Following the NorthStar:

An insiders peek behind the (iron, wood, and brick) curtains at NorthStar. Stay current with Evolution, Oceans, Wits & Wagers, Say Anything and some of the awesome shizzle in the pipeline. If that sounds interesting, click on the subscribe link to the right. Cheers!

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2021 SXSW Tabletop Game of the Year - Voting Open

Dominic Crapuchettes
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The nominees for SXSW Tabletop Game of the Year were announced this morning. I'm excited to share that Oceans was one of them. I'm also excited mention that most of my favorite games of 2020 were nominated. I'm extremely honored to have Oceans mentioned beside them. It's a great list of games, which means Oceans has little chance of winning, but it still feels good.

I posted a Geeklist where people can quickly read about each of the nominees share their thoughts on the one's they have played.
https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/283021/2021-sxsw-tabletop...

Voting is also open to the public if you're inclined to voice your opinion on the matter:
https://www.sxsw.com/awards/gaming-awards/voting/
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Wed Feb 17, 2021 12:07 am
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Geekgold is burning a hole in my pocket!

Dominic Crapuchettes
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If anyone wants 8 geekgold to buy an Evolution or Oceans microbadge, post below and I'll give it to ya.

In fact, if you want any microbadge that I own, let me know and I'll give you the hard cold cash. If it's good enough for me, it's good enough for you.

CHEERS!
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Tue Jan 5, 2021 11:29 pm
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Memorial to Satish Pillalamarri

Dominic Crapuchettes
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My business partner of 17 years, Satish Pillalamarri, recently lost a battle to cancer. His passing has left a big hole in the lives of everyone at North Star. I just posted a Geeklist as a tribute.

MEMORIAL GEEKLIST

From gallery of domcrap
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Tue Nov 3, 2020 10:10 pm
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Multiplayer is Free until the Quarantine Ends

Dominic Crapuchettes
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From gallery of domcrap

Multiplayer is Free until the Quarantine Ends
The gaming community is being hit by the quarantine. Conventions are cancelled, game stores are closed, and we can't get together with friends to play games.

So we're making online multiplayer games free on iOS and Android. No restrictions. Even private games are free, which means you can play with your normal gaming friends at your normal time (but from the comfort of your living room). We will keep multiplayer free until game conventions start happening again. Maybe until the end of summer, or maybe until the end of the year. It depends on how the quarantine goes. It's one small way we can help.

Free download links here.

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BoardGameGeeks Awards
We are extremely honored to have 4 nominations from the community. Thank you. Now that Evolution multiplayer is free, go try it out to see if it's worthy of your vote. We think you'll be impressed.

Evolution was nominated for Best Board Game App
Quacks: Herb Witches was nominated for Expansion
The Taverns of Tiefenthal was nominated for Board Game of the Year
Wits & Wagers Vegas was nominated for Party Game of the Year

Vote Now. Voting ends on Friday.

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User Organized Tournaments
Some of our dedicated Discord users are organizing Evolution tournaments. It's a fun way to spend quarantine, especially now that multiplayer is free. If we get enough users, we will start giving away free board games as prizes.

More info is on our Discord in the USER TOURNEYS category. Come join the community:

Join Discord

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New Traits in Beta
Some new trait cards have entered beta. Information on how to join the beta is in Discord under EVOLUTION BETA TEST.

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I hope I meet up with you in one of the tournaments. It's been fun chatting with people on Discord. I came in dead last in the first tournament, so don't be daunted. It's a friendly group. Cheers!

Dominic Crapuchettes
Founder of North Star Games
Lead Designer of Evolution, Oceans, Wits & Wagers, and Say Anything

From gallery of domcrap










You're still here? What are you waiting for? Go download the app! It was chosen as the #1 app of 2019 by Ars Technica, Vulture, Pocket Gamer, and several other magazines.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2019/12/the-8-best-board-game...

https://www.vulture.com/article/best-board-games-2019.html

https://www.pocketgamer.com/articles/080256/top-5-best-ios-s...
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Thu Apr 30, 2020 11:34 pm
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A board game industry pro describes 2 key factors that allowed him to find a way into the industry

Nick Bentley
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North Star's own Ben Goldman wrote an essay about the factors that allowed him to find a way into a game industry career.

Thought it might be of interest to other aspirants. It also includes the origin story of our upcoming game Paint the Roses, which Ben designed.
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Tue Nov 19, 2019 3:23 pm
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Paint the Roses' rulebook is being written with the aid of a new rules visualization method called a Context Stack

Nick Bentley
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From gallery of milomilo122


As part of his essay series about the design of Paint the Roses, Ben Goldman has written about a method he's using to make the game's rulebook as clear as possible: the Context Stack, which is a way to visualize a game's rules as a network of ideas.

It's one of the cooler things I've read about rulebook design.

