Bonus Episode 4: Playtest: Conservator VS Developer



I was really happy with this playtest.  While, it did expose that the game is ridiculously unbalanced, it also provided some great ways to fix those problems.

The main issue seemed to be that the Developer was able to consistently build a lot of locations all while depriving the Conservator of the ability to do anything.  So yeah… unbalanced.

So how do I fix those problems?  My first inclination was to just try rebalancing all of the current cards for both players.  However, as Rob and I discussed the game I realized that the way to make it better lies within making sure the flavor of each role is accentuated.

So how do I accomplish that?  To me, that answer seems pretty easy.  The Developer will continue to focus on getting a lot of money and using it to build a ton of expensive locations based on their business ventures.  The Developer’s action cards revolve around gaining money and screwing over the Conservator.  The earning money cards are great but I now believe that some of the take that cards need to be changed.  They need to not focus on bankrupting the Conservator but instead creatively slowing them down.  Allowing for the Conservator to at least have a chance to bounce back.

As for the Conservator, they need with their locations to be able to place in a larger variety of places and also to be able to cheaply restrict the Developer via actions that represent real world things.  Protestors chaining themselves to trees or using legislation to stop locations from being built.

Finally, in the general rules, I need to more accurately scale location prices based on where you can build.  I did this originally by making locations that can be built anywhere cost the most.  Now I need to continue that backwards down to locations that can be built on only one area and making those very discounted.

So listeners, what did you think of the episode and of the notes here?  Leave a comment and let me know!

– Jason






Episode 19: Tree Huggers and Counting Cards

BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

Rob wants to do stuff different sometimes…. Loser.

Rob is drinking Holy Grail Ale!


Whatcha been playing?:

Jason has been playing: Quiddler

Rob has been playing: Architekton

“Mechanic” of the Week:

Removing cards or tiles to force randomization and prevent card counting.

Other games we mentioned:






Lost Cities

Magic: The Gathering



Twitter Shout Outs



Practicing the Pitch:

Jason pitches a two player game about Conserving VS Developing.





Ek Tha Tiger

Conservator VS Developer

In this two player board game, one player takes the role of the Conservator, trying to build locations that earn money based on the nature of the land and the other plays as the Developer who tries to build up businesses that destroy the land.

The winner is the person at the end of the game who has more areas occupied with their types of locations.  The game ends when all locations are conserved or developed or one player has no more legal moves.

The board is made up of 36 areas that are all interconnected with one another.  Each area represents a piece of land that is a different natural feature.  Some areas are plains with Elk Herds or Mountains or lakes or rivers and the like.

On one side of the board there is an area that is a Wilderness park.  On the other side there is a small town.  The Conservator and Developer start in thier matching location.

Each player has a deck of cards made of actions and locations that represent the flavor of their faction.  The Developer focuses on earning more money and monopolizing the board.  The Conservator uses actions that slow down the developer while building cheaper and smaller locations.

Example Cards: 

Conservator Locations: Mountain hiking, Backwater Fishing sanctuary, Hiking trails, Elk Viewing

Conservator Actions: Chained to a tree, Demand a survey, Monkey wrench, great benefactor


Developer Locations: Resort, Power boat rentals, Souvenir Shop, Casino

Developer Actions: Call in a favor, bank loan, burn it down, new investor

At the start of each turn players earn money based on the locations they have built.  They use this money to play cards and build new locations.  Each location built earns money every turn.  Players may play actions at anytime, provided they have the money to do so.

Money is tracked with tokens.


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


Episode 18: Second Winners and Fair Food


BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

Jason just got back from his epic journey to Colorado, where he was almost eaten by a bear and a ghost.

Whatcha been playing?:

Jason has been playing: Bowling Dice

Rob has been playing: Bananagrams, Banditos

“Mechanic” of the Week:

More than first place winners

Other games we mentioned:

Alcatraz: The Scapegoat


If I’m Going Down…

Oh Gnome you don’t

Redneck Life


Smash Up

Trailer Park Wars 


Twitter Shout Outs











Practicing the Pitch:

Rob pitches Fair Food.


