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Caroline Berg
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Everything Except Air by: Caroline Berg | Filler | 1 player | 15 to 20 Minutes

Summary:

You are investigating alien ruins on Mars. Just as you are getting ready to take all the artifacts back to your ship, disaster strikes! A meteor storm sweeps across the planet! Your equipment is damaged! Your air tank is running low! And to top it off the dust kicked up by the meteors has obscured the location of your ship!

What had been days worth of air is now only a few scant hours. You have to make it back to your spaceship - but what about all the artifacts you have already found? Decide what to take and what to leave, but remember, if you take too much, you run out of air faster!

Components:
30 Event Cards
24 Map Tiles
16 Item Cards
15 Ability Cards
1 Character
1 Air and Weight Tracker
1 Air Token
1 Weight Token
1 Rules Book




Files:
Cards are here.
Tiles are here.
Rules are here.

Thank so much to everyone who played, voted, and commented on this game!
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
There are two main trackers the player has to keep track of during play.

One is the Air Tracker. This ranges from nine hours to one hour of air. If the air level drops below one, the player dies. If the player gets more than nine hours of air, the air reservoirs in the spacesuit cap out at nine hours, so no more air can be added.

Every turn the amount of air left is lowered. Each movement takes a half-hour of air. So in two turns, the player uses one hour of air. Abilities or items collected in the game can change this.

Air is important. No air obviously means death. But it also dictates how much the player can carry.

Which brings us to the second tracker. The Weight Tracker. This tracks how much weight the player is carrying. Because the oxygen/nitrogen mix in the tanks on the player's suit also counts towards weight, the total weight depends on the hours of air left plus the weight of the items carried.

The weight chart is the inverse of the oxygen chart. The less oxygen the player has, the more the player can carry. However, using oxygen to gain more items is risky since the player needs oxygen to search for the spaceship.

At the start of the game, due to the meteor shower, the player has five hours of oxygen and the ability to carry items which equal up to five total weight. Each item card has now much it weights written on it (from one to nine).

The player has to decide what to carry with them, and how much oxygen they want to have.

It should be noted that the player only wins when:

• The player does not run out of air.
• The player finds the spaceship.
• The player has at least one alien artifact upon reaching the spaceship.

Future difficulty levels may adjust:

• The amount of air at the start of the game.
• The number of alien artifacts needed to win.

The Mars Exploration mission fails if no item from the Martian Ruins makes it back to Earth.
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Abilities

Here is a list of the fifteen random abilities your spacesuit could have in a game. Granted, you can only ever have three at a time in a single game, not all fifteen.

Alien Databanks - you have a wealth of alien knowledge stored in the memory unit of your suit.
All-Purpose Tools - you can open locks, shovel dirt, or start fires. Your suit has a tool for every occasion.
Durability - your spacesuit is hardier than the average spacesuit.
Gyro-Stabilizers - you always manage to land on your feet, no matter how badly you have been knocked around.
Headlamp - you never get left in the dark.
Internal Compass - you always know exactly where you are.
Language Software - translating alien languages has never been easier!
Mechanical Arms - an extra set of arms is attached to your suit. You can carry two extra items. Any items carried this way do not affect your oxygen supply.
Quality Air Filters - oxygen lasts longer. Instead of decreasing every two turns, oxygen now decreases after three turns.*
Radio Receiver - you are not alone, for you can hear others out there, somewhere.
Radio Transmitter - you can send messages out into space. Of course, with the lag, there is no guarantee you will get an answer.
Reflective Visor - your suit comes with a mirrored visor to protect you from glaring light.
Self-Repair - your suit has state-of-the-art nanobots to fix any injuries it may sustain.
Spare Parts - your suit comes with spare parts, just in case you need an extra glove, or valve to your oxygen tank.
Temperature Controls - cold Martian nights do not bother you.

*May tweak this after testing.

Events

Much like Betrayal at House on the Hill, Arkham Horror, or Tales of the Arabian Nights, the plot of this game is driven by event cards. These events can help or hinder the player. They are affected by various abilities.