Check it out here
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Tue Nov 12, 2019 5:08 pm
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What can dictators teach us about game design? How to make a game's emergent incentives clear by raising the stakes.

Dominic Crapuchettes
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From gallery of milomilo122

The fourth post in Ben Goldman's essay series about the design of Paint the Roses is up, here.

It's about a technique by which a designer can better understand the unexpected incentives games create.
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Thu Nov 7, 2019 4:15 pm
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Our next game: Paint the Roses. You're a gardener for the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland, trying to plant her roses so she doesn't behead you.

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From gallery of milomilo122

We've been hard at work on our next game: Paint the Roses. I want to make you aware of a series of essays about the game and related design topics, by the game's designer, Ben Goldman.

Paint the Roses is a cooperative game where you work as a gardener for the Queen of Hearts in Wonderland. She would like nothing more than to behead you, so she gives each gardener a different, secret rule about how to plant her garden. Each gardener must then watch how the others plant the garden to deduce the Queen’s whims. Guess wrong and it's off with your head.
From gallery of milomilo122

The essay series covers the why's and how's of game design, expansion modules made by other well-known designers, and things Ben has learned along the way.

We're also using it to design in public: we post about design issues we're working through and ask our readers for advice and feedback (and sometimes raffle copies of the game for those who provide it).

Here are the first three posts in the series:

Why I designed a logic game set in the illogical world of Alice in Wonderland

How to fix the biggest problem in cooperative games

Feedback wanted for a key component in Paint the Roses

Please enjoy, and let us know if there are particular topics you'd like us to cover.

-Nick
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Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:11 pm
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Oceans Kickstarter campaign delayed until late March

Nick Bentley
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Hi all,

Quick update: we've decided to push back the launch of the Oceans campaign for about a month, to late March. Our obsessions got the best of us: there are a couple of finesse-y touches we decided to make before pressing the big red button.

Also, we thought it wouldn't hurt to put a bit more space between the launch of the Evolution Video Game (which just launched) and the launch of our Kickstarter campaign. We'll announce the exact date shortly.

Apologies. We know (or hope, anyway) you're waiting for the campaign like:

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Tue Feb 26, 2019 12:29 am
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We're giving away 1000 copies of Evolution to celebrate the launch of Evolution: The Video Game

Nick Bentley
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Reposted from the North Star Games blog

Four years ago, we raised a bunch of money to make a video game version of our strategy game Evolution. Evolution is a super-thematic game where you evolve species by giving them traits, to help them adapt and survive in an ever-changing ecosystem:
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We've had 5 people working full time on the video game for these last 4 years. That may sound like overkill, but there's a reason: our goal is to make the best digital board game on Earth. The project's a failure if we don't blow the doors off.

The game has launched today (worldwide on Steam, iOS, and Android), and we're certain we hit our mark (we delayed this launch like 5 times to make sure of it).

From gallery of milomilo122


Wise readers will be (and should be) skeptical of such claims, because companies crow so much about how awesome they are, even when they aren't.

So, to induce you to see for yourself, we're giving away 1000 copies of the Evolution board game to people who try the video game ($40,000 of games).

How The 1000 Game Giveaway works:

Every day for the next 100 days, we'll randomly select 10 winners from everyone who played an online game that day. It's free to enter on iOS and Android. Just download Evolution (free-to-try in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store), make an in-game account with an email address, and play an online match each day. We'll select new winners daily from those who play an online match each day. Winners cover the cost of shipping. You'll find more details about the giveaway here.

Download Details

Steam
iOS
Android


It's available in English on PC and Mac via Steam for $14.99. It's also available as free-to-try on iOS and Android with a full version available for $9.99 as a one time purchase. Those who purchase the game in the first week will receive a 20% launch sale discount.

Game Details

While Evolution’s digital adaptation is loyal to the original board game, it has also done some evolving of its own. Stunning new artwork, animated cards, lush environments, distinct enemy A.I. Bosses, and a new campaign mode are just a sample of the new features exclusive to the digital edition.

Playing against human opponents from around the world provides its own thrill in fast-paced games. Cross-platform multiplayer provides a deep pool of players to battle wits with, and skill-based matchmaking encourages healthy competition.Evolution’s digital form has been crafted to play as fast as possible, so matches generally last less than ten minutes.

Check out our launch day activities

We're streaming all day today on our Twitch channel. In conjunction, we're running a funding drive for Stack Up, a military charity that delivers care packages of video games and nerd stuff to deployed troops, military hospitals, and stateside bases. You'll find a donation link on our Twitch channel and you can read more about it here.

In addition, we'll be posting like fools throughout the day on our social media channels. For all that follow us on Twitter and Facebook or visit the official website.

Finally, our own Dominic Crapuchettes tells the origin story of this project in this geeklist

Thanks all. It's been a long journey and we couldn't have pulled this off without the enormous help many of you given during this project.
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Tue Feb 12, 2019 5:33 pm
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