Chris Hansen
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Entry Thread for Tastes of Siege - Idea Phase
Designed for the 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest.

The village of Piquant was a very happy place. They had five bountiful farmlands that each produced a different type of food. All of the people had lots of delicious food to eat. But the evil wizard Captious grew jealous and cursed each of the five farmlands. The food grew to a monstrous size and began to attack the village. The people had only a limited supply of cannonballs to defend themselves against the humongous food! Thankfully a giant from the land of Epicure volunteered to guard the village and eat any food that got too close to the village - even though it was food that giants didn't normally eat. The wizard's magic is limited so your challenge is to defend your village until it runs out.




Description of Play
This game is based on the Victory Point Games States of Siege Series and is designed to help children try new foods while giving them the option to "defend" against food they really want to avoid.

This is a co-op game designed to be played together by a parent and one child. The game will contain a single-sheet board, approx 25 tokens, and a small deck of cards. Players will also need to provide one 6-sided die and about 10 small candies or snacks that the child likes to eat such as M&Ms, Fruit Snacks, or Fish Crackers. The parent should also choose five foods that they would like the child to try eating. I recommend choosing one food from each of the five food groups but any combination of foods will work.

Each section of the board contains a track leading towards the village and is marked by an icon of one of the five food groups. Before the game, assign one of the five foods to each track (markers are provided to help you remember which food is one which track). Each turn, players will draw a card from the deck that will indicate what tracks are attacking the village that turn. Move that marker one space down the track.

The village can defend itself by rolling a die and trying to get a higher number than the advancing token. At any time, the player may use one of their "cannonballs" (candies) to add 1 to the die roll. If they use a cannonball it is lost forever (the parent gets to eat it).

The giant marker can move along the red line between the "1" spaces. If a giant and a food monster are ever in the same space, the giant may immediately remove that piece by eating it. The child must taste the associated food for this action. The child can earn an additional cannonball for their supply by tasting the food or two cannonballs by actually eating it.

If any food monster is ever able to enter the village it squishes all the villagers, the game is lost, and the cannonballs are lost (the parent gets to eat them). If the child is able to defend the village until the draw deck is empty, he or she gets to eat all the remaining cannonballs as a reward.

Update: I've removed the download links from this thread. The current version of the game will now be hosted on the game's BGG page.

Tasty Battles
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Idea Phase
I think I'm going to edit the theme a bit. The giants are rock eaters and instead of using cannonballs, they can throw the "rocks" (candies). No change in rules, but I think it fits a little better thematically.

I spent some time tonight figuring out the math for the ratio of player actions to enemy movement. The average player actions per turn are just under 2 and the average enemy unit will move 12 times in the game. On the one hand, that feels high for a normal States of Siege game, but I want the "food monsters" to reach the center more often so that the kids will have to taste them to win the game. Also, the kids will have about 10 candies they can use for +1 modifiers so it's a little easier that way.

After I figured out those ratios I started to design the cards. I'm writing some thematic text for them but for now I just included the actual actions on the cards. I'm going to do a few rounds of private playtesting and then put the files out there for anyone who'd like to help with playtesting.


While the game is similar to the States of Siege Series in general, it probably feels closest to A Blood-Red Banner. The giants remind me of the way the the heroes move in that game, although their abilities are very different.
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Caroline Berg
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Idea Phase
This reminds me of the broccoli forests and mashed potato mountains I made (and played with) as a child. My parents were totally OK with my sister and I playing with our food, as long as we were creative about it.
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Idea Phase
I ran through a playtest before work this morning. For the food I grabbed a few tomatoes, beef jerky, and some corn chips. For the "boulders" I grabbed a few Tabasco flavored Jelly Belly beans.

Early in the game and already surrounded!

My initial thoughts are that I made the game too hard. I wanted to food to be pretty aggressive on its march toward the village so I made a few cards where "Veggies advance 2 spaces" or "All food advances". On the one hand, the game will always be easier than a regular States of Siege game because you can eat food on the "One Space" rather than risk having it breach the village walls. But on the other hand, I had to start eating food by the 4th or 5th card draw - which was earlier than I envisioned. If this had been a regular SoS game, I would have lost by the 6th card. This can certainly happen in SoS games, but it felt extreme for a Children's game. All in all, I had to eat every type of food at least twice in the game. (Food resets on the five space when you eat it.)

I forgot about the rule where tasting/eating the food can earn more boulders so I maybe made the game harder than it needed to be. On the other hand, I didn't really want more spicy jelly beans by the end of the game...

About midway through the game. I've eaten all the food at least once.

I like the Giant/Boulder mechanic. I used that a lot but I was having some terrible luck and kept rolling 1s every time I threw a boulder. The boulder's +1 DRM didn't actually help me much due to poor dice rolls. I'm considering changing the rule so that boulder throws are +2 or even an automatic win.

On a somewhat related note, on one turn I ate two Tabasco jelly beans and the peppered beef jerky. The combination of those flavors produced a heat that was greater than the sum of its parts. I don't recommend playing with spicy food with your kids...



