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Subject: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - COMPONENTS READY rss

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Lucas Gerlach
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TORNADO CHASERS
by Lucas Gerlach


2-4 Players | 30 minutes | Ages 10+


Feel the adrenaline as you brave Tornado Alley, seeking to gather the best possible research and footage. In Tornado Chasers, you compete to predict the location of the next tornado (determined by dice you place), film it, and place probes to gain information on the vortex. All the while, you must navigate roads, wisely plan upgrades, and avoid becoming the next disaster victim.

Entry for the 2016 Mint Tin Design Contest.

Components:

-29 land cards (2 inch square)
-4 player aid cards (2 x 3.5 inches)
-20 small dice (12 mm) (19 white and 1 other)
-8 vehicle tokens
-12 camera tokens
-4 probe tokens
-24 upgrade tokens
-1 rule booklet
-1 mint tin
You will also need pencil and paper for recording scores.


Files:
Rules
(last edit: Nov 24, 2016)
Low-ink Components (last edit: Nov 24, 2016)
Cardstock components | Sticker (or print and glue) components (last edit: Nov 24, 2016)
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Lucas Gerlach
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest)
Somewhat Detailed Rules Summary (Nov 24)

Setup
After laying out a random 5x5 map of land cards, players are allowed to change up to three cards to improve the road layout. Bases are placed at the corners of the map. Ten dice are rolled and are randomly placed along two adjacent sides of the map. Players place their vehicle(s) on their bases.

Playing the game
At the start of each round: Players claim one upgrade that will apply for the rest of the game. One to two dice are rolled to determine the number needed for the tornado to appear.

Taking turns: Players take turns in a clockwise order. During each turn, players take two actions, only one of which may be an "observe weather" action (which involves manipulating dice).

Possible actions
“Observe weather” actions:
*A player may not manipulate any dice that were just manipulated by the previous player.
• Roll one unplaced die and place it by a row or column that does not have a die.
• Switch two adjacent dice that are on the edge of the map.
• Add or subtract 1 to one die (for example, changing a 4 to a 3 or 5). A 1 may change to a 6 and vice versa.
“Move it” actions:
• Move one vehicle 1-2 spaces along a black paved road.
• Move one vehicle 1 space along a brown dirt road.
• Move one vehicle 1 space through a field. Lose 1 upgrade.
• Either place 1 equipment on your vehicle’s current location or take 1 equipment token from your vehicle’s location.

Tornado strikes!
A tornado strikes when both ends of a row and both ends of a column have dice showing the number on the orange die. A tornado appears on the card at the intersection point. The storm ends, points are tallied, and players set up for the next storm.

Scoring
Scores are recorded on a piece of paper.
+1 for each vehicle and camera on a card adjacent to the tornado
+3 for each probe on the card where the tornado struck

• Lose each camera that was struck by a tornado.
• Lose one upgrade for each vehicle struck by a tornado.

End of storm upkeep
• Camera and probe tokens are retrieved from the board.
• Flip over the card struck by the tornado to show road damage.
• Remove dice that match the number on the tornado die.

End of the game
A standard game ends after four storms. The player with the most success (most points) wins!

Here is a how-to-play video which is now a little out of date...
 
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Lucas Gerlach
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
I'm enjoying the art phase of this design right now. Here's what I've got for one of the land cards. The front side will be what is shown at the start of the game. If the card get hits by a tornado, it gets flipped. All roads are then downgraded... paved to dirt and dirt to none.
E
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Sean Tipping
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
Hah looks cool, I thought about making a Twister inspired game too, looks like I won't have to! Keep it up!
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Lucas Gerlach
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
Now the vehicles are about done. I have to figure out the exact size and include logos on the sides of the vehicles, but the rest of the graphic work is done on them. The van is what all players start with. They may then either upgrade to a 4-wheel drive to drive on dirt roads faster or upgrade to a sports wagon to drive on paved roads faster. Another upgrade players can take is having a second vehicle.
 
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Dan
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
Great game idea! Just make sure you thoroughly research the whole tornado chaser scene before writing up your finalised rules and "background story".

One thing that stuck out like a sore thumb to me, was this:

Beaker73 wrote:
place probes to be sucked into the vortex.


I don't think researchers allow their sensors to be sucked into tornadoes any more. From my limited experience (Discovery Channel), they usually put sensors on the ground that are specifically designed not to get sucked up.

However, it sounds like back in the 80s, they tried using sensors that got sucked into tornadoes, but never got any good data from it.
https://www.quora.com/Has-anyone-ever-deployed-sensors-into-...
http://thevane.gawker.com/heres-everything-they-got-wrong-an...

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mike heim
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
djn1981 wrote:

However, it sounds like back in the 80s, they tried using sensors that got sucked into tornadoes, but never got any good data from it.



Storm Chasers '88


You start with an old Dodge Aries station wagon (like on National Lampoons Vacation) and have to upgrade from there.
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Lucas Gerlach
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
djn1981 wrote:
Great game idea! Just make sure you thoroughly research the whole tornado chaser scene before writing up your finalised rules and "background story".

Dan, thanks for the heads-up! While I'm not planning on making this a "hard science" sort of game, I do want to incorporate real elements and avoid conflicts with actual practices. So, with your suggestion, I will definitely put a little research into the subject.

