BoardGameGeek News

To submit news, a designer diary, outrageous rumors, or other material, please contact BGG News editor W. Eric Martin via email – wericmartin AT gmail.com

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Links: How Not to Name Your Game, Why We Won't Back Your Crowdfunded Game & More

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• On the Hyperbole Games site, designer Grant Rodiek laments past choices on the name of Hocus Poker and offers advice for other designers:

Quote:
Despite it being a key component of our origin story, Poker has really become a liability for our little game. For those not aware, Hocus began its life one afternoon when I asked, "would Poker be more fun with Spells?" I have immense respect for the game of poker, but I don't often enjoy my experience playing it. There seemed to be fertile ground as a designer to manipulate. Plus, it seemed easy. You shouldn't be surprised to find that I'm stupid...

Poker has been a problem at almost every stage of the pitch for us. I've had doors closed in my face as soon as the "ckkkk" leaves me lips, but we've also seen wild, angry men rage when they discover what they've done to "their" game. The problem with an elevator pitch is that you only have a floor or two, then your listener is either holding the door open or escaping that rapidly ascending box car.

Sort of along those same lines but not quite, I've had discussions with a couple of people who play only chess, and they find the idea of chess variants or chess-related spinoffs abhorrent. They say, "I don't want to play some chess-like thing; I want to play chess!" Perhaps not all chess players fall into this frame of thinking, but that anecdote came to mind while reading Rodiek's article.

• Speaking of chess, CNN reports on a chess grandmaster who went to the bathroom frequently to cheat in a tournament. How's that for a clickbaity summary?

• Jason Kotarski of Green Couch Games gets nice coverage from The Flint Journal about his success on Kickstarter with Scott Almes' Best Treehouse Ever. Reach out to those local news outlets, designers!

• To coincide with the debut of the fifth season of Game of Thrones on HBO, Owen Duffy of The Guardian talks up Fantasy Flight Games' line of board and card games based on A Game of Thrones and hits a few other winning licensed games as well.

• On Examiner.com, Michael Tresca offers "10 reasons why we won't fund your crowdsourced game", including pixel everything, cards against whatever, and "weird proposals that reveal awkward things about you".

• On NPR, Robert Smith explains "How Success Almost Killed A Game, And How Its Creators Saved It", with the game in question being Magic: The Gathering. Seems odd as the article covers old news and isn't connected to anything new at Wizards of the Coast, but here it is anyway.
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Sat Apr 18, 2015 9:08 pm
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Kevin Wilson Invites You to Be Awesome in His Kingdom

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Even with many other games already announced as forthcoming in 2015 — including designs based on Orphan Black and The Godfather — the publishing partnership of IDW Games and Pandasaurus Games has yet another title due out in the middle of 2015, this one being Awesome Kingdom: The Tower of Hateskull from designer Kevin Wilson. Here's a rundown of this 2-4 player game:

Quote:
Awesome Kingdom: The Tower of Hateskull is a lightweight, fast and funny dungeon-crawling card game in which players compete to be the most awesome hero after three days of adventuring.

Players enter the dungeon as one of eight epic characters, such as the Ragebarian, Prestidigimancer, or Paladude, with each character being bestowed with an appropriately amazing ability. The dungeon is formed out of a circle of dungeon wall tiles, with dungeon cards filling most of those spaces and heroes filling the rest.

A day lasts three turns, and on a turn, you play an action card from your hand, normally moving your hero around the circle of cards (skipping over other heroes) and claiming the card on which you land, which could be treasure, a monster (which wounds you before you defeat it), a trap, or even a magic item. Cards are worth various amounts of awesomeness, and you want to be the most awesome hero at the end of the third day.

The game includes 110 cards as well as cardboard tokens for wounds, coins, and dungeon walls and a cardboard standee for each hero.

Wilson describes the game as being a filler, a design "that's closer to something like Guillotine than something like Descent", with a four-player game taking 20-30 minutes.

