Jun 062007

Mischa, Dan, and myself met tonight for a couple hours at Austin Java to give Dan’s Travelogue prototype one last go-around before it was shipped off to Italy. A three-player game ran just over half an hour, and I must say, it was a pretty solid, fun card game, all around. Mischa smashed out the lead with a monster twelve-point “trick”, but the scores were satisfyingly close, and everyone felt a certain level of control and pacing throughout the game. I like the broader range of scores on the cards, and the new stacking system for the destination cards. There were a few other modifications from the last time I played that I wasn’t sure of at the beginning, but it all hung together very well, and although I know that Dan loves to tinker, tweak, and twiddle his games over and over until everything is perfect, it feels like a winner to me already. I look forward to seeing how it fares in the contest.

We chatted some more and fiddled a little bit with designs here and there – Mischa brought out a copy of Siege Stones, and we played around with a few designs around the pieces in the box, including one based very loosely on Lines of Action. Dan also gave us the sad news that he’s going to be re-theming his Monkey Lab game along the lines of some fantasy thing, to make it more palatable to publishers. (Wah!) Mostly game chat, though – although, and the end, we decided that Flywheel needed another challenge, and we each put in one restriction. So, Flywheelers, here is your challenge: you have one week (or two, or three, or however long it is before you show up to the next playtest hootenanny) to devise a game that 1) uses a board, 2) does not use any numbers, and 3) uses cards, with some kind of “flip and take” mechanic. I’ll leave those open for now – if anyone wants to post a clarification question, the person who put forth the restriction can pipe up and sort things out.

In production news, I have found myself some artists! I have a spreadsheet delivered to and a promise received from an illustrator friend of mine in San Francisco to draw me some pretty spaceship parts for my RocketYard cards, and another one in Austin who says he’ll kick down some art for Pangaea and Fluffy Bunny Tea Party, and potentially some Flat Track Action down the road, when I get that game not to suck so much. This means that I need to get back on track with hunting down cheaper card and box printing for RocketYard, and start thinking about how I want to package Pangaea up – I’m leaning more towards a flat board, rather than the (pretty sweet) bandanna printing I used with HoneyPot, but we’ll see how that goes. Hopefully, with a few more games available (or more, if the rest of the Flywheelers want to sell some stuff indie-style on Gizmet instead of waiting around for a publisher) I can make more of a marketing push, and get things moving a bit better…

5 Responses to “Improv Challenge!”

  1. A few clarifications: Yes, you’re allowed to count things, and no, you’re not allowed to have a score track. The “flip and take” mechanic was inspired by No Thanks (BGG) and/or Nottingham (BGG).

  2. Yes, I do like to tinker until perfection. However, the last thing I want to read from the judges is “It could have used a bit more playtesting”. All in all, I am happy with it and my original vision for the game is still there (the forced trading).

    Also, I have a game already for the challenge. It is based on a movie… :)

  3. I think I’ve got a decent entry for the challenge (inspired by a Stanislaw Lem story!), but damn, my board is going to have to be big, unless I use smaller cards. Would, say, 2×2 squares still count as “cards”, or are we moving into “tile” territory there?

  4. Tile or card, it doesn’t rally matter. Go with what you’ve imagined.

  5. I played Nottingham, but could you define the “flip and take” mechanic?

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