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Introduction to Massachusetts Bay

Chris Fanchi
United States
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Texas
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Last time we gave you a brief introduction to three of the latest projects that we are working on here at Fanfare Games. Today we’re going to dig a little deeper into one of those games, to give you an idea of how the game functions and the kinds of games that we like to make. As you probably noticed with our last post, along with our only publicly released game Basketball G.M., we have rather eclectic tastes in games. Along with wildly different themes, we also try to use a lot of different types of mechanics, usually trying to blend the mechanic seamlessly into the theme to make for a fuller game experience.



The game we’re going to discuss today is called Massachusetts Bay. Massachusetts Bay is a worker placement game for 2-4 players that plays in 90-120 minutes. For those of you that aren’t history buffs, Massachusetts Bay is the name of the province that the city of Boston belonged to in pre-Revolutionary America. The game is set in this time period, as Colonial America has become a thriving economic territory of the British Empire. Players represent business owners in the Massachusetts Bay area that are trying to establish businesses based on the goods available in the New World. Players can buy raw goods common to Colonial America - Ore, Fur, Cotton, Tobacco, and Sugar - in order to convert those goods into finished goods - Guns, Coats, Cloth, Cigars, and Rum - that are in demand in the Old World, much like players do in Le Havre.
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Wed Oct 31, 2012 9:59 pm
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What We're Up To

Chris Fanchi
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Greetings readers! We know it’s been a long time since our last post, but rest assured Fanfare Games has been hard at work on new and inventive games. Over the next couple weeks leading up to BGG.Con, we will be discussing the preparations that we are making to attend the event and start shopping some of our designs to publishers. We hope you’ll read along and share your thoughts, and of course let us know if you’d like to meet up with us at the Con!
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Wed Oct 24, 2012 7:37 pm
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Game Development - A Fanfare Perspective

Chris Fanchi
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As many of you now know, Fanfare Games is a very new game company. If you have been following this blog, you should know all about our first official release, Basketball G.M. As a company, it is always important to have an eye on the future and plan for your next move, and with Basketball G.M. being fully rolled out, the time has come to look ahead to a new project. Today I’d like to talk a little about the game design process and how we have approached it. I would love to hear from you, as well, about how you like to approach designing a new game for either your own personal use or for eventual publication.
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Tue Nov 8, 2011 8:42 pm
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Basketball G.M. - Alternate Draft Types

Chris Fanchi
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As we wrap up our demo game for Basketball G.M., it seems this would be an appropriate time to discuss some alternate gameplay options that we enjoy. The beauty of Basketball G.M. is that it closely imitates a fantasy-style draft at the beginning of the game. The rulebook contains two options for GMs to try for the draft: a "Quick Draft" (pick and pass) and an "Auction Draft." The most common draft is going to be the Quick Draft as it allows GMs to quickly get through the draft and on to the heart of the gameplay. The Quick Draft is the method we chose for our demo game and is also the method demonstrated in our tutorial video.
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Tue Nov 1, 2011 9:22 pm
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Chris Ventures To The Dallas Games Marathon

Chris Fanchi
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Arlington
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This past Saturday I made the trek from here in Arlington up to the Dallas Games Marathon, a monthly weekend-long gaming extravaganza. This was my first chance to get up to Plano, about an hour drive from my home, to play some games. This was a good chance to take Basketball G.M. public, but unfortunately I didn’t get to stay long enough to play it with anyone. Instead, I played three games I hadn’t played before (none of which I won), met some fun gamers and passed along a handful of business cards. I was very impressed by the turnout (reportedly 135 people) and the facilities, a nice big storefront in a strip center with plenty of tables and chairs and an incredible selection of games. Note that I am terrible with names and I will probably have misremembered multiple names and some I simply don’t recall at all. If I played with you this weekend, please don’t be offended. Also keep in mind that I would consider myself a novice board gamer. Most of my gaming experience is with customizable card games like Star Wars CCG, Star Trek CCG, Lord of the Rings TCG, Magic: The Gathering, etc.