Says Wilson, "I really enjoyed coming up with the cards for the game, which are based off the gonzo D&D campaigns I ran when I was little, back when being awesome was more important than realism. The heroes are all over-the-top things like the Ragebarian, who can shake off the effects of wounds, or the Prestidigimancer, who makes magic items more awesome and can mess with other heroes who move past her on the board. You might fight the Enchantovorosaurus, find a piece of the Stick of 6 Parts, get lured in by Adventurer Bait, or retrieve the World's Smallest Violin, which is worth an extra 10 awesome if you end the game in last place."

Awesome Kingdom: The Tower of Hateskull is scheduled for release in July 2015.

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Thu Apr 16, 2015 5:05 pm
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Game Overview: Ascension: Dawn of Champions, or (I Can't Get No) Matching Factions

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Ascension debuted in 2010 as part of the first wave of deck-building games in the wake of Dominion's ground-shifting onslaught on the gaming public, with Thunderstone (Dominion in a dungeon), Tanto Cuore (Dominion with Japanese servants), and Arctic Scavengers (Dominion in cold storage, both thematically and literally) being at the forefront of that wave in 2009.

Ascension's twist on the Dominion formula was two-fold, with (1) two currencies in the game to give you more to manage as you constructed your deck and (2) a sushi conveyor belt presentation of the cards to acquire or defeat, with not all players having a shot at each card as they emerged from the top of the deck.

The latest release in the Ascension series from Stone Blade EntertainmentAscension: Dawn of Champions — hews to the formula of earlier sets, with players once again competing for cards that are divided into four factions (Enlightened, Void, Lifebound, Mechana) and those factions having different specialties in what they do once you acquire a hero or construct and add it to your deck. As with the 2014 release Ascension: Realms Unraveled, some of the heroes and constructs now belong to two factions and the monsters also bear faction identification since, in story terms, they represent fallen members of New Vigil that now require your forceful attention.

To help you take advantage of all those faction markers, Ascension: Dawn of Champions includes a new ability on cards — Rally — with the ability always being combined with a faction, e.g., "Rally: Mechana". When you acquire or defeat a card with a Rally ability, if the top card of the deck belongs to that faction, then instead of placing it in the row as you normally would, you simply acquire or defeat it automatically. If you get lucky on the draws, you can even rally several cards in a row. Yes, rally you can!



Those factions also come into play with the giant-sized champion cards, with each player having a champion associated with a particular faction and gaining reputation for that champion whenever they acquire or defeat a card from that faction. Pick up enough reputation, and you get a champion card for your deck that works to that faction's specialty; pick up still more reputation, and you have an automatic Rally action whenever you acquire or defeat a card from that faction, thereby allowing you to (sometimes) chain together ridiculous turns — and sometimes get nothing at all. Them's the breaks, kid!

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Thu Apr 16, 2015 4:04 am
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Upcoming Games Teased at the 2015 Gathering of Friends

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For those who don't know, the Gathering of Friends is an invite-only game convention that designer Alan R. Moon started in 1990, and while the convention was indeed a gathering of friends when it started, over time it's morphed into a gaming industry event that draws publishers who are looking to showcase upcoming games, designers who are looking to pitch prototypes to those publishers, and gamers who are looking to play as much as they can in the time available.

I've attended the Gathering multiple times since the mid-2000s, but I'm not at the con in 2015 as I'm planning to travel to Tokyo instead to cover Game Market in May. (More on that con at a later date.) Thus, I'm following the Gathering game teases from afar like anyone else, and in case others aren't doing the same, I thought I'd post a round-up to let you know what might be coming out in the months and years ahead. Gathering attendees are supposed to ask permission before sharing unpublished game designs, and ideally that's the case with everything included below because that would mean the depicted games are indeed to be forthcoming releases. Note that these games are almost always presented with non-final graphics and components.

To start with, Czech Games Edition has a ton of material being shown at the Gathering, such as this:


Image courtesy Aeos James and used with permission




Okay, that's not exactly news since CGE announced in June 2014 that in addition to redesigning Through the Ages for the digital version then under development, it was also working "on a new edition of the physical board game that will feature similar improvements", with those improvements being new card design, new illustrations, some rebalancing on cards, and the possible addition of new cards. At the time CGE announced that "you can expect the new version of the board game at Essen 2015", and oh, hey, here we are in April 2015 looking ahead to what's going to be released later this year.

What else do we have from Czech Games Edition?


