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Subject: [WIP] 2017 2p PnP Entry: Rec-League Quidditch (Contest Ready) rss

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Mark Fuhrman
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Hi all! New designer here with my first ever design, at least the first in which I feel comfortable sharing...

It turns out there was a contest open right around the time I got it anywhere, so what the heck, right? I'd like to enter it into the 2017 Two-Player Print and Play Game Design Contest.



Game Title: Rec-League Quidditch
Designer: Mark Fuhrman
Players: 2
Game Time: 30 min
Age: 8+???

Rec-League Quidditch is a simple token placement game which tries to capture the spirit of the exciting quidditch matches in the Harry Potter universe. Players will be placing their team members on the pitch in a line, and given the decision whether to try and shoot the quaffle, send the bludger after their opponent, catch the snitch, or better their quidditch abilities in order to best their opponent.

The categories I would like this game to be entered in are:
Best Date Night Game
Best Use of Theme
Best Casual/Gateway Game
Best New Mechanic
Best New Designer
Best Game

Edit: V0.2 now available available here:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4BLLejA1UaPaGt2RUhT...


Gameplay Image:
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Mark Fuhrman
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On Quidditch- what a theme
Ah, quidditch- how we potterheads love thee.

And yet, from an objective standpoint, quidditch in itself is quite problematic. Sure, the ideas of the adrenaline-soaked search for the snitch, dodging bludgers right and left, zooming through the air on broomsticks, with matches sometimes lasting for days (or weeks) and other times mere minutes all makes for a very dramatic and exciting concept... and yet when you stop to think about it, it's not a very good sport for some of those very reasons. At least not for us muggles.

I recognize that I'm not the first to design a quidditch game. There are probably close to a dozen or more out there somewhere, some of them actually published. I also need to state beforehand that I have not played most of them. However, I have often wanted to play something that really feels like a quidditch game, and so far just by looking at the different game pages, i have not got the sense that they contain what I'm looking for: the Spirit of Quidditch. That doesn't mean it's not out there, and I'm not trying to knock those games.

Many times these games don't have what I'm looking for for the reasons alluded to above. When translated to a board/card game, quidditch is one of the themes that NEEDS to sacrifice either the theme or the gameplay. It cannot have both and remain an enjoyable experience. For example- how would you balance the snitch being worth 150 points plus being an end-game trigger with normal shots with the quaffle being only 10 points? Someone more creative than I could maybe make it work, but it would likely make the gameplay too complex, losing the feel of a fast-paced back and forth sport. Or what do you do about bludgers? Loss of a turn in games these days is a fairly big no-no: you can do it, but you need to tiptoe around it carefully.

So my goal with this game was to try and fit all the elements of quidditch that really appeal to me (paying attention to both the snitch AND the quaffle, players with different strengths and weaknesses, etc.) into a playable yet simple game. And to some extent, I've been fairly pleased with the results so far.

For instance, drastically reducing the snitch's worth, making it one of TWO end-game triggers, and increasing the points for normal goals has made it so players can play a "snitch-blitz" strategy, potentially winning the game in a few short rounds if they are very lucky. However, they may find that when they try to do so, their opponent might still outscore them while their focus is elsewhere.

Furthermore, using bludgers is still an option, which retains the theme. However, it is risky- you may end up wasting your own turn, not accomplishing anything, giving your opponent the advantage. Bludgers have turned into a decision to make in very specific circumstances, not something you can willy-nilly beat the opponent over the head with.

Hopefully these musings help give you an insight into what I've been trying to accomplish.
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JK
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
Hi Mark and welcome to the contest.

You obviously take your quidditch very seriously! I'm guessing you're a Ravenclaw.

Incidentally, were you aware of the other quidditch themed game kicking about at the moment. It's an entry in the 9-Card Contest and I think is quite different from yours...

Good luck in the contest!
JK (not Rowling)
 
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Mark Fuhrman
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
JohnKean wrote:
Hi Mark and welcome to the contest.

You obviously take your quidditch very seriously! I'm guessing you're a Ravenclaw.

Incidentally, were you aware of the other quidditch themed game kicking about at the moment. It's an entry in the 9-Card Contest and I think is quite different from yours...

