What Has TGIK Games Done For You Lately?
We released four episodes last week. One Chat with Pete, two regular episodes (Designer Hot Seat and Special Sauce) and a Guest interview with Andy Geremia. This weekend we were able to record three episodes. We talked about a recent playtest and the lessons learned, prototyping methods and how we use the digital space and analog materials to build our prototypes and we finished the recording session by talking about different approach to games and the reasons designers put games in front of playtesters.
Things are humming along with the podcast and we are about to get into a string of content that I am really excited to share with you. We are releasing about 10-12 episodes behind of what we have alerady recorded, I felt like episode 12 or 13 was when we really started to hit our stride.
If you want to be a guest on the podcast, please feel free to contact me and we can talk about getting you on the show to talk about design or an upcoming Kickstarter project. You don’t have to be a board game designer either. If you are a digital game designer or a gamer that wants to get into design, we want to talk to you.
Playtest Network (11/23/15)
We want to start working on a playtest network. Not sure when it will begin, but I wanted to start putting the word out there. If you are interested in any of our games and would like to playtest them, let us know and we will add you to the list. I will probably start a google survey at some point and add the link here so people can enter their information. When prototypes(digital or physical) or PnPs become available we will let you know.
- Print and Play Testers: We need people who like to play print and play versions of games. With the rule books on deck to be completed, we are going to look at creating PnP files for our games. Some are done and are just waiting for the rule books to be written. If you would like to be part of our Print and Play network, contact us and we will get you on the list.
- Digital Playtesters: We are going to start setting up our games in the digital space. We will use one or both of Table Top Simulator and Tabletopia. If you use either of those platforms and want to test our games with us and for us, let us know.
Volunteer Network (11/23/15)
We have reached a point where we want to start adding people to our team. We need help with the blog, rules reading, content ideas, playtesting, general brainstorming, podcast things and on and on. If you ever wanted to get involved in the games industry and you would like to go on this journey with us, contact me. We can talk about what you might be interested in doing with us. Maybe you would like to write a blog series or record a segment for a podcast? Maybe you would like to review rules or play some early PnPs. The idea and vision that is TGIK Games has grow to be much more than a board game publishing company and we would like to get you involved if you are so inclined. In the interest of being specific, let me give one thing I know I need help with right now.
- Brainstorming Group: We need a person, or a group of people to brainstorm ideas for blog posts. What would you want to read about, what are the subjects in the hobby that you would want to hear more about. I could use help in that arena. If you are interested, get a hold of me via email, twitter or facebook and we can get a google doc started to brainstorm some ideas.
- Lore Creator/Creative Writing: We are currently building a game universe to use as a backdrop for future games. The universe outline is getting pretty big and there are areas that could use some attention that I am not able to give them. I am looking for people who want to help out with the building of this universe. Write the backstory for a planet or a nation of a planet. If you are interested, get in contact and we can talk details.
The blog is chugging along as it has done for a little over a year. The How to Build a Game series is moving along and I want to get back into the Education series. I had some momentum behind the Let’s Build a Game series but after I built the first prototype, I had to wait a while to get a first playtest in and after we played it……wow……it was not the experience I was looking for. I need to take the game back to the drawing board and do some reworking. I do have a recording of the playtest so I can use it to go back and take some notes and make some changes. BUT….when I started the Let’s Design a Game Series, I had all the time in the world because the podcast had not started. This means that I don’t know when that series will be up and running again.
As far as the active series of the blog, I have reached a point in my potential topics list where I need to spend some time doing research. I have picked a significant amount of “low hanging fruit” for blog topics. Going forward, the topics I want to write about will take more than just writing from preexisting experience. Right now, the blog is the easiest place to take time away so that means that the 3 times a week posts will probably be backed off to 2 times a week and maybe even once a week with a lot of archive posts.
Google Hangouts (11/16/15)
We had another hangout this weekend. Gerry, Scott and Joe joined me while I struggled to figure out my mic issues. We talked about the design work we had been up to since the last time we all talked. Yes, we meet every two weeks, but this was the first time this group of four had been together in probably two or three months. Aidan was off galavanting as a piano player so he missed out.
If you are interested and want to join in the conversation, please contact me and I will add you to the invite
Update of Current Games
Mars 4:45 (11/9/15)
Mars 4:45 is our real time Mars colony building card game. Players will have their own game of solitaire in front of them(hang with me, I promise!) and everyone is trying to build sets in a community area. When one player finishes a set with a launch card, they add the set to their colony. Trouble is, the cards in that set may not all be theirs. If a player collects too many of the other player’s cards and not enough of their own, other players could claim your colony points. This is the first game we want to take to Kickstarter and we are currently looking at spring of next year to go live with the campaign. We are currently in the art phase and what we have so far is really exciting. If you like Dutch Blitz, you will like this game. Mars 4:45 was inspired by a game we played in High School called Pounce, which is very similar to Dutch Blitz. We currently have a rule book done but with the terminology and the basic art from the first theme of the game. When we have the completed art, we can update the rules and start releasing to you all the awesomeness that is the art and gameplay for this game.
Priests of Olympus (11/9/15)
This is our simultaneous play modular board game that features what we are calling ping pong combat. Each player is one of the Gods on top of Mt. Olympus sending their priests to different temples to collect devotion. As the Priests come into contact with each other, they will battle one another. When one Priest loses, they will retreat into a different hex, if there is another priest in that hex, they go to battle as well. Priests are able to combine with one another to make a stronger unit in combat, but the strongest priests are limited in who they can pair with. Medium powered priests can pair up with as many allied priests as they want. However, the weakest priests are allowed to move faster than the more powerful priests. So even if you don’t have the strongest priest, you still have an advantage in another aspect of the game. We are planning for this to be our second Kickstarter project. We need to write the first draft of rules for this game and when that begins we will add a link so you can follow along.