If you happen to have more than one ability for an event, the ability with the star next to it is mandatory, and takes precedence over all other outcomes on the card.

Current list of Events:

Abandoned Dig Site
Alien Artifact
Boxes of Rations
Crashed Vehicles
Cratered Plains
Crushed Cargo Crates
Deserted Dwelling
Dust Storm
Endless Dust Field
Equipment Stash
Half-Buried Base Camp
Icy Precipice
Malfunctioning Equipment
Martian Sunrise
Meteor Swarm
Misplaced Equipment
Narrow Bridge
Network of Canals
Night Falls
Obstructed Area
Partially Packed Crates
Shifting Sands
Solitude of Space
Storm Clears
Strange Rock Formations
Subterranean Collapse
Sudden Rock Fall
Tunnel Entrance
Unexpected Chasm
Unexplored Caves

Examples of Event Cards

Abandoned Dig Site - You come across a dig site that was from a previous dig. Why, the meteors must have uncovered this previous site!

All-Purpose Tools - Using your handy toolkit, you manage to recover something useful from the dig site. Draw and keep one item card.
Language Software - You activate your language software to translate the notes you find. You manage to lose all track of time and spend several hours pouring over notes. Lose two hours of air.
All else - What a fascinating place! Too bad time and the meteor storm have destroyed everything of value here.

Alien Artifact - This object is truly mind-boggling.

Language Software - You try to translate the writing spending hours and learning only that this area was once called Thune. Lose one hour of air.
Alien Databanks - When you access the alien databanks interface with the artifact up and reveal what the device is - an ancient map! For each open space surrounding this tile, place a map tile.
All else - While interesting, you cannot figure out what this is. After attempting to take it, and failing, you decide to move on.

Boxes of Rations - As you walk near the boxes, they suddenly shift and fall down around you!

Durability - The rations fall on top of you! Good thing your suit is able to withstand the blows! You find a little something behind the fallen boxes. Draw and keep one item card.
Quality Air Filters - Too much dust fills the air! Your filters are clogged and no longer work. Discard the Quality Air Filters card.
All else - Stacks of boxes of food you do not need. You would rather have found boxes of oxygen tanks. Disheartened, you move on.

Crashed Vehicles - Ouch, just looking at these causes pain. Here are all the land roving vehicles you could have used to search for your spaceship!

Radio Transmitter -
Spare Parts -
All else -

Cratered Plains - These plains are pocked with the craters of millions of meteors. Blast after blast impacting over the centuries has made this path anything but smooth.

Temperature Controls - The shadows in the craters are far to cold and the parts in light are far too hot. Without temperature controls you wouldn't have been able to withstand the changes and your suit would have failed.
Internal Compass - It's no use. All the meteor iron scattered in the craters is playing havoc with your equipment. You cannot find your way and wander lost for an hour. Lose one hour of air.
All else - You decide to take an alternate route, one that doesn't require going through the craters. Draw another map tile and place it adjacent to this tile. Move your character to that new tile.

Crushed Cargo Crates -

Quality Air Filters -
All-Purpose Tools -
All else -

Deserted Dwelling -

Alien Databanks -
Mechanical Arms -
All else -

Dust Storm - savage winds still swirl across the landscape from the meteor shower!

Reflective Visor -
Internal compass - despite the swirling dust, you are not lost. You know exactly where you stand on Mars.
All else - Remove all tiles except for the tile you are currently on and reshuffle the tile stack. You have no clue where you are.

Endless Dust Field -

Quality Air Filters -
Headlamp -
All else -

Equipment Stash -

Headlamp -
Mechanical Arms -
All else -

Half-Buried Base Camp -

All-Purpose Tools -
Temperature Controls -
All else -

Icy Precipice -

Gyro-Stabilizers -
All-Purpose Tools -
All else -

Malfunctioning Equipment -

Radio Transmitter -
Self-Repair -
All else -

Martian Sunrise -

Reflective Visor -
Temperature Controls -
All else -

Meteor Swarm - just when you though you were safe, wham! The meteors are back, hitting the surface with furious force! Your helmet is cracked by a rogue meteorite!

