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Subject: First info about gameplay rss

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Javi Diez
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-Android puzzle seems to strike back, in a different way
-Cigarette tokens, a tool to delay agents
-Agents confirmed : Mulder, Dana, Skinner and Krycek (double angent)
-Board game its the USA map
-Randomly draw of cases based on "real episodes" (like "the host"). These cases have unique gameplay

http://www.latinhorror.com/games/IDW/thexfiles/
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Javi Diez
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Playtest image (from IDW twitter)

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Kevin Wilson
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There's also going to be an article in Game Trade Monthly which goes into a bit more depth if I recall (some more info on the general flow of the game and probably a shot of a component or two). I have to try and be careful not to get out ahead of IDW's marketing plan with what I say, though.
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Javi Diez
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I Know you are proud of this one Kevin! ;-)
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Jason Panella
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Kosmox wrote:
-Android puzzle seems to strike back, in a different way


Woohoo!

Kosmox wrote:
-Board game its the USA map


I was hoping every case was going to be set in British Columbia.
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Darren Martin
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Maybe we have to play it in the dark, and only see what we're doing by using a maglite?
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Kris Wiggins
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pincher wrote:
Maybe we have to play it in the dark, and only see what we're doing by using a maglite?


My wife and I have been going back through the series in anticipation of this game. This comment wins the internet today. This would also be a necessary rule for any CSI game, although you wouldn't have play in the dark, just always have your maglite out!

As an aside, favorite CSI moment: There was a bomb strapped to a guy that blew him up, blew his house up, I mean only smoldering embers remained. ...And of course a small paper note that was attached to the man who blew up - that they found - in the burnt ashes of his house. shake
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Javi Diez
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All the game componets!

50 agent cards
50 syndicate cards
65 x-file cards
And more...

http://deviramericas.com/categoria/idw-games/x-files-the-boa...
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Nate Murray
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KevinW wrote:
There's also going to be an article [CLASSIFIED] I have to [CLASSIFIED] IDW [CLASSIFIED].


- Post corrected by the IDW Syndicate.

Ha.
But seriously, great work Kevin! The game's great and I think everyone will love it. You can DM me if you ever have questions about what can be revealed.

-IDW Games Marketing Manager.
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Javi Diez
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Hey Nate! great news that IDW is happy with the game! :-)

When is IDW going to share some info about the game with the fans?
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Lee Smith
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Kosmox wrote:
Hey Nate! great news that IDW is happy with the game! :-)

When is IDW going to share some info about the game with the fans?

I second this. I want to believe!
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Javi Diez
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Ok people, i Know Kevin will write some words here in the BGG for sure...but he is talking about the game at the moment in his own Twitter : @kevinwilson42

Go there and check the new gameplay info ;-)
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Kevin Wilson
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Those who follow me on twitter (@KevinWilson42) have already heard most of this, but IDW gave me the go-ahead to talk about X-Files in a bit more detail, so I'm going to discuss the agents a bit.

Designing the agents for X-Files was actually quite a challenge for me. Because X-Files is a much more mainstream license than just about anything else I've worked on, I didn't want a complicated or intimidating character sheet, but I still wanted the agents to feel fundamentally different from each other, and to have ample reasons to interact in order to strengthen each other and shore up each others' weaknesses.

So, one of the things I did was divide the cards that the agents play up into 5 categories, or skills.

First was Paranormal. Because investigating the Paranormal was such a huge part of the show, I knew that this had to be one of my skills. After all, what else was Mulder going to be good at? Analyzing patterns, following hunches, and unorthodox methods would fall into this skill.

Following that logic, I added Science next, for Scully. Things like autopsies and lab analysis would fall into this category.

Next was Conflict. There were enough shootouts, chases, and monster attacks on the show that I really needed a skill to encompass that sort of thing.

Initially, my last skill was Politics, which was used for calling in favors, questioning witnesses, and backroom deals. Got to have some of those sorts of shenanigans for the X-Files, right?

But I found as I mucked about with the game that I needed one more skill - a more general purpose skill to catch some of the very mundane things that occurred on the show, such as cell phone calls and good old fashioned legwork. In the end, I just called this skill General.

By doing this, I found that I was able to really create a simple character template that still gave me a lot of flavor. Each character has a special ability unique to them, they are good at 2 skills (one of which is currently always General), and they are bad at 1 skill.

