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Hubert Spala
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Hello there my fellow boardgame fanatics! It's this time of the year (like any other time, really) when I sit down with my friends and industriously work to make a new game hoping to push it with a broad smile at the arms of unsuspecting publisher This time we came up with a rapid, real-time party game about tiny monsters with insatiable appetite!

GAME SUMMARY: A fast party game about hungry monsters eating tiny critters, where up to 6 players compete with speed, reflexes and observation to get the most points by collecting more valuable 'food' and fulfilling their personal goals! Game last three rounds, each round rolls for 30 seconds - it's quick and easy, but also engaging and based on skill.

DECRIPTION: Grow bigger! Eat more! Change and adapt! In the secret lab of doctor Shwindel there is no room for mistakes, but plenty of it for crazy experiments… The madder, the better! Remember, this world is ruled by a simple law - eat or be eaten! So go on on a mad dash of gluttony and devour as many of the misfortunate critters as you can. But be wary, you have competition - other big monsters are also on the wild run with their maws chomping, and the supply of smaller, fleeing critters is not unlimited. Be fast, be hungry and be sure eat them all!



Number of players: 2-6 | Age: 7+ | Gameplay Duration: ~15 min | Genre: Party Game


How it works?

Simple enough! The game consist of 80 tokens of Critters, in values from 0 to 9 and in three different token sizes. Each token is worth either 1, 2 or 3 points, depending on it's color. Each player takes one of the colored Maws and place one hand at it at the start of the game. Then at the count of 3-2-1-GO! one of the players start a 30 second timer (it can be an hourglass, mobile phone timer or our app especially designed for this game!)and the game begins!

Within a round players strive to catch as many tokens as possible, grabbin' them with one hand and returning them to their maw... simply eating them! However there are a few simple rules governing this feeding frenzy:

- You always start with a token with number 0.

- All other tokens you grab HAVE TO BE either 1 number /lower or higher/ OR THE SAME than the one before. E.G. If my last token was a number 2 token, the next token I can grab can be either 1, 2 or 3.

- You can only take ONE TOKEN AT A TIME. No grabbing a bunch of'em and hoping for the best

- After you grab a token you put it on your maw, creating a stack! Be sure to be precise! Any token that falls off the stack is considered lost and might mess up your eating order.


And that's all really! Simple, right? But wait, there is more!

Mix it up!



In addition to tokens the game also consist of 18 Mutagen Cards. The Mutagens are personal quests! At the beginning of each round deal one of the cards to each player - each mutagen offers additional points at the end of the round if the player fulfill it's given task. For example the Gambler Mutagen works if and the game of the round there are no number 7 tokens in the pile, while the Heroic Mutagen requires the player to own exactly three number 5 tokens in their stack to get extra points.

Scoring

Scoring in this game is more vital than just counting the points, since players have to check if opponents didn't Choke on their food... How it's done? You take your stack, flip it upside down and simply put the token out to check if your order was correct.

E.G. If your stack consist of 9 tokens and the spread is 0-1-1-2-3-4-4-5-6 that stack is perfectly fine and correct. As you can see the players did not brake any rule and managed to eat up properly, feasting on the little critters.

E.G If your stack consist of 9 tokens and the spread is 0-1-2-4-5-6-7-8-9 than you will notice, that the player messed up! They forgot and skipped the token with number 3, and tried to eat something way too big for them at the moment. That player will have to remove all the tokens from they stack that came after the mistake was made, so in the case above tokens 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 will be returned to the pile, and the player is left with three tokens in correct order, which are 0, 1 and 2.


The tokens bring points depending on their colour. Red Circle means 1 point, yellow means 2 points and green means 3 points. In addiction, Mutagen Cards generate points equal to their printed value if the task was completed!


