Monday, February 28, 2011

What's new?

It's been about a month since I've posted anything. So what's new?

Eminent Domain
The art for Eminent Domain is about done. Gavan got a rulebook draft together and this morning I posted it for comments. Pretty soon it'll be done and the game will be off to the printers!

I just got back from OrcCon in L.A. where I had a great time. I played a bunch of games, including All For One for the first time in a LONG time!

I also saw a sort of show, a group called Dungeon Master. It's kinda like interactive dinner theater. they call up 6 audience members to be an adventuring party, and the actors play the roles of all NPC's - and it's basically like a live action game of D&D. It was a pretty cool idea. I liked how anyone could 'cast spells' by saying a rhyming couplet that described the spell they wanted to cast. The party was limited to 10 spells total, and if your spell didn't rhyme or was otherwise deemed no good by the DM, then it wouldn't work. I didn't get there in time to put my name in, but it was fun to watch.

I picked up a couple new games at the con:
London by Martin Wallace - I had some Dealer Dollars from getting 2nd at an Ascension tournament, and I chose to spend it on London. I don't really know anything about the game so it's kind of a gamble, but since I've gotten it I've heard three different people speak highly of it, so that's promising.

Wok Star - I arranged a trade over the internet which resulted in my getting a copy of this hard to get (at the moment) new cooperative game about running a Chinese restaurant. I've played it just twice so far, but it seems like it might be one of the best coop games I've played to date.

Perpetual Motion Machine by Ted Alspach - I read about this one and thought it sounded like my type of thing, It's basically a tech tree, you collect sets (poker hands) and turn them in for advances in the various branches, and as you ascend each branch you get better at one aspect of the game. I've played it twice so far, and I'm not sure how I feel about it. First off, it would be cooler if the card deck weren't basically a standard deck of cards. I would like to see cards with machine parts - gears, levers, pulleys, etc. It's a set collection game, I don't see why the pieces of the set have to be playing cards. The answer of course is that Ted had a bunch of decks left from a prior game: Rapscallion, and he decided to make another game using them. Whether I think anyone should make a game with custom cards that are exactly equivalent to a standard deck of cards (4 suits, 13 ranks per) is another question...

Ultimate Werewolf: Compact Edition - This seemed like a decent deal. I prefer Ultimate Werewolf to the version(s) of Werewolf that I have, though honestly I don't play WW as much anymore, and almost never at my house.

All For One
I get a chance to play A41 with OrcCon's special guest Bruno Faidutti, which was fun. He didn't enjoy it so much though. Some basic concerns at the table were that the game has no story arc - the early turns are the same as the later turns. This has come up before, and I'm not entirely sure I agree with it, but if it comes up repeatedly, there's got to be something to it. I'll tell you one thing, I'm pretty sure I'm sick of the patrolling guards in that game. I used to love the idea of them, but lately I've just found them annoying. I don't know if I want to remove Guards from the game altogether, but they definitely need to change.

Another thing Bruno didn't like about All For One is that you cannot really tell what your opponents are up to. He'd have liked to be able to see what people were doing, and then be able to mess with their plans.

To do with the story arc comment, maybe it's possible to incorporate some kind of mega-missions, or some way to relate missions done to each other. I'm not really sure how, but maybe some story arc would help the game out.

Other Prototypes:
TMG Submissions: I've got 2 promising submissions right now: one economic game, and one that's like a cross between Railroad Tycoon and Roborally. I'm enjoying both, just have to see if people like them and if they'd be sale-able before I can decide if they'd make good 2012 TMG releases.

Michael has decided he's interesting in a light, quick playing dice game, potentially with a pirate theme. I decided to use that idea as the basis for the BGDF Game Design Showdown this month, to encourage people to think about games like that - maybe one of them will catch Mike's fancy enough for him to publish it. I'm tossing around a few dice game ideas myself.