Image courtesy Aeos James and used with permission



As a CGE rep later clarifies, this expansion is indeed a prototype — i.e., it's not finished and of course might never appear in print at all — but "the main domain of these Demons will be 'Hell gate' aka teleport".



Image used with permission

• On Opinionated Gamers, Ben McJunkin shows off a "Quests" expansion for Galaxy Trucker that in his words "works to adapt the board game to the app".




Prototype artwork; images used with permission

• In a separate OG post, McJunkin gives an overview of The Castaway Club, a design from Last Will designer Vladimír Suchý that takes the basic premise of that game — in essence, lose all of your money first to win — and expands the challenge to you losing influence and political clout in addition to your money. As OG editor Dale Yu explains in another post, "The game ends when someone gets to zero thumbs or zero influence, and then your score is your score in your worst of the three categories", although I'm guessing that he means the highest of your three categories.

• In that same OG post, Yu posts a pic of what I believe to be Splotter Spellen's Food Chain Magnate, which is scheduled to debut at Spiel 2015 in October, but it mostly looks like a million cards in tiny piles, so you can't make out much of anything.

• To return to Czech Games Edition, Debbie Ohi offers a couple of pics of Adrenaline, a first-person shooter board game from Filip Neduk, designer of the 2012 CGE title Goblins, Inc.:





Image courtesy Aeos James and used with permission


• Ben McJunkin also offers this small CGE teaser of a word game from designer Vlaada Chvátil:



• To tie in to all of the CGE titles just mentioned, here's designer Vlaada Chvátil and Heli Barthen playing Flick 'em Up! from Pretzel Games, with the pic showing off many of the components in the game:



• One of the other publishers showing off a large number of forthcoming releases at the Gathering is eggertspiele, such as the table-hogging Porta Nigra from Kramer and Kiesling, which has only this description so far:

Quote:
Porta Nigra is named after a large Roman city gate from the 2nd century in Trier, Germany. The game is set in that place and time, and the players are Roman architects working on this gate. Each player has a master builder that moves around a circular board, with you allowed to buy or build only where this builder is located, although with multiple movement points you can perform actions in different locations, with the type and number of actions coming from cards in your personal draw deck.



• Dale Yu has a couple of other shots of Porta Nigra in this OG post.


Mombasa, eggertspiele, 2015 — photo used w/ permission


• On Opinionated Gamers, Ben McJunkin highlights the 2015 release Mombasa from Alexander Pfister and eggertspiele: "This is a very good, meaty game that will appeal to most heavier Euro fans. As a point of comparison, think about something like Russian Railroads." He summarizes his first play of Mombasa in a separate post: "I won, but it took half a game for anyone to figure out what they should be doing."

• Another title coming from eggertspiele is Friedemann Friese's BAU!, a building game in which players try to build towers from wooden parts based on what they roll on the die. OG Dale Yu summarizes the game on OG, but the design is still in the oven at this point, so details must wait for later.

• Speaking of Friese, he playtested his big Spiel 2015 release 504 at Toronto board game café Snakes & Lattes prior to the Gathering and has continued to playtest it throughout the Gathering with 2F-Spiele comrade-in-arms Henning Kröpke:





• That's most of what I've seen in terms of soon-to-be-released games at the Gathering, although there's also this one of Rob Daviau's SeaFall:


Image courtesy Aeos James and used with permission


• And my sweetheart:



Me neither! So bummed to be missing out on more Time Stories, but that day will have come already soon.

For a last pic, here's an overview of how Paul Jeffries reconstructs game boxes to keep them from being shelf hogs. I talked with Paul about this in 2014 after seeing a few of his creations, and he is way more dedicated to making them both compact and beautiful-looking than I am. (I shoot for compact and don't worry about recreating the box sides or replicating the cover in a smaller scale, but man, does his work look good!)

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Wed Apr 15, 2015 6:00 am
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Links: Legal Trouble for Cards Against Humanity, Thirty Years of Knizia & Haiku Winners

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• On Bangor Daily News, Abigail Curtis reports on apparent zoning violations by the owners of Cards Against Humanity for "installation of a platform, shed and safe within 22 feet of the lake’s normal high-water line" and the issuance of "250,000 'licenses' that grant the exclusive use of 1 square foot of land" on Birch Island in Lake St. George in Maine.