So after all players confirm that their stacks are in a good order and/or returned the tokens after their mistakes, just count the points you earned in your stack that round, add the extras for the mutagen card if it apply and note the results down... Afterwards return all tokens to the pile at the middle of the table, draw new mutagen cards and let's the second round commence! After three rounds the player with most points wins and is the happiest, most fulfilled monster of them all

Application Support

As mentioned below, we designed a little app for mobile devices of all sorts to help with the game. THE APP IS NOT NECESSARY TO PLAY THE GAME! It is a companion app that simply makes it a little easier to play, as it keep track of the rounds, have built in timer for all three of them and also allow players to very quickly scan the tokens they gathered to count the points. All a player have to do is pick his color and move the camera above the tokens they collected for the app to add them up and count the points earned It might speed up the scoring part of the gameplay significantly!

YOU CAN FIND THE APP BOTH AT APPLE APP STORE AND GOOGLE PLAY STORE! Just search for "Głodołaki" or "Monster Buffet" in the shops search engine and look for this icon:





Is this really work in progress?


Very. Much. So. We have the game up and running, we spend over 100+ hours to test it in various groups, but we are far away from calling it a done game right now, considering that we are still researching even the most basic stuff - like the title of the game! And of course what other place is better for feedback from gamers than this community? In links below we offer the PDF with the current set of rules and the files with cards and token to print out at home, so you can really try the game out if you want to.

And frankly, we would be delighted to hear from you! What do you think about the game idea? What are your feelings about the mechanic and do you think it's fun? Maybe you can tell us what you think about the artwork and the look and feel of the game. Or, perhaps, we can hear from you on the issue of the manual... is it clear and easy to understand? Maybe it leave some questions unanswered? So please, I value every comment and piece of feedback on absolutely any aspect of the game So download the game and give it a spin!


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Daniel Kearns
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
Munchy Monsters?
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Hubert Spala
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
Hey hey! Thanks for the votes so far, and we hope for more of them And thank you for additional title, we really like it, will have to add it to the pool later on when we will narrow down the winners...

For now though I'd love to share with you some pictures of our artwork and progress of how it was made! Let's start with the main components of the game, the tokens:

Let's start with the tiny critters. We started off with a bunch of simple sketches to pick the monsters we found most appealing:



And after that we picked ten we liked most and got the best feedback, and we end up with this funny bunch:



And finally we had to transfer this guys to the actual playing pieces, which right now looks like this




How do you like'em? Crits and comments warmly welcomed!
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Daniel Kearns
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
I don't really like the tokens.

There is too much visual noise, the monster recedes and gets lost.

I expect you'd prefer to have them stand out.
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Hook says :"I can paint for you if you need artistic help with you game"
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
Wow - what an amazing looking game you made. I think it sounds really fun. I have just been trying to work a lot with who eats who in my children's design entry - so it is fun too see your game.

I think the mouth-score-pad is really fun.

I love your critter artwork - They may be a bit cluttered but I like em. The border could be simpler - and it would be nice to have round tokens (I know.. not so good for PnP)

I am wondering if it is difficult to get the right order? it seems easy -without having tried it.

I miss some critters have special requirements.. likt this number 7 may only be picked if you have 2 number 5 in the stack etc. I could also be common rule cards everyone have to follow. Like evertime someone picks this type of critter turn a new rule.. (guess im adding too much now :-)


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Hubert Spala
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
dkearns wrote:
I don't really like the tokens.

There is too much visual noise, the monster recedes and gets lost.

I expect you'd prefer to have them stand out.


Thanks for the feedback. And well, it is true... The tokens are clustered as for now, but frankly, it was part of the design process to make them so! XD when I will return home I will gladly show the designs of earlier tokens which were much less messy, but that became an actual issue during play through... Clean, easy to recognise tokens make the game too easy to some degree (a reason, for example, why we unified the background colors across all tokens).

hoek wrote:
Wow - what an amazing looking game you made. I think it sounds really fun. I have just been trying to work a lot with who eats who in my children's design entry - so it is fun too see your game.

I think the mouth-score-pad is really fun.