That's it, really. One ability and 3 icons. Everything else on the sheet is either a turn reference or it's there for flavor. It's not as in-depth as the Arkham Horror characters, but it communicates the essence of the agents and they all play very differently, which was my goal.

Of course, I'm certain that some will argue with my skill assignments (particularly who is 'bad' at what skill), but we'll get into that next time. For now, I've got to get back to work!
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Nate Murray
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Kosmox wrote:
Hey Nate! great news that IDW is happy with the game! :-)

When is IDW going to share some info about the game with the fans?



Hi Javi!

Looks like your answer is above
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Neil Logan
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KevinW wrote:
It's not as in-depth as the Arkham Horror characters, but it communicates the essence of the agents and they all play very differently, which was my goal.


I'm actually really glad about this. I really want this game to find the best balance between simplicity and thematic play (as opposed to Arkham which is feels more complex to allow it go deeper in to the theme), so I can get stuck in to it without having worry too much about rules, but still feel like I'm an agent/CSM.
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Kevin Wilson
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So, let's have some more discussion about skills and the agents, since I have some time today.

If you recall from yesterday, there are 4 skills in addition to the General skill. Not entirely coincidentally, there are 4 agents.

I had decided early on that I wanted the X-Files game to handle a range of 2-5 players, so I knew I was going to need at least 4 agent characters. This helped inform my decision later on with how many skills I wanted for the game. Not entirely - I would have gone with a different number of skills or agents if the game needed it - but enough that I put some thought into having 4 non-General skills and 4 agents.

Why? Well, because things are a bit nicer if there's a character who is good and bad at each of the non-General skills. By giving equal access to the skills, this maximizes the effect that teaming up can have on the game. (In a similar vein, if you go through and add up all the skills in Arkham Horror across all the... 48 characters, you'll find that every skill adds up to the same total, in order to ultimately give equal access to every skill).

To explain further, imagine, for a moment, that all 4 agents were strong in Paranormal and weak in Conflict. Necessarily, this would mean that Paranormal cards were simply better than any other type of card, and Conflict cards would be worse than any other type of card. In addition, there would be nothing that an agent could bring to the table that another agent couldn't already do just as well. Similarly, you could never help cover for another character's weakness, because it's your own weakness as well. In cooperative games, even those where the characters don't directly help each other out, this is a vital design consideration. Everyone needs a moment to shine and a moment when they need help.

So, I've established the reasons why I wanted the 4 agents to all be strong and weak in different skills. Keep that in mind for this next bit, because you aren't all going to agree with my choices.

The first skill was Paranormal. I knew from the start that Fox Mulder was going to be strong in it. I mean, he's basically the character I designed the skill around. In order to strengthen the feel of Mulder's wild leaps of logic and unexpected methods, I gave Paranormal something of a card manipulation theme. That is, Paranormal cards are often concerned in some way with discarding or drawing cards, allowing for unexpected plays.

It was harder to decide on a character who was weak in Paranormal, and while I pondered making Dana Scully weak in it for awhile, in the end, that would have tied her and Mulder together TOO much, making it actually kind of difficult for them to work with any of the other agents. And while that's kind of cute thematically, it would be very unpleasant in actual gameplay if your group had one of the two, but not the other. In the end, I gave the nod here to Walter Skinner, given how often his interactions with the paranormal were unpleasant or caused trouble for him and how little his personality meshed with the cards in the Paranormal skill.

The next skill was Science. Again, I knew right away that Dana Scully was going to be strong in Science. Just like with Mulder, the skill was built around her. Game-wise, in my mind, the Science skill was kind of ultimately how progress got made on the cases. Often, some bit of evidence Scully came across would either confirm a theory or else suggest a theory for Mulder. So, mechanically, I made Science the best at solving cases - at least in a vacuum.

My call for the character who's weak in Science might be controversial, but ultimately, after I tried shuffling the skills around in various ways, I went with Mulder. I feel it could have gone to several different characters, but in the end, it made the most sense for gameplay for Mulder to be weak in Science. A. It created a partial mechanical link between Mulder and Scully, with Mulder feeding her his Science cards, without being a too-tight two-way link that would segregate them from the other characters. B. Again, as with Skinner, Mulder's personality just didn't fit well with the cards in Science. In the end though, the deciding vote was made in order to make the game play as well as possible.

