Archive for Andrew Bond
 Prev « 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 Next » 
I have now been given the go-ahead by Mayfair Games to release information about my upcoming newspaper-themed game Extra! Extra!, which was previously known by its working title 'Hold the Front Page'.
So, to fit in with all the other things I have to do to get this game over the finish line, I am going to reveal different aspects of the game over the coming days and weeks, one aspect at a time starting with...
... the start section of the SOURCES game board (one of three games boards that portray a 1920s period newspaper office).
More to follow!
Expect to see Extra! Extra! in the Spring of 2015.
Next: Shaken #42. What's it all about, Alfie?
I am trying out a complete re-theme of the pattern-matching card game that Jenny (my wife) and I have designed, current going under the name Send in the Clowns.
The reason for the change is the general apathy towards clowns as a whole, the problem that clowns lull people into thinking this game is a light, friendly game (it isn't), and my inability to garner any interest in Clowns from publishers.
So, the cards we are using have been changed from this...
So, if anyone is reading this, what do you think? Do the new cards appeal more than the old?
Would a game called 'Old Amsterdam' appeal more or less than 'Send in the Clowns'?
Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:44 am
This weekend has seen two BIG playests of my newspaper-themed prototype, Extra! Extra!.
A massive thanks to JimS, (Crispy) Chris, Kirsty, Jon, Steve, Will, James, Nick, Paul, Malcolm, and Gordon for spending their valuable gaming time helping me out. The two playtests each involved 6 players - the first with all new players, the second with all experienced players.
The Front-Page Berliner Scenario lasted 6 rounds and took 65 minutes to complete and the Cover-Pages Berliner Scenario lasted 8 rounds and took 2 hours and 35 minutes. Result! Exactly what I wanted for a serious strategy game that can also be played in 'quick' mode.
Comments from some of the playtesters have been posted here.
Feedback from the players was excellent, giving the game ratings (out of 10) of 6.71, 7.29, 7.86. 8.71, 8.43, and 10.00.
Changes from the current ruleset that I am thinking of introducing can be summarized as follows:
The ‘Late-Breaking News’ space is only used in 3-6 player games
Add a 'Stop-the-Press' space in 5-6 player games
Reduce the overall card count to 120 - making the number of suits 6 (instead of 8). This makes collecting sets easier.
Have two Extra tokens for each story type when playing a Cover-Page or Centre-Spread Scenario (but only one for a Front-Page Scenario)
Re-jig the Features Deck so it comprises 12 Extras (split across two suits), 12 Headlines/Columns, and 12 (split) Newswire/Interview cards
Separate the Interview space from the Headline/Column space and place it just before Late-Breaking News
Stories must be placed Side A upwards (with 'A' readable, i.e. upright) but adverts can be placed either side up
Typesetting allows complete reorganization of all tiles, including flipping from A to B and vice-versa
Recruitment should have 1 space in the 2-player game, 2 spaces in the 3-4 player game, and 3 spaces in the 5-6 player game
Reduce the Page-Completion Bonuses from 15, 10, 6, 3, and 1 to 10, 8, 6, 4, 2 instead (I am unsure about this)
Once a Page-Completion Bonus had been scored, then that page is locked
There should be only one row of Classifieds available
Your Newspaper’s theme is now a joker suit for you alone. So, whenever you claim a story, you can use one card (maximum) in your theme as if it is any suit - again I'm unsure if the impact this will have on the overall gameplay, so it needs to be tested
I'd welcome the thoughts of my fellow playtesters on these ideas (most of which are theirs anyway )
Mon Jun 23, 2014 10:29 pm
Having previously toyed with the idea of self-publishing my Send in the Clowns game, whose development is now virtually complete, I am always looking for tips how to keep production costs down.
Lo, BGG currently has a thread devoted to this topic, specifically how to manufacture a small print run (fewer than 1000 copies). Here is the link for those who haven't come across this thread yet:
Anybody know of a manufacturer that does minimum print runs of less than 1000 units?
And one of the really good sources of information highlighted there is an article by James Mathe entitled "Hitchhiker's Guide to Games Manufacturers". Superb! James has done all of us budding games designers/publishers a big favour by sharing his experience:
So I'd just like to say thank you to those who help others in this way.