Spare Parts - Good thing this suit happened to come with a spare visor. You slot the new visor into place with ease.
Durability - The meteors ping off your suit. Unfortunately, your oxygen tank is not as hearty. You lose one hour of air.
All else - One of your artifacts is destroyed. Discard that card.

Misplaced Equipment -

Spare Parts -
Radio Receiver -
All else -

Narrow Bridge -

Self-Repair -
Reflective Visor -
All else -

Network of Canals -

Internal Compass -
Alien Databanks -
All else -

Night Falls -

Temperature Controls -
Headlamp -
All else -

Obstructed Area -

Headlamp -
Durability -
All else -

Partially Packed Crates -

Mechanical Arms -
Spare Parts -
All else -

Shifting Sands -

Durability -
Gyro-Stabilizers -
All else -

Solitude of Space -

Radio Receiver - you are comforted by the fact that you can hear other voices out there.
Radio Transmitter -
All else -

Storm Clears -

Self Repair -
Reflective Visor -
All else -

Strange Rock Formations -

Alien Databanks - these are no ordinary rock formations! They mark a sacred site. Draw and keep one item card.
Radio Receiver -
All else -

Subterranean Collapse - the combined weight of you and your items causes the thin sandy crust to collapse! Your suit is damaged in the fall.

Gyro-Stabilizers - Luckily, your suit is built for falls like this. In no time at all you are up and moving again.
Self-Repair - Your suit repairs the damage. While taking it easy and waiting on repairs, you do a little exploring and discover an item! Draw and keep one item card.
All else - Ouch! That hurt! Drop one item and lose one hour of air.

Sudden Rock Fall -

Mechanical Arms -
Quality Air Filters -
All else -

Tunnel Entrance -

Language Software -
Radio Transmitter -
All else -

Unexpected Chasm -

Radio Receiver -
Gyro-Stabilizers -
All else -

Unexplored Caves -

Internal Compass -
Language Software -
All else -
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Caroline Berg
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Items

Items can be some exotic piece of alien technology, to a simple toolbox that was lost when your base camp was blasted by the storm.

The player does not have to keep items. The player can, at any point after movement, drop an item card they no longer wish to carry. Players cannot drop items after they have used an item. Any items that are used are discarded from the game.

If a player is moving into a space with a dropped item, the player may pick up the item after an Event Card is drawn.

If a player wants to pick up an item that is too heavy based on their weight limitations, the player may choose to vent air into space. The player would pick up the item and move the Air Tracker down to the appropriate amount of oxygen. The player cannot do this if their Air Tracker would move below 1 hour of oxygen left.

Example: The player has five hours of air left. The player is already carrying an External Radio, with a weight of 2. The player can still carry items that weight up to 3. However, the player comes across a Crate of Broken Artifacts, and wishes to carry it. The Crate of Broken Artifacts weights 4. The player can pick up the crate, but the player's Air Tracker would move from 5 to 4. This is because if the player is carrying 6 Weight, the player can only have 4 hours worth of air - because air has weight too!

Items that give abilities:

Attachable Light
• Weight 1
• Adds Headlamp ability
• This light can easily attach to any part of your spacesuit, allowing you to see in the dark without sacrificing a hand to hold it.

External Radio
• Weight 2
• Adds both Radio Receiver and Radio Transmitter abilities.
• This bulky equipment allows you to send and receive messages to your ship.

Space Suit Plating
• Weight 1
• Adds Durability ability
• Special plating designed to fit onto spacesuits, adding more protection from anything the universe throws at you.

Toolbox
• Weight 1
• Adds All-Purpose Tool ability
• This toolbox has it all! Except it doesn't contain any artifacts, or your ship, or a map. Other than that, it is rather handy.

Items that are needed to win:

Alien Statue
• Weight 5
• A beautiful, but heavy, piece of Martian art.

Box of Alien Trinkets
• Weight 3
• Various odds and ends that even the archaeologists didn't know what to do with. However, even this is better than nothing.

Crate of Broken Artifacts
• Weight 4
• This crate got the worst of the meteor storm. Now The artifacts are almost worthless. Hopefully they can be restored back on Earth.

