Weston Stapleton
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Components Ready Version 0.2

July 19, 2014
v0.2 Rules | v0.2 Components
Hi-Quality Color Rules 2.61MB | Hi-Quality Color Components 2.70MB

2 pages to print/cut and its ready! (rules optional)



The Game

The RMS Titanic, an olympic class ocean liner publicized as the safest bet for maritime travel, attracted passengers by the thousands into what would become an unforgettable tragedy. Employed as the "on watch" lookout when the iceberg was spotted, Frederick Fleet hailed those unforgettable words "Iceberg, right ahead!"

In Frederick Fleet the player will take on the role of RMS Titanic's lookout. Will you be able to spot the mass of ice that claimed so many that historic night? Will you adapt to the conditions with enough time to alter the Titanic's course and make history by saving thousands of innocent lives?

NOTES
Thanks for your interest in this contest entry.
This will be my first attempt at a solo game, so I hope it goes well.
Subscribe to keep up to date on the happenings.
I am excited to see what everyone comes up with and to try out the entries in August.

Categories I Feel It Fits Into
Thematic Game / Written Rules / Artwork / Medium Game / Innovative Mechanic


This is an entry to the 2014 Solitaire Print and Play Contest.
Please check out that thread for all the contest information and check out all of the other entries.
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Weston Stapleton
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Re: [Solo PnP 2014] Frederick Fleet (idea phase)


June 12th, 2014
Frederick Fleet is still in a basic idea phase, but I have started to brainstorm some mechanics :
1) There will be some rotating sets of cards that are drafted early in the game.
2) There will be a fog of war type mechanic using a grid of tiles representing the ocean area in front of the ship.
3) Using these rotating cards, your goal will be to work through the fog of war as you scan along the horizon. Actions will be awarded depending on the tiles cleared and you must work to uncover the Iceberg tile with enough time to change the course of the ship.
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Andy Kay
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Re: [WIP idea phase] Frederick Fleet (Solo PnP 2014)
Great theme, and sounds like the makings of a tense game. I really like the artwork too. I look forward to more when the 2p PnP voting is done.
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David Kershaw
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Re: [WIP idea phase] Frederick Fleet (Solo PnP 2014)
What a great idea. You should add some mechanic for the captain speeding up!
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Re: [WIP idea phase] Frederick Fleet (Solo PnP 2014)
dynamicdavid wrote:
What a great idea. You should add some mechanic for the captain speeding up!


Ahh, so that is what caused the wreck. I always wondered.

Now that the 2P Contest is over, I am starting to flesh out this game a bit more. The general idea is working out right, just trying to add a bit more interest to the decisions. Some great news though, I have an amazing artist on tap to work on the artwork for me. This will allow me to focus more on Mechanics and Graphics Design (the 2 parts I love best).
Be on the lookout for some teaser pics and some preliminary rules next week.
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Weston Stapleton
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Re: [WIP idea phase] Frederick Fleet (Solo PnP 2014)
The game was working, but things were not even. I want the tiles to be perfectly balanced against each other, so I started working on that. This "balancing" has been stumping me for the past few days and I cannot figure it out.
I created a thread for anyone that wants to help me balance these tiles. 200 GG if you figure it out first.

200 GG to whoever can solve this for me (SOLVED, thanks)
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Weston Stapleton
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Re: [WIP idea phase] Frederick Fleet (Solo PnP 2014)
I know things have been somewhat quiet in here, mostly due to the design issues I have been hitting. Thanks to everyone's help in the other thread (and thanks to Bridge Tournaments) the tile balancing was resolved. I am also struggling a bit with the card to tile play that makes up the majority of the mechanics. I am still working on it and will hopefully have some preliminary stuff soon.

In good news though, the artwork is coming along well. I can officially state that Élise Plessis will be doing the artwork. You may know her work from the Onirim/Urbion card game series. She excels at a very mysterious and thematic watercolor style that I feel will really capture the emotions reflected in the game's theme. Here is a little sneak peek of the early sketches for you guys :

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Nate K
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Re: [WIP idea phase] Frederick Fleet (Solo PnP 2014)
Pretty...
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Weston Stapleton
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Components Ready Version 0.2


I called out of work and spent about 15 hours finishing this up today. Please give the rules a read through and give me feedback. Try it out as well if you feel so inclined. B&W Lo Quality version will be available before the Deadline.

v0.2 Rules | v0.2 Components
Hi-Quality Color Rules 2.61MB | Hi-Quality Color Components 2.70MB

2 pages to print/cut and its ready! (rules optional)

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Andy Kay
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Hi, very good to see this get to the components ready stage, and it looks great.