Good luck in the contest!
JK (not Rowling)


Funny you should mention that. Yes I was aware of it. I had started this design late last fall, and sometime later I stumbled upon Quiddice. I think that one shows definite potential, and yes, it is quite different, being a dexterity game, whereas mine is more a placement/action selection game with a little luck thrown in. I think there's definite room on the pitch for both games!

Thanks for the welcome!


Somewhat on those same lines, I had noticed that Quiddice is using altered names for the balls and quidditch terms- I suspect that there is probably some legal stuff that puts some restrictions on using terms. Would anyone be able to point me in a direction where I could figure out what direction I need to take this game in from that perspective? Will I need to change terms (or even images- although this art is definitely NOT final) as well? Thanks in advance!
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
I'm no lawyer, but I suspect you are fine with using the terminology. I think Harry P is big enough that you could argue it has become part of the shared culture, and you need those terms to discuss it.

If you were intending to sell your game or use it in some way that could be argued to cost JK Rowling somehow then you may need to be more careful. But there are dozens of Star Wars, Adventure Time, Mario, Firefly, Disney etc PnP "homage" games in the database, so I'm pretty sure you are on safe ground.

Of course, I may be completely wrong!

PS I suspect Quiddice may be changing some of the terminology etc for comic effect.
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
JohnKean wrote:
PS I suspect Quiddice may be changing some of the terminology etc for comic effect.


For better or worse... this is correct.
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Mark Fuhrman
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Mechanics
Another mini designer diary entry here for those who are interested:

The core mechanic of this game I've had in place for a little while. At first, it was a line of dice from one end of the board to the other. Each die would have an effect on both of its adjacent dice, depending on what they were. Players would have to make decisions where on the line they would place their characters, keeping in mind several things: the position on the board (for scoring on hoops and finding the snitch), the balls that were available at that location, and the influence that the characters would have on each adjacent character. I thought it sounded like a cool mechanic- lots of good decisions, but still very simple.

After a few iterations, it has changed slightly. Partially for simplicity's sake in controlling the balance of the game, I got rid of the dice, but added ball tokens are now distrubuted evenly on the pitch. Characters no longer have a direct effect on each other, but their position definitely matters. Now, you have to choose one of the adjacent ball tokens to use, which in many cases allows you to control the options your opponent has available. Balls are dual-purpose: they can be used normally (i.e. for points), or they can boost your character's stats, which makes sure there are always decent options available to you, even when your opponent denies you what you really wanted.

So far, this core mechanic has seemed to work out well. There is definitely an element of chance in the game, as which balls come out where is random, and the actions all depend on a roll of a die, but the die rolls can be mitigated the more you boost your stats, and with a higher speed stat, you can usually "control" the field and get the balls you want. I feel this has added a neat decision making process- "Do I boost my stats now for a better game later? Or do I push my luck a little bit and try for early goals? When do I start attempting to catch the snitch? If I push my luck and start too early, I might fail, and waste time. On the other hand, I want to do it before my opponent does... And I have to time it right when the scores will definitely be in my favor..."

Furthermore, the assignment phase at the beginning of a round, where you take your placement on the field but don't activate yet has some interesting head-games going on as well. If you go here, you will be able to deny your opponent a chance at the snitch, but then he might simply go here and score some almost guaranteed points with the quaffle. Do I take a sub-optimal position with this character, in order to increase the distance for my opponent to shoot the quaffle, thus decreasing his chances of making it?
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
This looks charming as h*ck and fun little mini-engine-builders are right up my alley. Might actually be able to convince my wife to playtest this one with me.
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
Thanks! The art is definitely going to change once I get the time to figure out something besides MS paint.
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
Ooooh, I love Harry Potter!
Our entry "Fireball! Fireball! Fireball!" is actually very much inspired by the wizard duels from the books and the big spell brawls (for lack of a better word) from the movies.
You know; with spells knocking into other spells, blocking them.

So we have at least two entries in this contest that are heavily inspired by Harry Potter
I will definetly play this when I have time.

For now, I think the names may seem a bit too American (unless they are meant to be in an American Quidditch Leage).
Wanda too, but that is just a great pun!
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
Sindrelf wrote:
Ooooh, I love Harry Potter!
Our entry "Fireball! Fireball! Fireball!" is actually very much inspired by the wizard duels from the books and the big spell brawls (for lack of a better word) from the movies.
You know; with spells knocking into other spells, blocking them.

