Peter Gray
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In Friendly Farmers players place workers each turn in their fields to plant grow and harvest crops

This is an entry in the 2016 Children's Game design PnP competition and is aimed at early elementary school children

All current files for the game can be found in this shared folder: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-R4ltmn91a2LXZrR2tDWEs5a2...




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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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Welcome to the contest! I love the theme on this game.
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Peter Gray
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Thanks, hope I can get something workable out of this. Its already looking promising, I'll try to get more concept in place tomorrow, aiming for components soon, I sort of know what I want from them but want to make each one do as much as possible.
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Jim Parkin
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Push Cubes. Blow Stuff Up.
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Subscribed! Peter, I really enjoy your games and their ideas.
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Peter Gray
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Thanks Jim, encouragement like this means a lot.
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Peter Gray
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Ok a fair bit of progress but not much time to post updates - its been a choice of post or produce this week and I've opted for the latter.

I have worked on the principle a bit to the point where I have been able to design components. PDFs of the first drafts of these are available using the file link here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B-R4ltmn91a2LXZrR2tDWEs5a2...

Each player has a tableau of 7 cards - 6 fields and a farmyard used for scoring. They also have 3 farmhands (meeples/cubes/counters)

On each turn the lead player turns over one of the game cards (need a better name for these). These show any special events for that turn (plague of locusts included), the weather, haw many workers each player can deploy and the price of each of the crop types in the market place.

If a field has a worker in it AND the relevant weather type is shown on the card for that turn then the field is rotated to show the crop's growth cycle has advanced. Once the harvest symbol is shown the field is harvested and the crop sold for points. Fields that have no worker, or that don't match the weather type for the turn wont advance in growth, so growing season length can be extended/harvest delayed to an extent.

Farmers grow 3 types of crop - 2 apple fields, 2 grape fields 1 wheat field, plus they have 1 field of hives (organic farming) generating honey on a faster cycle than the crops.

Values of each crops vary each turn but for the most part honey is a low value crop (but harvested quickly) apples and grapes are mid value and grow a little slower (3 growth stages to harvest) and wheat is a high end crop with a full 4 stage cycle, (but slightly easier growing conditions).

Sometimes nothing happens in a turn, other times there are events such as warm spells to speed growing, or wet spells leading to flooding which may impact on worker deployment. There is also the chance of a blight wiping out a specific type of crop.

I need to formalise the rules into a proper sheet, but that is the game in essence. It now needs finishing and playtesting.
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JK
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Hi Peter. Sounds a really cool concept and the rotating field mechanism is really nifty. One thing that strikes me from the brief description so far is: Where is the player interaction? Or is it a solitaire? Looking forward to trying it out when it's ready. Cheers, JK
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Peter Gray
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At present there is limited player interaction, it is more of a race to get to the points total first. I would like to change this, if possible, and introduce a more interactive element - maybe in the selling of the crops. this may increase the component count a bit though - something I want to try and keep manageable.

I might swap the score track on the farmyard for storage bins that allow storage of a stock of crops which can then be sold at market. One of the workers would then need to be deployed to transport that stock to market. I'm just not sure if the resulting multiplication maths would be too much. maybe if I include a multiplication grid to help calculate the resulting points?
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Peter Gray
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These are the basic field tile designs for Friendly Farmers. There is one set of these for each player. The tiles rotate as their crops grow. The designs are ok but I really want something a bit nicer -they are very sterile clip-arty images. I'm no artist though and so making them look nicer will have to wait - they work for now and that's the main thing.
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Peter Gray
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Quite a bit done in the last couple of evenings - the cards are the same but there are some extra tiles and the rules have been drafted and are uploaded to the shared folder.

The new tiles are to increase the interaction between players. Each farm now has a set of storage silos where players can stockpile harvested crops. There is also a marketplace tile which is shared between all players. As part of their turn players can now send a worker to sell one type of crop at market. However each market stall holder will only deal with one farm per turn so the first player to send a worker to market gets to choose which stall they sell to and the remaining players will then have to choose from the rest.