Crate of Well Packed Artifacts
• Weight 7
• A crate of highly valuable items, nicely packed for transport.

Excavation Notes
• Weight 1
• Detailed notes about the entire dig on Mars. Not as valuable as an actual item, but better than no notes at all.

Fragments of a Martian Tablet
• Weight 2
• Sadly missing parts, this tablet still contains the last remnants of the Martian language.

Small Alien Obelisk
• Weight 6
• This obelisk contains many insightful carvings, detailing how life used to be on Mars.

Strange Alien Disk
• Weight 1
• A piece of ancient technology the scientists on Earth would love to get their hands on.

Other useful items:

Spare Air Tank 1
• Weight 1
• Adds 1 hour of air when used.
• To use: increase Oxygen Track by 1 hour, decrease Weight Tracker by 1. Discard this card after use.

Spare Air Tank 2
• Weight 2
• Adds 2 hours of air when used.
• To use: increase Oxygen Track by 2 hours, decrease Weight Tracker by 2. Discard this card after use.

Spare Air Tank 3
• Weight 3
• Adds 3 hours of air when used.
• To use: increase Oxygen Track by 3 hours, decrease Weight Tracker by 3. Discard this card after use.

Mars Buggy
• Weight NA
• You can use this vehicle to:
- Travel one extra space during movement without using any air.
- Carry one item no matter how heavy.
• To use: Place a travel token on this card. The buggy can be used 4 times before it runs out of power. When it is used a fourth time, discard this card. Any item it was carrying, if it was carrying an item, is dropped at that location.
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Caroline Berg
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Alright! Finally got some time to work on this.

I might drop the Weaponry ability... as of now I'm debating on keeping it or not.

Up next:

Work more on the Events! Not only do I want to add at least two more events, I also want to finish the write-ups for the ones I started! And I need more events that do negative things.

Work more on items! I want a 50/50 ratio of artifacts needed to win vs. all other items. And I want to add some terrible items - such as magnetic clips that won't come off and take up unnecessary weight.

Create art for Mars tiles. I'm thinking of going with my usual inked style, as a number of people have expressed interest in the past about that style of art.
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Nat
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Hey Caroline, I really really like the sound of this. Subscribed for updates!
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Caroline Berg
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
GnatOfPower wrote:
Hey Caroline, I really really like the sound of this. Subscribed for updates!

Thanks!

I've been working on the Events, out of this thread, since I've been writing them up at meetings, on the bus, or any other time I can scrounge up - like a lecture I attended last night. That was interesting. Listening to how Influenza mutates each year while writing charts as to what Abilities are used with which Events.

I plan on having a massive update this weekend.
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Caroline Berg
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Right, so made some great progress last night on the Events.

There will be 30 Events in this base game.

Each Event has two Ablilities that can trigger something, and an option for when the player has neither of those Abilities.

Each Ability is starred twice. Each Ability is negative twice and positive twice.

Event List:

Abandoned Dig Site
Alien Artifact
Boxes of Rations
Crashed Vehicles
Cratered Plains
Crushed Cargo Crates
Deserted Dwelling
Dust Storm
Endless Dust Field
Equipment Stash
Half-Buried Base Camp
Icy Precipice
Malfunctioning Equipment
Martian Sunrise
Meteor Swarm
Misplaced Equipment
Narrow Bridge
Network of Canals
Night Falls
Obstructed Area
Partially Packed Crates
Shifting Sands
Solitude of Space
Storm Clears
Strange Rock Formations
Subterranean Collapse
Sudden Rock Fall
Tunnel Entrance
Unexpected Chasm
Unexplored Caves

And I changed some of the Abilities.

Weaponry has been replaced with Reflective Visor.
Internal Heating has had a name change to Temperature Controls.

Plans for future expansions:
(what would be nice to have, but not necessary right now)

Have 30 Event cards with the same names as the 30 Event cards included in the base game, but with slightly different Abilities on them, so that players cannot memorize what the Events do. (Oh, it's the "Storm Clears" Event, I'm good as long as I have my Reflective Visor... hey, this card now uses Temperature Controls!?!)