I'll give fuller rules feedback later, but one quick query. I'm stuck on: "In order to flip a tile face up, 2 of the tiles directly below it must also be face up or claimed."

How do tiles in the nearest two rows get flipped (as they won't have 2 tiles directly below them face up or claimed)? I also can't match that rule to the sidebar illustration, where in the second column the top tile is marked "X" (=invalid), but it does appear to have 2 tiles directly below it either flipped or claimed, whereas the two cards with AP costs, and therefore valid, don't seem to obey the rule.

Sorry if I'm missing something. Thanks!
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awesomeandy wrote:
I'll give fuller rules feedback later, but one quick query. I'm stuck on: "In order to flip a tile face up, 2 of the tiles directly below it must also be face up or claimed."


Ahh, I think trying to reword this at the last second made it even harder to understand. By "directly" I mean in the row directly below it, not the 2 tiles in the same column directly below it. The tiles in the bottom row bypass this rule since there are never tiles below them.

I need some help with the wording on this. Can anyone think of a better wording that would make what is depicted in this diagram easier to understand.
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Mariusz Kosecki
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As for the graphics: simply WOW.

I will read through the rules on Monday and I will try to give you any feedback.

And the theme sounds very interesting!
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magnificentmariusz wrote:
As for the graphics: simply WOW.

Yeah Élise Plessis, did an amazing job with the art! I would not have been able to finish this one up for the contest if I had to focus on art and gameplay.


I will read through the rules on Monday and I will try to give you any feedback.
And the theme sounds very interesting!

Glad you got the chance to check in on my entry for the Solo PnP too! I appreciated all the feedback and help with the whole PDF shenanigans in the 2P PnP contest. Cant wait to see what you think of the rules/game for this entry
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Thanks for the clarification, and the diagram makes it very clear.

re: wording, perhaps something like: "In order to flip a tile face up, 2 of the tiles vertically and/or diagonally below it in the previous row must also be face up or claimed." (And the caveat about it not applying to the first row.)


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I've crafted and played the game once. I was confused by the specific rule you are talking about above (the 2 tiles directly below). I think you should not reword it but you should include the diagram.

I lost the game by lack of AP, I will try again to see if some kind of strategy emerges. For a first game, it looked pretty random.
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courtjus wrote:
I've crafted and played the game once. I was confused by the specific rule you are talking about above (the 2 tiles directly below). I think you should not reword it but you should include the diagram.

I lost the game by lack of AP, I will try again to see if some kind of strategy emerges. For a first game, it looked pretty random.


Wow, thanks for testing it out so quickly! Did not expect that already. I understand your feelings about the randomness, and I think it is a fair assessment. It is not as much "luck" as in dice rolling luck, but more luck in how the tiles fall. Sort of similar to the luck with how the tiles layout in a game of Mahjong . . . or in how the grid starts out in a game of Solitaire. This is my first real experience designing or playing any sort of Solo board game, and it is a very exciting learning experience. The only games I had to inspire me were classic games such as Mahjong or Solitaire. It may be quite limiting, but I still enjoyed all of the playtests of the game as I was working on the mechanics.
Give it a few more tries and give your honest opinion. I am sure it may not be a game for everyone, but I sincerely appreciate you giving it a try. Some of the strategy is in how you draft your 4 piles of cards, and there is not much depth past that. The gameplay of balancing the AP vs Time brings some decisions to the table, and that was the enjoyable part for me.
Anyways this is just lots of rambling. Give it another try if you get the chance, and don't be afraid of being honest with your feedback. Give me some ideas that I may be able to implement into the game that could give it a deeper strategy. Thanks again
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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Before giving you new ideas, let me tell you what I think makes your game interesting and different.

- you have to "prepare" your game
- you always play for the current turn while thinking about the next one
- the time management is interesting and fun
- the art is awesome
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Mariusz Kosecki
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Ok, so I've read your rules, sorry I didn't reply earlier, I had no time...

I must say the rules are formatted perfectly. As for the game - I don't feel it. I mean, it seems very abstract (besides the great graphic design!). I don't understand how the mechanisms to turn over the tiles and rotate the cards fit the Titanic theme... Don't take it as any kind of criticism, I just want to open a discussion.