• On League of Gamemakers, designer Scott Caputo explores the pluses and minuses of using dice or cards as randomizing elements in your game design.

• Also on League of Gamemakers, designer JR Honeycutt admits that he was wrong about Splendor — or does he? He writes: "I'd played Splendor twice, and panned the game while being generally dismissive of its popularity. It's very light, the theme is tacked-on, and much of its appeal is based on the heavy, high-quality poker chips that represent gems in the game. It's not a 'gamer's game', it's not deeply strategic, and it doesn't engender any kind of special interaction between players."

He goes on to say, "Splendor is undoubtedly guilty of the above things, and yet, it's wildly popular", and when he played the game again, he found himself enjoying it. So he wasn't wrong about Splendor as much as he was wrong about the things that mattered to him in a game design, or rather the things that he felt were important for a game to be (objectively?) good. The game is still light, the theme is still tacked on, it's not deeply strategic — and yet here I am having fun? What's wrong with me? Why am I enjoying this thing that's not good? Could I be mistaken about what I actually enjoy? (As longtime readers of BGGN might know, I answer this last question in the affirmative.)

• "Don't play your new game with me unless you want to go home angry", warns designer James Ernest in a blog post railing against "derivative" game design. "Maybe it's because I play more prototypes than published games, but even after seven years, every new deckbuilding game still feels like an expansion for Dominion... Look, you could start where Dominion started, with the basic idea of turning a Magic draft into a boxed game, and end up in a thousand different places, none of which feel anything like Dominion. Right? But nobody does."

• A Reuters article from Daniel Kelly claims that "Consumers [Are] Turning To Tabletop Options In Backlash Against Video Games", but that article doesn't support this headline. I did learn, though, that "the games are not just for children".

• In The Wall Street Journal, Christopher Chabris reports on "The Rise of Cooperative Games", but the article can't be viewed unless you subscribe to the WSJ, so don't bother clicking through. Sorry! Just wanted to highlight the presence of Pandemic in an unexpected location.

Reiner Knizia celebrates his 30th year as a published designer in 2015, and to encourage others to play along, he's offering a special package of signed games and winner certificates for anyone who runs a Kniziathon, a Kniziathon being an open gaming event at which people play lots of games designed by Knizia, winning position points based on how well they do in those games.

• In early April 2015, I threw down a haiku challenge and it's time to choose the winners from those who commented on that BGGN post, with those three winners receiving a copy of Hipster Dice courtesy of Steve Jackson Games. I'll start with runners-up, such as this metacomment on the prize from Douglas MacIntyre:

shadowruin wrote:
Only you can use
rolling six sided dice
ironically

I thought highly of jflartner's haiku, but it broke rhythm, so I couldn't consider it for the prize:

jobin13 wrote:
Time marches onward
Gears are what happen
When you're making other plans.

Phil Alberg wins the suck-up no-prize for taking a comment that I left on Facebook about his game-playing session and building a haiku around it. I really need to record a video about Deep Sea Adventure at some point:

Spielfreak wrote:
I have no treasure
Deep Sea Adventure awaits
Dive, dive, dive, die! Ooops...

And now for the winners, starting with the first haiku on that post, which took the contest in a direction that I hadn't considered:

Chris Schreiber wrote:
The game I needed,
The game I wanted, and the
game for free shipping.

For some reason I had imagined the haiku each relating to a single game as with my own example that I had included, but I didn't make that a requirement and Chris' haiku said a lot about gratification and addiction in a few words. The other two haiku that struck me most, though, did each relate to a single game, but without naming them in the haiku. First up is Rick Senki:

airydisk wrote:
If only she knew!
I rend my soul in missives;
Cruel guard mocks my pain.

And the final winner is Mike DiLisio, who gets props for this existential question on a recent controversy:

Sizzla wrote:
What is a fakir?
A man on a bed of nails,
or a compromise?