The third skill was Conflict. Now, either Walter Skinner or Alex Krycek would have made decent picks to be strong in Conflict. They both beat face a number of times in the show, and were often men of action, but I had to look at the final skill as well to make the call. I felt like Politics was more Skinner's territory than Krycek's, ultimately, so Krycek was given the strong rating in Conflict. Mechanically, I tied Conflict to something I haven't mentioned yet - wounds. I'll talk about them later, but suffice to say that Conflict cards often interact in various ways with wounds the agents have suffered.

As for the character who was weak in Conflict, I had to go with what I feel is another controversial pick here. Really, I wasn't thinking that either Krycek or Skinner were good choices to be weak in Conflict, so I was torn between Mulder and Scully. Now, in this case, I had to bring in an additional consideration. X-Files as a show was notable in that it took the usual gender roles and stood them on their head. Mulder was the more emotional "ready to believe" character, with Scully being the more logical "doubting Thomas". In terms of action, they were pretty neck and neck on the show. I had to consider, would making Scully weak in Conflict be a slap in the face to the show's daring in reversing those usual roles - was it a sexist decision that would possibly relegate Scully to damsel-in-distress status, something I absolutely didn't want.

I did a lot of thinking about that issue, watched a lot of episodes and read a lot of plot summaries before I finally made the call. Ultimately, taking into account that I was focusing the game on seasons 1-3, the call was more or less accurate, and the deciding vote was once again what would play the best, although I absolutely expect to take some grief over it.

This naturally leaves Politics as the fourth skill, and you already know that Skinner is strong in it and Krycek is weak in it through the process of elimination. Politics is mechanically a skill that rewards teamwork, and is tied into the game's primary resource - influence. Again, I haven't mentioned influence yet, but it can easily be summed up as the 'cash' of the game. With that in mind, it seemed obvious to me that Skinner was clearly the strongest in Politics, and Krycek got the weak vote, edging out Mulder, because it was shown that Mulder's connections were powerful enough to keep him from getting killed or shut down, while Krycek...well...less so.

So, in the final tally:

Mulder is strong at Paranormal and weak at Science.
Scully is strong at Science and weak at Conflict.
Skinner is strong at Politics and weak at Paranormal.
Krycek is strong at Conflict and weak at Politics.
Also, every agent is strong at General.

So, looking at that, you can see that no two agents form a 'closed circuit' with each other. That is, there's no pair where their strong and weak skills are the same, only reversed. This maximizes the number of favorable interactions between the agents, regardless of which agents are being played.

Anyway, I'm sure that was way more in-depth than most of you were expecting, but I wanted to establish that I actually put a great deal of thought in what skills went where. You may feel free to disagree with me, but ultimately, I made the calls I thought were the best for the game.
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Javi Diez
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I think you've nailed it Kevin! It sounds amazing so far. I think Scully its the correct choice for that weak conflict skill
, its a hard one anyway!

I have posted a link with some info about the game components, 50 agents cards make sense if they have 5 skills...but 50 syndicate cards, im wondering if they are related to someone else's skills, like the cigarette smoking man.

And 65 x-file cards!! \o/
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Kevin Wilson
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Kosmox wrote:
I have posted a link with some info about the game components, 50 agents cards make sense if they have 5 skills...but 50 syndicate cards, im wondering if they are related to someone else's skills, like the cigarette smoking man.

And 65 x-file cards!! \o/

Well, cards are printed in sheets. One of the most common sheet sizes has 55 standard (aka poker-sized) cards on it. This relates, actually, to the printing of poker decks. A standard poker deck has 52 cards, often has 2 more cards for jokers, and then usually includes 1 ranking card that tells you what hands are better than others. This makes for 55 cards total. Because of this, designing cards in multiples of 55 is often very efficient, resulting in no waste and a lower cost. This isn't true everywhere, but most factories have a 55-card sheet and a designer who has been designing card/board games for awhile will often work in multiples of 52, 54, or 55 cards. I admit, it's kind of reflexive for me now to do so.

So, if you look, X-Files has 165 cards, which is 3 sheets of 55.

I wanted 50 cards for the agents for a good spread of cards divided into 5 skills evenly.

50 cards was also a good size for the syndicate player, for reasons I'll go into later...

That left me either 10 or 65 cards for the cases, depending on whether I wanted to go with 2 or 3 sheets of cards. Obviously 10 was way too few, 65 seemed a bit high, but when I looked, 3 seasons of X-Files tended to have around 75 episodes or so. Doing 65 cases allowed me to cover 3 seasons quite completely, leaving out a couple episodes here and there that didn't fit my needs (usually episodes not occurring in the continental US, which is where my game board is focused.) This appealed a lot to the X-Phile in me - the case cards could serve as a trip down memory lane for fans of the show while providing variety for more hard-core gamers.