Fair Food

2 to 6 players.  Players are visitors who have gone to their local county fair for one reason:  To eat as much terrible fair food as possible.
Game components:
1 game board featuring 5 food vendors and a medical tent.
6 unique decks of cards, one for each vendor and the medical tent
1 deck of meal plan cards
6 pawns
1 12-sided die
At the start of the game, players draw one card from the meal plan deck, then place their pawn at the fair entrance.  On their turn they can choose one of three actions:  Move their pawn up to their current move value, Draw a card, or Play a card.
Moving:  All players begin with a basic move value of 6.  On their turn they can move up to 6 spaces in any direction on the board.  Players are not required to use their full move.  As food is eaten, the cards in the players’ stomachs will give penalties to their move value.  Therefore the more the player eats, the slower they will be able to move.  The player may choose to move additional spaces if they wish, but must make a puke roll first.  Success means they can move the additional distance.  Failure means they puke and their turn ends.  Each successful puke roll gives them an additional 2 squares.
Draw a card:  The players may choose to draw a card, but only if their pawn has stopped at a vendor location, or at the medical tent.  Only one card may be drawn from that vendor, unless another card in your stomach permits otherwise.  That card is put into your hand, unless the card text directs otherwise.  One Exception:  A player may at any time choose to draw an additional meal plan card.  If the payer chooses this option, they may do so on their turn regardless of their position on the board.
Play a card:  There are three different types of cards:  Consumables, Attacks, and Defenses.  If you play a Consumable card, that means you are eating that item.  Consumables are usually types of unhealthy fair food, but may also be medicines to reduce the negative effects of the unhealthy food.  Attack and Defense cards are played to either force another player to make a puke roll, or defense against another player’s attack.  Some of these cards can only be played during your turn, others can be played to immediately interrupt another player’s action.  Please refer to the card text for details.
Eating:  As you eat a consumable, you place that card on the table in front you.  This is your “stomach”.  The card is played face up so that everyone can see.  When you eat additional consumable items, play the new card to the right of the previous one.  Your stomach can hold up to 6 consumable items at a time.  If you are ready to play a 7th consumable item, the first card that was played is moved face down to your “digested” pile.  Cards in your digested pile are used for scoring at the end of the game and cannot be puked.  You may look through your digested pile at any time.
Puke Rolls:  At various times during the game you may be required to make a puke roll.  To do this, first add up the puke value on each card in your stomach.  This is your puke score.  Next, roll the d12.  If you roll higher than your puke score, then you have successfully avoided puking.  If you roll your puke score or lower, you have failed and puked.  All cards that are currently in your stomach must be removed and placed into the trash.  A result of 12 is always a success.
End Game:  The game ends when one of the vendors is out of cards.  At this time, all players must make one final puke roll.  Any food that remains in their stomachs can then be moved to their digested piles.  Next add the total puke score that has been digested.  This is your basic score.  Lastly, review your meal plan cards.
Meal Plan Cards:  Each Meal Plan Card lists specific types of food that must be eaten in order to gain a bonus to your final score.  The more difficult the meal plan to complete, the higher the bonus.  However, any incomplete meal plans at the end of the game count against your final score.  Individual food items count toward completing multiple meal plans (Example:  If player 1 has two meal plans that require a corn dog, and he has only eaten 1 corn dog, he has met the requirement of both plans.  Player 1 does not need to eat two corn dogs to satisfy both meal plans).
Finally, add your basic score to your meal plan bonus, then subtract any meal plan penalties.  The resulting number is your final score.  The player with the highest final score is the winner.
All ideas presented on this site are the property of the Building the Game Podcast.

Episode 17: Interview with Flip the Table


BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

The Guys from Flip the Table are here on our show!

Best Mashup ever: Murder She Wrote and America’s Funniest Home Videos

Whatcha been playing?:

Chris has been playing: Dominion: Dark AgesMonopoly

Jared has been playing: Pogs, Blood Bowl: Team Manager

Flip has been playing: La Havre, Eclipse, Pass the BombTroyes


“Mechanic” of the Week:

Mechanics that generally do more harm than good.

