The History of D
Jack Darwid
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Here's a story how a game player (me!) becomes a game designer (and still a game player too!)

Everything started with Barbarian Prince (I owe to this game!). Reading (and later, playing) the game makes me want to make a game I like (because I think there's a great idea but a poor gameplay in BP), thus Island of D was born...

PS: yesterday I read BP's Event Booklet, and it (again) boiled my adventure blood

Note: I know there are grammar /other language errors here... sorry! I have already spent (really!)almost 4 hours just to type and recheck and recheck and recheck this list
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1. Board Game: Island Of D [Average Rating:6.25 Overall Rank:7739]
Jack Darwid
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ISLAND OF D
A FREE ONE player role playing fantasy adventure card game.
No bookkeeping, no token, just you and the cards and a die and an adventure !!

I have 2 choices, whether to make a game that gives the player freedom of (almost) everything (ala Barbarian Prince or Tales of Arabian Night) or give a more strict guidelines for the player.
Giving the player freedom can really make the game go wild, it can be very-very easy or it can be very-very hard. I take the second choice : to give the player more strict guidelines (i.e. to go to a Quest location, you have to follow a certain path), this way I can control the difficulty level of my games and I have more control with the game.

And speaking about the difficulty level, it makes some players groan "it's too difficult". Here's a comment :
Quote:
Nearly the perfect quick solo fantasy adventure. I never win, unless I cheat, which makes me sad.
(whoops,sorry! I hope you're having fun too )

Why I make the difficulty level that high? I want the final duel in the tower of the castle to be dramatic. Here's from one of the player :
Quote:
Last night, me and the Black Knight each down to 1 HP, I miss, he hits, I lose! What a game!! So close, and it was so hard to get there, the tension was incredible.
(He won the game after more tries)

And, what's the point of playing an easy solitaire game ? In a solitaire game, you play againts the game, so the game must have a way to fight back
And so far this is the only (IOD) game where you really face the Black Knight himself in a one-on-one duel !! (not in IOD2 nor in DOD). So you have to be proud of yourself !!
....
This is the game where the A.C.A.P concept is born (As Compact As Possible, folks!), I use as few components as possible and make it as simple as I can, and this concept is carried over to my next games. I want the players to be able to bring the game everywhere easily: playing at the airport, in the table when waiting something (dentist?) and so on.
...
Now about the die..
Because the basic idea is taken from BP, all I have in mind is a game using a die. At first I want to use at least two dice, but at the end I use only one. And in the middle of the designing process, I have an idea to implement the hand management mechanic (I try to make the player holding the Event Cards, and they can "choose" to play the Event), but after some playtests, the result is not good. That's why I make the final version as today....
.....
and then the pictures. well, I lack of designing and drawing skill. And maybe because of my childhood NES/DOS years, I always like old school games, with very standard graphics...
....
As Reiner Knizia once told, once a game is done it's done. I think I will not change IOD unless there are errors or game-breaking things (just like when I upgraded to ver 1.1 then to 1.2) because I like IOD as it is (with it's strength / weakness). Any other improvements are expansions for the game. Why ? Because this game is part of my history and really put the basic foundation for my next games ...
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2. Board Game: Island Of D 2: The Shadow of Dawn [Average Rating:6.58 Overall Rank:5427]
Jack Darwid
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ISLAND OF D 2 : THE SHADOW OF DAWN
A FREE ONE player Fantasy Adventure Card Game
No bookkeeping, NO DICE, just you and the cards and a token and an adventure !!

Soon after, the idea of hand management arise again (only about 1 month after IOD). And with my discovering of Fate Deck, I found the basic foundation of my hand management mechanic...
This time I want more freedom of movement for the players, so I change the gameplay (from IOD). Now the player can travel from one location to another as they want using cards in their hand (and remove the die element).
I make the game a little bit easier than IOD (so, if you say that IOD2 is hard, try IOD ). You can see the game (many) winners in IOD site and in Hozo's excellent Flash game (brilliant Flash conversion by Hozo! Thanks!).

But giving the limitation of the game, I fail to enter the upgrading aspect (upgrade your STR,INT,etc). Adding the upgrading aspect and giving each player unique stats (as in IOD) will create more random environment (the starting stats will be unbalanced, it is hard to balance everything). So in the end I choose to spend my time exploring my new handmanagement mechanic and drop the role-playing aspect(it takes a lot of time to playtest/ check everything if there's more items/upgrading aspect).

I really like IOD2 (it has a very strong story build in the game and the player has more freedom every turn) and I'm glad that more and more players like this game (it is nice to see that your hard work is well received)...
And I really like the hand management system implemented in this game, so I always think hard how to use this system again (in a better way)
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3. Board Game: The Dungeon of D [Average Rating:7.23 Overall Rank:3553]
Jack Darwid
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DUNGEON OF D
A FREE ONE player dungeon-crawling-fun card game
No bookkeeping, NO DICE, just you and the cards and a token and a dungeon to explore !!

It takes years to release my third game (that's why I'm so happy these days!). After IOD2, I have many ideas, and none is working well (I'm not satisfied with any of my ideas). The first form of DoD is using cards with hex (3x3) where the Character's Token move from one hex to another in a modular board (using the cards,imagine Zombies!!!), with the monsters move in a pattern. After two playtests, I drop the concept, not thrilling at all.
After a few days, I look again to the leftover: (not the move in hex thing, but) the unknown Potion, the different kind of items-special items, etc. Then I think, why not upgrade the IOD2 gameplay?
I squeeze IOD2 gameplay mechanic (hand management) to the first prototype of DoD, and after 2-3 playtests I know that this will be my next game to see the light of day...the Dungeon of D !!!
(I post the development of DoD after this in IOD yahoo group, you can read there if you want)
...
I really like the end result. DoD has everything that I have left in IOD2 : DoD has 18 Characters with 3 stats, 18 Skills, 8 Items, 15 Special Items, 13 Potions, a deep Dungeon and IMHO an exciting different adventure everytime you play (no way you can obtain everything in a few plays) only in 94 cards and 1 Token !
...
And about the game difficulty, I think it's a little bit easier than IOD2 (don't worry, just a little bit ), and there are 3 different endings. Maybe this will explains (written in DoD Manual in 7.Playing Tips):
Quote:
In my experience, IOD games (including Dungeon of D) are not "one play win" game. It's rare someone play the game once (even twice) and win the game (in DoD the "real win" is to escape from the Dungeon alive with the Amulet of D'eugor). Play the game, learn the strategy. Practice makes perfect. Happy dungeon-crawling !

After this, what's next?
I have 2 strong candidates, another fantasy adventure (another solitaire or with more players) or to make a game about sport. Both only half baked right now, with the commitment is more to the sport...

Till then... and thanks for reading !
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