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Subject: Empire Trilogy (three games in one package) rss

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Sturv Tafvherd
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Daniel J Isom
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Part I: Duel for an Empire
.... The plots to assassinate the Emperor.

Part II: Jacks & Jokers
.... The Emperor and his heirs are dead, Kings vie in a secret power struggle over the Empire.

Part III: A War of Suits
.... Political Intrigues are over, Alliances have been made. Open War breaks loose!



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Sturv Tafvherd
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Topics of Discussion:
2013-07-11: What is this about?
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Sturv Tafvherd
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What is this about?

Literally:

Daniel and I have been working on a couple of card games, both of which used a regular deck of playing cards. Upon asking our friends, the general consensus is that they would be hard pressed to buy a separate deck of cards with custom artwork just to play each individual game. After all, the rules would be available online, and once you're familiar with the few special abilities, you hardly need any reminders on the cards.

However, if there were more games that can be played using the same cards with the same artwork, then the bundled package would be more attractive.

We could even start small by publishing the rules onto cards, and distributing just those rules cards. After all, we'd probably need to put the rules onto cards when we distribute the game with the custom cards and art later on.

At the very least: The set of rules cards become our "calling card." A marketing tool. A convention freebie.


Figuratively:

Well, that's what got me to start this thread. We strongly believe the Trilogy of games will mesh better if we have a storyline behind it. There are some "similarities" between the games already, but we'd have an easier time if it all fit into some kind of grander, bigger picture.

For this first section of the thread, Dan and I will be exchanging ideas and stories. And I think it would be great to gather feedback from the general forum as well.
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Gabriel Perez
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Is this fantasy, historical, or sci fi based? There are plenty times in history where this could fit.

I think cheapassgames does what you are setting out to do. They have rules and the basic game to print up and other parts of the game, the gamer can provide.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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Phasmtis wrote:
Is this fantasy, historical, or sci fi based? There are plenty times in history where this could fit.

I think cheapassgames does what you are setting out to do. They have rules and the basic game to print up and other parts of the game, the gamer can provide.


Thanks, Gabriel. That's exactly the kind of commentary I'm looking for.

And yeah, I've heard and seen CheapAssGames. I had the opportunity to play Button Men at several conventions, and that has always inspired me to think of quick, impromptu games as well.

Anyway, back to theme.

Jacks and Jokers starts with
Quote:
When the emperor died, the empire plunged into anarchy. And in the absence of centralized power, local kings keep an unsteady alliance to keep the remnants of the empire together. But old rivalries resurface, selfish ambitions capture the hearts of greedy men, and outside influences pressure these kings into betraying the old empire. As one of these kings, will you remain Loyal to the Empire; or, will you be a Traitor, and claim victory at all cost?


Later on, I toyed with the idea of making it a pre-quel to my "Rise of the Proletariat" ... which is a dudes-on-a-hex-map game. Which led me to:

Re: Rise of the Proletariat [2013 : 2P-PnP] -- Contest Ready, Components available
Quote:
And I may also have found a concrete historical moment to work in. I was thinking I wanted something that's about 1000 years ago, and, as it happens, Otto III died roughly 1000 years ago. And that left the emperor's seat for the Holy Roman Empire vacant. Henry II managed to snatch it up, but it took him some "politicking" to make it official.

So ... insert Alternate Timeline ... what if Henry II failed in his bid?



Daniel might chime in on his own vision, but from what I gather:
Re: [WIP] A War of Suits - A loosely based War variant

Quote:
In this loosely based variant of the classic card game WAR, the suits have broken up, teamed up, and are at war with one another. The Clubs and Spades have teamed up against the Diamonds and Hearts. Unlike traditional WAR, cards are not revealed at random. Instead, players are able to choose the card or cards they would like to play in a variety of groupings. As each battle is fought, the losing side loses their cards and victory will come to the player with cards left standing. Trying to keep your best cards together could be a great strategy but beware the Royal Assassins and the Suicide Bomber disguised as the Aces and Joker respectively.



I think it all still fits into a medieval/historical setting. The storyline may need to be more like "alternate history / What-If"
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Daniel J Isom
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This is great! Having a place to think out story lines and ideas where others can chime in could become really helpful. I know A War of Suits greatly changed after initial playtesting and suggestions from Sturv. While my game was originally just based upon the suits, there's no reason it can't be bent into an alternative history or "what if" history story.

That begs the question: do we want to put actual names to the story i.e. Otto III or Henry II? Or do we stick with a basic medieval theme of kings and queens?