Hmm, looking at all this, I really should probably tidy it up a bit and post it as a set of designer diaries too at some point.
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Javi Diez
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Designer diaries from KW about x-fiels, definely worth a read! ;-) The game really cath the essence of the X-File world so far

Thx a lot for the info about the gameplay and about the BoardGame Industry in general Kevin, i really apreciate it.
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Kevin Wilson
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So, I'm going to finish up talking about the agents today, and then I'll come back here in a few weeks and talk some about another part of the game (haven't decided on what, yet, although the syndicate player's turn is a likely possibility).

Since you already know about the skills on the agents, all that's left to talk about for them is the bit of reference text on them and their special abilities. The reference text is the turn sequence for the agents, and reads as follows:

1. Move OR Consult Another Agent
2. Plan (3 Influence) OR Act
3. Draw 1 Agent Card

Now, I'm not going to go into detail on this yet except to say that consulting another agent lets you trade a card 1-for-1 with another agent in the same region as you, and Act lets you play an agent card and resolve its effect.

As for the agent special abilities, I'm going to list them here, also without explanation for now, although you should be able to puzzle out a fair amount of how the game plays between them and the agent turn sequence above. So, until I come back with more info, feel free to talk among yourselves.

---

Fox Mulder: Believer
At the start of his turn, Mulder may pay 1 influence to look at a facedown syndicate card of his choice. He may share this knowledge with the other agents.

Dana Scully: Skeptic
When Scully draws 1 or more evidence tokens, she draws 1 extra, returning 1 evidence token to the evidence bag after looking at them.

Walter Skinner: Well-Connected
At the start of his turn, Skinner gains 1 influence. As usual, Skinner may choose to heal a wound instead of gaining influence.

Alex Krycek: Double Agent
Once per turn, when Krycek is investigating an X-File, he may wound another agent to add +2 to his investigation. The other agent may not refuse to be wounded.
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Javi Diez
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Skinner and Krycek work well together(krycek wound Skinner, +2 investigation, next turn skinner heals himself).
Not sure what "plan" means, perhaps you can invest 3 influence in order to make some kind of progress solving the conspirancy
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Neil Logan
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Ah, it's very unfortunate I missed the chance to ask questions here! I assume a lot of people will be feeling the same...

My question would have been; how does this scale with players? Since it's being listed as a 2 player game, that means one agent and one "CSM", so although being strong in the General skill will help, does 4/5 cards not become instantly more difficult with one player and therefore make the game harder overall? Can you detail how you get around this?

(I'd guessing/assuming that using the general skill would give a +1 whereas the skill you are strong in will give a +2 or +3 when they can be used)
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Lee Smith
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Thanks for torturing us with all these tidbits Kevin!

I guessed the weak points totally wrong as I predicted

Mulder weak at Politics
Scully weak at Paranormal
Skinner weak at Conflict
Krycek weak at Science

0/4!

Could anyone tell me if all images in the game are artwork from menton3 or are there some stills from the series? I would love to see 100% all original artwork.
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Jeff
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There's no simple explanation for anything important any of us do, and yeah the human tragedy consists of the necessity of living with the consequences, under pressure, under pressure. -Courage (For Hugh Maclennan): The Tragically Hip
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Maybe not every case in British Columbia, but The X-Files is tied in so many ways to British Columbia in particular and Canada in general. As many people know, the supporting cast were heavily comprised of Canadian actors, the crew were Canadian, and it was shot in B.C. until season 6. Also, the program was incredibly popular in Canada. Lastly, in the show itself Mulder and Scully's investigations took them into Canada from time to time.

Having said all of that, I wonder if the game is going to recognize and represent the important relationship between the show and Canada both in front of and behind the camera? For example, will a case here and there take the agents into Canada like they did in the show?

Thank-you.
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Jason Panella
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Maximuss wrote:
Maybe not every case in British Columbia, but The X-Files is tied in so many ways to British Columbia in particular and Canada in general. As many people know, the supporting cast were heavily comprised of Canadian actors, the crew were Canadian, and it was shot in B.C. until season 6. Also, the program was incredibly popular in Canada. Lastly, in the show itself Mulder and Scully's investigations took them into Canada from time to time.


This is what I was getting at with my post way up there. I always chuckled at how B.C. served as some very un-B.C. places over the first couple of seasons.
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