Gary Boyd
United States
Evansville
Indiana
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I have been working on this game for the past six months or so. I've gone through four or five sets of game mechanics and I've finally found a set that I like well enough to playtest seriously.

The game mechanics center around a grid of 9 cards, two of which are the station and control (basically headquarters and leader). Cards can be played face down or face up depending on whether they are covert or overt forces, and only cards in the frontline can initiate conflict. The back two rows are where resources are produced, but may also have cards played face down in them. Your forces can vary from Intelligence Operatives and Political Analysts to Snipers and Special Forces.

Conflict can escalate from a single unit to declaring martial law. The scope is broad and the game play is exciting. Earlier iterations could be fun but became stagnant in the end game. The game is designed around strategic gameplay with an exciting end game (something that has been hard to design).

It's play testing well so far. I've been working on the design and wanted to get some feedback. I've got two pretty distinct styles running parallel in my mind for the setting.



Do you prefer one style over the other?

Besides that, what do you think of the title and theme? Is it a strong enough title? Do you find a game that encompasses politics, defense, and intelligence overly ambitious?

I've got my first paper copies of the cards stuck in sleeves. Before now we've played the game with avery label stickers stuck to old Yu-gi-oh! cards. The stickers have been erased so many times that they were getting hard to read, but it's far enough along now to start getting feedback.

I'm planning on play testing for another couple of weeks to harden the card text before sending off for a serious prototype to play test at a local game store (again without art).

NOTE: The painting in the photo window on the second card was taken from wikigallery with a weird fair use public domain copyright warning. It's a painting photo which is evidently in public domain by a famous American artist Edward Hopper. It's titled, oddly enough, Hotel Window. I am just using it as concept art and plan on replacing it when I have the art to replace it with.
 
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Noah Gadea
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Sacramento
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Only the bottom one is showing up for me

The image I do see doesn't really reflect, in my opinion, any of the themes listed in the title.
 
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Gary Boyd
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Sorry, I ran into some gremlins with the first photo. It should be fixed now. Thank you for the feedback. I was thinking the second design had more of a Spy Noir theme to it.
 
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Austin Andersen
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Berrien Springs
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Just an opinion on the cards. I don't care for the first one because the text gets lost on the background and I don't like that the text runs along the side. The second one is a lot clearer and easier to read and is the one I prefer. With that said, I like the look of the artwork on the first card better, at least if the game is supposed to take place globally and is supposed to be more modern. The second card gives me more of a dated feel.
 
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Gary Boyd
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Thanks Beau,

I wonder if the name of the game necessarily needs to be printed so loudly on the card or not. I appreciate the feedback.

You both have given me some things to think about.
 
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Noah Gadea
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The graphic that comes to mind from the title "Sphere of Influence" is one that has the rippling sonar waves spreading over a graphic of the globe, and little info panels extend from various locations, highlighting locations of vaults, files, and capitol buildings.

That being said, I think if you were going to go in the direction of the second (and now that I see both, I do prefer the second), I would suggest rearranging the contents so that the main photo seen here is slightly more buried, and perhaps there are other photos paper-clipped to pages around it.

Of course, we all have out respective visions and styles.
 
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