Either way, I think this project is going to be an enjoyable one and I am anxious to hear from others on BGG what they think.
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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Quickly looking at the different games in that triology, I think that the whole trilogy can only be played by exactly 4 players. Maybe some small modifications to each of the games could make the whole trilogy playable with a different number of players ?
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Daniel J Isom
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courtjus wrote:
Quickly looking at the different games in that triology, I think that the whole trilogy can only be played by exactly 4 players. Maybe some small modifications to each of the games could make the whole trilogy playable with a different number of players ?


If you read through the rules of each game you'll find the following:

In A War of Suits, the base game is for 2 players. If a second deck of cards was added, 4 could play.

In Duel for an Empire, the game plays 4 to 6 players with a 3 player variant that is a fight to the death among the three players.

In Jacks and Jokers, the game can be played with 2 to 4 players.
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Sturv Tafvherd
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courtjus wrote:
Quickly looking at the different games in that triology, I think that the whole trilogy can only be played by exactly 4 players. Maybe some small modifications to each of the games could make the whole trilogy playable with a different number of players ?


I'd love to hear ideas that could make this happen!

There would be two problems to overcome:
-- the number of cards
-- the nature of the game


I've been working with Duel for an Empire a lot, lately. And both of those items made it extremely difficult to get outside the 4-6 range. The 3 player game seems "trivial". A 7 player game would require more than the 54 cards that I have. Perhaps I can add in cards from a second deck.

Jacks & Jokers uses dummy AI to allow less than 4 players to play the game. Again, the solution for more than 4 players seems to be to add in cards from a second deck.

In both cases, the question would be: what cards should get added in?
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Sturv Tafvherd
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disom wrote:
courtjus wrote:
Quickly looking at the different games in that triology, I think that the whole trilogy can only be played by exactly 4 players. Maybe some small modifications to each of the games could make the whole trilogy playable with a different number of players ?


If you read through the rules of each game you'll find the following:

In A War of Suits, the base game is for 2 players. If a second deck of cards was added, 4 could play.

In Duel for an Empire, the game plays 4 to 6 players with a 3 player variant that is a fight to the death among the three players.

In Jacks and Jokers, the game can be played with 2 to 4 players.


I think Courtjus was referring to the number of players that can play the entire trilogy ... as in, playing all 3 games right after each other.

And I think it's worth mentioning that all 3 games are meant to be played multiple times. They are all games that involve a little bluffing, so learning how your opponents play can go a long way in getting more victories.


Looking over Daniel's list there, I guess we can actually easily find a way to play the 3 games with 2 thru 6 players. The nature of the game may change, however. The 2 and 3 player option for Duel for an Empire are no longer games with hidden roles, but the dueling mechanic is still pretty fun.
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Daniel J Isom
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Thinking about it, A War of Suits could be played by anywhere from 2 to 6 players by just adding half decks for each player over 2. I think a 5 or 6 player game might be a bit daunting but definitely doable.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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something very similar in this kickstarter:

Black Box Playing Card Games - Live on Kickstarter!

project link
http://kck.st/12vndyt

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Daniel J Isom
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Long time no see Sturv! That's kind of deflating but neither ours or his is an original idea. It looks like his games aren't connected in theme like ours are. I'd love to keep developing our trilogy to the point of kickstarting it, we'd need an artist though.
 
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Sturv Tafvherd
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I think I'll follow that Kickstarter and see how well it does.

What they've really done is make art for playing cards, and they're selling that. The games seem to be just digital downloads.

At the $75 level, they sell a physical copy of the 5 games with extra components ... and they're billing it as a collector's item.

 
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David Brain
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Interesting to read about your project.

I've been working on something for about a decade on-and-off which is also three games in one package but they are much heavier Eurogames with a board, markers and cards. It's been an interesting challenge to try and limit the amount of "unique" material (i.e. stuff only used on one of the three games) but so far all I have are three average games and my playtesters have told me that I would have been much better off just making one of them great.
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Daniel J Isom
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Stormtower wrote:
I think I'll follow that Kickstarter and see how well it does.

What they've really done is make art for playing cards, and they're selling that. The games seem to be just digital downloads.

At the $75 level, they sell a physical copy of the 5 games with extra components ... and they're billing it as a collector's item.


I'll keep an eye on it as well. I have to imagine we'd be able to sell our set for less than half of that because there aren't any additional components needed. We could have the rules of each game printed on extra cards.
 
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