Oct 162007

I dusted off the Ubermause prototype and brought it over to design night. I got to meet John finally, who turned out to be interesting and pleasant. I had not really looked at the game in about a year and only had a ream of printed notes with the rules scattered throughout. I was able to convey the basic concept of the game and we played until John had to go. We got a lot of things wrong, mainly because I misinterpreted Drey From the Past’s notes to me, Future Drey.

One of Dan’s strong suits is creating elegant designs. I tend to throw tons of ideas into a design, fill it with all kinds of bells and whistles and options, but I often end up with this unwieldy beast.

Dan had some brilliant ideas to simplify the game and actually increase the fun factor. His idea was to integrate the ship power-ups into the mice themselves. That way players are immediately invested in the value of their crew even before they land on a planet. Also, we talked about making the ships themselves mini-boards, environments for the mice to move around in. For instance, an engineer could normally sit in one of the purple engine slots, increasing the ship’s movement. But if the ship got damaged, the engineer could move to the repair slot to fix it, but then you’d lose the extra speed. I was very excited about this idea as it took away several layers of complexity while adding a new fun element.

I shall mock up the new ships when I get a chance and maybe next playtest we’ll actually get to land on a planet and see the mice in action!

4 Responses to “Ubermause”

  1. You forgot to mention your pirate fighting mechanic, which I think was the most interesting part! When you encounter a pirate, a sub-game board comes out. It is a simple line of circles. Your ship and the pirate ship go on a spaces determined by the pirate card. You can fight if withing range, or try to run away. It feels like the old Final Fantasy games where you can kill monsters if you want to get loot, or you can try to run away (if you’re fast enough). I look forward to seeing more of this.

    Also, the art and graphic design on Drey’s prototype puts most published games to shame.

  2. This game sounds great – sorry I missed it last night!

  3. I had a great time playing Ubermause. Integrating power-ups into mice is very clever. Put a Merchant in an engine slot to auto-lay a trade route, perhaps?

    I have to agree with Dan when he says that the art and graphic design on Drey’s prototype was fabulous. I believe I said that, “…it makes my soul ache.” It was super-snazzy with wonderful use of fonts, whimsy, and color contrast.

    Looking forward to more game nights.

  4. Thanks for the complements, guys. When I was a kid, my friends would make fun of my home-made cards I created for my own unofficial expansions for games. So I learned how to make better artwork. People kept on paying me to be a graphic designer and taking me seriously, but I really just wanted to finish my custom cards for Talisman.

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