Wheat from the Chaff

Thoughts on game design and puzzle crafting.
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Protospiel Chicago 2019: Sunday

Jonathan Chaffer
United States
Grand Rapids
Michigan
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Grand Rapids Area Boardgamers
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Microbadge: Filler fanMicrobadge: LudologistMicrobadge: University of MichiganMicrobadge: Protospiel AlumniMicrobadge: I play with Black!
The final day is always a low-key affair. Much of my time was socializing and planning for future events, but some games hit the table nonetheless.

Deathtrap by Eric Jome
From gallery of JonBob

A game about recruiting heroes to delve into a dungeon and find loot on your behalf. It's the same setup as Gauntlet of Fools but is a more involved and serious take on the concept.

Most post-game discussion centered on the quest system (opportunities to resolve quests dried up well before the quests themselves did) and on how to provide a satisfying final turn.

121m contributed


Swoopin' Swallows by Jared Mason
From gallery of JonBob

Players are swallows vying to snack on the bugs kicked up by a lawnmower. There are two layers of simultaneous selection, in which nobody wants to match anyone else. We talked through ways to preserve the existing tensions while reducing some of the randomness, and ideas for beefing up the spatial puzzle on the board.

32m contributed


Inhuman Resources by Jonathan Chaffer
In this outing, I tried Carl's suggestion of resolving all actions in turn order rather than card order. One test isn't enough to be certain, but I think it was an improvement and I'll be trying it again. This change would let me smooth out some graphical design elements.

More discussion on nomenclature, to make the actions easier to distinguish.

68m x 3 players = 204m consumed


Top Dogs by Jared Mason
From gallery of JonBob

This one is sort of worker-placement, but multiple workers can go in the same spot and only the last to arrive receives any benefit. That's very harsh, which is not necessarily a problem but not to my taste. My bigger concern was the lack of an arc to the game, with the 15th round pretty much the same as the 1st. We talked about having an economy that escalates over the course of the game, instead.

49m contributed


RPSpionage by Jonathan Chaffer
Brought back out not so much as a playtest, but as a time-passer as other tables finished up. Given the reception this weekend, this is in the top tier of my annual microgame exercise.

17m x 4 players = 68m consumed


Totals
202m contributed
272m consumed


Weekend Totals
1105m contributed
974m consumed

Some discussion at the end of Sunday about whether I should be counting playtester (as opposed to designer) time as "consumed." I'm not sure how I feel about that, but the above counts do include playtester person-hours.


From gallery of JonBob

I failed to complete any rows or columns of my Chi-Bingo card.
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