GeekGold Bonus for All Supporters at year's end: 1000!

9,445 Supporters

$15 min for supporter badge & GeekGold bonus
17 Days Left

Support:

Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Ice Fortress by Geek Fever Games
Cooperative 3D Tower Building and Defense
1-4 players, 60 minutes



Your family has long defended the icy pass between the northern reaches and the heartlands. As the swirling winds of winter gather, so too do the Night Sorceress' forces. She marches upon the pass and it's up to your family to once again defend the realm.

In Ice Fortress, you and your fellow players are working together, building a 3D fortress out of elemental ice room cards and pillar dice to defeat an incoming army of magical beings and their leader. All players win if the sorceress’s Amalgam is defeated. All players lose if the night sorceress or her minions destroy the ice fortress's central tower.



You can read the full rulebook here: https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/ice-fortress/download/E...



Components:
112 room cards:
* 12 jumbo rooms
* 32 big rooms
* 32 medium rooms
* 36 tiny rooms

36 ritual cards
4 role cards

60 elemental tokens, used as both enemies and elemental shards
1 bag to hold the elemental tokens

50 dice

1 tower foundation board
2 auxiliary enemy movement boards

3 tracking tokens: blue, orange and green
10 red damage tokens



Players have constantly remarked how engaging the tower building is, how cool the structure looks, and how fun it is to collaborate on the best ways to add the pillars and weapon rooms to the structure.



All of us at Geek Fever Games hope you enjoy Ice Fortress!




The below posts are for historical purposes - some in-progress journal entries, more or less.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017)
I got to put some more time into the game last week, making a nicer prototype and hammering out some rules.



I brought it to TotalCon XXXI, and got some preliminary feedback at a Prototype Seminar from people who have gotten their games published. I got to play a few rounds as well, although not yet a full game with this iteration.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017)
I played Castle Panic for the first time in years yesterday, as a plan to both draw inspiration and make sure that the games aren't too similar. They both are cooperative games that involve enemies being randomly drawn and moving along a track to attack a central structure, but I think beyond that surface similarity they play differently enough that I'm not concerned.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017)



Some shots during a testing solo game - love how it's coming along!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017)
I've cleaned up the rules document. Still needs a lot of images, but I'm happy to hear any feedback either on this thread, or as comments on the Google doc!

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zQTNPekH-No87K-pq_2GTVKR...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017 | Idea Phase)
My wife and I had a great, productive playtesting session last night!



Got some ideas of changes we might make to attacking, found some pain points for learning due to some potentially confusing terminology, and talked about some updates to presentation.



We did a good amount of damage to the Amalgam without taking much pain ourselves... at least, until the unthinkable happened.



A perfectly terrible bump to the table sent the tower toppling. No bueno. We had a minor spill of a single card earlier in the game, too. So I'm partially back to the drawing board of how to place the dice pillar squares perfectly to minimize collapses. Still a great playtest session!

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017 | Idea Phase)


More playtesting, a great session with some coworkers where I got to watch and observe without playing - got 3 full pages of awesome notes from this session!

The players enjoyed the game, but it went on WAY longer than I wanted it to - around the 2 hour mark, instead of under 1 hour! The play was filled with strategizing, cooperation, excitement, tension, and just overall fun! The core of the game and a lot of the trappings around it are solid, but the scale has to be pared down quite a bit.



Reducing the number of tower spires, simplifying the roles players take, adding some tracking to count more easily, eliminating some of the room types, get the big bad Amalgam out sooner, use the elemental shards smartly... a lot to do, but it'll accentuate the fun parts and remove some of the trappings that were more fun in my head than on the table!



I'm glad to have a bit of an extension on the contest deadline now.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017 | Idea Phase)


I scaled things down a lot!