I don't like the fact that player has to decide about an almost random setup. IMHO, you should prepare some sets of predefined cards/tiles to start with for the beginners. You could propose a setting (what tile should be visible at the beginning, what cards should be removed and what cards should be contained in each group) to start with and advise that experienced players can create a random setting by their own after they master the beginner setup.

That way, everyone could play the proper game of playing the cards without thinking what should be put in each pile. Too many layers of strategy at the very beginning! I have no idea what should I focus on. You might propose to prepare different groups of cards depending on the difficulty you would like to offer to the player. You stated that "it is good idea to spread the icons evenly" - what do you try to say here? Should I spread the icons evenly or I will likely lose? Or should I spread the icons evenly so that I will probably win? Which one is the core mechanism? The turning over the tiles or dividing the cards into groups? Do you understand what are my concerns?

As for now, it rather feels like a puzzle or some kind of a riddle that has nothing to do with the theme and does not make me want to play the game... As above, don't take it as any kind of criticism, just an honest opinion that might get changed

I hope I wasn't too harsh... I like the fact how you invent new mechanisms, I just don't feel them in this game. I think this is due to the fact they can be received as random and I'm almost sure they're not (I know you made tons of calculations and balancing to the tiles). And I'm waiting for a proper introduction to be filled in the first chapter of the rulebook

Regards and keep up the good work!
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Luke Phillips
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Ok I've played 3 times now, and never came close to winning

It seems to me that there are not enough action points generated. Since the maximum APs you can generate is 3 and flipping a tile costs 2 or more (after the first round). I can only ever flip one tile. If that tile doesn't allow the generation of 2+ APs you are now stuck with no APs to flip more tiles.

Any thoughts, am I playing it wrong? It almost feels like the bottom of each column could be flipped for free, then APs used to get a sneak peak at what's coming up.

I quite like the mechanic of having to match the old tile for time vs new tile for AP, except you always have to choose AP other wise you will get stuck.

Presentation is fantastic BTW
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magnificentmariusz wrote:
I must say the rules are formatted perfectly. As for the game - I don't feel it. I mean, it seems very abstract (besides the great graphic design!). I don't understand how the mechanisms to turn over the tiles and rotate the cards fit the Titanic theme...

Thanks for the compliments and concerns you bring up. I tend to choose kind of odd, but thought provoking themes for my games. Themes that really couldn't have a perfectly representative mechanic. I agree that the game is very abstracted. The tiles flipping and clearing just mimics a fog of war mechanic. Frederick had to scan the horizon constantly in freezing cold temperatures to try and keep a look out for icebergs. It is tough to make a mechanic that does that, I will be the first to admit that. There is no real link to the deeper theme, since Frederick probably wasn't playing cards to spot squids and nets in the ocean :-), haha.

I don't like the fact that player has to decide about an almost random setup. IMHO, you should prepare some sets of predefined cards/tiles to start with for the beginners. You could propose a setting (what tile should be visible at the beginning, what cards should be removed and what cards should be contained in each group) to start with and advise that experienced players can create a random setting by their own after they master the beginner setup.

I will admit that I also disliked how you have to throw a "strategic" icon spread at a completely random setup. Your idea is definitely something to look into, since it sounds workable. I really wish I had gotten the files done earlier so that I could work through feedback like this.

You stated that "it is good idea to spread the icons evenly" - what do you try to say here? Which one is the core mechanism? The turning over the tiles or dividing the cards into groups? Do you understand what are my concerns?

I think the card division at the beginning of the game evolves with the tile flipping. Both are part of the core mechanisms, but they don't really mesh in your brain until you see it in action.

As for now, it rather feels like a puzzle or some kind of a riddle that has nothing to do with the theme and does not make me want to play the game... As above, don't take it as any kind of criticism, just an honest opinion that might get changed

Yes it is quite puzzle-y. I was working from very limited experience with solitaire games, but the mechanics do make for some good times. I appreciate your honesty and I accept that it is not a game that could be enjoyed by everyone. Please do not worry about criticisms, that is exactly what we need as designers. Many of the concerns you brought up, I also saw when fixing up the mechanics. But I took the game for what it would be and ran with it. If you get a chance to try it out please report back
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luckyluke wrote:
Ok I've played 3 times now, and never came close to winning

Haha, I have not won at all either and I have played many more times than 3. I know it is doable because of the calculations I worked through when designing the numbers/mechanics . . . but I havent been able to pull it off yet.


It seems to me that there are not enough action points generated. Since the maximum APs you can generate is 3 and flipping a tile costs 2 or more (after the first round). I can only ever flip one tile. If that tile doesn't allow the generation of 2+ APs you are now stuck with no APs to flip more tiles.

