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Providence» Forums » General

Subject: Flying the Black rss

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Stuart Cresswell
United Kingdom
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My board game reached a point where after submitting an unpublished prototype to BGG moderators, I was given approval to start its own page. After several meetings with publishers and designers I chose to create a place on this forum to break down the weight of my design (it is heavy) for the benefit of interested parties. I plan on discussing areas of gameplay here in more detail. Separating out key aspects will reduce any complexity players will face in approaching my proposition. I hope to illustrate everything that helps make leading a black marketeering operation fun. This is my design.

Providence implements a number of mechanics that resonate with me on a personal level. Some of the most influential games in its early development have been Mordheim, Election, Zhanguo, Nippon and Traders of Osaka (formerly Traders of Carthage). Half the inspiration behind it comes from playing many games with friends. The other half is from historical storytelling. In the process of collecting games, I have often played ones involving pirates and alas did not* enjoy any of them!

*This may soon change. At Essen Spiel 2016 it was my honour to meet Javier Velásquez, the author of Xanadu. I was delighted to pick up his new game ‘Aye!’ It is a co-operative fantasy game about a pirate crew rallying to survive the attack of a Kraken.

Conceptually my biggest design goal is employing colour-coded colonists to promote instinctive decisions. Players familiarise themselves with the roles of colonists. It quickly becomes possible to identify desirable moves. Namely grabbing at a particular colour colonist to carry out an action. It became important to me that players be encouraged to prioritise choice based on instinct rather than look to optimise. The game has a solid arc built around a range of meaty worker placement decisions.

Round after round, each player’s operation grows. The actions of colonists being directed in the Nassau pirate empire will decide its fate. In upcoming posts more context for who colonists represent and what they do will be provided, a round overview is to be explained, plus an overview of how a black marketeering operation is run.
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