John Armstrong
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This is my entry for the 2016 Solitaire PnP Contest.

Silverball Solitaire is intended to be a game with puzzle elements.
Inspired by Harbour players will manage their
10 shot cards to most efficiently complete the various modes, eventually
winning the game by beating the wizard mode.

Hopefully I will have time Sunday to get a basic prototype made available
for all.

I would like volunteer playtesters.

**Edited 8/4/16 to add voting categories.
I'd like to be considered for the following...
Best Puzzle/Abstract
Most Innovative Mechanic
Best Game by a New Solo Designer

There is no theme to my table yet, I'd like to nail down mechanics first.

Goal is for 3 pages to be printed out. One for table 2 for cards.
A number of dice will be required.

I'm aiming for a system that would allow for daily/weekly challenges based on predetermined setups.
This is inspired by my love of QatQi and Churchill Solitaire on iOS.

Here's my rough draft on rules and components barely in time for early deadline whistle

Updated 7/31/16 with ver 2.3

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4p4jdog71dxgwrj/Silverball%20Solit...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4hne4qektxkrg7a/Silver_Solitaire_T...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/623xv24gufvd9bw/Cards%20and%20Trac...



and finally here's a link to a setup on Tabletopia (updated 7/31/16 to ver 2.3)
https://tabletopia.com/playground/play/silverball-solitaire-...
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John Armstrong
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Brainstorming Phase
Here is a very basic table setup.

All of the drop shot #s are set for now but
will be randomized/preset for challenges.
Also the goal is to have various tables that aren't
symmetrical.

*Warning* My graphic skills my cause headaches!

 
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Chris Hansen
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If given the option, I would prefer to play with the green pieces, please.
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Brainstorming Phase
Welcome to the contest! Looking forward to this!
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John Armstrong
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Brainstorming Phase
Here's some sample cards.



Hopefully I'll finish the mission cards and the rulebook
in next couple days and link up the PDF's

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Chris Alton
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Brainstorming Phase
Love me some pinball! Subscribed
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Brainstorming Phase
Slow going but here's my first draft of the tracking sheet
for the cards. The speed of the ball determines how many
cards you can choose from to react to your next shot.
Active cards will be on bottom.

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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
updated 1st post with components and link to
a version on Tabletopis.
Finished at 11pm on June 19th.
Hope there aren't too many errors I was watching
my Cavs in a nailbiter in Game 7 while trying to finish.
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Douglas Rees
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
I'm terrible at pinball, but I have a soft spot for it. Subscribed and I hope to try it out soon
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Chris Hansen
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
Hi John, about how many minutes does this game take to play?

Thanks!
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
I'm targeting 30 minutes.
However I had my first real playtest with a friend last night
and it exposed some serious flaws. So I would recommend holding off until I
can make some major adjustments.
A couple of the minor mechanics did work well but the main one needs
a retooling.

First time one of my prototypes flopped this badly. soblue
Usually mechanics work but the game isn't balanced or fun, but this....
gulp

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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
Hi John,

I've been assigned your game to playtest for the volunteers program, yay !

I printed everything and will start to craft and test the games I've been assigned tonight.

Here are some initial feedback just about the rules :

- it's not clear what the Wizard Mode is in the rules, I had to go and look at the mission cards. Maybe just add a word about it in the rules.

- the diagrams are nice and really help to understand everything

- on the table diagram (page 1), there's an arrow pointing att the right pop bumper (#2) on the #2 zone but no text on the arrow to explain what it does

- on mission cards (page 2), I suggest separating the requirements to start a mission from the requirements to finish it. Maybe with two distinct paragraphs and a horizontal line between them

- in the gameplay section (page 3), when choosing the first shot, you can select the card under the current speed (slow) or to the left so I understand that you can choose any of the bottom cards but the rightmost one. But you then say "3 of the 5 cards are eligible".. why ?

- page 4 is missing titles, "Game ends", "Obstacle descriptions" ...

- page 4, Lanes description is missing an "s" in "player may switch any two"...

- I did not understand how the bumper work, we'll see if it works better while playing

- when exiting a ramp, do you choose witch of the two possible zones the balls goes to ?


