Thursday Roundup: 29th June 2017

Playtesting this week :

Not much to report this week! Between not being in and playing Munchkin there isn’t much to report, so just a quick summary today.

Emotions 0.3 – Mechanics work well, playtesting it some more but waiting for artwork to print out 0.4. There’s some new cards added in the next version so that will need playtesting in the next few weeks when it’s ready. It’s a simple mix and match so shouldn’t need much playtesting to bring to 1.0.

Village Life (alpha 0.3/0.4)- Board game; Explore, Expand, Elect.  

Only one proper playtest this week so not much to add! 

Heist! 0.4

New version of Heist! Has been made with an additional character, and some balancing. Playtesting this week has focused on balance, with the Mastermind winning one more time than the Investigator – at 6 wins to 5. 

We look next to playtesting the new character in the coming weeks, this also changes around the amount of cards per character so will be interesting to see how this version plays out.

Have also started collating the playtesting win resukts using ScorePal -let me know what you think of this app in the comments below!

Due for testing…

SS Sandbrook v.0.8b; looking to print it out professionally. Players are currently regularly playing version 7 – but doesn’t need playtesting any more.

Snollygoster, by Mr.Lovens. printed, awaiting playtest. Still – sorry!

Human Hunting; by Iceaxe games, printed, awaiting playtest. Still!!

Want our games as soon as they are released? Want to play this and other games right now? Want to help our tabletop club stay open and provide free educational and mental health games to local schools?  Check out our Patreon page! It makes a massive difference to our members!

Sunday Progress Update: 25th June 2017

Hi all! Here’s our roundup of this week’s progress, an overview of what’s available and what’s coming soon.

I have been out quite a lot this week so less progress than usual. Village life is going well and popular with the students and Emotions is waiting on artwork. Take a look below!

What have we been working on this week?

Village Life: Explore, Expand, Elect. 

Turning over an exploation card in Village Life

Current version 0.3D
Still playtesting prototype 3, an economy game designed for teenagers, but with a complexity that adults will also enjoy. This has been our main target for playtesting this week.

About 20 new buildings have been added as upgrades to buildings from 0.2, players can now upgrade farms to estates etc, with new artwork.

Currently working on upgrading to prototype 4 which will:

  • Redesign and improve the politics aspect (started)
  • Look into practical aspects of printing etc. (Currently way too high. The prototype is going to cost $70 as it is now)
  • Ensure portability whilst keeping quality
  • Standardise the buildings etc

More info here and here.

Emotions:

See more information here.

Matching game based on matching emotional vocabulary. To be used in schools / young parents, especially those with learning difficulties or other similar. Likely to be released free to Patrons.

Only changes this week are assigning definitions to each card and finding someone to do the art work. I am getting an example done soon for feedback, currently we are going for cute chibis due to price and target age (kids)

Game mechanics: 0.8 (mechanics are based on familiar matching games like ‘Old Maid’)
Artwork: 0.3 (waiting on artwork example)
Rules and rulebook: 0.8 (as above)
Costings: 0.8 (54 card deck)

SS Sandbrook

A social deduction card game for 3- 9 players. More info here and here.

A small update this week 0.8-0.8a to change and standardise some of the cards to make them easier to read and understand. Also standardised the injury cards so there are less arguments over meaning!

Game mechanics: 0.8a
Artwork: 0.4
Rules and rulebook: 0.7
Costings: 0.7 (base game runs at approx 100 cards)

What’s available to download or order now?

Free for Anyone

Let’s Photograph 1.0: Photography ideas cards – see here

Pocket Munch 1.1: Silly quick and simple card game – see here

Free to Patrons

Cat Academy Micro Battle 0.8: a wallet game version of Cat Academy, see below.

The Lowest Bidder 1.0: a simple wallet card game where player’s compete to sell their products.

$5/20 subs: 

SS Sandbrook 0.8 print and play, see below

Sandbrook Heist Alpha 0.2, see below

Cat Academy Beta 0.7, see below

Village Life Alpha 0.3C, see above

Emotions 0.2, see above

Sins of Satan Beta 0.8, see below

Don’t forget Patrons are only charged when a full, complete card or board game is released, not every month, and it doesn’t cost you a penny to sign up!

