Episode 25: Teamwork and Slenderness

BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

Updates on Gunslinging Ramblers

Brendan Keough – Artist

Whatcha been playing?:

Jason has been playing: Letterpress

Rob has been playing: Quarriors

 

“Mechanic” of the Week:

Playing as Teams

Other Games we mentioned:

Axis and Allies

Bang!

Cranium

Forbidden Island

Lifeboat

Monopoly

Risk

Settlers of Catan

 

Practicing the Pitch:

Rob pitches a Slender Man Game.

Twitter Shout outs:

@beekeo

Plugs:

Dice Rings

Blambot

Slender Man Game

The Slender Card Game
2 to 4 players.  Players take the role of investigators looking into the legend of the Slender Man.  In the first half of the game, players are using cards to perform their investigation, gaining information and confidence in themselves, tracked with Will Points.  But the more you investigate the Slender Man, the more you draw him to you.  At some point in the game, the Slender Man card will appear.  In this second half of the game, players now must do whatever they can to escape the Slender Man.  They are now playing cards to resist his drain of Will Points, or cause the other players to lose theirs.
The game is played with a special deck of 2.5 inch by 5 inch cards, each split into two halves, light and dark.  The light half is used to play the first part of the game.  After the Slender Man arrives, the cards are turned 180 degrees and the remainder of the game is played using the dark half.  When you run out of Will Points, the Slender Man gets you, and you continue playing only to drain the remaining players.  The last player left with Will points escapes the Slender Man and wins.
At the start of each game, each player selects a specific themed character deck (6 or more are available, only 4 will be used in each game).  These 4 character decks are then shuffled together to make the game deck.  Any player may use any character’s card when it is drawn, but if a player uses a card from their own character they will gain some kind of bonus specific to that card.  After the Slender Man card appears, the Slender Man deck is shuffled into the remaining game deck, and play continues to the end.
Additional note from Rob:
Hey everyone!  Thanks for reading this overview of the Slender Card Game that I pitched on Episode 25 of Building the Game!  Since we recorded that episode I’ve been doing more research into the Slender Man, and just before the episode posted I found this article:
You should read it because it is fascinating.  But in a nutshell, it’s discussing an independent Slender Man themed computer game that is having legal issues.  It’s easy to forget in our modern age of information freely available on the internet that things like this are not simply created out of nowhere.  The Slender Man was a character invented by a specific individual.  That individual owns that Intellectual Property.  Therefore if you use that IP without his permission, you are risking legal action.  In general it sounds like the creator of the Slender Man isn’t interested in taking legal action against anyone, which is an honorable thing for him to say.  But nevertheless, I don’t want to go anywhere near issues like that.  There is too much risk for an independent designer and developer like me.
“But Rob, what about your Frankenstein game?”  That’s a great question.  Lots of people think that Universal Studios owns Frankenstein.  They don’t.  The Monster from Mary Shelley’s original Frankenstein novel is in the public domain, as is his creator, Victor Frankenstein.  What Universal owns is all of the characters they created for their series of movies, and the design of the Monster that they created.  Take a look at this article for more information:
It can be a tricky thing, but Frankenstein is technically safe.  Still, the lesson I’ve learned from this is to focus on my own new ideas and new characters for everything I work on in the future.  It’s the safer and cleaner route to take.
Good Luck!

Episode 24: Board Modularity and Pinball Wizardy

BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

We announce the winner of our first contest!

Whatcha been playing?:

Jason has been playing: Dominion, Can’t Stop

Rob has been playing: Mansions of Madness

 

“Mechanic” of the Week:

Modular Boards

 

Other Games we mentioned:

Carcasonne

Euro Rails

Great Heartland Hauling Co.

Lords of Waterdeep

Monopoly

Risk

Settlers of Catan

Small World

Stone Age

Ticket to Ride

Practicing the Pitch:

Jason pitches a Pinball Board Game.

 

Plugs:

City Hall Kickstarter

Google Image Search for Usage Rights

 

Pinball Board Game

2-4 player board game
Components:

Quad fold board

20 Decks of 5-10 cards

5 D6’s

4 player markers

Description:

I wanted to design a board game that revolved around Pinball.  My hope was to capture the feeling and play of pinball while making a game that felt strategic at the same time.

In this game players vie to build the best pinball machine combinations and then try to score points while playing pinball on that machine.

The board is setup as a pinball machine with bumpers and spinners and gyro’s which all contain a point value.  Those points are scored when players are able to “hit” them with their ball. These spots on the board also contain arrows that point to where the ball will head to next in it’s path of bouncing.  Players need to optimize this path by adding new pieces onto the machine.

There are 10 slots (numbered 3-12) on the board that can be filled with new pieces (cards) that will allow players to score more points, change the direction of the ball and so on.

The primary mechanic of the game is deck building.  Players all start with the same deck of 14 cards.

