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Subject: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest) - Contest Ready rss

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Mark Tuck
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EDIT 30 November: Files now available from: Otto PnP


My entry to the 2016 Children's Game Print and Play Design Contest

Otto the Octopus is a tile laying game for 1 2 - 4 players
Players take it in turn to extend and complete Otto's tentacles, whilst also laying other sea creature tiles for various bonuses and effects.

Ages: 6+
Playing time: around 30 minutes

Contest categories
Elementary school
Matching
Strategy
Best Original Artwork
Children's Choice

Components
60 tiles
Otto larger sized tile
Game board
4 score trackers and tokens
Fish recognition card

I've sketched out the tiles and have done some initial playtesting for 2, 3 and 4 players - with myself acting as very much younger versions of myself (as my 2 boys are now in their late teens so tricky to get them involved).



Next steps are to do the colour art, do some more testing and get some rules down on paper.

I would obviously appreciate others' thoughts, once I get the game's components ready.




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lampeter
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
What an awesome idea! I eagerly anticipate the final art.
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Janine Viglietti
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
This looks really cute
If you can squeeze in solo, I humbly request it.
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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] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
This looks super cute! My kids would love it!
 
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Phil Campbell
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
Looks good.

I see one where the tentacle loops back over on itself. Will there be any tiles where the tentacles cross over?
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Mark Tuck
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
Phil68 wrote:
Looks good.

I see one where the tentacle loops back over on itself. Will there be any tiles where the tentacles cross over?

The one looping over is, in effect, the same as the simple curved ones (just visually more interesting).

I did use one crossed over tentacles tile when initially playtesting, but it proved difficult to accommodate as the occasions where it could be successfully placed were rare. So its not in my current set as I think it would cause too many issues.

One condition when placing tiles is that the suckers will have to continue along the same edge of the tentacle.

I'm doing some colour art now, so will post an update soon.
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Mark Tuck
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
Day 2:

Designed the board and some of the tiles.

The game board is an 8 x 8 grid. Tiles are just under 3.5 cm (1.35 inch) square which allows the board to fit on one A3 page or two A4 (letter) pages joined. Some squares on the board give a bonus if a tile is placed on them (à la Scrabble).



Tile wise, I've done the easier ones first - the tentacles - and some of the fish. Also done the Otto tile (this is placed in the centre of the board at the start of the game).

I thought it would be fun to use these digital illustrations to recreate the layout in the photo I posted earlier of the hand sketched tiles.
Added a little bevel and shadow for a 3D effect:



Tomorrow's tasks:

Finish all the tiles. Do a score tracker and fish reference card.
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Phil Campbell
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
I like the artwork.

Looking forward to seeing the rules.
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Mark Tuck
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
Day 3:

Finished the rest of the tile designs:



There are a couple of Tentacle 'Ends' that hold a shell. These tiles will double your score for completing a tentacle.

The 'Bubbles' tiles do not score.

The sea creature cards have icons on them, so hopefully, once you're familiar with their various effects and point scoring, you won't need to refer to this Fish reference card:



I've also done a score tracker (there are 4 of these, each with a different colour base area).



My feeling is that in a 2 player game someone may well score more than 50. But in this case, they could continue onto a second Tracker card. (same goes with a solo game).

I'm now going to start drafting the rules.


Tomorrow's tasks:


Print out everything and mount tiles on thicker card.

Do some more play testing with my new colour set (if I have time, do a 'less ink' version without the background blue).

Finish writing the rules.

Upload everything.

Have a beer and put feet up.
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JK
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
Looks fantastic!

A minor gripe: the piranha is a freshwater fish and has no business here... Maybe some other anti-social sea creature? Moray eel? Electric eel? Sting ray?

By the way, I hate how easy you make this all look.
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Phil Campbell
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
I like what you've done so far but I don't understand how the tentacles and the fish tiles interact. How are the tentacles scored and are there conditions attached to when you can play the fish?
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Mark Tuck
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
JohnKean wrote:
Looks fantastic!

A minor gripe: the piranha is a freshwater fish and has no business here... Maybe some other anti-social sea creature? Moray eel? Electric eel? Sting ray?

By the way, I hate how easy you make this all look.


