What Has TGIK Games Done For You Lately?
It has been a long time (almost a year!) since I have posted a company update. A lot has happened in the last year and I think we are at a point where I can start posting these company updates with interesting news on a semi regular basis. My goal is to show these update posts 1-2 times per month. Some things might not change that often, but I never know who might be new to the blog, so I will keep each section on the post and make it obvious when there is news.
I am really excited about what we are doing with the podcast. We just released episode 9 and we just recorded episode 20. We have also started to release our guest designer and Kickstarter interviews. We have really enjoyed talking to different people about their various projects. 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.
I am also hosting a series with my friend Pete where we talk about all sorts of game related topics. Pete and I meet up for lunch on a regular basis and the conversations we have are always interesting. I figured it was a good idea to start recording some of these chats and invite listeners to join us. All of this content means a lot of editing and I have to say, I am really enjoying the editing process. We were releasing one episode per week to start and now that we have the interviews, the Chats with Pete series and the backlog of regular episodes, we are releasing at least 2 episodes per week. Last week we released 4 episodes. The main challenge right now is working this into my weekly schedule with the recording and the editing. I don’t want to add more to the schedule until I am able to work all the pieces of the podcast into my regular routine. Which takes us to….
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 (11/9/15)
We have been running a Saturday morning designer Google Hangout since January and I am really happy with the group we meet with every other weekend. We have grown the group to 5-9 regular visitors and a few people that jump in every once in a while to say hello. It is great to hear about the projects people are working on and get a feel for the different perspectives we all bring to the various challenges we face with our projects. It is great to see the same people “face to face” on a regular basis because making friends in this industry makes being part of this industry more fun and rewarding. If you are interested and want to join in the conversation, please contact me and I will add you to the invite
Playtest Network (11/9/15)
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.
Volunteer Network (11/9/15)
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.
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 (11/9/15)
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.