Peter Gray
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Entry Thread for Faerie Castles (working Title)
Designed for the 2015 Children’s PNP Game Design Contest.

Faerie Castles is a Rummy inspired game of castle building in the faerie realm. Players collect cards representing parts of a castle, which they may play into their realm thus building one or more castles or adding to existing castles. They may also have to defend their castles against the attacks of the creatures wandering the faerie realm.

The game is made up of a deck of 108 cards, is for 2-4 players and is expected to play in approximately 30 minutes.

I'd like it to be entered into the following categories...
> Elementary School/Early Sentences
> Best Card Game
> Best Art
> Best Coloring Book Components

File Links:
Rules https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-R4ltmn91a2Rm1GcHJBYzZsazQ...

Cardshttps://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-R4ltmn91a2QjRPOTFja21TYzQ...
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Peter Gray
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This is my entry into the Children's Game PnP contest. It is a Rummy style game where players collect cards into their hand to form sets. Most cards represent different elements of castles. A minimum requirement to play a set down is a Keep, a Gatehouse and a Wall. Once these have been played down additional elements can be added that increase the value of the castle. Players may create multiple castles.

In addition to the castle elements the draw deck will also be populated with cards representing various creatures that wander the faerie realms. If drawn these will attack the one of the player's built castles. This may result in the creature being seen off by the castle guards or destroying the castle or some of its elements which are then placed in the discard pile (good recycling in faerie lands).

I'm aiming for a line art look to the cards somewhat inspired by the art of Mary Tourtel in the early Rupert Bear little library books, and also Arthur Rackham. My intention is this will allow children to then colour them in. I'm no great artist but I plan on doing my best.
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Chris Hansen
United States
Riverton
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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Nice! My kids love fairies so the theme will be right up their alley. They've even made me watch all the Tinkerbell movies...

I'm looking forward to the game!
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Tom Van 't veld
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Interesting. Subscribed
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Peter Gray
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Well today, against the odds (visits to Screwfix, Halfords and a local nature reserve with the kids, cooking dinner, fixing the car and collecting my copy of Artifacts Inc from the sorting office) I've actually made a bit of progress and some decisions regarding game play.

Many, but not all castle cards will have a defensive value (low 1-3 or so) ALL aggressor cards will have an attack score (similarly quite low - 1-5 or so. The game will also include dice (it had to happen).

Each score indicates how many of the appropriate dice to roll. Defense dice have 4 shields and 2 swords, Creature dice have 3 of each.
The player drawing the creature card rolls the relevant number of defense dice (add together the scores for all appropriate cards in the castle) and the relevant number of attack dice. The total number of swords and shields is then added up. A majority of swords and the castle is ruined - return the cards making it up to the discard pile. A majority of shields and the creature is seen off (it too goes into the discard pile). It introduces some basic numeracy (counting, and bigger than/smaller than relationships between numbers).

I might include an optional, more complex system for stretching more able, or older children.

If deciding this were not enough, whilst youngest was having her nap and oldest was doing jigsaws for an hour or so, I managed to get a few trial illustrations done in pen and ink. They aren't final yet but most turned out better than I expected. At some point I will analyse them decide what it is that is working and if I have time redo the weakest ones trying to include the elements that work.

Wizard's Tower

Moat

Gatehouse

Keep

Castle Wall
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Tom Van 't veld
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I'm really curious where this is going. I thought you were going to do something where the cards were going to be placed together as to form a kind of castle tableau. I really like your artwork, nice job!
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Peter Gray
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Shasooren wrote:
I really like your artwork, nice job!


Thanks

Shasooren wrote:
I'm really curious where this is going. I thought you were going to do something where the cards were going to be placed together as to form a kind of castle tableau.


That was my first thought, but I then began to think about the space that would be required to play it, and the knock on effect this could have when little arms are reaching for the draw and discard piles.

That said, I may yet come back to that idea.

If I can make the game as compact as possible I think it becomes more usefully playable. I keep thinking back to childhood holidays in a caravan with a small table, trying to play a game that needed a fair bit of space. We had a trains game that we could never play because you laid cards out to form tracks. Main Line

In typing this You have just given me another thought. Although the main picture of each card might not be part of a tableau image, I might be able to do something in the top left corners so that when they are played down and fanned a small tableau image is created - hmm now that's another itch to scratch.
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Peter Gray
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Back to work, and the building work is largely done at home so time for the important things to be addressed.

I've drafted a first copy of the rules which I will make available in the next few days. Card design is underway, got a bit more artwork done. My big problem now is going to be the pictures of the creatures - buildings I can draw, but soft squidgy things? not so good.

T the moment the card designs have placeholders for creating a tableau image using the top left corner of each card, this may change though as my priority is to get the main image for each card completed.

All (ha) that is left to do then is to balance the card values.
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Peter Gray
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At the moment the issue seems to be that because the card value determines the number of dice rolled, and I don't want lots of dice, the numbers have to be low. However if this is the case there is not much room for variation between different castle elements or foes. To raise the value and keep the dice count low would involve either tables or calculations - fine in a game for older people but not for younger children. I don't know maybe I'm just trying to put too much into it.
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Joseph Propati
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San Diego
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Questions regarding building castles:

When you build a castle are the cards suppose to be laid out in a row?

