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PnP Christmas Project 2012

Details of the PnP Games Made in 2012

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And Even More Buildings

tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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This past week I managed to get the last of the buildings glued together for Smash Monster Rampage!. That's 30 buildings for those of you counting at home.

Due to the thickness of the folder separators I was using to mount them on, they had to be glued in two phases. The first was to get the sides folded and one flap glued tightly down to the inside of the adjacent wall. With some of the smaller buildings I found I could use paperclips to hold the glued flap down. With taller buildings I ended up using two 1/4" square dowels, clamped with two large paper clamps.

Secondly, the tops had to be glued down to the three top flaps. They were held in place with rubber bands well enough -- or so I thought. Checking them all later I found that six or seven of the tops had come loose. Regluing seems to have solved that problem.

I decided to go with the "soft" die option. That's a die with the corners missing, giving it more of a geodesic cube look. Provided the die is given a good spin, it rolls well, if a bit drunkenly.

The board, all the buildings, the cards and the die all fit -- barely -- in a box made to hold 500 business envelopes.

My Smash Monster monster was all cut out and ready to go. Unfortunately, he decided to try and take on Jacques, my cat who was tactfully described by the SPCA as being "a bit toothy."



My wife, Sigrid, thinks the teeth marks and chewed-up tail gives Smash Monster some extra credibility. I'm thinking I'll probably be making myself another copy of Smash Monster for play purposes and leave the gnawed-on version stand as a warning for any other monsters out there to beware.

Also accomplished this week: the final series of revisions for the rewrite to the rules of Todd Sanders's beautiful re-theme of The Hammer of Thor: The Game of Norse Mythology. It was more work than I had imagined it would be, but I was happy to contribute to Todd's work. Todd listened (well, read) a lot of the things I had to say about where I was confused and some ideas on restructuring the order in which things were presented. The final set of rules should allow people to easily get a handle on the game and get to playing more quickly.
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Wed May 30, 2012 1:59 am
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More Blogs About Buildings and Food

tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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After one of those weeks that spread its horribleness across werk and into homelife (the former, a third-party system upgrade that was supposed to be no big deal. yeah, right. the latter, the recently replaced alternator going bad, followed by a not-so-great repair job that saw the forked serpentine belt sheering off a section that fell into the V-belt that runs the water pump and the power steering.) I don't suppose it's no surprise that I didn't get much of anything done this weekend.

My wife had an evening meeting about 90 minutes from home Saturday night. Since she doesn't see all that well at night, I took the day off to drive her to the meeting site. I spent a while in the local library, a beautiful old building with heart-of-pine floors and lots of natural sunlight. I settled into a chair, popped in the headphones and started back in on the line edits to The Hammer of Thor: The Game of Norse Mythology for Todd Sanders.

Having written board game directions, I have respect for anyone trying to do this. They are much harder to write than you might think. For a game as potentially complex as Hammer of Thor, the task must have been even more difficult. Still, I really wish the original writer had given the document to a non-gamer for editing. When I did the edits for Star Smuggler most of what I did was check for characters/words the OCR had missed. I made occasional suggestions for clarity, but that was about it. At 2x 33 pages (Rules and Events) it turns out that Star Smuggler's edits were much easier to do than Hammer of Thor are turning out to be.

Sunday I managed to continue building some of the buildings for Smash Monster Rampage!. There are a lot of buildings. Lots. I made the decision to mount them on stiff folder divider sheets and I'm still uncertain if that was the best decision. A single, standard manilla folder layer would be too thin; chipboard would be too thick. I do know that the smaller, folded markers for People and Fire need to be done on something much thinner than the divider sheets. (Luckily, when I score the backs for the folds, the paper separates into layers, should I want to remove a section.)

The Apricot Mead was dosed with Bentonite (no help) and Sparkloid (lots of help) to clarify the mead. Between the Bentonite (a clay, actually) and what yeast, etc., the Sparkloid pulled down, there was a lot of sediment at the bottom of the carboy. Made time to rack the mead off of that gunk and give it another taste. (It still has a ways to go.)

Once that carboy was cleaned and sanitized I racked the Porter off of the yeast and Crystal Malt sediment and into the carboy. I gave it a taste as well and was less than impressed. It's still young, so I'm reminding myself to be patient with it.