Of course not every player will want to sell every turn, so there is a bit of an agrarian standoff over when to sell at the best price. Hopefully this will up the interaction level a bit. I would like to get people's views on how this works.

I'm not sure whether to include a multiplication reference chart or not - calculating the sale price would require multiplying two numbers each less than 10 in value together. Maybe I'll include it and introduce a rule where players try and calculate what they are owed before turning over the reference chart, if they get it right they get a bonus point to their total.

What is becoming apparent is that there is possible mileage in a full fat grown-up version of the game with additional rules and components. I'll look into that after the competition is over.
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Peter Gray
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I have tweaked the shared files so that they are now better for printing. The tiles file has duplicates of the tiles needed for four people to play. The first four pages are the field and yard tiles for each player and the final page has the silo tiles, market place and an optional multiplication reference table for the marketplace.

I have added a few more cards to the deck to give events that reference the marketplace and the storage silos. the wording of a couple of other events has been tweaked to clarify their use with silos and the marketplace.

I now plan on going back through the rules - not changing them in terms of operation or play, just rewording them to be more child friendly.
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Peter Gray
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tonight's play test showed the game was solid but a bit flat. we discussed this and came up with some good improvements which i need to implement in the next few days. Mostly this will involve adding some card backs that have action tables on them. players will deploy (that word again) workers to these instead of the fields. the market place will remain but have a few tweaks including a simple side with fixed commodity prices. the way hives work may change as well... more to come
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Peter Gray
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Ok most of the changes to the cards have been made (still need to do the backs - most important), and the tiles have been revised - the file now presents sufficient tiles for up to 4 players.

The rules for the basic game to play with young children have been revised and the new draft is in the shared directory (its listed as v2) Advanced rules to follow.

The changes are as follows -
>In the basic game all players have 3 workers all the time, ut must give them all jobs each turn

>The market place has fixed values for the basic game, but retains the values on the cards for the advanced game. As a result it has a basic game and an advanced game side. Up to two players can now visit a stall to sell their crops, but the second player to arrive gets a lower price for their sale.

>There is a new crop type - root crops which have a lower value.

>Honey has been removed from the market place and, in most turns, can now be sold directly from the farm gate for 1 point value, even if the player cant access the market place.

>Situation cards now do even more - some have a bonus which can be collected as a job assignment for a worker, they all have two sides, the original event side, and now the other side has the action table for the next turn, where players set most workers their jobs. Each turn the event card from the previous turn is turned over to become the action card for the current turn. The old action card is placed on the discard pile. The table of actions that can be accessed is not the same each turn. This makes the build a little more complex, but gets the most use out of all the components.

The game is developing a very definite pre-mechanisation feel to it so I need to remove the tractors from the field tiles, and the truck from the farmyard image (probably replace with a cart). As a result "Lavender's blue..." keeps going round in my head - "Call up your men Dilly Dilly, set them to work, some to the plough, Dilly Dilly, some to the cart..."

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Peter Gray
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All changes to increase interaction are now complete. The rules have been fully updated with minor changes to honey production and gathering/sale(these two stages now have their own symbols with attendant actions to select - it just increases the variety of actions to choose from).

All components are now up to date - I hope. If anyone spots any problems please let me know - a few action cards are deliberately missing symbols of certain kinds to place some limits on certain turns.

I'm hoping no more major changes will be needed now.
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C. L.
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I am having difficulty building the event/action cards. I have everything printed, but I don't see a way to line up fronts and backs.
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Peter Gray
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good spot thanks. i'll have a look tomorrow. at the moment i'm just cutting them and putting them in sleeves. i'll give it a tweak to get them to go back to back. if i add 2 more of each it should do it.
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Peter Gray
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And that's sorted there are now 8 pages of cards - 4 fronts pages and 4 backs with 9 cards on each page. That should all align now.