Each turn players draw 7 cards and must determine how to play them into the slots on the board.  Some of the cards in their decks will help to augment their shots as they shoot the pinballs onto the board.

After placing their cards, players roll 5 D6’s and assign the numbers however they like to slots on the board, this including adding totals of 1 or more dice.  They can divide the dice however they like into separate pinballs.

For example: I rolled 6, 5, 3, 2, 2.

I assigned them as follows: 3, 4, 11

That means that my pinball will launch 3 times onto the field.  Once for each number.

Alternatively, I could have assigned them like this: 3, 4, 5, 6.

This would give me 4 pinballs.

The starting decks that players get are very limited and need to be made better.  To do this players may spend some of the points they earn during the pinball phase and buy new cards.  Up to 3 new cards may be bought per turn and are put into your discard.  Once your draw pile is empty your discard is shuffled back into it.

Players must balance the points they will spend to buy better cards with the points they need to win the game.  These points come from the same pool so they must be managed carefully.

The player who first reaches 100,000 points is the winner.

-Jason

All ideas presented on this here are the property of the Building the Game Podcast.

Episode 23: Secrets and Frankensteins

BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

Jason has been working on a few prototypes.

Rob and Jason struggle with which games to prototype first.

Whatcha been playing?:

Jason and Rob have been playing: Dominion, CitadelsSentinels of the Multiverse

 

“Mechanic” of the Week:

Anonymous moves

Twitter Shout Outs

@pottedmeat

@Dmassek

Practicing the Pitch:

Rob pitches the game Frankenstein’s Legacy

 

Plugs:

Opengameart.org

Frankenstein’s Legacy

Frankenstein’s Legacy
2 to 4 players
Frankenstein’s Legacy is a deck building card game.  Players take on the role of ethically-challenged scientists in the 1970’s who have discovered the journals of Dr. Henry Frankenstein.  They are now competing with each other to see who can be the first to re-create Dr. Frankenstein’s work and give life to their own Monster.
The game has a series of small card decks laid face up and available for purchase, much like other deck building games.  These cards are of several types:
Bolts – Used to assemble parts of the Monster
Electricity – Used to shock life into the Monster and Body Parts
Lab Equipment – Used to test Body Parts before assembly
Currency – Used to purchase Lab Equipment and Assistants
Assistants – Hired to obtain Body Parts
The game also features one larger deck of Body Parts cards, shuffled and placed face down.  When an Assistant is played, they draw a card from this deck.
The first phase of the game is played by collecting these cards, outfitting your laboratory, hiring assistants, and obtaining body parts.  Eventually the players will need to Test their body parts on their Workbench game board.  In order to test a body part, you must connect it to a piece of equipment and shock it, then roll a die.  Compare the result on the die with a modifier calculated from the cards on your workbench.  If you succeed, then that body part is viable and can be installed on your Operating Table game board.  If that roll fails, everything goes back into your deck.
Eventually the player will have built an entire body on their Operating Table, consisting of two arms, two legs, a torso, a head, a heart and a brain.
The first player to assemble a full body and shock it to life is the winner.

 

-Rob
All ideas presented on this site are the property of the Building the Game Podcast.

Episode 22: Cops and Robbers and Aliens

BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

Rob starts out by insulting Jason, big surprise!

Whatcha been playing?:

Jason has been playing: MindTrap

Rob has been playing: Tokyo Jungle

“Mechanic” of the Week:

Network Building

Other games we mentioned:

Euro Rails

Settlers of Catan

Swinging JiveCat Voodoo Lounge

Ticket to Ride

Twitter Shout Outs

@Tangerini

@munchkinQueen

@AHunnefeld 

@VanRyderGames

Practicing the Pitch:

Jason pitches a game about Aliens on a Spaceship.

 

Plugs:

Castle Dice

 

Aliens on a Space Ship Game

A coopetitive board game for 1-4 players.

You are on a spaceship and it is being attacked by aliens.  You must work with the other players to get to an escape pod before the aliens break in a kill you.  Unfortunately, there is only room for one person in the escape pod.

The board is setup like a spaceship with many winding corridors separated by airlocks.  Each airlock has a color and requires a code to open it.  Each player has five cards that contain the codes to open certain airlock colors among other things, such as an armory and a room containing space suits or tools.

The idea is that no player would have the ability to reach the escape pod without the help of other players.

Each turn in the game the aliens are trying to burrow into the ship.  Once they have succeeded in breaching the layers of the hull, they start moving towards and eventually attacking the nearest player.

Actions would be based on an action point system that involves options like moving, attacking, using a code, blowing an airlock.  There would also be a damage system that would track your loss of abilities as you are damaged by other players, aliens or even lack of oxygen from hull breaches.

The game would also incorporate the ability to play several different scenarios.

-Jason

All ideas presented on this here are the property of the Building the Game Podcast.