I love your critter artwork - They may be a bit cluttered but I like em. The border could be simpler - and it would be nice to have round tokens (I know.. not so good for PnP)

I am wondering if it is difficult to get the right order? it seems easy -without having tried it.

I miss some critters have special requirements.. likt this number 7 may only be picked if you have 2 number 5 in the stack etc. I could also be common rule cards everyone have to follow. Like evertime someone picks this type of critter turn a new rule.. (guess im adding too much now :-)


Thank you kindly for the good words on the art! The game core mechanics are pretty darn easy getting a proper order is not hard and getting the tokens is not an issue... unless a few other players try to do the same at the same time with a very strict time deadline! Try it and see how easy it is to get confused and miss something in the frantic fight for the tokens xD
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
Is the wheel of numbers necessary? Couldn't you just put a number in the corner and make it bigger?

What is the black/white dot array around the border for? Is that for the app recognition? Can both the dots and app be eliminated?

Can you make the background a more pale blue and the monster colors darker to make them stand out rather than recede?

My feeling is that the game is supposed to be light and fun. The noise on the tiles runs counter to being light and the tokens in general just don't stand out as being interesting or fun.

Just trying to help.
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
I took a very quick stab. Consider confusing players with color and variety and not with detail. I tried nested zooms to give a Lost Cities-esque effect as though they were spiraling into the maw.

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Hubert Spala
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
dkearns wrote:
I took a very quick stab. Consider confusing players with color and variety and not with detail. I tried nested zooms to give a Lost Cities-esque effect as though they were spiraling into the maw.



Thank you kindly for your input, it is very valuable! And the look of this tokens is interesting, I might just try this approach and make a new design batch to see how it will look. For now though, as promised, I can show how the previous iteration of tokens looked like:



Thing about the white-black border with the squares is, that for the time being it is a must for the in-app recognition. We /can/ make a system when the tokens are recognized by the picture alone, but if the tokens will not be significantly different, app might have a lot of troubles doing it and it will be much slower without the AR frame.

However there is an option we are considering right now. The tokens are double sided and each side right now is the same. Perhaps we can make one side without the frame and the other with it?

Something to consider - what's your opinion on that?



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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
I like the new tokens much better. The larger art, removal of the ring, the paler background all make it easier to focus on the monsters. And seem to have given room for additional info!

Two sided tokens with different faces could be problematic for set up. If there are a lot of tokens it could take a while to turn them all to the same side.
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Hubert Spala
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
dkearns wrote:
I like the new tokens much better. The larger art, removal of the ring, the paler background all make it easier to focus on the monsters. And seem to have given room for additional info!

Two sided tokens with different faces could be problematic for set up. If there are a lot of tokens it could take a while to turn them all to the same side.


That is good to hear, considering we have the tokens ready in such layout. If you'd rather like to have them instead of the previous one for PnP, I can quickly prepare a PDF file



In other news, I'd love to show you two extra things with the game - the Mutagene Card! These cards are in the game to add variety to every round and make the players fight for extra points by fulfilling unique tasks, which make their aim in each round a little different...



The cards are pretty much language independent... Sure, the title is there in english, but the title is actually perfectly easy to omit since the card ability is represented by an iconography, and the proper, full card explanation you can find in a printout Reference Sheet - Like this one:



And that's that for the cards Hope you like the way they look and their unique quests! As always, all crits and comments are warmly appreciated!

Also, the poll for the game name is still going on, and we need your votes to be able to make a nice, cool title So help us out and cast your vote
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
The cards look really great!

Thanks for sharing your process!
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Hubert Spala
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
Thanks, we are happy for them too - I must say that trying to figure out a communicative iconographics for the cards was quite a hassle, and even now we are sadly sure that without the reference sheet some cards would be hard to decipher. Such is life

As for progress, it's what we do We value feedback and thanks to it we can do better each time, and there is no better place or way to gather it than to show the game to the players.
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
Hello again! We bring a new lil' update, this time focused sorely on our digital helper - the companion app for Hungry Monsters.

