Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
As I did with Brass Empire, I plan on starting to blog about the development of my cooperative roguelike game Maximum Apocalypse. I'm not sure how much I will get to before GenCon, but I did put together the first promotional slide for GenCon's FEPH today. It's the first time some of the early art for Maximum Apocalypse has been shown off:


Overview of the Game: (added 1/31/17)

Maximum Apocalypse is a cooperative roguelike adventure game for 2-6 players. In Maximum Apocalypse, civilization has already fallen. The players are survivors of the apocalypse whose mission is to survive the hostile landscape. The game map is randomly generated and different every time that you play. On each turn, a player can use up to four actions to explore the map, play cards, equip weapons, scavenge for resources, draw cards or battle off monsters.

Picking a unique survivor class within the group, players must plan their strategy and work together while leaning on their survivor’s strengths in order to defeat monsters and avoid starvation. For example, the Fireman is deadly up close with his ax and can easily chop down monsters; meanwhile the stealthy Hunter is great at scouting the map and avoiding traps — but roaming monsters are gathering quickly and time is running out. If you are overwhelmed by monsters or die of starvation, the players lose. If they can find enough gas and get it back to their van to escape, they all win and live to play another scenario.

TLDR:
It’s different every time that you play. First you’ll pick the apocalypse and monsters that your group will face:



Zombie – Don’t get overwhelmed by the Undead…luckily they’re not too bright.
Nuclear – Be prepared to give away your gear to nasty raiders before facing poisonous mutant rats.
Alien – Race against the clock as the aliens force you to discard your deck as they work to assure the enslavement of humanity.
Each player selects a different Survivor with their own unique stats and deck of abilities and equipment.



The Fireman is sturdy and strong and acts as the tank of the group. With his axe in hand, he is a massive short range damage dealer.
The Hunter is stealthy and precise. She can scout the landscape for danger and is deadly with her bow and traps.
The Gunslinger can deal midrange damage with his trusty revolvers as long as he has ammunition.
The Surgeon supports the group by restoring health and boosting team performance with shots of adrenaline.
The Veteran and his Dog are a team unto themselves. The Vet has plenty of old military gear and ammo and his dog has excellent instincts and is trained to attack if necessary.
The Mechanic is a support class that can upgrade weapons, build defensive turrets or even call in a drone strike to clear a path forward.


Explore and Survive!
Every turn, Players take 4 actions to explore the randomized map, fight off monsters, play cards and scavenge for resources.



There are two types of cards you can play on your turn: Instants and Gear.



Instants are one shot cards that go you play for their effect and then they go in your discard pile. Gear is equipped and takes up slots but then gives you new actions that you can take.

For example, the Scalpel can be equipped for 1 action taking up 1 slot of your inventory. After it is equipped, you can now use the Scalpel to deal 2 damage to a target or restore 2 health to a fellow player.

Meanwhile, the mighty Fireman can use the flare to attract all the monsters to him in order to chop them down with his trusty axe.

As you explore the map, you’ll come across new locations. Some of them are good and some can be very bad.




Mission Objectives

I’ve spent almost 2 years developing the game system behind Maximum Apocalypse. It’s built to be very moddable, offer a ton of variety and a lot of replayability. As part of setup, players will select a mission or scenario. Most missions deal with you finding a particular location, collecting enough fuel to escape and then making your way back to the van.



For example, an early mission is to rescue a Scientist who may be able to cure the Zombie outbreak. In that scenario, the Scientist has barricaded themselves in the Police Station. Players will search for the police station, rescue the scientist and then bring her back to the van to escape.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Charilaos Bacharis
msg tools
mb
You had me at roguelike
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Yeah it's pretty sweet. With a different map/layout and game every time you play, it should have immense replayability when it's done. I'll take some pictures as GenCon to post here afterwards.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I got a lot of great play tests in for Maximum Apocalypse at GenCon. Everyone really enjoyed it even though a few teams failed their mission and got eaten by zombies or starved to death. Here's a picture of one of my favorite demos of the weekend:

I hope to have some first drafts of our cards with final art soon but in the meantime this should be a good tease for the current prototype.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Time for a proper start to this devlog before I head off to PAX West (if you come by Room 208, you can playtest the early prototype).