So we have at least two entries in this contest that are heavily inspired by Harry Potter
I will definetly play this when I have time.

For now, I think the names may seem a bit too American (unless they are meant to be in an American Quidditch League).
Wanda too, but that is just a great pun!


Yay Harry Potter!
In regards to the names, I would agree, they are pretty American, they were really just placeholders for now, and will likely change. I'm not terribly familiar with British names, so if anyone has any ideas, I'm all ears! Does the title sound American? Does England have "recreational leagues" in sports? Maybe I'm nitpicking, but I did try to keep British terms in the rulebook (pitch instead of field, etc.), so I'd like to be consistent.


On another note, if you're curious, here's what I still have yet to do:
-Make the art (I'm currently teaching myself inkscape)
-Make a rules reference sheet
-Decide on a few new rules, namely whether to do a real draft with the skills at the beginning, or keep it random, as well as whether to add the additional use of the crowd token to be able to swap locations of two adjacent balls
-Polish the rules (wording AND layout)
-Evaluate the components (mostly layout)
-More playtesting, esp. the extreme situations/strategies (currently I have not tested situations where one team receives all one kind of stat in the pre-game, and I would like to try an "ignore the snitch" strategy as well
-Think up some British names
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
I imagine it would work much like British footbal leagues.
Maybe this could help you.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_football_league_system...

Just gonna list some names I think sound British.
I may be wrong, I'm from Norway.

Jane, Molly, Peter, Stephen, John, Tom, Sir Sassybottom, James, Elisabeth.
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
Added a refence sheet to the files- found it helps to explain the game a little better.
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4BLLejA1UaPaGt2RUhT...
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
I think I'm missing the crowd tokens? Can I use cubes? If so, how many?
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
GreenTea532 wrote:
I think I'm missing the crowd tokens? Can I use cubes? If so, how many?


Yeah, those didn't make it into the first draft for the art, so I still need to design them. Right now you can use whatever you want (I'm using coin tokens from another game, cubes would work, too). The way playtesting is going I can't see you needing more than five tokens except in extreme circumstances.
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
Here's the game board, mostly done with the art (as far as my abilities will take me). Is it too busy? I included a few things that aren't necessary but potentially helpful for the players.
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
I don't think it is too busy, but you will have to try to print it to see if it takes a lot of ink to print when it is so colorfull.
We are having to make more simplistic card art for this contest, as to not drain everyones printers.
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
Sindrelf wrote:
I don't think it is too busy, but you will have to try to print it to see if it takes a lot of ink to print when it is so colorfull.
We are having to make more simplistic card art for this contest, as to not drain everyones printers.


A good option is to offer both the full colour masterpiece (for those prepared to chug recklessly through the ink) and a low ink black and white line drawing of same (for the more ink wary playtester). It is a bit more work but it pays off in terms of more people playing. And when they decide they LOVE the game (as I'm sure they all will) they will make the full shebang to wow their friends and neighbours with.
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
Good thinking.
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
Yeah, I'm planning on doing a low-ink option as well. I very much recognize the hesitation for players to print full color, as that has prohibited me a few times in the past, too.
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch: A Submission to the 2017 2 player PnP contest (components available)
Sorry all- going to have to withdraw from the contest for now. I plan on continuing to work on it and finishing it someday, it just might be at a slower pace. When I do, I'll keep this thread updated. Thanks!
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch (components available)
MrSaturn17 wrote:
Sorry all- going to have to withdraw from the contest for now. I plan on continuing to work on it and finishing it someday, it just might be at a slower pace. When I do, I'll keep this thread updated. Thanks!


Ah, too bad.
Hope to see it one day
 
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Re: [WIP] Rec-League Quidditch (components available)
I'm back! Sorry for the delay guys. Got a bit more time, so it will get finished here very soon. No updates yet, but the final(ish) art is coming shortly!
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Re: [WIP] 2017 2p PnP Entry: Rec-League Quidditch (components available)
Update: Almost final rules with art up. Need to add one or two more graphics, but it's mostly complete, if you want to take a look.
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B4BLLejA1UaPaGt2RUhT...
More files coming soon, probably within the week.
 
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Re: [WIP] 2017 2p PnP Entry: Rec-League Quidditch (components available)
PLAYTESTER SPOT PRIZES

This game is eligible for a playtester spot prize for the next week!

See this post for more details.
 
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