So, as we explained before, the app is not NECESSARY to play the game. It is merely an additional tool that make the whole experience a bit smoother, make some things easier and mostly improve the immersion and fun of the game in a few straightforward ways...



First of all, app controls the basics of the game - numbers of players, timing the rounds, counting points! In the picture above you can see the players picking screen - each monster make a cute little noise to make sure you know you picked a player



Here we can see a caption from the actual round. You can't really see it on a static screen, but the round timer is a really lively thing - music goes on, we hear the crunching, munching monsters as the big'un consumes the falling foo- I mean, critters. A round finish with a loud burp to make players know with no issues that the round came to an end. Also, before the round starts, there is a 3-2-1 countdown so the player that click the "Go!" button have time to prep for the round as well.



This is the most important part of the app, the key to its existence! You can of course count the points by yourself, but why would you do that, if one quick scan of your tokens by the app at the end of the round will count them all for you? Just put the camera over your tokens, wait a literal second et voila, points are counted. Now pass the device to other player, let him click his maw and do the same. The whole process can take mere moments and is perfectly accurate!



No rulebook around? Want to check something quickly? Well fortunately for you, the app also consist of the full manual, divided into handy chapters to quickly find a part we need, be it game preparation, gameplay or scoring!

And that's the app for ya! Hope you will find it helpful, as it of course works with the Print and Play version of the game too and is utterly, absolutely free to download both from Apple App Store as well as Google Play Store.

If you have any questions, shoot, we will answer asap!

And as before, we'd love to nudge you into voting in our Game Title Pool at the top of this thread We still are gathering votes to see which title works best with you, guys!
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Hubert Spala
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
Hello again! It's time for the result of our title pool. Thanks for all the votes! Together with the feedback we've gathered on Reddit and board game forums and blogger, the clear winner is Monster Buffet!

And here is the prototype cover for it Tell us what you think about it, please!

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Sebastian Janssen
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
Very elegant design. My initial thought for the name of the game was "Eat or be Eaten" but I really like Monster Buffet. (If only because you're not actually getting eaten.) And the cover fits perfectly.

Questions/comments:

1) In the manual, the Game Preparation steps go 1-3-2. Maybe because the (2) is optional, but I think it still works better as 1-2-3.

2) If I do NOT use the app, I guess I must provide my own timer, like a stopwatch. With nary a person without a phone these days, that shouldn't really be an issue, but it seems the manual should stress that at least one of the players must provide a timer. (It can then inform about the app being the perfect timer for the game!)

3) For scoring, does the app also handle verification of stack order? For example, it could direct me to put the contents of my stomach starting with the last consumed item from left to right (or right to left, or top to bottom, etc.) and then ensure that the next item is never more than 1 number different from the current item. Or does this verification have to be done manually first by the players themselves, and then the app just scans the items in whatever random order the player places them in?

4) Is there any mechanic to prevent a player from peeking at the scattered buffet while one or more other players are still setting up? With such short rounds, getting an early look of even just a few seconds will grant a player a massive advantage. I would not want to be the one handling the stopwatch/app, etc. Maybe provide some kind of blanket-element (for example, a monster buffet bib) to cover the buffet, and then all that is needed to start the round is for one of the players to quickly pull the blanket away. For a deluxe edition, a custom designed monster buffet dinner plate cover? Of course, you'd have to add a rule for the player revealing the buffet to say, "Bon appétit!"

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Hubert Spala
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
Firstly, thanks for the feedback! Also I am glad to hear you like the cover As for your questions:

Quote:
1) In the manual, the Game Preparation steps go 1-3-2. Maybe because the (2) is optional, but I think it still works better as 1-2-3.


It is already fixed in the new version of the manual I will upload it soon, that is at the moment the translation to english will be completed.

Quote:
2) If I do NOT use the app, I guess I must provide my own timer, like a stopwatch. With nary a person without a phone these days, that shouldn't really be an issue, but it seems the manual should stress that at least one of the players must provide a timer. (It can then inform about the app being the perfect timer for the game!)