(I tried two of the Lawnmower Ales this past week. The first gysered up as soon as I barely cracked the cap, spewing beer foam all over my computer table and the carpeting below. Oh, yeah, all over my shirt and pants, too. Nothing like a bit of over-carbonation to set the tone for the evening. Since I barely got to taste any of that bottle, I set another one in the freezer for a while a few days later. That bottle opened without a problem (getting beer very cold can help with the effects of over-carbonization) and tasted... young. Again, patience grasshopper.)

I'll continue with the Smash Monster buildings, people and fire this week. It's a lot of work for a dice-rolling game but I'm hoping the theme will make up for it.
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Mon May 21, 2012 6:10 pm
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Buildings and Degassing the Apricot Mead

tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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This weekend was not the best for PnP game-making. Actually, it wasn't the best for a number of things.

I was about to head out to the grocery store early on Saturday morning only to discover one of our tires was flat. After a tire change and a drive out to the tire store, I came back home having noticed that the car was hesitating when I turned the key to start it up. Then I noticed the LED clock was resetting itself back to 12:00. We made a valiant attempt at running some errands but only made it as far as the local auto parts store where they confirmed our (2-month old) battery was low.

Battery or alternator? Both had been replaced in the past 3 months, so either one would be more annoying than necessary.

Earlier in the week I had glued buildings for Smash Monster Rampage! to thick folder dividers. I cut some of these out and have been slowly gluing the buildings together. Each one has needed to have the glued edge clamped in place and since I lack the materials to do clamp than one at a time, the going has been slow.

The Smash Monster cards were also made, thus finishing off the ream of pseudo linen paper that I bought months ago. At the time I didn't think I'd go through that much paper. Now I'm looking at buying more so I can make the redesign of DUNE -- a very card-heavy game.

I also made a four-fold Super Slapshot board over the weekend. I designed a special image for the four backing sections, pulling players from the redesigned cards into Photoshop and compiling them. I'm pretty happy with it. (This was supposed to be a Christmas present for a LiveJournal friend, but I can't see letting it sit and collect dust for six months when he could be playing it next week.)

Have I mentioned that I cut out all of the tiles, player aid boards and chits for Neolithic Ops, the fantastic redesign of Nexus Ops? I still have to assemble the glacier -- the multi-ply manila folders turned out to be too thick -- but otherwise that one is finished.

Having purchased all of the items necessary to move the Apricot Mead I taste-tested a few weeks ago back into a carboy, it was time to do so this past weekend. That entailed opening all of the bottles and pouring the mead back into the glass carboy. (I tasted it again and it really is undrinkable.) I added some Bentonite as a fining agent to try and clarify the mead. Bentonite is, essentially, clay, and it made a heckuva mess in the carboy. After two days the mead still isn't especially clear, so I'll add another fining agent later in the week. I sure hope between getting the suspended yeast to settle and the degassing that this stuff improves.

This current week has also seen me editing the Rules for Todd Sanders's redesign of The Hammer of Thor: The Game of Norse Mythology. Todd's artwork for this redesigned game is both simple and elegant -- two things the rules are not. (Todd may be rewriting them, which would only improve things)
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Wed May 16, 2012 4:43 am
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Star Smuggler and Ten Year Porter

tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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Last week I helped out Todd Sanders by proof-reading the Rules and Events books to his retheme of Star Smuggler. The game plays like a combination of dice-rolling mixed with an old "Chose Your Own Adventure" book. It seemed like one the SiL would likely enjoy. So, when an opportunity presented itself to be able to print out the two books (32 pages each) and the tiles/boards necessary for the game (31 faces; 31 backs) I jumped on it.

Due to the number of tiles/boards and the fact that they would all be static during the game, I decided to make them thinner than I've been making for most tiles. In this case I used two complete manilla folders (or a four folder thickness) for the backing material. I'm very happy with the result. They're thin enough to not appear like a huge stack of tiles and yet rigid (while still being pliable). It's a good trade-off for this game.

The folders were all glued on Friday; the printed tiles/boards and backing images were all glued to the boards on Saturday. The tiles/boards were all cut out today.

Also completed today was a 5-gallon batch of what I'm calling Ten Year Porter. The Crystal Malt, Barley Malt, Chocolate Malt and Black Patent Malts I used for this recipe were all malts that I had crushed close to ten years ago (probably closer to twelve). They were used for a porter back then and have been stashed in zip lock bags in the freezer ever since. I have no idea how the age is going to affect the taste. I'll find out in a few weeks/months.