That's it for the first go, more later
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Jake Staines
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
DanogNellows wrote:

However I had my first real playtest with a friend last night
and it exposed some serious flaws. So I would recommend holding off until I
can make some major adjustments.
A couple of the minor mechanics did work well but the main one needs
a retooling.


I'm also assigned to this as a volunteer playtester. How long do you think your adjustments are going to take?
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
I will try to have them finished by Sunday.

Thanks for all assistance!
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
Just to give an idea of changes I'm considering.

I wanted players to focus on controlling their shot cards, carefully
selecting combos of cards to make their shots. And the the way the ball
bounces is determined by more cards. So players would end up using 4 or more cards
for one shot! It's next to impossible to plan ahead with that kind of chaos.
So I'm trying to make it where one card can determine the shot and rebound.

I'm going to implement this first.

I'm also thinking about how the skill shots will work.
Instead of being able to use skill cards if they are in the eligible
area I'm thinking of using a system of players earning skill points
and then purchasing skill shots as needed. Kinda like Hostage Negotiator (ish)
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
courtjus wrote:

- it's not clear what the Wizard Mode is in the rules, I had to go and look at the mission cards. Maybe just add a word about it in the rules.


Noted.

courtjus wrote:

- on the table diagram (page 1), there's an arrow pointing att the right pop bumper (#2) on the #2 zone but no text on the arrow to explain what it does


Missed that. Probably because I'm not happy with how they work. They basically just bounce over to opposite zone. Kinda lame.


courtjus wrote:

- on mission cards (page 2), I suggest separating the requirements to start a mission from the requirements to finish it. Maybe with two distinct paragraphs and a horizontal line between them

I agree. The software I was using was proving difficult and I was rushing. Will clear that up.

courtjus wrote:

- in the gameplay section (page 3), when choosing the first shot, you can select the card under the current speed (slow) or to the left so I understand that you can choose any of the bottom cards but the rightmost one. But you then say "3 of the 5 cards are eligible".. why ?

You need to choose a Flipper that matches the side you are on. So in that setup 3 of the 5 have Right Flippers on them. I'll see how I can make that clearer.

courtjus wrote:

- page 4 is missing titles, "Game ends", "Obstacle descriptions" ...

- page 4, Lanes description is missing an "s" in "player may switch any two"...


Noted.

courtjus wrote:

- I did not understand how the bumper work, we'll see if it works better while playing

Are you referring to the bumper area on top or the bottom bumpers?

courtjus wrote:

- when exiting a ramp, do you choose witch of the two possible zones the balls goes to ?
Actually it's not a choice. It's showing you the zone and target.
So 2,6 means zone 2, target 6. Basically it ends up back at the flipper.

courtjus wrote:

That's it for the first go, more later

This is so helpful! I appreciate everyone who goes through these growing
pains with me. I hope to give a final product that you all enjoy.




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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
Hello all,

I'm sharing what I have done so far.
I've updated the cards and the board.
I will update rules tomorrow.
I went to the funeral of a good friend today and not up to
working on the design this evening.
Thanks for patience.

https://www.dropbox.com/s/39moqpert8tsdqo/Cards%20and%20Trac...

https://www.dropbox.com/s/4hne4qektxkrg7a/Silver_Solitaire_T...
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Ghislain LEVEQUE
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
DanogNellows wrote:

I went to the funeral of a good friend today and not up to
working on the design this evening.


Oh! That's tough. My wishes are with you
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
Updated first post with links to version 2.

Thanks for patience and kind words for the loss of my friend.

Once again this is still a very generic table.
I still need to see if core mechanics work.

So for now only one card will actually be used(moved) for every shot.

Do you feel you have enough control over cards to setup future combos?
or too much?
Feel that completing missions and wizard is not challenging enough?
or too long? Right now there are 4 missions and 1 wizard mode.
Perhaps 2 missions and wizard mode.
Do you feel as though you are truly in danger of losing your ball(game)?

Going forward any other elements that you think could make the game more
compelling? Challenging?
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
Another playtest with my friend.
MUCH better. Still a long ways to go.

