Dear Jamey – expanding the worlds of Stonemaier Games

Keeping Jamey and the community in the loop on my work on making expansions for Stonemaier Games.

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Help us bring “Euphoria: Ignorance is Bliss” to life [PLAYTEST OVER]

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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If you’ve been following this blog you’ll know that we started work on an expansion for Euphoria for more than three years.

Since we were talking about an expansion it wasn’t time critical to finish our work, but over the three years 12 other projects showed up that were time critical, so the Euphoria expansion was put on hold again and again.

Now the time has finally come for it to rise and join the ranks of finished Stonemaier projects and to make that happen we need your help.
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Wed Aug 29, 2018 6:53 pm
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Throwing in the towel – or at least exchanging it for a smaller one

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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As some of you know, I’ve been working on an ambitious expansion for Euphoria since late February 2015 (called "Burn a Bigger Dystopia"). In August that year I started external playtesting and the responses ranged from “meh” to “there’s potential here”.

That wasn’t particularly encouraging, but I felt that the criticisms could be addressed with some tweaks.

So, I made the tweaks and went into the next round of external playtesting where the responses ranged from “meh” to “there’s potential here” with a bit of “good” thrown in.
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Fri May 11, 2018 5:08 am
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Burn a Bigger Dystopia is shaping up – tweaking, tuning, and troubleshooting

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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The Euphoria expansion has been marching on steadily, since the last update. David was busy and so I have been going it alone for a while and before a meeting we had yesterday I wrote them a mail bringing them up to date on the changes and the reason for why I had made them.

Here, I’m sharing what I wrote to them, in case you’re also interested also interested in getting up to date on the expansion, the challenges we’re facing, and the discussions we’re having.
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Wed Oct 5, 2016 1:34 pm
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Extended summary of our Burn a Bigger Dystopia meeting

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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As a follow-up to yesterday’s post with my preparation document for a meeting Jamey and I were going to have about the Euphoria expansion, I’ve written an extended summary of our meeting. Both to keep my partner David Studley in the loop and to let those of you who’re interested know what we discussed and decided.
So, if you found yesterday’s post interesting, then read on. If not, then skip this post.
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Wed Sep 7, 2016 7:07 pm
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Burn a Bigger Dystopia - A slice of a game design discussion

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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This blog post is an experiment.

Previously when I’ve status reports here after sending them to Jamey, then Jamey hasn’t been all that involved in the work on the expansion. This means that I’ve written those reports with the assumption that Jamey didn’t know the mechanics except from a bird’s eye perspective.

This time it’s different, though because Jamey has been heavily involved the past couple of months and the revision I write about below is one he made. This means that today’s text is much more a discussion of mechanics, where I know that Jamey knows the details and thus there will be stuff in it that readers outside our development team won’t understand.

I’ve added in a few comments in blue text to give a bit of context, but there’s a limit to how long I can go with that without pasting in the entire rulebook here and apart from those additions the text below the horizontal line is word for word the same text as I sent to Jamey. That said, I have added a few pictures to spice things up.

There will be parts of this post, where you won’t understand the details and so as said this post is an experiment. It should give you a slice of insight into the process of game design as we do it in our geographically separated team. Whether it’ll be interesting to read it, I honestly don’t know, so if you do read or skim it, then please let me know in the comments whether you’d be interested in more posts like this one in the future.

Before we start it’s important for me to stress that right now the expansion has undergone some major revisions and so there’s a lot of stuff that’s not right yet and a lot of possible changes and ideas we’re throwing into the discussion.
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Tue Sep 6, 2016 9:14 am
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Which direction to go with the Euphoria Expansion - poll results

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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We’ve been discussion which direction we should take with the expansion in order to choose between two different versions that we’re working on.

To help us make that decision Jamey posted a poll about what kind of expansion to Euphoria gamers preferred.

The options ranged from an expansion addressed at those who’re already experts at the game to a streamlining of the game. For those who do not own the game we asked them what would increase their desire to buy Euphoria and an expansion.
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Wed Jul 13, 2016 4:13 pm
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Rebooting the Euphoria expansion – playtesters wanted

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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As you might know we’ve been working on an expansion for Euphoria for quite a while and to be honest we’ve faced a lot of challenges and we kept reworking our mechanics, since we’d much rather spend more time to make it work, than release something that isn’t up to the Stonemaier standard.

Based on the feedback we’ve gotten from playtesters, David Studley and I started doing a reboot of our work and since then we have worked intensively on that.

We’ve felt for a long time that we had made something good, but we had a recurring issue of playtesters not really using the new expansion mechanics and we needed to figure out why that was. In this post I’ll chronicle our attempt to do that and what we have done to fix the issue. It’ll be a rather high level description, though, since it would otherwise be way too long and impossible to understand for non-Euphoria players.
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Thu May 26, 2016 4:00 am
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Anti-climactic endings in Euros?

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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I got a rather interesting question from a friend a while back. You see, I’m a eurogamer, and he isn’t, and there’s an aspect of many eurogames that doesn’t make sense to him: The way they just stop in the middle of the story. Here’s what he wrote to me:

Quote:
most Eurogames do not have a good and thematic ending. Most games just abruptly stop. Someone reached 100 points: game ends. Someone placed 6th star: Game ends.
[…]
Why is it that (mainly) Euro Designers don´t come up with a good thematic ending? Aren´t they interested in that? Does the definition of Euro doesn´t allow such an ending? Are those games all meant to be racing games? In essence they are. And the endings often feel as boring. I know, reaching 100 points is a goal. But aren´t there any better and more climatic goals? Become King? Conquer the earth? Find all artifacts and escape before the island sinks? Survive until rescued. Save the world?
[...]
Since I´m not much into Euros and cannot find a lot of thematic excitement in ending a game midway by a point threshold, maybe I´m just not the right target player here.

So I´d like to hear your opinion on that. Maybe I´m just missing something.
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Mon May 23, 2016 2:46 pm
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Playtesters wanted for the Euphoria expansion

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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Scythe is off to the printer and we’re back to working on the Euphoria expansion. Since the last status update we’ve made some rule changes (more on that later) and we’re starting small scale external playtesting to gauge what the next steps should be.

I’ve recently invited a few groups to playtest, but I’d like to get two more groups on board. So if anyone reading this have played Euphoria previously and can commit to playtest the expansion with a group at least twice in the next two weeks, then please let me know in a comment to this post or send me a geekmail. Your help will be very much appreciated at this crucial time in the project.
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Tue Jan 12, 2016 10:17 am
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Rage Against the Ultimaszyna

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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The hardest challenge that Jamey has created for me so far. I think that’s a fair assessment of the challenge that creating a solo mode for Scythe has presented and when we started neither Jamey nor I knew whether it would work out.

We want our games to allow as wide a player count range as possible, but it has to be done without compromising the play experience, so when I started work with my partner David Studley, we knew that we would need to make something good or it wouldn’t be published.


Backside of a card for the solo mode.
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Sun Oct 18, 2015 2:53 pm
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