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Wed Sep 21, 2011 7:34 pm
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Basketball G.M. Demo Game - Intro and Chris's Coach Selection

Chris Fanchi
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With Basketball G.M. now available through The Game Crafter, we decided a great way to introduce our readers to the ins and outs of the game would be to play a game over the Internet. As Tony (admiralacf on BoardGameGeek) is located in Iowa and I (Chris, fanfarechris on BoardGameGeek) am in Texas, we will be playing long-distance and we will go through an entire game from setup through the end of the season. If you want to check out or brush up on the rules before we get started, the latest rules document is available here.

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Tue Sep 20, 2011 1:40 am
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Are You Ready For Some... Football?

Chris Fanchi
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That’s right, it’s football season, and since there may not be a basketball season this year, Fanfare Games will be hosting our first Fantasy Football League! We are looking for 6-8 die-hard sports fans looking to challenge me (fanfarechris) and Tony (admiralacf) on the gridiron this fall. If you are a football fan and want to join us, respond to this blog, Geek-mail one of us or contact us through our website. Here’s what we need from you:

1. Your preference as to which site to use - Historically we have mostly played Yahoo! leagues, but we would be open to any free league out there including ESPN.com and NFL.com. If you know another good one, let us know about it.

2. When you would be available to draft - Day of the week and time of day, or specific date if need be.

3. Your preference as to league scoring/rules/draft type - We’ll probably run it pretty standard, with the usual fantasy draft style, but we’re open to suggestions!

4. Your contact information (name and email address).

That’s it. We are hoping to get 8 to have a league of 10. We have not decided on prizes at this point, but we may have something special planned for those who participate!

UPDATE #2: Just 3 spots left! I am locking us in as a standard Yahoo league with points per reception counted. I will decide what exactly they'll be worth and when the draft will be held once the league is full. - Chris

Don’t forget to check out the amazing Basketball GM tutorial that Tony posted here yesterday!

Check out our Twitter feed (@fanfaregames) as we will be releasing daily Basketball G.M. spoilers up until the August 30th release, and be sure to like us on Facebook (Fanfare Games) and check out our website (www.fanfaregames.net) for more updates and spoilers! © 2011 Fanfare Games.
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Tue Aug 23, 2011 7:52 pm
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Basketball G.M.: Player Value

Chris Fanchi
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Previously we discussed the Trading Block, a game mechanic in Basketball G.M. (BBGM) that allows GMs to bid on players who are conceptually on other teams that are not controlled by one of the human GMs. GMs can acquire players off the Trading Block by putting together the most attractive package of players. However, since the Trading Block is not controlled by any GM, who decides whose offer is the best?

This is where player value comes in. A player’s value is one of his three main attributes, along with his ability and salary. The value attribute is a numerical representation of a player’s value to other teams in the league. Player values are influenced primarily by the player’s ability, but are also influenced by the number of positions the player plays, as well as by the number of skills that the player possesses.


A successful Blockbuster Deal can be tough to pull off, but it can also propel your team to a more successful season.


When putting together a Trading Block offer, GMs can include any number of their players. The value of the offer is the sum of the value of the players included. Additionally, GMs can spend cash to increase their trade offer, but be careful not to overspend. BBGM includes a salary cap that teams cannot exceed, and spending cash counts against this cap.

Player value also places a limit on trades between two GMs. GMs must offer packages of players that are roughly equivalent in value (within two points), or else the commissioner will veto the trade. This prevents a team that is out of the running for the playoffs from passing all of its good players to another team that is in the hunt. For the sake of simplicity and balance, GMs cannot include cash in their trades with other GMs.

