Thursday, February 12, 2015

Must Be That Time of Year

Mid-February 2015.  I haven't posted in eight, ten months? So of course I'm posting again.  Because it's time for the Contests on BGG again.
Golly.  It's frightening how much time speeds up the older I get.  Will I miss my future children's lives if I look away? Instead of minutes or hours, will I someday soon lose months and years, slipping away if I loosen my grip or tighten it too hard?
ANYWAY.  I have still been working on games, the usual dabbling and tinkering and reading and making notes.  I think the real viable project I should bear down on is AaTX.  I've thought about re-theming it, perhaps making it more about exorcising or freeing spirits rather than straight combat, in order to pitch it to Smart Play Games.  I do think that there's something there for Project Smatter (Neon Static Erasure? Neon Static Danger? Neon Static Overdrive? - Perhaps just Neon Hyper Static, with different boards and game modes) - especially as I want to try including a little bit of hidden information.  I've been reading some of Keith Burgun's stuff, and he has some interesting thoughts on how to avoid solved abstracts, and how to create meaningful depth.  I'm thinking of introducing xCheckers (or drEADNaughts) as sPawns that remain yours even if flipped (1-3 of your starting sPawns, initial placement known only to you).
So AaX:T, Project Smatter, my old buddy John still thinks that Cultivate is a viable build... I've been thinking and mulling over these projects.  Need to get a few real worthwhile prototypes into some playtester's hands.  Might be worth bringing a suitcase of prototypes up to UnPub one of these years.
The current project that has possessed me, however, is a simple little design that I have some decent hopes for, and which I've entered into the BGG 2-Player Design Contest.  It's currently called Cowl & Mask, and is a 21-card lane game of bluffing, deduction, and positioning.  Here's the work done on it so far:
- I've got a WIP thread over at BGG, with an 0.3 draft of rules for public view.
- I've built a prototype, and playtested it twice.
- My friend Tyler's working on some slightly more appealing graphic design mockups.
- My friend John's built a simulator for me to look at different possible layouts of a player's seven cards.
Next steps:
- Get a PnP build up on the BGG WIP and see if I can do some playtest trades.
- Create some more compelling art for the nice graphic design work Ty's done, because drawing is fun.
- See if my friend JT can create a program to run through iterations of John's simulator and map broken or ideal layouts.
- More private playtesting.
- Plan for public playtesting.

I'm also helping playtest some friends' designs this month.  The fellows over at Ironrise Games are having me take a look at their Alpha of Forge The Future, and I'm also going to be in Beta playtests for the Nerdologues' Fisticuffs! Should be a fun month, especially considering I've promised myself no new games or kickstarters this month.
Well, here's hoping I'll have more posts soon.