Finally, I was a little worried that the game was too similar to Israeli Independence: The First Arab-Israeli War, 1948-1949 or A Blood-Red Banner: The Alamo. The States of Siege games have always impressed me by feeling unique despite sharing a very similar core mechanic. This game adds in a giant who can throw boulders for a +1 to your attacks or essentially eat the enemy, but most of the game was just drawing the card and advancing the enemy. I want to keep the game simple for children but I feel that it needs something more. I don't want it to feel like a basic retheme. It needs its own flavor (pun intended).

One idea I had is to add two new pieces. One piece would be the wizard. He could move around the board from track to track and give the food there a bonus (such as a -1 DRM on your attacks). He would move from track to track by instructions on the card ("Move two tracks left" or "Move to the fruit track"). The other piece would be a Warrior who could move around the track hunting the wizard. It would be hard since the Wizard was always jumping around, but if you got to his space, you could remove the wizard. Maybe the warrior could give a +1 bonus to the track he/she was on. Also, if you were ever able to retreat a food to the 5 space on a track with the wizard, he would get crushed by the food and removed from the game.

I'll keep thinking about it.
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Idea Phase
I haven't been doing much with this game because of the Solitaire Contest wrapping up. But now that it is done I've taken some time to work on card art for the game.

I'm not much of an artist, but I downloaded a painting app on my tablet and put these together.

A giant throwing boulders at a field of invading grape warriors.

Vegetable Archers move in to attack

It's pretty simple artwork but I think it fits the lighthearted nature of the game. I'm not sure I'll get all the artwork done before the end of the contest but I'll keep at it.
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Chad Russell
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Idea Phase
Nice! The giant card reminds me of the oniverse games and a carrot as an arrow for a broccoli warrior is fun. Never heard of the games you based Taste of Seige from but a great idea to get kids to try new things, or avoid them. I would also suggest Harry Potter beans rather than tabasco . Looking like a fun family game.
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Idea Phase
Thank you! A comparison to the Omniverse is high praise!

I suspect most kids will not be playing with Tabasco jelly beans as the treat.
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Idea Phase
I'm going to playtest a few more times to see if I need to tweak the card values. Then I'll release a low art version of the game for others to try.

I painted another picture tonight and will keep working on those too. I need to finally learn Nandeck so I can put together the cards.
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Jeremy Peet
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Idea Phase
love the board and the art direction on this!
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Idea Phase
Still working on art for the game. I've got 24 cards in the deck. I'm trying to decide if each card is going to get individual art or if I will reuse some. It definitely takes some time to paint these but I'm having fun learning the nuances of the program.

A giant helping to defend the village from Fried Chicken Warriors

I'm planning on giving the board a woodcut appearance. I will probably tone down the background a bit but here is what I'm working on for the village at the center of the board.
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Idea Phase
I'm putting together a low ink version of the components so that people can try out the game. (I'm still working off notecards and a hand drawn map.)

I've finished the board. I'm going to try and finally learn Nandeck so that I can put the cards together. Unless anyone has a suggestion for a better card making tool.

Low Ink Gameboard

I'm hoping to get more artwork done in time for the contest deadline but we'll see how it goes.
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Idea Phase
Low ink components are done! As soon as I finish writing the rules I'll post everything here.

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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
I finished the rules (first draft) last night and all components are now ready!

You can download them here.
Tastes of Siege Files
(Link is also in the first post.)

The components are currently very low ink using only black and a tiny bit of red. I do this partially because artwork is still not ready. Mainly, however is that the card values may update slightly as the game continues playtesting. I didn't want to use a lot of ink for people who may want to reprint the game as changes come in. (You could also just write new values on the cards. I'll be keeping a detailed change log for anything that is updated.)

I hope you and your kids enjoy the game and that it helps them to explore some new foods!
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
Did you use nandeck or squib or something like that to generate the cards ?

If you did, would you generate french cards if I send you the translated text ?
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
I did use Nandeck. If you send the translations to me, I'll add them to the cards.
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
I see an error in the rules, page 7, the apple is shown as moving backward with the blue arrow.
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
Good catch! I've got a few minor updates to make to the rules so I'll add to the list. Thanks!
 
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
Geekdad.com just wrote an article about the Children's Game Design Contest.

Tastes of Siege is briefly mentioned and you can see a little more of the card artwork there.

http://geekdad.com/2015/10/childrens-game-print-play-contest...
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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 steep cliff. ...126 to quickly cast "summon stairs." ...127 to dodge under the falling rocks.
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
Awesome!
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
chansen2794 wrote:
Geekdad.com just wrote an article about the Children's Game Design Contest.

Tastes of Siege is briefly mentioned and you can see a little more of the card artwork there.

http://geekdad.com/2015/10/childrens-game-print-play-contest...

That's awesome, Chris. I think the artwork is perfect for a game like this. I especially like the Broccoli archers. I could have probably used those when I was a kid.