(The orange mead was racked off the orange zest and sediment yesterday as well. It's now a beautiful clear, slightly orangish color with a distinct orange taste -- but not overpowering. Surprisingly, it had a fizzy taste to it which means there's still CO2 trapped in the mead and I need to keep degassing it for a while.)
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Mon May 7, 2012 1:53 am
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Lotsa Folding Boards

tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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A busy day for folding boards today. Most of them were for Todd Sanders' Shadows Upon Lassadar (The Grayking is Risen). Turns out there are a number of boards/counting sheets/etc., for this game. I had made the cards for it earlier in the year but never got around to the boards.

I also did a four-fold board for Kwanchai Moriya's retheme of Ogre. I'll have to double-check, but I think that was the last thing that I needed to do for that one.

Earlier this week I made Tuckboxes for Shadows, Slapshot, and Medieval Manor. I've taken to printing out the covers on standard paper and using Super77 to afix them to a single layer of manilla folder. The resulting box is thin but sturdy enough.

Meanwhile, the Lawnmower Beer is still fermenting away as the yeasties stay busy converting sugars to alcohol. (The porter I'm planning will have to wait another week or so until this one is done and I have time to bottle it.)

_____________________________________

One more thing for this weekend: doing line edits of Todd's reformatted manuals for his retheme of Star Smuggler.
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Sun Apr 29, 2012 3:37 am
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Tuckboxes (and Homebrew)

tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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This was an off weekend for game board building. In fact, the only thing I managed to get done was to cut out some tuckboxes. (Which work extremely well when printed on regular paper and glued to a single sheet of manilla folder paper)

Tuckboxes were made, printed and completed for:

Pocket Civ
Shadows Upon Lassadar: Revenge of the Raven Consort
Polders

Unfortunately, the pair I made for Medieval Manor turned out to be too small for the cards by just a few hairs. I'll have to enlarge and reprint the files later this week.

On Saturday we ended up running our Sunday errands, leaving me with a long, rainy Sunday in which to brew some Lawnmower Beer. Life is all about balance, innit?
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Mon Apr 23, 2012 6:29 pm
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Another Saturday; Another Set of Games

tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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Today's set of accomplishments:

Tuckboxes
Deckbox tuckboxes for Melee, Aether Captains: Clockwork Cabal, and Bibliogamo. I'm pretty happy with the way they've turned out.

Barbarian Prince
I think I have a complete Todd Sanders retheme of Barbarian Prince finished today. I have a four-fold of the board mounted and all of the various player guides done as well. I have both the Rules and the Events documents printed out and I'm thinking of trying to do some sort of rudimentary book binding for them to make them all that much nicer for the SiL's Christmas present. (The same will need to be done with the Rules for Todd's redesign of Citadel of Blood.)

Smash Monster Rampage!
As a long-time Godzilla fan, Smash Monster Rampage! seemed like a natural to me. I'm not a huge fan of dice and/or card games, but having a monster rampaging through a city... well, some themes just call for an open mind, right?

I've done four-fold boards but this was an eight-fold board. I was confident I could do it. However, my afternoon was interrupted and my measuring of the backing sheets I'd made didn't seem to work out as well as I'd hoped. Suffice it to say that the front of the board (the playing surface) looks okay. The back leaves something to be desired -- and when the board is folded, the one edge appears to have four different widths.

Not exactly what I was hoping for, but what the heck. It's one I'm likely to keep anyways, so why not.



Tomorrow: Sunday errands and (hopefully) brewing up the first batch of Lawnmower Beer of the year.
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Sun Apr 15, 2012 5:35 am
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Side Notes

tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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Today I finished cutting the hexes and chits for Stratocracy. The only problem, my initial printing of everything managed to exclude Tile #13. When I went back to print out #13 and the backing tile, I think I printed them both at full size instead of "fit to page." As a result, they both came out larger than any of the other tiles. Wonderful. I'll have to print out another Tile #13 this week and get it assembled and cut out to give me a completed game.

I also made a test box from the DeckBox(.zip) files from Firebrand Creations (http://www.firebrandcreations.net/Papercraft/Deck%20Box/Deck...). It looks okay, but I think the template needs a few modifications before I made a slew of them to hold the cards for the various games I've made for the SiL's Christmas present. Thanks to a bit o' Photoshoppery I think I've made a good start on that. I'll print that file out and glue it to a single-ply folder sheet to work on later.