Ah, my ignorance is not just confined to garden flowers.

I like an electric eel - I'll put the piranha back in the river.
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Mark Tuck
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
Phil68 wrote:
I like what you've done so far but I don't understand how the tentacles and the fish tiles interact. How are the tentacles scored and are there conditions attached to when you can play the fish?


The tentacles and fish don't really interact with each other, but there are rules around where/how you can place them. Rules will be ready tomorrow, so hopefully all will be explained.
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C. L.
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
Oops. Electric eels are fresh water. And not eels. Try a moray eel. Or a European eel.
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Marianne Waage
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
Also, Octopus have arms, not tentacles. Crazy, right?
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Mark Tuck
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
GreenTea532 wrote:
Oops. Electric eels are fresh water. And not eels. Try a moray eel. Or a European eel.

Late substitution...

OUT
...IN
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Mark Tuck
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
yamaraus wrote:
Also, Octopus have arms, not tentacles. Crazy, right?

Yes, you're right. I remember reading somewhere that some scientists say that they have 6 arms and 2 legs, but that would get confusing.

I'll find all instances where I've used 'tentacles' in the rules and replace them with 'arms'. This will also make the rules that little bit shorter.
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Mark Tuck
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
JohnKean wrote:

By the way, I hate how easy you make this all look.

When I get an idea for a game it does tend to consume me. I will cycle to work thinking about it. Work a little on it over lunch. Think some more about it cycling home. Work on it a lot more after supper. Still be thinking about it when I go to sleep.
If I reckon the idea is worth developing then this routine will be repeated over the next few days (sometimes to the detriment of other tasks) until I get the gameplay, graphics and rules to a workable state.
Fortunately it's something I enjoy doing.
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Mark Tuck
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
Day 4:
Printed and (roughly) cut out the components.

Whilst doing this my wife showed some interest and suggested the family play the game after supper.
Well, I nearly sliced my finger with the craft knife such was my surprise.

And so, after we cleared the table, my wife, one 16 year old son, one 19 year old son and myself sat ourselves back down and I explained the rules.

The game went smoothly, they were some rule questions/clarifications and a couple of design suggestions (which I've now incorporated). The game took around 30 minutes and the scores, if I remember correctly, were, 18 (oldest son), 23, (youngest), 24 (me) and 26 (wife).
They said they'd enjoyed the game. But they may just have been being kind. I've no idea of its appeal to a younger audience so I would appreciate any feedback from those of you with younger kids.

Anyway, after this unexpected play testing session, I decided to see how the game played solo. It worked pretty well and was surprisingly relaxing. I scored a total of 92 points with 6 tiles remaining. No idea if this is any good or not.

Here's a pic of my end game:


I failed to draw, and place, the last arm End tile which would have scored me 14 12 points for completing the top right arm. The long arm on the left, holding a shell, bagged me 14 points.

So I've just now finished the components design and the rules - and will upload shortly and post the link.
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Mark Tuck
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest - idea phase/initial playtesting)
Files now ready at: Otto PnP

The main pdf contains 2 pages of tiles, 1 page with trackers/reference card and 1 page with half the board {to be printed twice and 2 joined together}.

The rules are just 2 pages long (including diagram).

There is also an A3 file for the board for those with the capability to print it on a single sheet.

I will try to do a 'less ink' version tomorrow.
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C. L.
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest) - components ready
Mark, the starfish and seahorse are in one another's spots on the fish identifier card.
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JK
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest) - components ready

Beautiful! But you should be using a seashell for a point tracker, not a cube...
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest) - components ready

Picky detail: the board has two squares of overlap, not one.
 
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Mark Tuck
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest) - components ready
GreenTea532 wrote:
Mark, the starfish and seahorse are in one another's spots on the fish identifier card.


Fixed!

Edit: Also the rogue sucker!
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Mark Tuck
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Re: [WIP] Otto the Octopus (2016 Children's Game PnP Contest) - components ready
JohnKean wrote:

Picky detail: the board has two squares of overlap, not one.


The idea is that you trim off one, or both, overlaps, depending on how you construct the board. So you could cut flush and butt up the two halves. I suppose I could layout as 2 separate pages (only one having overlap) rather than one duplicated page - I was trying to be concise.
 
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