Check out our Twitter feed (@fanfaregames) as we will be releasing daily Basketball G.M. spoilers up until our August release, and be sure to like us on Facebook (Fanfare Games) and check out our website (www.fanfaregames.net) for more updates and spoilers! © 2011 Fanfare Games.
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Thu Aug 11, 2011 9:06 pm
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Basketball G.M.: Strategies

Chris Fanchi
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Last time we discussed Occurrences, one of the two main card types in Basketball G.M. (BBGM) that will affect your team’s performance each week beyond your coach and players. Today we are going to take a look at the other card type: Strategies.

Strategies are much like Occurrences that you can control. These cards represent coaching decisions, gameplanning, players that get hot and even some off-court actions that teams can take to help themselves. Each coach has a Strategy attribute that determines the number of Strategy cards that the GM gets to draw. Each GM may play one Strategy each turn (this action is optional, but there’s rarely a reason to skip it) and may discard one Strategy each turn. At the end of the turn, all GMs draw back up to their coach’s Strategy number.


Roster Shakeup is a Modifier Strategy card that gives your team a bonus for bringing in a new player.

GMs should carefully consider the Strategy attribute of each coach when choosing who to take at the start of the game. While a coach that provides a big Ability bonus can be great, getting only 2 Strategy cards will significantly limit your options each turn and can lead to poor performances in key turns.


Dr. Andrew James is one of two cards designed to help teams recover from an injury that could derail their season.

While the bonus from a Strategy may not be huge, it can often be the difference in a given turn. GMs that know the Strategy cards well will be able to build their teams to better take advantage of the cards they are likely to draw. GMs that ignore things like skills, ages, and personalities of their players can be caught without a good Strategy to play each turn.

Check out our Twitter feed (@fanfaregames) as we will be releasing daily Basketball G.M. spoilers up until our August release, and be sure to like us on Facebook (Fanfare Games) and check out our website (www.fanfaregames.net) for more updates and spoilers! © 2011 Fanfare Games.
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Tue Aug 2, 2011 6:26 pm
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Basketball G.M.: Occurrences

Chris Fanchi
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We’re back! So far in this blog we have covered the ins and outs of players in Basketball G.M. (BBGM). Today we are going to take a look at one of the two main card types that will affect your team’s performance each week beyond your coach and players: Occurrences.

Occurrences are the random things that happen to a team during the course of the season that will affect your team’s success and failure. Occurrences include injuries, suspensions, chemistry issues, off-court problems and scheduling issues, among other things. In BBGM, each GM will draw an Occurrence card each turn and have to deal with the consequences of the card. Some Occurrences are Global and will affect all GMs in the game. Most, however, will only affect the team that drew the card.


A Trap Game is a matchup with a weaker team preceding a higher-profile game.

Many Occurrences are injuries or suspensions that may cause players to miss time. These cards can be particularly devastating to the player drawing the card, so Occurrences have a built-in mechanism to try to lessen the blow. This is called the Performance number, and it is found in the white box on the right-hand side of the card. Each turn, each GM will roll a number of Performance dice to add to his or her team’s Ability total. The number of 6-sided dice each team can roll is determined by their Occurrence card. Thus, the more damaging the Occurrence, the more dice the player gets to roll. Performance numbers range from 1 to 3, with Occurrences that are helpful to the GM drawing them generally receiving 1, while Occurrences that are painful to the GM receive 3. Thematically, this can represent a team coming together and playing extra hard to make up for their missing teammate or to overcome their collective hardship.


Lingering Injury is an example of an injury card. Some make players miss time, others only affect the player’s ability to play at the top of his game.

Due to the volatility of Occurrence cards, teams need to be cautious about trading too many of their bench players early in the game. Often having an extra bench player to cover yourself when an injury hits can be the difference between winning a turn and finishing last.

Stay tuned for more updates on Basketball G.M. as we approach the August release, and be sure to like us on Facebook (Fanfare Games), check out our website (www.fanfaregames.net) and follow us on Twitter (@FanfareGames) for more updates and spoilers! © 2011 Fanfare Games.
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Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:58 pm
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