Heyo!

My name is Mike Gnade (designer of Brass Empire ...which just came out). I'm here to talk about my co-op roguelike game tentatively titled Maximum Apocalypse. I've been working on Maximum Apocalypse for over 2 years now and have started from scratch on the basic premise of a survival horror co-op game at least 3 times during the process. It wasn't until I took the current prototype to Unpub that I verified all the mechanics were working and fun. Since then, I've been playtesting my current prototype at the Philly Game Makers Guild, GenCon and other events that I've been attending to build buzz on the game since it officially entered the art production phase.

Just to recap:

Design Start Date: November 2014
Art Production started: May 2016
Playtests of current prototype: 15ish

Maximum Apocalypse is a 2-4+ player co-op game that has your team of survivors tackling a mission during a certain apocalypic scenario. The game is designed to be very modular and have a ton of replayability. Like many roguelike video games, the map is randomly built each time you play and the loot pickups are randomized as well so every game is different. Along with the map, there will be several different apocalyptic scenarios and missions to choose from (Zombie Apocalypse, Nuclear Fallout, Alien Invasion, etc). There are currently 4 survivor classes (with more that I'm working on) in the current prototype:

1. The Hunter - starts out completely defenseless but has the ability to scout the landscape without triggering potentially harmful events. Eventually her deck allows you to craft a bow and she's also excellent at scavenging for food and helping control the group's ever growing hunger levels.

2. The Fireman - the tank of the party, the fireman has the most health and a lot of protective gear to help shield him from monster attacks. He can also become quite deadly at short range once he equips his mighty axe.

3. The Gunslinger - sort of the versatile mid-range damage dealer of the group, he relies heavily on ammunition which is a dwindling resource but can inflict massive damage. He can also make some tactical decisions and help other players take actions outside of their turns.

4. The Vet & his dog - two characters in one - the old grizzled vet and his dog work together and can do different things based on if they're both alive or if one is dead. The dog is excellent at scouting and scavenging for resource and biting monsters but is very frail. The Vet can protect the dog and has some old weapons he can equip, but if the dog dies goes a bit nutty.

As far as art goes, we are aiming for a graphic novel / comic book style that you can take an early look at in a recent blog post: http://www.rockmanorgames.com/2016/08/game-design-our-art-pr...

I look forward to answering questions and talking about this game more as it develops!

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
In my last post, I talked about some of the survivor classes in the game. Each survivor has their own unique deck of actions and equipment. I thought it would be fun to talk a little bit about the anatomy of each of these card types. The examples below both come from the Fireman's survivor deck.

First up, your survivor has Gear:

 


Gear stays in play until it is destroyed or dropped. Each survivor can only has enough slots to carry up to 3 Gear. The amount of slots a card takes up is denoted in the upper right by the number on the backpack. Equipping a piece of gear costs an action and then activating/using a piece of Gear takes an action. The bottom of the card displays the range of the action (if applicable) and then the card description or effect. The Lighter isn't the best example since it is discarded after you use it, but it's likely to change and it's what we have right now.

The other type of cards in a survivor deck are Instant Action cards:


 


When you play an Instant Action card, it goes immediately in your discard pile and your perform the effects/actions of the card. Instants are denoted by the lightning bolt symbol. They also have a range displayed in blue if applicable and then what the card does is described in the text below. In this example, the flare draws all monsters in range to the Fireman. This is actually a combo example for the fireman where he draws a large horde of monsters in front of him and then uses the lighter to deal damage to all of them.

That's it. As you can see, I'm trying to keep the cards simple and easy to understand. Obviously the layout and effects of these cards are subject to change a bit, but these will be the only two card types in a Survivor's Deck.

Keep up to date on the game at rockmanorgames.com
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
We are making a lot of progress on the art production for the game:


We've completed the entire deck for the Fireman and have a set of monsters completed. We're currently working on all the scavenge cards (stuff that you find when you're out and about foraging for scraps) and some of the map tiles.