Paul, James, and Nick came round last night to playtest the latest incarnation of my 'Art Dealer' prototype and I got some fabulous suggestions for improving the game.
This game had died and gone to heaven a few months ago but, following successive outings at London Playtest, I have managed to get it back on course. Last night we had a nearly fully-competitive game (sorry, Nick, that it bombed for you) with James just pipping Paul and me to the 12 VP winning target. And this played out in 1 hour 30 minutes - with lots of chat and ridicule for the game's author (me) - which is exactly what I wanted (well, not the ridicule).
So... what to do next?
A couple of thoughts I had since last night are as follows:
Introduce a minimum bid for auctions (representing a third party telephone bid). This will be between £1M and £5M and known before the auctions is taken (via a card drawen from a deck of bids). Minimum bid changes after each auction.
History deck: instead of discarded cards automatically going into the History deck, the History deck is seeded as follows: when a player pays to move random cards from Discard to History (as we played) AND when the History event occurs (see below). On taking the Historian's action, you can take any card out of the History deck without further payment
Introduce an automatic 'event' when ANY tile drops into the last three places on the action track, just like we did with the Exhibitor tile. If an event happens **every** time, it will be harder to forget to do it for the Exhibitor alone.
Question is: what should those events be? Here are some of my initial thoughts - I'd value comments on them or any other suggestions about this or the game in general.
Events (triggered on tile dropping into last three spaces):
1. Exhibitor: paintings paid out and clear, exhibition discarded replacement exhibition drawn
2. Curator: oldest museum discarded, replacement drawn
3. Collector: oldest commission discarded, replacement drawn
4. Buyer: oldest painting in market is discarded, replacement drawn
5. Seller: ??
6. Auctioneer: minimum bid card discarded, replacement drawn
7. Forger: forgeries are discovered (tokens clear)
8. Historian: max. 5 cards are moved from discard pile to History deck
9. Valuer: lowest valued painting period becomes highest values, all other periods drop one column
10. Restorer: oldest painting in market goes for restoration (this card may be 'reserved' by a player taking the Restorer action later)
Comments please from my intrepid playtesters!
Thu May 15, 2014 12:26 pm
Following the helpful suggestions in answer to my previous blogpost, Shaken #32. Help needed valuing paintings!, I have redesigned the top half of the game board for 'Art Dealer', my fine-art collecting prototype.
The action-selection mechanism
This new board provides spaces for the 8 Puerto Rico-like action-selection tiles, which form a queue from left to right. On a player's turn, the first tile is free to take, the second costs $1M, the third $2M, and so on, all the way up to $7M.
The active player pays for the tile he takes by putting a single $1M coin on each tile that is skipped. So, over several player turns, if the first tile is repeatedly ignored, then the monetary reward/compensation for taking it will increase.
Valuing the paintings
The two tables on this top-half of the game board are used to value the paintings.
The left hand table is based on the Art Movement the painting represents, from Renaissance through to Contemporary, via Rococo, Cubism, and Surrealism, and 7 other types - 12 Movements in total.
Each Movement is valued initially at $0M. But whenever a painting is bought from the market, its marker moves up one step, to $2M, then $5M, then $9M, $14M, and finally $20M. There are 9 paintings in each Movement in the two decks of cards (104 cards in total), so just over half of them must be bought to reach the top price of $20M.
The right hand table tracks the enhancement in value provided by a painting's two other characteristics - its Style (portrait, landscape, genre, historical, animal, etc - 6 styles in total) and its painter's Nationality (British, French, German, etc - 7 nationalities in total).
Markers for the 6 Styles are randomly placed along the top track and 7 markers for the Nationalities are randomly placed along the bottom track. A characteristic that appears in the final column of the table adds $5M to the value of any painting with that characteristic. If a painting has both the top rated characteristics, its enhancement is $10M, meaning that the most valuable single painting in the game will be worth $30M.
Still to do
Now I need to work on the bottom half of the game board, providing the open market, auction house, and museum spaces.
Wed Jan 22, 2014 11:59 pm
 Prev « 1 , 2 , 3 , 4 , 5 Next »