When you build the second castle, where do you lay this castle in relation to the table and the existing castle?

Can you strengthen existing castles?

I think if you want to save space on the table you could redo the cards so your castle would have a main castle card, then you would lay the gate house down on the front portion of the main castle card and the walls would go under each the sides, the moat would go in front of the gate house, etc... like a real castle. Sorry for going on but I'm a massive, huge castle buff from way back and this game is making me think a lot!! I like it and I see some cool possibilities!

The problem though is the way the castle sections are drawn "which are beautiful by the way" but they don't organize very well to the structure of a real castle. I think it would be better to have the cards lay together in true castle fashion! You can use the book CASTLE by David MacAulay for some great ideas!



I loved this book growing up and still love it to this day!!

Subscribed!
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Peter Gray
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Thanks for your thoughts Joseph. My original intention upon which the current artwork is based was to play the cards in a fan on the table, pretty much as you would regular cards. In this way several castles could be placed in front of a player.

Existing castles can be strengthened by adding to them, within the restrictions of what can and cannot be played.

I like the idea of playing the cards in a specific pattern but I'm still unsure whether this would make the play area for each player a bit big, given that each player may have 3 or 4 castles in front of them in the later stages of a game.

If I have time I might try for your idea, doing some fresh artwork, as it is going to have a better visual impact for players.


I've also realised that my file only includes 54 cards and the game should have twice that. Just doubling the cards created is going to throw the balance of the game a bit it think. Hey ho more to do and the weekend is sooo far off

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Peter Gray
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Long time no post, but the game is not forgotten. I have made some major changes to the components and edited the rules a bit.

The game now JUST uses cards, not dice or anything else. This decision was taken for a number of reasons -

It streamlines manufacture, and makes life easier
54 cards was not enough, but 108 structure and encounter cards was a bit too much, replacing some cards and the dice with attack and defense decks seems to have solved the problem.
It cut down the amount of art I have had to produce.

This last is a real issue for me - thanks to all those who have been so positive about the art so far, buildings I can draw (architectural training in the dim and distant past). But living things... that's a different story. All my figure work seems to look deformed in some way. Anyhow I've slogged away and got encounter artwork completed for everything except the faeries, dragon and unicorn. these I will try and finish before the deadline. Am I pleased with it? Well lets say I'm pleased to have got it done, and wont be hurrying to redo any of it anytime soon.

The rules have not changed but have been edited to reflect the changes in components and to include some of the iconography I've used. I've also tried to make some points a bit clearer.

Whilst several people have suggested making the cards fit together to form an image of a castle - an idea I love by the way, there is no way I can get this accomplished in time for the deadline, but may well use this idea after the competition is complete. Sorry.
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Peter Gray
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The Sorcerer


The Huntsman


The Goblin


The Giant


The Fae Knight


The Elf King

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Julian Anstey
Wales
Barry
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I've just checked out the rules and components so far but it looks good. I like your own artwork, and the game-icons meld nicely with it too. The rules seem very clear. I wonder if it would be worth showing on the cards themselves what the building rules are - say, underline the castle icon if the card is required to build a castle, an extra tower on the right if you may extend once, a tower and a plus sign if you may extend with more than one? Anyway, I'm looking forward to trying it.
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Peter Gray
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Thanks Julian, I like your idea of adding to the icons. I'm not sure if I'll get that done in time for the deadline tonight, but if not I'll add it in once the competition is over.

Let me know how the play goes, feedback of that kind is always most valuable, and I'm always interested to hear how people get on with the games.
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romuald chapeau
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Flers en Escrebieux
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Just wondered if repartition of Attack cards were not better in 12 strikes/6 blocks too since Castles have a minimum of 4 value whereas encounters cards have a maximum of 5 and many of them aare 2.

Your game looks great and I'll run a play soon!
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Peter Gray
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It might be a better split that's true, that's one of the things that needs really play testing out over a larger number of games than I was able to achieve before the submission deadline. I would be interested to see how it works out for you if you get chance to try it.

Thanks for the looking at the game. I'm pretty happy with most of the artwork, the sorcerer is the image I'm least happy with and will probably redraw once the competition is over. I want to try and produce a colour version too once the design is finalised.
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Julian Anstey
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Played this 2 player last night and enjoyed it. The decision making is lighter than I thought it was going to be, but of course it's fine for a children's game. There is quite a bit of suspense as you draw cards, and a story to be told at the end - we had one player with a just one mega-castle and a large number of captured creatures, while the second player built four castles but somehow without a single creature, and lost by one point.

In an ideal world it might be nice to use dice instead of cards for the battles, so that there is no shuffling required, but honestly it wasn't a problem for me.
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Peter Gray
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Thanks for making it and giving it a try Julian, glad you liked it. The original design used dice, and I can put the stickers for them back online in the directory once the voting is over if you want to give them a go. I went with cards at the last minute because when I was making a couple of copies to give out to friends for play testing I realised that as I was making cards anyway, using cards for the battle resolution streamlined the making process.

It sounds like your game was very close. I did want to try and avoid anyone getting too far ahead too early on, so this seems to be working.



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