- Reduced the tower area to 3 spires instead of 5
- Reduced the enemy approach track count to 2 from 4
- Eliminated "boost" rooms - they're all weapons now
- Eliminated the use of spending shards to enhance roles
- The ice crystal track only increases weapon capacity, not tower area capacity
- Fewer dice to roll every turn
- Roles reconfigured
- No random room sizes coming out and no random locations for enemy spawns - they're player-controlled now
- Easier-to-see trackers for vital gameplay information
- Fewer turns in the game

And one addition: Rituals! They're spells that can be cast with multiple players' involvement, and they cost the elemental shards you get from destroying creatures. This replaces the smaller boosts on role cards.

We're planning on a playtest tonight, hopefully we'll see this go a lot more smoothly and quickly without losing out on any fun!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017 | Idea Phase)


Got to observe another playtest of this yesterday, with the new smaller board and other changes outlined above. The time frame was much closer to what I wanted, around the hour mark, although it could still be tightened.

A lot of great ideas came from the playtesters - the Geek Fever team and other local game designers - from minor balance and timing tweaks to larger structural ideas of adding simultaneous play, making roles permanent throughout a game rather than passing, using elemental shards in new ways, and other interesting ideas I'll be noodling on!



We're hoping that we're able to stabilize things a bit by the contest deadline - it's still fluctuating quite a bit play-to-play, but with more frequest testing we'll have less variation over time.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017 | Idea Phase)
There's been a lot of behind the scenes work here, and some focused playtests. One big piece of news is that the Boston Festival of Indie Games is considering this as a finalist for the Showcase this fall! We've been scrambling a bit to pull together a nice physical copy to send over for the judges' appraisal. Luckily, we've got a talented graphic designer working with us now and getting some components made of a higher quality than I'm able to.

With less than a month until the Survival Contest is complete, I'll be getting my upgraded copy soon too... it's been exciting seeing this all come together!

Current version of the rules, still requiring some visual sprucing-up but otherwise pretty solid: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zQTNPekH-No87K-pq_2GTVKR...
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Marty Lund
American Samoa
Ontonagon
Michigan
msg tools
designer
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017 | Idea Phase)
Looks cool!
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017 | Idea Phase)
Our team's been working hard on a new pretty prototype for contest time! Before our order arrives, here are some image composites:




2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017 | Idea Phase)
Still waiting for my copy to arrive - should be within the next two weeks sometime. Two things of note:

- A nicer draft of the rules can be found by clicking here!
- It's going to be called Ice Fortress now, not Ice Castle. (Not yet reflected in the above rules.) I'll be updating the top post of this thread once it's contest time!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017 | Idea Phase)
1. The final rules to Ice Fortress can be found here: https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/ice-fortress/download/E...

2. I'll be taking nicer photos & video this weekend, but I just had to share this quick photo I took of the prototype I received in the mail yesterday!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tim Mierz
United States
Middletown
Connecticut
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: [WIP] Ice Castle (ThunderGryph Contest 2017 | Idea Phase)
I'm about to remove the original description, but I'll preserve it here for historical sake...




Ice Castle by Geek Fever Games
Co-operative dice-rolling tower-building enemy-vanquishing strategy game
1-4 players, 45ish minutes?

Build up your castle of ice to protect yourself from the powerful incoming night sorceress! Once sunrise hits, your castle will melt away but the sorceress will flee. Can you vanquish her by crushing her fearsome Amalgam? Fend off the attacks long enough? Or will you fall victim to her terrible conjured elemental beasts?

(this post is under construction, just like the game!)

The players are building up a tower of dice and cards, making several spires of magical elemental weapons. Lots of details are still in flux but the players will be shifting through several roles of building up the tower while fending off the incoming elemental beasts.

Updated pics and finalized rules still to come!

Very rough prototype picture:


Link to the current version of the rules, under constant revision: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1zQTNPekH-No87K-pq_2GTVKR...

This game will be entered into the ThunderGryph survival contest, assuming we can get it into a good place by the submission deadline. I'm optimistic!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] 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.