” I made some posts about it, so I’m not going to describe it here. The game was always a cooperative game, so it makes sense that I would pick it back up for this contest. I had devised a new and improved dice-rolling mechanic thanks in part to another Reddit post, so I felt like the game had potential. On top of that, there were parts of the game that really did work, and I had already done a good deal of the design work.
#2. The Founding Fighters (or America’s Founding Fighters)
On July 4th, I attempted to create a game in 24 hours. It didn’t go so well. But the things I did manage to get made were pretty cool, and the overall concept was, in my opinion, pretty solid. Although it didn’t have a title then, I’ve since decided to call it “The Founding Fighters,” although others have expressed an interest in the title “America’s Founding Fighters.” This is another game that I have already done a good bit of footwork on, and it has the most exciting theme of the three ideas.
#3 Untitled 2 on 2 Card Game
I’m not going to describe this idea because there basically isn’t much of an idea there. It was going to be a Bridge-style game where two pairs of players are competing against each other. The reason I was attracted to this idea was that I began to question the integrity of my other ideas, and the nature of cooperative games. I’m hoping to write a bit more of an in-depth exploration of this idea (the co-op thing, not the card game), so I’ll stop there.
Anyway, the response was pretty clear, whether on the internet or from people I asked in person: I should make The Founding Fighters. So I will. More on that later.
Finally, the finalists for the Steampunk Contest were announced. Some great games made it, and my rule-less submission was not among them. I was justly disqualified for, you know, not having rules. The best I got was that the judge said it “looked nice.” That’s about the highest praise I could have rightly expected. When I order the game (which should be pretty soon), I’ll actually be able to find out if the game works.