What’s also in the pipeline?
Current progress of all games not mentioned above:

Betas

Cat Academy Battle: a fun, fast mix and match game about getting the best Cat you can. Players match adjectives to their Cat cards to earn the most points they can in a round. In Battle! Mode, players also fight for their team – friendly or ferocious.

Version number: 0.7
Game mechanics: 0.7
Artwork: 0.6
Rules and rulebook: 0.5
Costings: 0.8 (base game is 54 cards)

Sandbrook Heist! A quick social deduction card game. Currently playtesting version 0.2 with an update to 0.3 in the pipeline.

Game mechanics: 0.5
Artwork: 0.1
Rules and rulebook: 0.3
Costings: 0.9

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 Sandbrook Heist v0.2 printed for playtesting. Also shown ‘Spell Wars’ not currently being worked on

Sins of Satan: Beta 0.8. 

My own card game based on the mechanics of “Secret Hitler”, where players try to to promote virtues and stop Satan from playing Sin cards, with each card having a different themed effect (rather than blank policies). More info here. A quicker playthrough designed for a younger audience.

Now released as a Beta to Patrons!

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 One of the sins players must try and avoid – art from the 0.7 version

Alphas

Evolve! A new 3 round board game where players build up their plant and animals over 3 seperate rounds. Taking on a different plant/animal each time with winner takes (eats?) all. Printed but not Playtesting due to time restraints. Pre-alpha stage.

Tranquility Station: players arrive, job cards in hand to their first job on a space station. Chaos ensues as traitors, aliens and viruses spread through the ship. Board game for up to 8 players. More info here. Pre-alpha stage.

Tranquility station being played online

 Tranquillity Station on TTS


A note on game versions, alphas, betas etc.

Alpha means it is in a playable state, but either untested or needs a lot of work.

Beta means it is playable and has been well playtested, but requires some additional work or finishing off.

Version number: How close we are to completing the game overall.
Game mechanics: How close we are to having the mechanics tested and set in stone
Artwork: How much artwork we have completed for the game, usually the final part.
Rules and rulebook: How much the rules are set and the rulebook written and edited.
Costings: How far we have cost/benefited the game and considered publishing costs etc.

0.0 – 0.4: Game/area is in early stages.
0.4 – 0.7: Game has been well Playtesting but requires work.
0.8 – 0.9: Game is in the final stages of completion, usually lacking final editing, artwork etc.
1.0: Game is completed and released. “Free for all” games will have a blog entry with download. Others will be available to download through Patreon as completed.

Comments and suggestions? Want to see something not shown? Got an idea for a game you want making? Let us know in the comments below!


The inspiration behind Village Life

What inspired you to make Village Life?

Image shows Village Life 0.3, showing the main deck and additional building cards

The current prototype cards, ready to play

As you may be aware I run a little tabletop club at a school for a variety of reasons, alongside making educational, mental health and ‘just for fun’ card games. So why begin work making a board game? (And based on the costing to print it out professionally… an expensive one!) Here’s a little into how it started and just a couple of games that have inspired me.
The Guild/The Guild 2

Intro video

The Guild series of games, originally make by JoWood studios (who made games with awesome ideas, but that were bug ridden messes) has always been one of my favourites and spawned a good deal of expansions that never quite fixed the bugs but expanded the game further, keeping it interesting. Despite the inevitable game breaking bugs, the theme has always interested me in two ways.

Firstly the politics part has definitely influenced the elections in village life. Here players have to try to reach the rank of Noble via other positions, being elected in by other, competing players. Bribery is rife in Village Life, so to keep their positions, players will have to work together through exchanging favours or outlandishly bribing one another to get ahead or stay in position – don’t be surprised when you are backstabbed and overthrown if you are close to winning by the other players. This adds further competitiveness to the game.

Europa 1400: The Guild, Council positions. Currently mostly empty.

