W. Eric Martin
• U.S. publisher Plaid Hat Games has announced the first title in a new series of games titled "Crossroads" that "tests a group of survivors' ability to work together and stay alive while facing crises and challenges from both outside and inside". That first title, from designers Jonathan Gilmour and Isaac Vega, is Dead of Winter: A Crossroads Game, and it puts a slightly different spin on the zombie genre. A description:
Dead of Winter puts 3-5 players in a small, weakened colony of survivors in a world where most of humanity is either dead or diseased flesh-craving monsters. Each player leads a faction of survivors with dozens of different characters in the game.
Dead of Winter is a meta-cooperative psychological survival game. This means players are working together toward one common victory condition — but for each individual player to achieve victory, he must also complete his personal secret objective. This secret objective could relate to a psychological tick that's fairly harmless to most others in the colony, a dangerous obsession that could put the main objective at risk, a desire for sabotage of the main mission, or (worst of all) vengeance against the colony! Certain games could end with all players winning, some winning and some losing, or all players losing. Work toward the group's goal, but don't get walked all over by a loudmouth who's looking out only for his own interests!
Dead of Winter is an experience that can be accomplished only through the medium of tabletop games. It's a story-centric game about surviving through a harsh winter in an apocalyptic world. The survivors are all dealing with their own psychological imperatives, but must still find a way to work together to fight off outside threats, resolve crises, find food and supplies, and keep the colony's morale up.
For more on the game, check out episode 112 of the Plaid Hat Games podcast.
• Eric Zimmerman's Quantum, which French publisher Funforge debuted at Spiel 2013 in late October, will debut in the U.S. at BGG.CON, according to Passport Game Studios, the game's exclusive North American distributor. BGG.CON, an annual game convention organized by BoardGameGeek, runs Nov. 20-24 and takes place in Dallas, Texas. Attendees can demo the game at the Passport booth (or via copies of the game in the BGG library), and Zimmerman will be on hand on Friday, Nov. 22 to sign copies and point out how much better you could be playing once you get a little experience with the game. Okay, he probably won't do this.
For background on the game design and an overview of how to play, head to Zimmerman's Quantum designer diary on BGGN.
• Speaking of BGG.CON, U.S. publisher Asmadi Games plans to release a pre-release (what?) version of Carl Chudyk's Impulse at the convention. This version will be print-on-demand with the final, published game due out in early 2014. For details, visit the Asmadi Games website or look for me late during the con as I'll be springing for a copy and looking to play when I'm not playtesting my own forthcoming release.
• I normally corral Kickstarter projects into their own posts, but time's short on this one, and since designer Ted Alspach had promised a one-night KS project for delivery of One Night Ultimate Werewolf to BGG.CON — and the actual project (KS link) is running for more than two nights — I thought that I should call him out as a dirty liar. You suck, Alspach!
• On French gaming site TricTrac, user "Grunt" claims that Race for the Galaxy: Alien Artifacts is due to arrive at distributors the week of November 4, 2013 (a.k.a. this week, depending on when you're reading this note), with the game expected to be available at stores within 1-2 weeks. I've asked Rio Grande Games' Jay Tummelson for an update on the release status of Alien Artifacts in North America and will update this post should I hear something from him.
Update, Nov. 8: Jay Tummelson from Rio Grade Games has sent me the following update, "We expect it to ship from Germany next week, so mid-December."