Thumb up
1 Posts

Mallorca Express» Forums » General

Subject: Mallorca Express - Designer Diary rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Thomas Staudt
flag msg tools

I was amazed by the components and graphic design of Finca since I first saw the game.

When I started thinking about designing my own games, I made a list of games I owned that I could imagine doing an ''Express'' / dice version of (inspired by ''Roboderby: Express'' and ''Infection Express''.
''Finca'' obviously was on the top of this list.
Fast forward a few months: A local department store holds a bargain sale to thin out their boardgame selection. Three boardgames for 30€ - count me in.
They gave me an odd look when I bought three copies of ''Finca'', but I now had a Christmas present and two sets of components to fool around with (without having to pillage my play copy).


There were basically two goals I was setting for myself:
1. Use as many of the components of the original game as possible.
2. Use dice

Since I had now six different kinds of wooden fruits, I initially thought about making custom dice with one fruit on each side. But since each side would basically represent the same information (one fruit), all you could do with this was ''determine which fruits you are getting during your turn''.

But for this, there already was the rondel / windmill mechanism in ''Finca''.

Around that time, I was playing a lot of ''Alien Frontiers'', so I started toying around with six sided dice and actions that made sense in the fruit harvesting and selling context.
Apart from a few modifications, this is basically what you see now on the game boards.
I added a second windmill to also make fruit acquiring a dice based mechanism.


The most critical problem I see in games like this is that it always seems to be the best move to get more dice. Therefore a lot of effort was put into making sure that the game length made it possible for players to win the game without aiming to get the full 8 dice available as soon as possible.
This lead to the current rule of removing 12 tiles at the start of the game.

Very early on it became obvious that one game board was not sufficient for a player count ranging from two to four or more. This lead to the split of the game boards for 2-3 and 4-6 players.
The level of blocking possible still significantly differs depending on the player count (especially between two and three players), but this is something I embraced rather than making a board for each player count.

The ''pay a fruit to clear a field of an opponent's dice'' mechanism was added after only three turns of the initial game already. I felt really stupid not to have thought of that initially, but it became clear that blocking was way too strong when (in a two player game) the start player blocked the ''Employment Office'' field three times, so for turn 4 he could use 8 dice, and the other player only 5.


My prototype was using an overlay for the original game board and pictures of the fruits from ''Finca''. When I felt the game was ripe enough (pun intended) to share with the community, I tried to get the permission to use these in the published PnP.
Hans im Glueck told me that they would be OK with it if it was a new game (not an expansion for ''Finca'') and if Franz Vohwinkel, the illustrator of the wonderful fruit tiles and board also gave his permission.

Unfortunately I could not get him to reply to my emails, so I decided go with the original components – I figured telling people to re-use those from a game they already own should not be a legal problem – and rework the boards.

So the final version now contains a board based on a GNU licensed picture (for reference see the game manual) and a fruit silhouettes by yours truly.


I hope you have fun with the game. Feel free to contact me directly for questions or post in the forums which I will be checking regularly.

Thanks to all the playtesters and to BGG for giving me the opportunity to bother even more people with my concoctions.
 Thumb up
  • [+] Dice rolls
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.