Monday, March 25, 2013

EmDice Print and Play! and a PSA to Designers, Prototyper, and PnP'ers

For those interested in printing and playing dice games, I am happy to present the prototype files for

Eminent Domain: the Dice Game (EmDice)

Since the tiles and tech board used my old prototype art and not art from the published game, I have also provided sticker files for making dice using consistent icons. Please excuse the difference between the prototype art and the published game art!

Also, please excuse the fact that the Produce role used to be called Harvest.

I'm VERY interested to hear if anybody tries this out and if so, what you think of it in the comments below! In case of emergency you can contact me directly with questions, but you'll have to be resourceful enough to figure out how (it should be very easy).

Public Service Announcement to all Game Designers, Prototypers, and PnP'ers

The entire prototype fits nicely into a small size USPS Flat Rate Box, which you can pick up for free at your local US Post Office. Heck, they'll even deliver packs of 10 or 25 to your home for free. I have found that many prototypes can be made to fit into this size box, which is very handy for transporting them, not to mention shipping them to potential playtesters or publishers.

Obviously games with large boards or many bits may not fit into such a small box, but when possible - do yourself (and others) a favor - size your prototype boards and bits to fit this box!

Thanks!

10 comments:

Seth Jaffee said...

A loyal reader has used his photoshop skills to provide prototype files matching the printed Eminent Domain game!

Thanks Steven!

Here they are in case you prefer to use them:
Page 1
Page 2
Page 3
Page 4
Stickers

Steven O'Shea said...

No problem. Happy to do it.

Ashman said...

I just printed the components and read the rules, and I have a few comments.

1. Setup needs another step "all players roll their dice"

2. The front and backside of the planets are too similar. One of the side needs a colored background to be able to see what's going on on the other side of the table.

3. The Public Service Announcement aside, the Tech Board needs to be bigger if 4 players have to read it from different sides of the table and place markers on it.

4. I assume that when you advance tech, you still get to use the "lower" tech? And you do not have to pay for "Streamlining" twice before being able to get two different second level techs?


Looking forward to build the components during the Easter weekend and give it a roll.

Thanks for sharing this.

Seth Jaffee said...

Thanks for the comments, here are some responses:

1. Setup needs another step "all players roll their dice"
Noted! Of course you're correct, the players do need to roll their dice!

2. The front and backside of the planets are too similar. One of the side needs a colored background to be able to see what's going on on the other side of the table.
Indeed, they could be better differentiated. Perhaps a highlighter or marker to the edges of the back sides would be helpful.

I'll keep this in mind for the next time I update my prototype.

3. The Public Service Announcement aside, the Tech Board needs to be bigger if 4 players have to read it from different sides of the table and place markers on it.
Interesting point. I haven't had any problem with it, so that didn't occur to me. I didn't figure it would take players long to remember what the techs do, but it probably would be helpful to be able to read it better.

The board could certainly be enlarged when printed, then folded if need be to still fit in a box :)

4. I assume that when you advance tech, you still get to use the "lower" tech? And you do not have to pay for "Streamlining" twice before being able to get two different second level techs?
Yes, indeed - you do not lose any abilities as you ascend the tech tree. One friend of mine suggested I add more tokens so that players can add a token to the board (rather than advance one) when purchasing a new tech.

You are correct, you do not need to pay for Streamlining again to ascend a 2nd tech column. This would be clearer if you did use a new token for each tech bought.

I'm not sure the best way to go here. I like minimal components, but I also want the game to be clear for players.

I look forward to your comments after you play!

Ashman said...

One more thing:

Cleanup Phase, first step: Pick up any dice you want to reroll.

Is this really true? The game makes a point of needing tech etc. for additional dice rolls. Is this a leftover from previous rules sets?

Seth Jaffee said...

note that you can only do that at he end of your own turn. So the tech helps you when Following or Dissenting.

Originally you were unable to pick up any additional dice on your own turn. One player was emphatic that your turn should work like in the card game, where you're able to discard any cards you want during Cleanup. I didn't have a good reason why I wasn't allowing that kind of thing in EmDice, so we started playing that way.

I'm torn - on one hand I do like that the tech allowing additional rolling to be valuable, and it's less valuable when you get to do it anyway on your own turn.

On the other hand, it can be very frustrating if you don't roll the thing you want, and all you can do is dissent and continue to not roll it. So I can see how extra die rolling might be welcome. You're never guaranteed to get what you need when you re-roll anyway.

Hmm... maybe I should remove that rule and put the Re-roll +1 ability on each Start planet, so you can be relatively certain to get it right away if you want. That plus the Level 1 tech and you'll be rolling a couple extra dice in no time.

I'm also torn on whether or not to have a cycle of planets that has this ability on them. Currently I do have such a cycle (9 planets, 3 of each type). It's an ability with diminishing returns, and that's kind of interesting. But if the Cleanup phase makes the returns diminish too quickly, then maybe that's a problem.

This is one of the rules I'm still trying to work out.

MikeTuna said...

Steven, love the updated art! I just put together a pnp copy which I'm very eager to try out. Quick note - on your main board, in the second tech track you use the fertile(?) planet symbol instead of the Colonize symbol in both Terraforming and Fertile Ground.

Also (and this may be for Seth), in Adaptability and Fertile Ground, the exchange of one icon for another is only one way, correct? So Colonize can be used as Produce but not vice versa? If so, it seems the icon should be something like => instead of <=> which implies they can be exchanged both ways. Might be good to have the full rules on a separate sheet, then below the main board have The ROles and a better description of the various tech ability, such as from the current v1.3 rules.

Just my two cents about the pnp stuff -- now to work on getting you some thoughts on the game!

Steven O'Shea said...

@ Mike: Thank you. I checked on Seth's main board and he has the fertile planet symbol in those spots. It certainly makes more sense if it is a colonize symbol.

@ Seth: can you clarify this?

Thanks.

Doug Bruch said...

I made a set using the prototype files, and before getting to play I replaced the dice and tech board using Steven's files. Looks great!

On the planet tiles, however, the Warfare/Colonize cost icon was so well integrated that it was a little hard to tell it apart from the others at at glance, especially on the active side where it's smaller. The prototype has much stronger color contrast between the two symbols, so it's easier to tell them apart.

Meanwhile, Skyline is still playable, but with fewer players.

Seth Jaffee said...

@Steven: I never replied to this... Sorry!

Indeed, I had made a mistake and used the incorrect icon. As you surmised, it makes a lot more sense with the Colonize icon :)