Konrad Anft
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As many of you are aware, the National Game Developement Month(link) is November... Despite its name, designers worldwide are asked to participate and create games, play them, and to make the devolopement process open to the public.

I was occupied by uni work before hand, but now have more time available, and hope to be able to make a game with one week less to go.

Jack Pope (CaptainJax) does it for the second year in a row, and he inspired me to do the same in the last remaining weeks of November. So a big thank you!

Jack also inspired me to reward you - my readers (and hopefully testers) - by offering a finished prototype for your help.

Contest:
Comments, suggestions, tweets, playtests, anything really can earn you "bits" - everyone who gets together a "byte" will be put in a raffle at the end of the month - and the winner will receive a copy from me - signed and numbered if you so wish.
I reserve the right to send out a second prototype to the most helpful person - maybe even two. We'll see how this goes.


About the game:
Cyberspace is a cooperation game - my second attempt of creating one (Sneak was my first try, but gathered little interest and also offered very little game for a ton of components).

In the title of this threat, you can also find my rather futile attempt of translating the name into Japanese - yes, I need a lot of help - which also tells you the setting of the game right away: You are Japanese hackers trying to destroy "Master Control" with your avatars - by accessing gateways, destroying search and destroy bots, and eventually destroying the MC itself.

The game is for 1-4 players - so (apart from the DaVinci Bot in 7 Dice Wonders) also my first real attempt of making a game solo playable.

I aim to restrict the playtime to 45 minutes to an hour... but the first playtest proved me wrong. I will have to streamline it to get there.

Components:
Please note, that pink can of course be substituted by red easily.
16 cubes (6 pink, 5 blue, 4 yellow, 1 black)
7 meeples (3 black, 2 pink, 1 blue, 1 yellow)
9 double sided sectors (game board)
1 player aid card per player
5 (or 7) AI cards for MC
1 (or 2) double sided scenario cards for the MC program (for variety).

Avatars:
There are three distinct avatars - the pink one (Maho Shojo) can create a ghost of itself, which in no way can be differentiated from the original avatar.
That means that in a four player game, both pink avatars are on the game board, and can be used by either of the pink players.
The blue avatar (Meka) is able to increase its defense, as well as to support the other avatars by exchanging cubes.
The yellow avatar (Gojira) has the most powerful attack, and can wreck massive destruction.

Mechanics:
The cubes are gathered in a little bag, making the draw random.
The game works with an Action Point Allowance System.
Each player starts with two random cubes, and draws three at the beginning of her/his turn.
The cubes can be used differently according to their color.
With the avatars' color, the player can do his special moves and abilities, and attack.
With any color, the player can move and use open sectors.

On a players turn s/he must use three cubes. After they are discarded they are not returned to the bag right away - but only after it was emptied.

Should an avatar die, the player is not out of the game - nor are her/his abilites. The player merely draws a single cube on her/his turn and discards one cube.
Other players can use her/his main abilities by discarding the cubes in from of her/him for free on their respective turns.
(The dead avatars are similar in this respect to the unused avatars in a game with less players (for example a single player would have the two other colored avatar cards lying on the table, drawing one cube for each on their turn - without their actual appearence in the game).

An avatar can reboot by either being called back by an active avater (their is a sector on the gamefield, that does just that (think:Ghost Stories), or by discarding two cubes of their color on their turn (this is the only action that they can make).

Master Control:
The MC program remains in one of the sectors.
Its black cube, is used to indicate its current scan sector - where most of his AI cards take effect.
The scan sector is changed by the AI cards as well.

This (is supposed to) becomes interesting, since the nine sectors in the game can be moved (think: Labyrinth. So its position changes, making it more or less dangerous.

Winning or Losing the game:
The players win if they destroy the MC program (after activating three access gates to it, which greatly decrease its defense).
The players lose, if either all avatars are unactive in any given moment, or if the MC manages to actively scan the End of Line sector - which fries the brains of the hackers in the game.

Depending on the scenario cards, more components (firewalls, which limite movement for example) and more win or lose conditions can apply.

The PNP files are online!
They can be found here

Please don't be shy and comment, ask, and help me along in the process!
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Konrad Anft
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Re: NaGaDeMon - Cyberspace (Sa i Ba Su Pe Su) - Contest (for helpful people)
Reserved to Bits and Bytes!

After three days online, I am a bit downcast about the lack of interest...

Anyway:
Jack is in the lead with 4 Bits!
Followed by Jameswith 2 Bits.
Next come Nate, @zendustzendirt, and An . They are tied with 1 Bit each.




Yes, you can also follow me via twitter @pidaysock and retweet to your liking.
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Nate K
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If you take the "geek" our of "geekurl" in your first post, the link should function just fine.
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Konrad Anft
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Here are three versions of the tiles - Since the game is set in cyberspace, the tiles are supposed to give an impression of datatransfer through various sectors.

On the left you can see big data-packages, in the middle thin ones, and on the right 1's and 0's (which are a lot more fiddely to implement, because the image gets too busy quickly).

The symbol in the middle is the sector that lets you change the layout of the game.