I'm going to start working on a overview video of the current prototype for our PAX South submission very soon.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Here's the first video Sneak Peak of Maximum Apocalypse and it's early prototype:

1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
This past weekend I attended Metatopia and got in 3 awesome playtests of Maximum Apocalypse. The game certainly worked as-is but because Metatopia is focused so much on game design, I got a lot of great feedback and was able to experiment on some things from playtest to playtest. I also got to test out the new Mechanic and Surgeon classes for the first time. Most of what I worked on was solidifying a player's turn sequence and streamlining some rules. All in all I got some really positive feedback about the game. Other than discussing player turn sequence, all the feedback was really focused on minor language things and fixes on cards. Great stuff to find now but easy fixes.

Before Metatopia, the standard player turn sequence was:

Increase your hunger
Spawn Monsters
Take 4 actions where 1 of them had to be moving or drawing a card
Move 1 space
Draw a card from your Survivor deck
Play a card from your hand
Perform an action from one of your cards in play
Scavenge: Draw a Scavenge card based on your current location (if able)
End turn and take damage

After my first demo, I got some feedback on the economy of actions and forcing players to move/draw. This restriction was never intended but cropped up after some other playtests. For my next playtest, I increased player freedom a bunch. I not only changed it to ANY 4 actions but I also let players pick the order that they went in every round. They loved creating their own order but it definitely slowed the game down a bit.



This batch of players really loved the game and played an additional 2 hours of the game after our allotted 2 hour block. They also managed to squeak out a win despite being overwhelmed by zombies and on the brink of starvation near the end of the game. They played the cards really well and setup some awesome combos between each character. It was a truly epic win.

The game ran long though and seemed a little hard even with some of their unlucky dice rolls. They also frequently forgot to increase their hunger and spawn monsters before their turn so for the final playtest I experimented with a new player turn sequence:

Draw a card from your deck
Take 4 actions where 1 of them had to be moving or drawing a card
Move 1 space
Draw a card from your Survivor deck
Play a card from your hand
Perform an action from one of your cards in play
Scavenge: Draw a Scavenge card based on your current location (if able)
Increase your hunger
End turn and take damage
Spawn Monsters

This led to the game being a little too easy. While I did give players effectively a new action, the real problem was that the monsters were appearing late in your turn and wouldn't crop up and surprise you at the beginning of your turn forcing you to change your strategy. I had another great discussion with these playtesters and got a lot of little things sorted out. I am currently leaning towards the following Player turn order after all these playtests and just finished updating my draft rules document:

Turn Sequence

Spawn Monsters
Roll two dice and place a monster token on any face up map tiles that match your number. If a player is currently occupying that tile, that player must draw a monster card. Note that all players occupying that map tile must draw a monster. Remember that no map tiles have the number 7 so that is a safe roll.

Draw a Card from your Survivor Deck
Take Actions
Take up to 4 actions listed below, in any combination. You may take the same action more than once:

Move 1 space
Draw a card from your Survivor deck
Play a card from your hand
Perform an action from one of your cards in play
Scavenge: Draw a Scavenge card based on your current location (if able)
Free Actions:

Once per turn as a free action, you may discard two of your Survivor cards to draw a new card from your Survivor Deck.
Once per turn as a free action, you can give or take a scavenge card from a player if you are both on the same space.
If you are on the Van tile, you may fuel up the car as a free action and discard any fuel you are carrying.
Increase your Hunger
Increase your hunger by 1. If you’re already starving, increase your hunger damage level.

End Turn
At the end of your turn, all of the monsters in front of you attack and deal damage.

If your hunger level is at 6, flip your character card over and take hunger damage. Hunger damage is irreducible and unavoidable. On subsequent turns, you will take more and more damage if you don’t eat.

