Hello my name is Bill and have been working on a time travel themed stock trading game called “Time Broker”. The game is for 2-4 players and plays around 30-45 minutes.
Short blurb on the game
Players are steampunk inventors/aristocrats who work for one of 4 companies that build time machines. Seeing an opportunity to profit from this technology, players use their available cash and time traveling abilities to manipulate the market in their favor (or negatively for their opponents). The player with the most money at the end of the game, wins.
Time Broker features some unique gameplay such as hidden action assignment. Each turn players play one action card face down. Every player does this before the cards are revealed. Depending on where the cards are played on the table determines the order in which each action is revealed. Play a card directly adjacent to a single company and your action can only be played on that company...but you get to go first (first priority). Play it between two companies and you are able to use that action on either company...but you cannot reveal until after all first priority actions are completed. There is even a third priority that gives you the flexibility of using the action on any of the 4 companies...but you essentially go last. Actions consist of buying and selling stock, as well as time traveling and using special items. As the game progresses timelines are formed and altered.
Some random shots of the PnP
I started a seeking play testers thread where I offered to send PnP copies of the game to anyone willing to help out. There are currently 12 play testers and the copies just went out in the mail today (Aug 12th)
I have a rough rulebook and a PnP file. Currently the PnP is 11 pages double sided (roughly 95 poker sized cards). The first 8 pages are completely black and white to keep printing costs down. Additionally you can forgo printing the first 4 pages of price cards and substitute them with regular poker cards (Ace would be 1 followed by 2-10) For anyone that would like to try out the game, I encourage you to print out your own copy. Links to the rulebook and the PnP can be found below.
Time Broker Rulebook V1.1
Time Broker PnP V1
Art is currently FPO (for placement only) until I have the gameplay nailed down. I did try to make it pleasant enough to play though. I have a rough roadmap of how I want to finish up the game and I am hoping that anyone who initially receives the first PnP will continue playing through some changes (rules and components...specifically additional item and time machine cards).
FAQ (last update August 20th)
When I play a travel card or item card and it says to “take 1 immediate action following priority” does that mean I play an action card afterwards anywhere I want?
No. When you take an immediate action after a travel or item card, you do not have to play an action card. Just declare what action you will be taking. However, the immediate action must follow priority based on where you played the travel or item card.
When immediate actions are given by item cards, do they also need to follow priority?
Yes. All actions must follow priority unless otherwise stated.
When/how do I get sucked into an alternate timeline and how do I resolve my turn?
If you play a travel action to use a time machine that has already been used in that turn, you are sucked into an alternate timeline. To resolve this action, draw a card from each alternate timeline pile. Just flip each one face up and leave it on top of the pile. These cards temporarily replace the current price cards for your turn. You then take one immediate action following priority. Once you have taken your immediate action, return the alternate timeline cards to their respective piles and give each pile a quick shuffle. If that feels too fiddly, you can just return each card to the bottom of the pile. I just want to avoid having the same cards come up each time.
Could you explain in detail how the Portal to the Past time machine works?
At the beginning of a round a new price card is revealed for each company and these cards stay in the timeline as more rounds are played, basically forming a line of cards. Portal to the Past (PTP) allows you to play your action as if you were in a previous round. When you use PTP, you choose a column of cards you would like to play from and then take one immediate action from that column following priority according to where you played your travel card.
In this example, a player uses their action travel to activate PTP. They then declare that they are traveling back to the first column of cards (highlighted by the red box). That player then takes one immediate action following priority. Since they played the travel card directly adjacent to the Relativity timeline (highlighted by the blue box) they can only use that action on that timeline. The player chooses the buy action (you can just declare it...no need to play the care) and buys a Relativity stock at the price of 4 dollars. After the players turn is complete, they are considered back in present time and no longer can play from the past column. However, on their next action they could sell that stock for 10 dollars and make a 6 dollar profit.
Is the amount of money each player has open knowledge?
Yes currently that is how the game should be played. Everyone should know how much money each player has.
Roadmap Current phase highlighted in green
Phase 1: Send out PnP copies to first set of play testers. Make changes based on feedback. Elicit feedback/suggestions on additional cards to be added. Notate any changes to rules whether it be additional details or clearing up ambiguities.
Phase 2: Additional content sent along with any corrections to original content. Continue play testing with focus on implementing new content. Make any changes based on feedback. Begin to finalize components.
Phase 3: Send out a few more PnP copies to anyone who may have missed first wave. Finalize rulebook language and format. Collect final feedback on the game and theme possibilities. Begin concept art and graphic design.
If anyone has any questions or suggestions, I would love to hear them. I am hope to use this thread as a change log/designer diary of the game so anyone can track the design progress.