True. And we might add it to the manual but there is one information missing, mostly due to the fact that we are already working with a publisher on this game, and in the final published product there will be an hourglass added to the box, meaning that no external timer is necessary. But for now we will surely amend it.

Quote:
3) For scoring, does the app also handle verification of stack order? For example, it could direct me to put the contents of my stomach starting with the last consumed item from left to right (or right to left, or top to bottom, etc.) and then ensure that the next item is never more than 1 number different from the current item. Or does this verification have to be done manually first by the players themselves, and then the app just scans the items in whatever random order the player places them in?


As for now the app only make full swipe of the tokens and add the points - it is not working the order out or the conditions of the cards. We are working on making the app being able to automatically know if mutagen cards were completed, but coding the 'order' into the scanner is a daunting and hard task. Without getting into details, it might turn out that it is more of a hindrance than help since it would most likely require the players to display their tokens neatly in a row in good order, adding quite a long downtime to the scoring part of the game. For the moment players have to ensure themselves that there was no mistake, return the tokens if the order was made and check if their fulfilled the card quest.

Quote:
4) Is there any mechanic to prevent a player from peeking at the scattered buffet while one or more other players are still setting up? With such short rounds, getting an early look of even just a few seconds will grant a player a massive advantage. I would not want to be the one handling the stopwatch/app, etc. Maybe provide some kind of blanket-element (for example, a monster buffet bib) to cover the buffet, and then all that is needed to start the round is for one of the players to quickly pull the blanket away. For a deluxe edition, a custom designed monster buffet dinner plate cover? Of course, you'd have to add a rule for the player revealing the buffet to say, "Bon appétit!"


This is a great idea! It will fit the game theme splendidly and will of course fix the issue of one player having to focus on turning on the timer instead of quickly trying to memorize the tokens locations in the pile. We will experiment with this notion
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Sebastian Janssen
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
I don't know the dimensions of the game box, but maybe the lid could serve as the dinner plate cover.
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Re: [WIP] Hungry Monsters! - Rapid party game for 2-6 players.
sebastian_janssen wrote:
I don't know the dimensions of the game box, but maybe the lid could serve as the dinner plate cover.


That's an amazing idea Sebastian! I like it a lot!
 
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Hubert Spala
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We can proudly and with sheer joy announce that Monster Buffet found publisher in Poland! Rombo Games together with fantastic REBEL.pl the swift party game of unending hunger and quick token grabbing is hitting polish shelves in April 2016!

Be sure to check it out
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Zakimos Kleidos
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Fireant wrote:


We can proudly and with sheer joy announce that Monster Buffet found publisher in Poland! Rombo Games together with fantastic REBEL.pl the swift party game of unending hunger and quick token grabbing is hitting polish shelves in April 2016!

Be sure to check it out


This is one of the rare cases in which I like the prototype box much more than the final one!

But I'm glad to see that the in-game artwork remained the same, I find it really appealing.

Can I ask you which program did you use to make the cards and the tiles? I love how clear, simple but at the same time full of details they are.
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Hubert Spala
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Every single bit of artwork, layout, graphic was done using Adobe Illustrator CC and Adobe Photoshop CC. As for the box, well... When you publish games it's always a little battle and a tiny struggle with the publisher and marketing division to provide something you, as a creator, are okay with when it's fine with them too ;D

A balancing act of compromise
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Dudeeeee I love love love this!!!

The art, the concept, the theme! Everything! How I wish I had this when I was still working my old after school job. The kids would fall in love.

I can't wait to see where this goes !! Def would pledge/buy a copy right away.
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Hubert Spala
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Whoa!

It warms me ol' heart to see such an enthusiastic comment! I truly hope you'll manage to get your hands on the box of the game asap and I hope even more you will enjoy the experience. It's especially important to me since this project is very unique from all other games I publishes / currently push through with a publisher, that is aside the companion app everything was done with my own bare hands - graphics, layouts, mechanics, components...

It was quite a journey!
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