I've sent Geekmail to the winners with an explanation of how to claim your prize. Don't brag about it in public, though, or else you'll throw away whatever hipster cred you might have...
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Tue Apr 14, 2015 4:15 pm
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Days of Wonder Lays the Groundwork for City Mania

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City-building is a common theme for game designers and publishers, and it's easy to see why: Due to their familiarity with the subject matter through its omnipresence in the world, players can easily grasp the goals of the design depending on whatever particulars are presented (higher, wider, more diverse), and by the end of the game they have created something of their own to look at and admire (or lament, as the case might be).

One problem that results from the commonality of the theme, though, is coming up with a title that says "You're going to build a city!" while standing apart from all of the other games in which you build cities. Whether Days of Wonder has succeeded or not with that goal with City Mania — a design from first-timer François Gandon — is up to you to decide. (I'll confess to thinking of Judge Dredd due to the similarity of the name to Block Mania, but somehow I think that the final graphics from DoW will erase such stray thoughts.)

Let's start with a completed city from a playtest session at the Cannes game festival. Note that the graphics were created by the designer and are not how the game will appear in print.



And here's an overview of how to play City Mania, with some of the game terms not being final as I'm working from a rough draft of the rules and a single playing of the prototype, which was known as Quadropolis at that time:

Quote:
Each player builds their own metropolis in City Mania, but they're competing with one another for the shops, parks, public services and other structures to be placed in them.

The game lasts four rounds, and in each round players first lay out tiles for the appropriate round at random on a 5x5 grid. Each player has four architects numbered 1-4 and on a turn, a player places an architect next to a row or column in the grid, claims the tile that's as far in as the number of the architect placed (e.g., the fourth tile in for architect #4), places that tile in the appropriately numbered row or column on the player's 4x4 city board, then claims any resources associated with the tile (inhabitants or energy).

When a player takes a tile, a figure is placed in this now-empty space and the next player cannot place an architect in the same row or column where this tile was located. In addition, you can't place one architect on top of another, so each placement cuts off play options for you and everyone else later in the round. After all players have placed all four architects, the round ends, all remaining tiles are removed, and the tiles for the next round laid out.

After four rounds, the game ends. Players can move the inhabitants and energy among their tiles at any point during the game to see how to maximize their score. At game end, they then score for each of the six types of buildings depending on how well they build their city — as long as they have activated the buildings with inhabitants or energy as required:

• Residential buildings score depending on their height
• Shops score depending on how many customers they have
• Public services score depending on the number of districts in your city that have them
• Parks score depending on the number of residential buildings next to them
• Harbors score based on the longest row or column of activated harbors in the city
• Factories score based on the number of adjacent shops and harbors

Some buildings are worth victory points (VPs) on their own, and once players sum these values with what they've scored for each type of building in their city, whoever has the highest score wins.


Designer François Gandon & a playtest version of the game in the DoW office


Adrien Martinot from Days of Wonder says that they discovered City Mania in September 2014 at CreaGames, an annual event hosted by the Centre National du Jeu in Paris in which a jury issues prizes to four board game designers for their submitted game prototypes. Gandon was one of the winners in 2014 with Quadropolis. "Just after one play, we fell in love with the game," says Martinot. "It sounded very addictive. The rules are quite simple — it takes only a few seconds to understand how to obtain and place building tiles in your city — yet we could see that many different strategies could lead to victory, ensuring replayability. So after a few games, we decided to publish it."

The design of City Mania is nearly the same as what they first saw in Quadropolis, says Martinot. "The scoring conditions perfectly match the game theme: Parks score more points when placed next to residential buildings, shops score more points when full of customers, etc. So the game was already solid when we signed it in October. However, François rapidly came up with a lot of suggestions to improve the game, which allowed us to fine-tune it and make sure that all building types were equally useful. We played a lot with François to balance victory point scales and building effects. (There is a wide range of different possible cities, and each strategy offers good options for victory.)"


Adrien Martinot and Franck Lefebvre from Days of Wonder during a playtest session


As I noted earlier, I've played City Mania once, with that game being one of only a handful that I managed to play at Spielwarenmesse 2015, and the simplicity of the game is reminiscent of classic Eurogames. You have only four actions available to you each round, and an action is simply placing one of your architects next to one of the rows or columns in the central game board — yet so much flows from those simple decisions, with the right-hand opponent being locked out of certain areas of play on their next turn and you being forced to both take a particular tile and place it in a particular row or column on your personal game board based solely on the number of the architect you used. You often gain resources from that tile while simultaneously locking in a cost obligation for later. (I forgot to mention in the description that you lose points for unused inhabitants and energy. Efficiency in city-building is a must!)