This afternoon I took a few photos of some pieces I've made backed on mattboard, 2x chipboard, 4-ply folder sheets, and 5-ply folder sheets. The 5-ply folder sheets are just about the same thickness as 2x chipboard. I'll see how they came out later and, if they're good enough, I'll post them to a DIY Forum entry.
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Mon Apr 9, 2012 4:44 am
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Respect the Hex

tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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Today was another long day spent gluing and cutting. Two things of note:

1. I believe I finally finished my copy of Todd Sanders' redesign of Citadel of Blood. The last of the cards were mounted and cut today, as were the player aids and hero tracking sheet, along with the magic and other good-guy chits. I need to do a full inventory to be sure it's done, but I'm feeling confident it is.

2. A week ago I noticed someone had tossed about a hundred or more manilla folders into the trash. I picked some of them up and wondered if they couldn't be glued together to make a reasonable game board backing material. Today I tested this out and found they work quite well.

I used a total of six of one side of a folder (or three folders glued together) and used them for my CoB cards. They came out to be just shy of the thickness of the double-ply chipboard that I have used for the rest of this game. I am quite happy with the result.

Also worked on today were the tiles for Stratocracy. I took a five-folder-ply approach for the hex tiles and chits, using two complete folders and one half folder and gluing them all together. I had previously lined the Stratocracy tiles up with the backing sheet that I had made for them (lined up via a make-shift lightbox) and taped one long edge to hold them in place. After gluing the two and a half folders together, I glued one side of the taped together hexes to the folders. Then I turned the whole thing over and glued the other side. So far, the hexes have remained lined up.

As I still have plenty of scavenged folders at werk, I'm going to use the same approach with my version of Nexus Ops in the coming weeks.


I now have several jars filled with bagged chits on a table in my computer room. I really need to start learning how to make boxes soon.
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Sun Apr 8, 2012 4:26 am
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Mead Making Brings Balance

tom franklin
United States
Garner
North Carolina
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Saturday started off with the assemblage of a 5 gallon batch of Orange Mead. The must is happily fermenting away now and I'm considering my options for either additional orange flavoring (zest and OJ) and/or adding a few vanilla beans to the secondary. I'll have to see how the must tastes after the fermentation has ended and decide then.

It's nice to have options. cool

Saturday afternoon was spent back with the SiL's Christmas Project. After last week's feelings of burn-out, it was good to have the day divided into different projects. Here's what I accomplished:

Serica: Plains of Dust
In a recent online interview, Todd Sanders said this was his favorite of the games he's created. That was enough for me to bump it to the top of the Whim List.

My first print-out of the board turned out to be a Fit-to-Page printing (thanks, Acrobat), which made the board far too small to be used. I went back to the original image, split it into three segments/files and printed each separately. I made a backing sheet for the three board segments and printed those out as well. The tri-fold board is pretty nice -- although there's a millimeter-thin line between each of the three mounted images that drives me up a wall each time I see it. I may need to make another version of this for the SiL.

The cards for this one were difficult to line up due to the dark colors of both the fronts and the backs. I still need to re-trim about 1/3 of the cards before I'm finally done with this one.


Volo
A quick abstract board-only game. I mounted this on a bi-fold board with a backing made from the game logo.


Shadows Upon Lassadar
Turns out I had printed out a copy of SUL 1 a while back and glued the pages, but never cut them out. I managed to forget this and print out a second copy that's already made and ready for a box (and tuckbox). I glued the card fronts/backs and cut them out. I'll probably keep this one for myself.


Stratocracy
I have the original, large hexes printed out along with a generic backing image (I took the outer edge of the Player Aid tile and replaced the text with the game name/logo). They need to be mounted and cut out. The nine cards were glued and probably are still drying on the back porch where I've forgotten about them until just now. whistle


The next big thing on the horizon is to start making boxes for these games. My computer room is becoming a collection of bagged bits and pieces and boards that need to be better organized than they currently are. (Most are in upside-down, former blank CD containers.) And, of course, along with the boxes must come printed box labels.

Oh, and tuckboxes for all of the cards as well.
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Tue Apr 3, 2012 3:10 am
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