That said, there will certainly be some aspects that don't reflect reality. For example, when players "observe" the weather, they are actually purposefully influencing where the tornado will appear. Unless you're a mad scientist, you probably aren't planning on making actual tornadoes appear anywhere.
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mike heim
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
"observe" the weather, they are actually purposefully influencing where the tornado will appear. Unless you're a mad scientist, you probably aren't planning on making actual tornadoes appear."

This is verified through the Observer effect. The particle doesn't exist as matter unless it's observed.
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Lucas Gerlach
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
Very astute, Mike! Kind of like the whole Schrodinger's cat sort of thing.
 
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Lucas Gerlach
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
Got a 2-player game of Tornado Chasers played this past weekend. Previously, I had only played with four. It was a great playtest. My opponent really enjoyed it and was thinking about it long after I left the gathering. He said he was surprised at how much tension there was as well as how many calculations there were to make for a game with such simplicity. Very encouraging.

Of course, there were also a few things to improve. Some things that worked in a 4-player game just didn't work for a 2-player game, but I should easily be able to adjust the rules to work for the entire player range.

Also, the artwork is nearly done. All of the land cards are finished, as well as the tokens. Now, I need to work on the rules, the player aids, and the box art. I'm thinking it will be ready for printing within a week. I can't wait to play with a good looking prototype and to be able to offer the print-and-play files here!
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Lucas Gerlach
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Getting closer!
I'm getting closer to having the print and play ready. Here are pages 2-3 of the rule book, showing the basic set up of the Tornado Chasers. Of course, this is still open to change. The gray border will be trimmed off. I am currently planning on making this a business card-size booklet, so this will be folded in half. I am hoping to limit the rules to 8 pages, though they might be 12.


Getting the setup page of the rules is always a big deal for me. It is there that I can see a visualization of the whole game as it should be, and these two pages provide the basis for much of the rest of the rules.
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Janice
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE

I'm loving the art! Subscribed
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Predrag Stevanovic
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
Beaker73 wrote:

Getting the setup page of the rules is always a big deal for me.


I really like the look of that page. thumbsup
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martin
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
Quote:
I really like the look of that page. thumbsup


I agree. Keep it up the game is looking very promising and if the setup image is any indication of how the rulebook will look...It will be very impressive.

Will there be a `take that` kind of mechanic where players can hinder another? Might be a good idea IMHO. I know it is a controversial one, but maybe the competion to chase tornadoes is that high

On a further note. All this tornado talk kinda makes me want to watch the movie "twister" I wonder, is this where you drew inspiration?
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Lucas Gerlach
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
Thanks for your support, guys!

While I will continue to work on the rule book as I envision it, I decided to get everything down in a Google Doc first. That way, I can have all the components ready for printing soon, perhaps by the end of today. This will also enable me to get some rules feedback before the rules' "final" form.

As far as take-that mechanisms, Martin, there is currently a bit of take-that in the game, though it's not too blatant or over the top. I have in mind a few other ideas that would boost that aspect of the game, but right now it feels right to me. As playtests continue, I'll keep an eye on this. It should be an easy thing to add if the game seems lacking in that area.

My original idea actually didn't come from "Twister," though thoughts do definitely keep drifting back to that movie while designing and playing the game. It was just one of the many ideas I tucked away in a notebook during a session of brainstorming. I think a stronger influence on the initial idea was probably a National Geographic article I read a couple years ago. I thought the theme could combine a few elements of game design that I really like in the games I play. (I still do.)
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Lucas Gerlach
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
The Google Doc version of the rules is now available. I will continue to work on refining these and will continue to develop my final rules document.

Here's the link to the current rules, version 1.0.
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Lucas Gerlach
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Re: [WIP] Tornado Chasers (2016 Mint Tin Design Contest) - IDEA PHASE
The print and play files are now online. Check the opening post for details, And please let me know your thoughts!
 
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Lucas Gerlach
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I finally have my copy of Tornado Chasers put together. Can't wait to play it with a copy that looks nice. I'm also happy to say that it all fits in the box... without the rules. I haven't printed the rules yet. After testing how much more paper fits, though, I'm pretty confident that the rules will fit, too.

Next time, I need to put printed materials in first in order to prevent crushing them.
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C. L.
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Hi! I would like to give the game a try, but a 40MB file is kind of a lot to download. Or print.
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Lucas Gerlach
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Fair enough. I'll optimize the file later today. Thanks for the feedback!

I'll post when I have updated with an optimized file.
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Lucas Gerlach
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The files are now optimized with the cardstock file at 2 MB and the sticker page file at 254 KB. That should be much more manageable. thumbsup

Also, let me know if there is a desire for a low-ink version. The card arrangement is not set up to minimize cutting since the design needs to carry out to the edge of the card, and the cards need to be double-sided. I could, however, add this option to a low-ink version.
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C. L.
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Thanks! I have downloaded all three files, but a low-ink version would be very much appreciated.
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Lucas Gerlach
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Okay, I'll have something ready on Sunday or Monday.
 
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Lucas Gerlach
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Well, I stayed up too late tonight to complete the low-ink version of Tornado Chasers, but it's done!

Here's the link.
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