Also increase the number of item cards, so that there are more items that give Abilities, and so that there are more artifacts and air tanks.
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Benj Davis
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Well, you can still memorise them, but they'd be a 50/50.
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Caroline Berg
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Jlerpy wrote:
Well, you can still memorise them, but they'd be a 50/50.

True. This is an issue I have with games. No matter how obfuscating or complex it gets, I have an almost perfect memory... but I'd still like to try to make it a little less predictable.
 
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Caroline Berg
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Update! Card text is all done - am slowly adding it to a previous post when I have time. I have started on the tile art, and then all I have to do is make the card art.

I'm hoping to have things mostly done by this next weekend, to give me a week before it is due to the contest to go over it.
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Caroline Berg
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
This week has been hell, but I have managed to get some stuff worked on (which is a minor miracle!)

Worked on more of the art. I have the card back almost done... which still leaves the card fronts and finalizing the tiles and the air/weight tracker.

I'm pretty confident that I will have more time this weekend to work on things. And I should still be on track for finishing this before the deadline.

I hope to get some art up and posted tomorrow night.
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todd sanders
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
you can do it!
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Caroline Berg
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Aw thanks!
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Nat
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Got my printer set up and ready!
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Caroline Berg
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
The cards/tracker/tiles will be black and white - so no worries about heavy color.

The cards have backs, but the tiles and the tracker are one-sided. Trying to make things printer friendly for this one. (Like I did with the two-player print-and-play contest.)
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David Bate
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Keenly waiting to get to Mars to give those Tripods some payback for 1897 and that Spielberg film.
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Caroline Berg
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Hahaha!

Then I'll try to get as many of the cards done today as I can!
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Caroline Berg
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Art Update!!

I actually had some time tonight to work on art! I'll hopefully have all the art done tomorrow. Until it is, here is a taste of what it looks like:

Tiles!

Here are three of the six types of tiles. There is only one tile with a ship - the rest are just directional. I haven't decided yet if I want to center the paths on each tile, or just leave them haphazard and not 100% in alignment.



Card Back!

Here is what the back of the Event Cards looks like. I will probably have a different back for the Item Cards. And I think I'll make the Skills into cards - so those will have a different back too.

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Nat
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
This is really nice looking. Good work.
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Thanks! Each tile takes about half-an-hour to ink by hand. All those little dots!

And I'm now close enough to being done that I should make a list to make sure I don't forget anything:

Trackers
1) Linked Air/Weight Tracker-DONE
2) Tokens to mark current air and weight-DONE

Character
1) Character to move on tiles-DONE

Tiles
1) Straight 2-way tile-DONE
2) Curved 2-way tile-DONE
3) 4-way tile-DONE
4) All tiles laid out for printing-DONE

Cards
1) 15 Ability cards-DONE
2) 16 Item cards-DONE
3) 30 Event Cards-DONE
4) All tiles laid out for printing-DONE

Card Backs
1) Ability-DONE
2) Item-DONE
3) Event-DONE
4) All tiles laid out for printing-DONE

Rules
1) Finalize Rules-DONE
2) Add art and examples to rules-DONE
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
Note: the longest part never seems to be actually churning out to art for a game, or even the layout - no the longest part is always finding the perfect font and adjusting everything to make sure the font sizes are readable...

Well, I have one Event Card done which means I have a template for the rest. Now I need to create a template for the Item Card.

Then I should be able to churn out the cards fairly quickly as all I'd need to do is input the text.

Though I honestly should be working on Skills first since those will be the quickest to finish...
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todd sanders
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
don't use a thin font
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Caroline Berg
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Washington
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...124 to run fleeing from the mountain. ...125 to use a rope to climb the cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
dumarest123 wrote:
don't use a thin font

I'm not! But only because thin fonts don't fit with the other elements of my game - the dots would overwhelm a thin font.

Sorry that you get flak for using thin fonts!

I rather think a thin font works with your game because it looks like tree trunks. But that's just me.
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todd sanders
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Re: [WIP] Everything Except Air
yup
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