Says Martinot, "One of the key aspects of City Mania is to understand how each building scores and how important it is to place them on the right spots of your city, i.e., close to other buildings that would maximize scoring. While you will be able to build a consistent city on your first play, you will then try to follow precise city plans on your subsequent games to test different options and optimize your score. I think that after more than one hundred games, I have never built the same city, and because of that, the desire to play a new game of City Mania is still intact." (Martinot beat me and my cameraperson John Knoerzer.)

City Mania is due out by Spiel 2015 at the latest, with the exact release date still up in the air because of what still needs to be done. "The development of the game is now over, and I have to say it was a real pleasure to work with François," says Martinot. "He put a lot of time, effort and love in his game, and during all the process of improving the game, we always agreed about what the final game should look like. Now, it is time to work on the illustrations and the visual aspect of City Mania before we start production."

If I can offer one suggestion to Days of Wonder before they head to print, I'd advise them to package the game in six different boxes so that players can play MetaCity Mania with the sealed boxes at conventions. Viral advertising and gameplay rolled into one giant event!

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Mon Apr 13, 2015 6:36 pm
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Time Stories Is Waiting in the Wings

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I've talked about Manuel Rozoy's Time Stories a lot since October 2012 — including four published previews — and during that time the publisher has changed from GameWorks to Space Cowboys. History is rewritten! The present is the past!

In early April 2015, I posted a short item about Time Stories that included a shot of Vincent Dutrait's studio and artwork he's created for the medieval fantasy scenario referenced in the "four" link above. That scenario will apparently not be included in the base game as Space Cowboys' Croc explains in the video included in that same BGGN post that the base game will include an asylum scenario ("including") and a zombies scenario ("published").

Despite all of these preview links, I've tried hard not to give away much detail about the scenarios while still conveying the spirit of the game. This is admittedly the fan side of Eric coming through on those previews (and this post, too) as playing these scenarios has been the highlight of each trip to Spiel for the past three years, and I can't wait to relive them with my local game group. I'm not normally a theme guy, but I'm a sucker for time travel and Time Stories does everything right in terms of how I'd expect to see the genre conveyed in a game, with you, the players, being the time travelers and experiencing what they would experience.

Space Cowboys has now confirmed a final locked-down launch date for Time Stories of Spiel 2015 in October, with details of the price, availability of scenarios outside those in the base game, how you actually play, etc. still to come in the months ahead. François Doucet from Space Cowboys has also shared the cover image, which is still a work in progress at this point, and he notes that the "T.I.M.E." on the cover "labels the Agency responsible for sending agents through time", although what the acronym stands for remains a secret for now and the name of the game itself remains Time Stories — at least for now.

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Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:00 pm
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Tides of Time to Flow from Portal Games

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When you think of Portal Games, grandiose game designs tend to come to mind such as Neuroshima Hex! and Stronghold, Robinson Crusoe: Adventure on the Cursed Island and Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy — board games that seem to hold entire worlds within themselves, board games that want you to inhabit those worlds, board games that (yes) tell stories, board games that bear subtitles that threaten to shatter under their own weight (much as with this sentence and its many clauses).

While that's often the situation with game releases from Portal, the company has released a number of smaller designs over the years such as (the still somewhat involved) Witchcraft from Michał Oracz and Ignacy Trzewiczek and the abstract strategy game Glik from Adam Kałuża. While those games are ancient relics in today's on-the-run game industry, Portal is not finished with small designs, with the 18-card microgame Tides of Time from first-time designer Kristian Čurla scheduled to debut at Gen Con 2015 and reach retail outlets in August 2015. Here's an overview of the gameplay:

Quote:
Play as an ancient civilization as they prosper and collapse through time. Build gigantic monuments, raise impenetrable fortifications, and amass vast knowledge as the ages pass. The greatest civilizations will leave their mark long after their collapse. From times long forgotten to times recently lost, civilizations will rise and fall as the tide of time carries them.