We have one that is nine. The other two are 11 and 12. Can you make sure that the fruits and veggies are multitudinous? They can be like the Skaven or Genestealers of the Tastes of Siege world.
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Joseph Propati
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
Files downloaded and ready to play test. I'll give this a go tonight and let you know how it goes! I love the State of Siege games so this should be good! Can't wait to see the full color version!
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
A couple of rules questions and suggestions:

1. I wasn't really sure I understood what the value on the food counter represented. I know you say it is for difficulty but how does it affect the game? What exactly does the number of the counter do?

2. Under section 9.4 "Giant eats the attacker" you give the Giant a FREE action to eat any food counters on the 1 space but by doing this you make it so you can never lose the game. Since you can move a food counter into the town by passing the 1 space, all food counter must touch the 1 space, which in turn allows the giant to eat any of them before they ever get to the town. I think you should make this "the giant get [1] free action to each a food counter" or you can never lose and there really isn't any threat to the town by the food reaching it.

3. For the "Modifier applies to any space" I would change the icon from an A to a square with a circle in it and an A in the circle! This to me would make more sense.

4. It seems odd that the town can never actually destroy a food counter, they can only push them back. The only one that can remove a food counter is the Giant! Why is this? Would it make the game too easy if you have the town able to destroy food? I know this is a game/live food tasting system so I'm now sure how these would both play out.

5. Again, why does the giant need to use his boulders when he can just wait for the food and eat it when it hits the 1 space?

Let me know about these issues so I will have a better idea of what's going on when I play test.

Thanks

Joe
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
kingspud wrote:
1. I wasn't really sure I understood what the value on the food counter represented. I know you say it is for difficulty but how does it affect the game? What exactly does the number of the counter do?
It is the strength of the counter. You have to roll higher than the number to successfully attack it. So if you use a "2" counter it is easier than a "4" counter.

kingspud wrote:
2. Under section 9.4 "Giant eats the attacker" you give the Giant a FREE action to eat any food counters on the 1 space but by doing this you make it so you can never lose the game. Since you can move a food counter into the town by passing the 1 space, all food counter must touch the 1 space, which in turn allows the giant to eat any of them before they ever get to the town. I think you should make this "the giant get [1] free action to each a food counter" or you can never lose and there really isn't any threat to the town by the food reaching it.
This is actually be design. Remember, these are supposed to be new foods that the child may not want to eat. You lose the game by food advancing past the 1 space - which essentially means the child had the opportunity to try it, but didn't. If the child is willing to taste all the food, they will automatically win. If you play with ice cream, it will be pretty easy. If you play with lima beans and brussel sprouts, it will be harder.

kingspud wrote:
3. For the "Modifier applies to any space" I would change the icon from an A to a square with a circle in it and an A in the circle! This to me would make more sense.
Yeah, that's probably a better idea. I'll update the icon in the next version.

kingspud wrote:
4. It seems odd that the town can never actually destroy a food counter, they can only push them back. The only one that can remove a food counter is the Giant! Why is this? Would it make the game too easy if you have the town able to destroy food? I know this is a game/live food tasting system so I'm now sure how these would both play out.
The giant represents the child player. So, the giant is the one who has to eat the food. Thematically, the town is filled with puny humans who can't destroy the massive food armies. Only the giant is large enough to eat the monstrous food.

kingspud wrote:
5. Again, why does the giant need to use his boulders when he can just wait for the food and eat it when it hits the 1 space?
The "boulders" are meant to give the child a little more control over what food he or she wants to taste. For example, if one of the tracks was a food the child really didn't want to try, the giant could throw the boulder to help keep it away. But each time the giant throws a boulder, the child loses a piece of candy that he or she would otherwise get to eat at the end of the game. Again, if a child is willing to taste all of the foods, he or she will win the game and get to eat all of the candy. A child could win the game by using boulders too but won't have any candy to eat at the end.

Thank you very much for your questions and for trying out the game! I'm excited to hear what you think of it.
 
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Chris Hansen
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
debiant wrote:
That's awesome, Chris. I think the artwork is perfect for a game like this. I especially like the Broccoli archers. I could have probably used those when I was a kid.

We have one that is nine. The other two are 11 and 12. Can you make sure that the fruits and veggies are multitudinous? They can be like the Skaven or Genestealers of the Tastes of Siege world.
I've actually been working on a picture showing a (slightly) larger concentration of forces. I haven't drawn a lot of pictures like this just because I'm not a very good artist.

This is still a WIP in progress but it shows one of the meat armies marching toward the village.

The picture of the giant throwing boulders at the grape army also tries to show multitudinous forces.



I'd like to do some crazy action shot like the World War Z swarms but we'll see if that actually happens. I think it would be funny to draw this with various foods.



Thanks for your comments! I'm glad that you're enjoying the artwork.
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HERMANN LUTTMANN
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Re: Tastes of Siege - 2015 Children's Print and Play Game Design Contest - Components Ready
I just wanted to drop in and mention that this project by Chris really has so much potential to not only be a fun game but also to do some real good for parents and their children. My girlfriend Nancy is a third-grade teacher and looked over the game design and was very impressed with its ability to teach children to eat well in an entertaining way. The artwork looks great and I think Chris has a winner here.

Good luck!

Hermann
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