Although at the moment I'm just using sleeved paper prints with playing card cores (my go to format when prototyping), personally I would shuffle the front pages and the back pages before aligning and gluing (unless using a direct print process for both sides of course), just so the mix of faces to backs is as random as possible.
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C. L.
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I have the game built and set up and have gone through the rules, but have not had a chance to play yet. I think it could be quite engrossing. I do have some questions, suggestions.

If event and action decks don't need to be two sides of one card, why not have two decks? Each could be shuffled and drawn upon independently, allowing the randomization you mentioned above. Also, since it appears that each fresh event card is the top of the draw deck, I see problems balancing worker tokens up there. Drawing that card from a face-down deck would fix that.

I think it would be useful to include labeled images (pictures, not icons) of cards and tiles in the rules. The iconography helps, but more clarity is better.

The text describing the tile layout says to put the farm tile in the middle. There is no farm tile: 5 crops, one silo, one score card. No farm card.

It would help to spell out how prices in the market interact with prices on the event cards, especially, how these differ between the advanced and basic games. There should also be text about how the leftmost event icon works in the advanced game.

Grammar: effects affect things whistle Also -- I spotted an extra comma in the Sale section.

Hope this helps and I didn't simply confuse anything. Lots of potential here. Hang in there.
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Peter Gray
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thanks for giving it a go, and for spotting my mistakes, i've not had chance to get it properly proof read yet. the randomisation is just because of the way i create things with lots of duplicates consecutively in the pack. once i'm happy with it all working i'll properly mix cards up. i considered separate decks but wanted to minimise components as much as possible.

there's only a couple of bonuses to select on event cards so i didn't think it would be too much of a problem to place workers on the top of the deck. if it doesn't work then the current event card could be placed separately to the deck for stability.

once the advanced rules are drafted i'll explain how the prices on the cards interact with the marketplace modifiers with a couple of examples. in the basic game the prices in the cards are ignored and the prices on the basic game side of the market tile are used (i.e. they are fixed throughout the game)

the number of workers to be placed each turn is fixed at 3 for the basic game and varies only in the advanced game, aiming to clarify this in the advanced rules.

the diagrams of the cards and the tiles with labels etc are in the works

the farm card is the same as the scoring card, i'll update the wording to match this. the layout actually doesn't matter now to be honest, this is a hangover from an earlier idea to have moving the workers as an action. the farmyard tile was intended to restrict movement by making some cards more distant from others. this idea was dropped as it slowed things down and didn't make much sense in terms of the story. the workers would go home each night, not sleep in the field and move to another the next day.

i'll correct the grammar, thanks for pointing that one out.

again thanks for your support and help, it means a lot that people are trying my stuff out. i should get most of the outstanding bits finished in the next couple of days work permitting

edited for ios predictive sabotage
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Peter Gray
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The latest version of the rules is now up - this includes card explanations, better setup images and advanced play information - including examples of how the marketplace works. There's still work to do in terms of appearance but I am hoping that the core is now solid and complete.
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Joseph Propati
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So can this be played solo or is it only 2 to 4 players?
 
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Peter Gray
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2-4 players at the moment, no solo option at the moment I'm afraid Joseph.
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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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What categories from the contest did you want your game to be entered?
 
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Peter Gray
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chansen2794 wrote:
What categories from the contest did you want your game to be entered?


categories for entry: Elementary level, strategy and original artwork.
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Laura "lelo" D. Arrowsmith Deddens Gerard
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I'm struggling to understand the rules. Could you clarify by using the terms "round", "phase", and "turn".

This is what I think is happening.

One player is start player for the first round and the honor of being first player rotates clockwise at the end of reach round.

Each round begins by the start player drawing a tile to create a new event and action.

Then there are a number of phases of the round and in each phase the players take turns beginning with the start player and going clockwise.

But I think you are saying turn when I would say round and then you don't have a different word for an actual turn. So I am confused.
 
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