Here are some of the other symbols:

The one on the left let's you restart another avatar, the one on the right let's you activate (flip over) another sector on the board.

And last but not least, my first try in creating Japanese Symbols:
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James Hutchings
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pidaysock wrote:
Here are three versions of the tiles - Since the game is set in cyberspace, the tiles are supposed to give an impression of datatransfer through various sectors.
Maybe you could base the graphics on diagrams or pictures of microchips?

Example:




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Jackson Pope
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Hiya Konrad,

I like the one on the right with the 1s and 0s the best, but James' idea is a good one too.

Cheers,

Jack
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Konrad Anft
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apeloverage wrote:
Maybe you could base the graphics on diagrams or pictures of microchips?
That actually was my first idea, too. But I discarded it at first, because it is a purely hardware-view.
And that's why I abandoned that idea at first... cyberspace should be software... but how in the world should one visulize that?

It certainly looks cool... and I have been toying around a bit today:

But it's also very busy.

Okay, currently the game doesn't really rely on walkways between two tiles... but if I should implement that, it might be too crowded.


That said, I'm meeting a friend on Saturday, who might help me with the artwork a bit, and maybe he too has some some ideas about how cyperspace might look like.
 
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Konrad Anft
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Some exciting news today:

Today I met with a friend, who agreed to help me with the artwork.

That makes it a lot easier for me, since I can concentrate on the game, and less worry about the time which would be consumed by inkscape.

This also means that we can then present a end-copy of the game, that truely is printworthy and fun.

Meanwhile I will work on print-and-play files over the weekend and a first draft of the rules, so that people who are interested (aka: Jack!) can finally give it a try and me some feedback.

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Konrad Anft
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I played the game twice today.
Or more precisely: played a three-player game once, and watched one two-player game.

We won the first one very easily... I had changed a rule which made the game much too simple.

The second round was more to my liking, but it also ended very quickly, due to experienced players, and some luck.

I am sure the two scenarios (which will make the intro-game harder (and hopefully a lot harder in the second scenario!) will challenge even experienced players.

I need to find out how often these (lucky) short games happen.

I want a game that lasts 30 to 45 minutes, without draggin on.
Todays games lasted 15 and 18 Minutes...
 
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An
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For the artwork, cyberspace is often visualized as a bunch of connections, so maybe something like that?

This is a very rough thing I threw together to kinda give you an idea of what I'm talking about.



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Konrad Anft
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I just uploaded all the PnP files.

Rules Version 1.1

Let's print a bit. (each page once, the tiles are double sided, as are the cards (though the card backside is optional).


updated on 25th of November!
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Konrad Anft
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Setbacks.

This week I as unable to make much headway with the game.
Yesterday however, I had a board game evening - and my freshly printed tiles and cards came into play.

We played two three player rounds, and won both...

This morning I played two more sinlge player rounds, and despite slightly harsher rules, I still won.
Granted, I know what strategy to follow, and had a bit of luck, but this winning streak of 6 games in a row is frustrating.

The reason players return to a co-op game, is so that they can finally beat it.
I love Ghost Stories (first edition) for precisely the reason that it took my gamegroup ages to finally win.

I don't want a co-op game that is so easily beatable.

I will rework the AI cards, and hope to finalize the first round of rules this weekend.

Sadly, that means, that, in November there will only be one week of possible outside testing... which sadly translates, as "will not be finished this month".

Sad... but that's life.
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Jackson Pope
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Hiya Konrad,

I wouldn't worry about that. NaNo WriMo (on which NaGa DeMon is based) has the goal of getting a first draft of your novel done in November. It is almost impossible to finish a game in a month. Is it however perfectly achievable to get a game designed and tested a few times with multiple iterations as you try ideas and get them playtested. At the end of November your game will exist, it will be playable and ready for further work, responding to the feedback you have received. You will have a sound first step to build on. My effort last year, Zombology has been tested and developed continuously since it was 'finished' at the end of November last year - and it's still not finished. It is however a work in progress that developed quickly during it's first month. The same can be true of Cyberspace.

Cheers,

Jack
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Konrad Anft
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Thanks Jack for the kind words.

I wanted to make a lot of progress this month, the last week turned out to be not at all productive...

other than the updated cards (found above), which should make the game slightly harder.

I will also write the rules tomorrow, and include my latest changes - which should also make the beginning of the game tougher - and therefoure seed out the lucky games.
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Konrad Anft
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The last days have been tough on the game.

First I made it harder and changed a mechanism.
The new mechanism worked wonderfully in the testgame on Monday evening, but sadly the AI cards were much too hard, and so the game dragged on and on, until we finalle lost 75 Minutes into the game...
We really felt releaved.

Today I changed the AI cards again (for the fourth time), and believe that now the game is fairly manageble in the basic variant.

Next up... getting more Artwork from my friend Marks (sorry, no previews!) and thinking about making the game much much harder with the Server Actions!

Yipieeh.
 
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Konrad Anft
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I am invited to a board game night this eve, and am allowed to bring my game along - if my darn printer will let me...

So I can play either a three player or a four player game on the last day in November. Which is a nice conclusion to this first phase of the board game development process.

Happy first of Advent, everyone!
 
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