Tides of Time is a drafting game for two players. Each game consists of three rounds in which players draft cards from their hands to build their kingdom. Each card is one of five suits and also has a scoring objective. After all cards have been drafted for the round, players total their points based on the suits of cards they collected and the scoring objectives on each card, then they record their score. Each round, the players each select one card to leave in their kingdom as a "relic of the past" to help them in later rounds. After three rounds, the player with the most prosperous kingdom wins.

In a press release announcing the title, Portal Games' Ignacy Trzewiczek says, "Kristian approached me at Essen Spiel with a prototype and when we played it, I knew immediately that it was a perfect fit for Portal Games. The play is more streamlined than our usual games, but each decision is rich and difficult. Each choice, you must choose between building your Kingdom or sabotaging your opponents plans...and sometimes, you can do both with a single action!"

Tides of Time is for players aged 8 and up with a playing time of 10-20 minutes and a $12 MSRP.
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Mon Apr 13, 2015 11:00 am
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Alspach and Worthington Unleash One Night Resistance

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You know which game is super popular and has fans that constantly rave about its wonderfulness? Don Eskridge's The Resistance. You know another game that fits this same description? One Night Ultimate Werewolf, Ted Alspach's take on Akihisa Okui's One Night Werewolf.

And now like two soulmates who were separated at birth and never knew about the existence of one another, those two games have been magically combined as One Night Resistance by Alspach and Resistance publisher Indie Boards and Cards, with the game already having blown past its Kickstarter funding goal in a matter of hours. Here's a rundown of the design that somehow convinced Debbie Harry to become part of the Resistance universe:

Quote:
One Night Resistance is a super fast game of secret identities for 3 to 10 players that combines all the deductive and chaotically fun elements of the One Night Ultimate Werewolf series with the structured game play of The Resistance. The result is a very addictive game that is easy to learn and will be played over and over again.

Every player starts with a specialist role and an ID (either spy or resistance). At night the spies reveal themselves to one another — assuming any exist, that is, as at all player counts between zero and three spies are in play — then all players complete their specialist action in a clockwise order (removing the need for a rigid script/app and reducing the potential to accidentally reveal your role). Specialist actions include gathering information, switching roles, and helping players in their attempt to identify the spy before the the day is over. If a majority of players identify the spy, the resistance wins — but if the spies remain hidden, they win!

Alspach has written a designer diary about how Travis Worthington, owner of Indie Boards and Cards, approached him with the challenge of combining these two game worlds, and that history goes live on BGG News on Monday, April 20, 2015.
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Mon Apr 13, 2015 3:20 am
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First Look at The Infinite Board Game

W. Eric Martin
United States
Apex
North Carolina
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Today is International TableTop Day, as decreed by Geek & Sundry, the folks behind Wil Wheaton's TableTop series of game demonstration videos, and you may or may not be participating in a TableTop event right now. (If you are, then it's probably your turn, so put down your phone and make a move!)

Me, I'm planning to play a few games with my family, but I thought that I'd also take the time to show off The Infinite Board Game, a collection of piecepack games being released by Workman Publishing on September 22, 2015.

As I noted in this Aug. 2014 BGGN post, Workman contacted piecepack creator James Kyle about assembling a collection of piecepack games, and Kyle then passed my name to Workman as I had created a proposal for such a project in the mid-2000s. That project is now nearing completion, with Workman editor Daniel Nayeri and me (and others) checking the final proof of the text in mid-April and the project then going into production by the end of April.

The Infinite Board Game includes a 160-page softcover book that includes rules for roughly fifty games, with each game having a double-page spread (and more pages when needed) that lays out the rules, includes diagrams and set-up information, and is dressed up with a fun illustration. In the book, the games are divided into categories such as classic, solitaire, and dexterity. The Infinite Board Game comes packaged with a redesigned version of the piecepack; I haven't seen the test versions of the pieces in person, but the image below shows a mock-up of the piecepack components (as well as the book), and I love the look that Workman has chosen. Very curious to see this project on shelves in the months ahead and find out what people think about the collection!

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Sat Apr 11, 2015 6:50 pm
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