Things I liked.
Bit of a brainburner trying to figure out current vs future shots,
best choices not clear, multiple options.
Got more of a pinball vibe, shots falling down table made more sense.
Making only 1 card exiting the bottom row on every shot made planning ahead
much more meaningful.

Things I didn't like.
The original idea of beating 4 missions plus the final Wizard mode
was way too long.

Found some elements I missed in transition from ver 1 to ver 2,
updated original post once again.

Hopefully by Saturday I can update the Tabletopia version.
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Craig Andrews
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
Hi,

I've been assigned as a volunteer to give your game a whirl. I just want to check that the files in the first post (v2.1) are your most up to date and ready to be printed out.

Craig
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
Thanks Craig!

Yes those are current as of July 1st.

Looking forward to your input.

John
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
Hi, I am another playtester. I will be printing the files this week and making a game review by next Sunday, if not sooner! About how long does the game crafting take?
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
Last time I was in a rush to take it to a friend's house and I had everything printed and cut in 15 minutes.

17 cards and 1 tracking sheet(split in two pieces) on 3 pages
Table itself is one full page
Rules are 5 pages, of course you could just keep it as a pdf on a device
for less printing.

It requires a bunch of generic tokens. Coins cubes etc... to track some things on table etc..
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
Updated to the current version on Tabletopia.
Link in original post.
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Chris Hansen
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Re: [WIP] Silverball Solitaire (2016 Solitaire PnP Contest) - Component Ready
Hi John,
I was assigned this game through the volunteer program and I played it tonight. This is a cool pinball simulation with some clever mechanics. However, I found the rulebook to be pretty unclear in places. I have several questions and comments about the rules and gameplay.

d10-1 The game requires 1 Speed Token but it is not listed in the components section.

d10-2 Are the rightmost cards on the bottom and top row considered to be adjacent? Could they be switched when the player is allowed to switch two adjacent cards?

d10-3 The bumper rule says, "If there are no bumper cards on bottom row or if ball enters one of the top lanes, the ball then falls to the Zone that matches first eligible flipper." - What is the "first eligible flipper"?

d10-4 The Lanes rule says, "When the ball enters a lane place a token on it. If all lanes (not out lanes) have tokens on them. Remove all tokens and then player may switch any two adjacent cards or take 1 skill token."
First: There is a stray period between "them" and "remove". This should be a comma making it one sentence.
Second: Is this bonus applied per side? For example If I get a token in all lanes in section B, do I immediately get a bonus? Or do I need to fill the lanes on side A and B?
Third: If I use the bumpers but only get a token in 2 of the 3 lanes, will they remain there until I get into the bumpers again and try to get a token in the last lane?

I took a bonus when I filled these lanes. Is that correct?

d10-5 The rule for Drop Targets says, "If you hit all targets in group while not in a mission you may switch any 2 cards or take 2 skill tokens." What constitutes a group? Is it by section? Are the drop targets in section E and F combined into one group or are they separate groups?

d10-6 Does a Hole adjust the ball speed? If I hit that target, the ball is actually stopped for a moment while the Drop Targets are reset (I'm thinking of a real pinball game for comparison) and then it is launched out again. Should it be going the same speed that it entered?

d10-7 The rules for the skill Hold say, "If in 1st position player may use this card to reset the speed to slow and remove any tokens on the Tilt card."
What is "1st position"?
What is the "tilt card"?

d10-8 The components list says you need a Tilt Token but never indicate what you do with it.

d10-9 The rules for Skills are pretty vague. How exactly do you use one? I just placed one of the skill tokens I had earned directly on the card (regardless of where it was). Is this correct?

d10-1d10-0 Do skills need to be on the bottom row to use them?

d10-1d10-1 If I use a skill, can I use the flipper action on that card on the same turn (and free the skill token)? Alternatively, can I use a skill on a card that has been used that turn?

d10-1d10-2 Can I use two or more skills in a single turn (assuming I have skill tokens available)

d10-1d10-3 The rules say to remove the skill token if a card is used to make a flipper shot. Does that token go back into my Skill Token supply so I can immediately use it again? Or do I need to earn it?