A little empty, but the council seats will fill up…

Beyond the political, the idea of building a business up over time definitely influenced the economy part of Village Life. In The Guild, players purchase basic workshops and use the income from these to expand their business empire. Originally instead of goods we had a set of secondary and tertiary resources. For example ore turned into iron which was then processed into weapons, armour or jewelry similar to that in the Guild. This ended up way too complicated (and expensive!) for a board game, so the idea of goods took their place. 

The guild 3 is due out sometime later this year, so fingers crossed we’ll finally get a new update on the big ridden series!

Splendor

Before Village Life was a thing there was “The Regent”, which was a more indepth part of the politics area above, with a basic economy based on a simple version of a Slendor-style economy. Here rather than getting rubies, emeralds​ etc, players could invest in a building each turn which gave an income based on what other buildings you had. An example is farms – farms and mills both gave one coin per round each, however if you had both, you would receive an extra coin for having the supply chain. In this way players wanted to get certain buildings and made a different way to win. This idea was carried into the economy aspect of Village Life, with players building up their economies over time to become more powerful.

In playtests there’s one player who always goes for economy over Honour, with the idea that they will just buy it later. A good long term idea instead of fighting for political roles and getting round the need for bribes.

Splendor is available here. The app is pretty good, despite some bugs but of course it’s better in a group!

Game screen of Splendor showing the cards and resource

The economy in Splendor

The Curious Expedition / Renowned Explorers: International Society.

The exploration part of the game is definitely inspired by the exploration / hidden areas part of thess games. Early on in Village Life’s life there was a simple map that players put buildings into set areas. Pretty quickly however I wanted to change it to make it more interesting, where players can stumble upon areas good for different things or with bonuses. This also means much more replayability for players and is much easier to add expansions later if needed. 

Curious Expedition map screen

Exploring the map in the Curious Expedition

At the time of writing, Village Life is currently 0.3(D). Keep up to date each week with our Sunday roundup!

Want our games as soon as they are released? Want to play this and other games right now? Want to help our tabletop club stay open and provide free educational and mental health games to local schools?  Check out our Patreon page

Thursday Roundup: 22nd June 2017

Playtesting this week :

Emotions (alpha 1) – new educational mix and match card game. Currently updating to Alpha 3 and having art made up! We’ve playtested it about 10 times this week and is running well.

Village Life (alpha III)- Board game; Explore, Expand, Elect.  

Version 3 has 24 exploration cards that allow players to explore and build on. Here the first player, green, has found an early forest. One of 3 in the game.

Exploring the village surroundings

Play continues with players moving one square per turn and building when they can to create their economy. Here green has built an early sawmill, white and blue have placed farms. The fourth player is likely to also build a farm after discovering plains.

A player recieves a handful of gold by stumbling across a temple

Green has now discovered a ruin meaning instantly reviewing 5 coins. A good way to get ahead early in the game!

Exploring hidden lands in Village Life

Exploration continues with the white player finding wheat – making double food per turn. From this picture we can find out:

White has income of 2 food /round (4 if they build a farm on wheat) and is the lease master(1/turn)

Red has an income of 2 food and 1 iron/ round and is the councillor (1/turn)

Blue has an income of 2 food /turn but is sitting in a forest

Yellow has an income of 3 food /turn.

Green has an income of 2 wood and one food and is the town guard. Because of the position and use of wood over food, green is probably in the best position at this point.

Players uncovering the last few locations as the game continues…

A challenge by the green player looking for promotion. It’ll be down to the councillor (blue) to decide whether Green gets to usurp White’s position on the council.

Overall play continues until one player has 15 honour (or 30 for a longer game). In this case Red became noble and through bribary of the other players kept their position long enough to gain the 15 needed to win.

More next week! Let us know what you think of the game so far  in the comments below!

Due for testing…

SS Sandbrook v.0.8; Still editing

Snollygoster, by Mr.Lovens. printed, awaiting playtest.

Human Hunting; by Iceaxe games, printed, awaiting playtest.

Want our games as soon as they are released? Want to play this and other games right now? Want to help our tabletop club stay open and provide free educational and mental health games to local schools?  Check out our Patreon page! It makes a massive difference to our members!