Line Drive (11/23/15)
11/23/15 Update: We played the updated version of the game and it went very well. We did end up having to make enough significant changes to the game that the rule book we had started is now obsolete. We also have a few more minor changes we want to make to the game after discussion what happened in this latest test. We want to test these updates in one game to see if they work and another game to play for time. Right now, the game sits at 90 min for 3 players, but that is 90 mins where we stop and talk about what is giong on during the game. I am not sure how long the game is with two players and what areas we can cut out some time. The game is a lot of fun, but 90 min for a baseball game is a tough sell and trying to cut more time out, if possible, is important.
11/16/15 Update: Joe, Aidan and I played Line Drive two weekends ago and after that test, we had a few changes we needed to make to the prototype. I spent this week making those changes to the alpha prototype. Assuming the next test goes well and the changes work, we will be moving to a beta prototype.
Line Drive is our baseball deck building game. Players manage their own roster of pitchers and hitters in order to strike out their friends and run wild on the base paths. This is a 2-3 player game where everyone runs their own team. We like this because we know of no other sports game that allows an odd number of players to play each other with their own team, nor a 4 player sports game where it isn’t teams of 2 against each another. That said, there are ump-teen (HEYO!) thousand games out there and maybe we just haven’t come across one that allows for one team for each player count. The game also features a mechanic that will move cards from my deck to your deck and vice versa. Just because you were able to buy the best pitch on the board this turn, doesn’t mean I won’t be able to use it later in the game.
Class Elections (11/9/15)
Class Elections is a little abstract auction game where players are trying to win over the various groups on campus. Players will need to manage their time since everyone has the same amount to spend talking to the different groups on campus. When a player wins over a group(represented by a card), they get the card, but not the time cubes. The players who lost the card, get all of their time cubes back. Players will be able to get back cubes over time, or they have the option to take back extra time as a turn action, but time management is key to the game. We have a basic rule book for this game but we need to play around with the terminology of a few elements and we need to work on what the different groups on campus represent. Either way, the mechanics are done and the rest of development is on the theme side.
Pairs, Trips and Quads is a another abstract game where players are turning in sets of pairs, trips or quads for points. Every turn players will collect cards numbered 1 through 4 and they are trying to assemble different sets. Over the course of the game, the value of the different sets will change so players will need to manage the cards they are trying to collect. Sounds easy enough, right? Well, there are also traps in this game. Players will get to place traps on the different sets. When a player turns in a set of three 2’s, if there is a trap, or multiple traps, they will be tripped and players will need to deal with the consequences. The mechanical development if this game is basically done. At this point, we need to finish up the rules and figure out the balance of the different traps in the game.
What Team Are You On? (11/9/15)
What team are you on is another abstract game. A 4×4 grid of point and action cards are set up in the middle of the table. Players will be trying to be the only player to claim one of the cards in the 4×4 grid. To claim a card, a player will place a numbered claim card, 1 through 4, on the outside of the grid. If you are the only player to claim a card, you win it. It two people claim the same card, no one wins it, if more than two people claim a card, it is removed from the game. Most points wins! But…….there are bonus points as well. Each card has a color, or team associated with it. Players will have the option to claim bonus points with the cards they have collected by playing them face up and/or face down in front of them. I will not get into the specifics here because honestly, I don’t remember all the rules associated with the team and bonus points….its been a while since I played it. We do have a first draft rule book sitting on a Google doc, I just need to look at it again.
Secret Project (11/9/15)
Now, I am not one to have secret projects. If this post is any indication, I like to be as open as possible with with the projects we have going on. This project is secret for now because I don’t know what shape the project will take and we want to get some of the building worked out before we start talking about the particulars.What I can tell you is that it is our first gamification project and once we are done with our current run of rule book writing, we are going to jump into this project “full time”.
Bounty Hunters (11/9/15)
Bounty Hunters is a move and shoot dice game. Players will be shooting other players and autonomous enemies in order to score points. each time a player uses a die token, they lose that token. So a player could use 3d6 to shoot an enemy across the board, but they would lose those dice to do so. Players gain dice back every turn and they can also collect die tokens on the board, but here is the catch. Die tokens are also your HP. Not only is there a strategic game on the board, but there is also a game happening on the score/initiative track. Players will have to manage their movement and attack separately on the initiative track. Since we have not worked out a lot of the details I will limit what I say but I am really looking forward to working on this game.
Soul Hunters (11/9/15)
Soul Hunters is our answer to player elimination where players are hunters going into a castle to find and destroy a Necromancer. Players will be searching rooms in order to find better equipment, light auras and dark auras. In the castle there are spirits and skeletons trying to kill them. If a player is killed, they become a skeleton and a spirit. As the skeleton, they get to run around the board trying to kill the hunters that remain. As a spirit, they get to mess with the conditions of the castle. You can lock doors, move walls……to be honest……I am still trying to figure out exactly what the spirits are allowed to do. If you die, you move to the undead team and still get to have fun. Players can also get back onto the hunter team if they are resurrected by one of the living hunters. I have a lot to explore in this design and I am really looking forward to it. So much so, I will probably be working on this during the week when Aidan and I are not together.
Harbor Master (11/9/15)
Harbor Master is a market manipulation game where players are building a new colony. Players will send workers to the harbor to collect goods and at the end of a turn, players will only get one worker back. One player will also get to set the market every turn in secret. Some goods will be plentiful and others will be scare. Every turn there will be a sea-vent that could be clear sailing and all the goods are safe, or it could be a hurricane and no one gets anything this turn. While the first test did not go as smoothly as I had envisioned, the bones are there for a really great game.