Hmm, I have flip flopped between 3AP and 4AP during play-testing the early version. 4AP seemed to leave you with an influx of extra AP at the end of the game. Usually you only have 2 tiles face up at any one time, and at the end, when you have slim number of AP, the top tiles only cost 1. So you can do a smart quick finish without a huge influx of AP.

Any thoughts, am I playing it wrong? It almost feels like the bottom of each column could be flipped for free, then APs used to get a sneak peak at what's coming up.

Ohhh, very nice idea. I played around with the bottom row being flipped face up for the beginning of the game. But if I could work on the balancing, carrying over this idea through the whole game could possibly work. I would drastically have to adjust the AP, but I think this could also deter the randomness of the "setup vs card positioning" issue that Dannte and I have both been brainstorming. Thanks!

I quite like the mechanic of having to match the old tile for time vs new tile for AP, except you always have to choose AP other wise you will get stuck.
Presentation is fantastic BTW

Thanks for the honest feedback and for trying it out.
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courtjus wrote:
Before giving you new ideas, let me tell you what I think makes your game interesting and different.

- you have to "prepare" your game
- you always play for the current turn while thinking about the next one
- the time management is interesting and fun
- the art is awesome


Wow, this (for some reason) did not trigger my subscription. I apologize for overlooking this until now Ghislain. Thank you for the kind words!
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todd sanders
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a few questions

as i am clearing a path, is it only orthogonal or can i cleat diagonally?

in your mechanics example you show a tile (oar/fish, net/preserver) and to the right how the icon combos work

the 2nd combo shows net/oar which is on the tile, albeit not in the order shown, icons must be in the correct left/right up/down order to count then?
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Weston Stapleton
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terrifictodd wrote:
a few questions

as i am clearing a path, is it only orthogonal or can i cleat diagonally?

Orthogonally.

in your mechanics example you show a tile (oar/fish, net/preserver) and to the right how the icon combos work

the 2nd combo shows net/oar which is on the tile, albeit not in the order shown, icons must be in the correct left/right up/down order to count then?

The only time it matters is for matching the top 2 icons exactly. The rest (2 anywhere or 1 anywhere) can be anywhere on the tile.


Thanks for giving it a read through Todd!
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I hate getting sick and I hate moving to a new house! I wanted to get this all written and done before the contest was over but life got the best of me...

Still I gotta help an old friend out and take a deep look at this rulebook! I even brought my mustache friend Susan to help out. Let's dig in!

I gotta start with saying just like your last game this whole thing looks gorgeous... I recognized the art right away as similar to Onirim and when I saw it was the same artist in the thread I was seriously excited. That art and your good formating work were great to behold.

We need that intro text in there though man! Don't leave me hanging! I bugged you about that last time, I'm surprised you didn't have it day one this time! But for anyone else who may read this, having the context of what you are doing when learning a game can help you understand the game mechanics better when learning, so they are very important.

I like how you used the arrows to point to each step in the setup, it's way more fun then a list and leads you to each step in a cool visual way. Those first two sections really look fantastic and work very well to explain the game.

I did get slightly caught up on the setup section, but that was because your print and play files didn't include tile backs so I didn't understand the art I was seeing when you were supposed to overlap them. Definitely want to fix that one up so that when I see light blue sections I actually know what they are.

Now this was the tough part. Your game looks like a curious puzzle of sorts which is very interesting but very difficult to explain with just text. If somehow you could make a How To Play video and include a link to it prominently near the beginning of the rules it would help learning a ton.

The real thing is I don't think how you explained the rules was really the problem, it made sense and was able to be played with it's just the game is complex enough that text without tons of pictures makes things difficult. But after I got through the first few turns I managed to get it going okay. Once I played a few turns it started to make sense, so you just gotta get people to get a turn in. Maybe a bigger page long example of gameplay could help?

Plus it doesn't help that I generally am very bad at puzzles. I managed to do okay at the game but I only won once out of my 5 plays I gave it. I can't say much on what I would do to change the game. Honestly it was really interesting trying to figure out how to navigate and get to the end while having to be careful about how much time passed and how much AP I had.

So unless the game is turning up unbalanced to others I wouldn't make much for changes. Most of the solo games I've played I've just destroyed after a few plays in finding a perfect optimal strategy and I wasn't able to do that as easily here. I liked the challange honestly, and may even give it a few more shots even though I'm not normally into figuring out tough puzzle-like games.



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