Roll and Move

VHS and DVD Mechanics



Other games we mentioned:


Battlestar Galactica

Candy Land

Chutes and Ladders




Halo Interactive Strategy Game


Puerto Rico

Robocop: The VCR Game

Run for your life, Candyman!

Star Trek: Catan

Settlers of Catan: Rockman Edition

Shootin’ Ladders

Transformers Adventure Game

Trivial Pursuit

Trump DVD Game

Twilight Imperium

Wits and Wagers

Twitter Shout Outs

@TableFlipsYou (Flip the Table Podcast)

@GameKnight (Flip Florey)

 @Jared_Hunnefeld (Jared Hunnefeld)

Practicing the Pitch:

We all work together to pitch what could actually be a good game…



The Dice Tower Network



Episode 16: Deadly Combat and Summer Camp

BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

This week and next week we are recording in the studio of Flipwerks Media.

Whatcha been playing?:

Jason has been playing: Lost Cities and Blokus

Rob has been playing: Banditos and Civilization

“Mechanic” of the Week:

Combat in games

Other games we mentioned:

Battle Con

En Garde (Made by our good pal Reiner Knizia…. I wonder if there is math involved)



Sentinels of the Multiverse

Smash Up

Twitter Shout Outs



Practicing the Pitch:

Jason pitches a game about Camp Troublemaker.



Crossover show with FLIP THE TABLE on the next episode!!!

That Journal Guy

Jungle Ascent Kickstarter

Camp Troublemaker

Camp Troublemaker (Temporary Title)

Imagine your back in the days of your youth attending another summer camp.  Good times running around, playing games, swimming, hiking, learning skills and most importantly, pulling pranks!

A board game for 2-4 players

Players vie to pull of the best pranks via worker placement mechanics.  Every day the players must choose how to spend their time.  They each get 5 tokens representing 2 hours each to spend on each turn.  These tokens are split among different activities.  Each activity gives players either good rep with the camp counselors or gives them items that they need to pull of their pranks.

Whenever players pull a prank they earn prestige with the other kids.  Each prank has a different prestige value.  Players work on their pranks in secret or can do called shots by telling everyone the prank they will pull ahead of time.  This makes the prank harder to pull but doubles the prestige earned.

At the end of the game the player with the most prestige wins.

The game will also feature a unique calendar countdown that will have different effects on different days for the campers and also will determine when the game ends.

– Jason

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

Episode 15: House Rules and Tattoos

BTG on iTunes

Intro and Welcome:

Rob is tired.

Jason has a sick sexy voice.


Whatcha been playing?:

Jason has been playing: Settlers of Catan (with house rules and team rules)

Rob has been playing: Banditos Desgined by: Sean Scott Garrity

“Mechanic” of the Week:

Player elmination

Other games we mentioned:

Cash ‘n Guns

Cthulhu Dark






Sentinels of the Multiverse


Twitter Shout Outs



Practicing the Pitch:

Rob pitches a game about Tattoos.



The Game Store

Indented Blank Dice


Settlers of Catan (House Rules)

As all of you listeners know, I am a huge fan of Settlers of Catan.  On Episode 15, I mentioned that we play with house rules and team rules to make the game even more enjoyable for our game group.

Here are the rules we have added/changed:

We play 4 player games on the 5-6 player expansion.  This change gives us a lot more space to work with for growing our empires.

You get resources for the first two settlements that you place, instead of just the second one.  This allows us to have a quicker start from the get go.

We ignore 7’s on during the first round.  This is because starting with 6 cards instead of 3, really screws player 4 if a 7 is rolled before they take their first turn.

Team Rules:

We play to 15 points with two teams of two players.

Teammates cannot trade with one another but they can steal from one another with 7’s and soldiers.

Teammates share development cards.

When a player has more than 7 cards and a 7 is rolled they may give on discarded card to their teammate.

Teammates share roads.

Let me know your feedback and any house rules you use!