I'm still not sure how I feel about resetting the turn order after every round. That's the only major rule still up in the air at this point, but I will take a look at it over our next few playtests...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Samuel Bailey
United States
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Looking good! Hope to try it sometimes soonish.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Let me get some more art done and some other things hammered out but then I will definitely get you the PNP.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Maximum Apocalypse was accepted into the tabletop showcase at MagFest in National Harbor, MD! Folks will be able to demo the game Thursday Jan 5 thru Saturday Jan 7th. I recently designed and ordered some promotional postcards for all the upcoming events in 2017:

The art production is coming along really nicely and we plan on doing some blind playtests starting in 2017. If you’re interested, be sure to subscribe to our newsletter. I plan on blogging about more rules, card types and more soon so stay tuned!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Dustin Culbertson
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Watched your video... This game looks great! Also subscribed to your mailing list. Looking forward to checking it out as it's developed!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I've been working hard on prepping Maximum Apocalypse for Kickstarter this Spring. Playtesting went really well at MagFest and we have started playtesting the alien invasion and it was one of the best games I've played thus far. I posted a developer diary on a lot of the gameplay aspects of Maximum Apocalypse on BGG here: https://boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/61777/developer-diary-max...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm really trying to get as much stuff prepped as I can for the Spring since things are going to get busy. Today I worked on a rendering of Maximum Apocalypsebox and contents.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb


Yesterday I playtested (and won) one of the Nuclear Winter missions that I’ve been working on. Nuclear Winter introduces a poison mechanic due to radiation etc. so as poison builds up you’re losing health every turn until you can find an antidote or get help from the Surgeon. It was a pretty close one and I got lucky a few times so it’s awesome to know that the Nuclear Winter is shaping up to be more difficult than the zombies like it should be. Surgeon seems to be pretty key in this particular post-apocalyptic scenario.




I’ve really been burning the midnight oil prepping for our Maximum Apocalypse Kickstarter. Not only have I gotten a lot done for the Kickstarter page itself, but I’ve also lined up promotion, reviews and more. I recently had to put together a video for Cardboard Edison’s game design competition. It gives a very quick rundown of the game:



The game will be hitting Kickstarter in April of 2017 so I hope everyone will keep an eye out for it.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
edited first post to include an overview of the game
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Marshall
msg tools
mbmb
This looks like its going to be awesome. I like the art work and the game play doesnt seem bogged down. I'm signing up for the newsletter so I can know when playtesting will take place.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
alex bermudez
United States
California
flag msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmb
Just gotta say that I love the artwork and the graphic design you have here. Game looks good.
1 
 Thumb up
0.01
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Glad you guys stumbled on the game and can start getting excited for it. If you have Tabletop Sim on Steam (my id is mgnade). We're playtesting online tonight with some other folks already at 9pm EST.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Drove up to Morristown to run some demos at the Dreamation Conference today.

For the first playtest demo, we played the 'first' Zombie campaign mission. The objective is to save the Scientist and escape in your van. We had 6 players so I got to see all the classes in action and everything went really well. The group won, but there were some exciting moments where the Gunslinger almost died and was going to take 16 damage.

The 2nd demo had 4 players and we played the 'find the cure mission'. They played as the Surgeon, Fireman, Mechanic and Gunslinger. They won but stayed back and gave me some really good feedback and helped me find some very small tweaks/balance changes for the game. This mission hasn't been playtested as much and they definitely farmed a little too much so we found an easy fix during setup that would prevent this. They also helped me find some card tweaks that I want to implement to help balance things a bit.

All in all I had a great day. Enjoyed playing with people and found a few small changes that will definitely make the game better. Excited for the last playtest tomorrow morning.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
If you're heading to PAX East - stop by Booth 10128 to demo Maximum Apocalypse and say hi!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
I had a great time at PAX East and got some fantastic feedback on the game. Excited to bring this to Kickstarter in the coming weeks. Enjoy our new Trailer video until then:


https://boardgamegeek.com/video/130104/maximum-apocalypse/ma...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Ok folks, Maximum Apocalypse is all set to launch next week. I'm still waiting on some reviews, but that's about it. If I missed anything, let me know. Otherwise enjoy the preview page:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mikegnade/2011044579?to...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Gnade
United States
Delaware
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
She's finally here. Now live on KS: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/mikegnade/maximum-apoca...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.