d10-1d10-4 The rulebook doesn't have any set up rules for the cards? I assumed they were meant to be shuffled and randomly dealt around the Speed Track. Is that correct? It should be clarified in the rules.

d10-1d10-5 The mission cards all say to hit a ramp like "R,R,L" Does this stand for right side and left side?

d10-1d10-6 The rules say to place mission cards in the "shot tracking area". Where is that?

d10-1d10-7 Are you meant to play all 4 mission cards and then the wizard card? Or just a randomly selected mission card and then the wizard card?

d10-1d10-8 All of the mission cards are really similar. Each requires 3 shots to the ramp, a hole shot, and then all drop targets in a section. It would be nice to see a little more variety in missions.

d10-1d10-9 Does each step in the mission actions need to be completed in exact order? For example, I have mission card #4.
I perform the following actions:
1. Right ramp
2. Right ramp
3. Section E Hole
4. Section F Drop Target 3
5. Left Ramp
Have I completed the ramp objective since I got the ramps in correct order? Or do I need to start over since I hit two other targets in between?
Also, since I hit Section F Target 3, does that count towards the mission goal?

d10-2d10-0 Can I start a mission whenever I want? I played for awhile just trying to earn skill tokens before starting the mission.

d10-2d10-1 Does a hole target reset all Drop Targets on the board, or just the ones adjacent to it? For example, if I hit the hole in Section D, does it reset the Drop Targets on the whole board or just the ones in section D?

d10-2d10-2 Does the ball ever go down the center where the flippers can't reach it? I assumed that if it went to #6 in sections A or B, I could still hit it.

d10-2d10-3 When rotating the cards, do all the cards from the top move to the right (except the one at the right side which moves down).

d10-2d10-4 The rules say that you should repeat the bounce procedure until you have another flipper shot. What happens if you run out of cards? For example, if the ball is moving at insane speed you only have two cards to work with. I had a situation where the the first card hit the ball into section C. The second card showed it bounced from Section C into Section E. But then I was out of cards so I couldn't figure out where it went after that. (I ended up just picking a lane in Section A.)



Obviously, I had a lot of questions. In fact, this is more questions than I asked for any other game I've played so far. There are some pretty serious holes in the rulebook. I struggled to get the game going and had to make some guesses about what was being implied in the rules. To be honest, I almost didn't play because I was unclear on so many rules when starting.

In addition to the rule questions I had above, the rulebook has grammatical issues as well. Typos and incomplete sentences occur pretty frequently. There are lots of phrases like "then player does this action". There should be a "the" in front of player. These kind of errors are distracting and make the rules harder to read.

I hope you don't think I'm being too harsh here. I actually enjoyed my play of the game quite a bit and I want it to be as good as it can be. I'm glad I got it to the table, even though I had to make several guesses about the rules. I'm taking the time to type all of this up because I think this is a fun game with a lot of potential.

I think the mechanics work really well to simulate pinball. I love the rotating flipper mechanic and I like the challenge of rearranging cards to make it possible to hit specific goals. The numbering system on the board works really well and I like trying to plan ahead to make the best shot. The skills are very useful and I love that if you use a skill on the top row (assuming I did that correctly) you can't use it again until the card rotates down to the bottom and you clear the skill marker by using the flipper. This is a great bit of resource management cleverly worked into the game.

I also liked the speed mechanic. It was really cleverly done and makes flipper order really important. You start running out of actions fast! I also really liked the way the cards determined where the ball goes. I liked the challenge of making sure I had A and B cards that would let me avoid Lane 1 results!

I liked the speed element too, although I found Insane Speed to be damn near impossible. I feel like the game needs more options to slow the game down. Maybe the holes could slow it down or there could be more than one Hold skill card. Each mission requires you to hit the ramp three times which bursts you up to insane speed right away.

End of my game. I hit all but two of the required drop targets for mission 4 but I couldn't avoid the ball bouncing into Lane 1 and losing the game. I shouldn't have been rolling at Insane Speed!

There's a lot of really great mechanics in here, but the current state of the rulebook is such that it will be hard for new players to jump in. I hope that these questions and comments can help you take the rulebook to the next level because this game deserves to be seen by more people. I look forward to this game's future developments!

VPT Chris
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