Kevin Talarico
Brazil
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This is the Potato Cat submission for the 2017 Two-Player Print and Play Game Design Contest



Players: 2
Game Time: 20 minutes
Ages: 10+

Current phase: CONTEST READY

Overview
Café Express is a competitive game for 2 players. During the gameplay, each player will play the role of one of the available characters with a different goal to reach.

The player who will play the Authority will have to protect the precious Coffee beans during the whole railroad between Browntown and Croptown. Meanwhile, the Outlaw will have to do anything to steal the Coffee in time and alive.

Components
- 1 Board;
- 6 common action cards;
- 6 caffeinated action cards (3 for Authority and 3 for Outlaw);
- 9 event cards;
- 3 meeples (1 red, 1 blue, 1 white);
- 8 cubes (4 blue, 3 yellow, 1 white);
- 1 “first player” token;
- 1 rulebook.

Categories
We'd like the game to be entered in:
- Best Date Night Game
- Best Game to Play with Your Child
- Best Casual/Gateway Game
- Best Game with Language Independent Components
- Best Use of Theme
- Best Art/Graphic Design
- Best New Mechanic
- Best Game

Links
Public Drive Folder with Rulebook and PnP file
(Please beware that you'll also need some meeples and cubes to play)

Designers
Kevin Talarico
Samanta Geraldini

Artist
Jéssica Lang

Demo Arts

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JK
New Zealand
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Welcome to the contest!
You've got a week to get your components ready...
Best of luck!
JK
 
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Kevin Talarico
Brazil
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Thank you, John!

Just updated the Google Drive link in the post, it has the PDFs for the Rulebook and the PnP components.

So I wonder, can it be classified as Contest Ready?

Warm regards,
Kevin Talarico
 
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JK
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Hooray! Glad you made it in time.
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IrishCyborg
Australia
Melbourne
Victoria
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Just played this, it's awesome! Immersive art, gameplay, fast-paced, ... Just great!


Finally! My printer is working again!
Notice the Nordic Outlaw! (Scythe joke)

I used the pieces from Scythe to play, that's why the driver is definitely Polish.

So, notes:

First off, I love the art, absolutely brilliant. Great theme too, made me laugh a few times. "Stolen Sip"? lol.

In our game, the Outlaw won, but only barely on the 20th turn. When a game is close like that, it's a good sign. But, it felt a tiny bit unbalanced in the Outlaws favour.

The rulebook doesn't seem to say who gets the first turn marker to start with, I gave it to the Authority.

The Authority as a name does not seem to match with cowboys as much as, say, Sherrif. Same with Driver, maybe Conductor?

And questions:

Who does get the first turn marker?

Also, when the Driver falls off the train, you put him on the next time track space, correct? Then, come the end of the turn, instead of moving the time track, you put the Driver back? And then the train continues normally.

When you play a card face-up, are you allowed to choose not to use it?

All in all, I loved this game, it really had a great cowboy theme.
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Kevin Talarico
Brazil
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IrishCyborg wrote:
Just played this, it's awesome! Immersive art, gameplay, fast-paced, ... Just great!


Finally! My printer is working again!
Notice the Nordic Outlaw! (Scythe joke)

I used the pieces from Scythe to play, that's why the driver is definitely Polish.

So, notes:

First off, I love the art, absolutely brilliant. Great theme too, made me laugh a few times. "Stolen Sip"? lol.

In our game, the Outlaw won, but only barely on the 20th turn. When a game is close like that, it's a good sign. But, it felt a tiny bit unbalanced in the Outlaws favour.

The rulebook doesn't seem to say who gets the first turn marker to start with, I gave it to the Authority.

The Authority as a name does not seem to match with cowboys as much as, say, Sherrif. Same with Driver, maybe Conductor?

And questions:

Who does get the first turn marker?

Also, when the Driver falls off the train, you put him on the next time track space, correct? Then, come the end of the turn, instead of moving the time track, you put the Driver back? And then the train continues normally.

When you play a card face-up, are you allowed to choose not to use it?

All in all, I loved this game, it really had a great cowboy theme.


Hey there!

First of all, thank you VERY MUCH for this feedback!! It is amazing to know that you liked it!

And about your theme suggestions, I totally agree with the Driver becoming Conductor. Probably going to apply that. As for the Authority, both "Outlaw" and "Authority" are generic names, but each character will have an own name. In this game you've played with the "Gunslinger 4 Hearts" and "Sheriff Melitta", but there will be more characters coming soon, like a Coffee Banker and a native too.

Even though, sometimes, it does feel like the Gunslinger has a little advantage, it is not uncommon to see the Sheriff winning. Maybe we could add a little boost in one of her actions, but it is good to know that the balancing is almost there (:

Now, for the questions

- The first turn marker goes to the last player who drunk coffee;

- Yes. The flow goes: In the end of turn A, when the Conductor was hit, it goes to the time track (the train doesn't move). In the end of turn B, the Conductor goes back to the train (it also doesn't move). It will only move by the end of the turn C;

- No, you must perform the action of the face-up card you've played. But you can decide whether direction of your action just after seing what the other player is going to do (and even change your mind if you're not the first player).

Well, I guess that's it! Pretty prototype you got there, by the way!

Thank you again for the experience,
Kevin Talarico
 
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Sweetgotham
United States
New York
New York
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I saw pale kings and princes too, Pale warriors, death-pale were they all; They cried—‘La Belle Dame sans Merci Hath thee in thrall!’
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Played this the other night with my husband.

My thoughts- I was the one who did the build and it turned out very good. I liked the different size cards and especially the larger ones- the felt 'good' in the hand'



My husband read the rules and explained them to me; there were little issues in the process. The iconography was pretty clear but there was enough of it that I had to refer to the manual regularly.

Game play- this very quickly didn't work. I played the 'authority' and was very restricted in my movements. My husband was able to snag 2 coffee cubes while I was still trying to figure out how to move down the train. We could also tell just looking at the time tracker and the rules this game was going to be too long for the game play proposed in the mechanics. We made it about half way through a game play with a back and forth and once my husband was able to recover 2 lives while was still unable to do much movement and I called it 'done'. I think the two biggest fixes for me was making it shorter and allowing for more movement (at least for the authority). I also wonder if the game would be improved with a worker placement, maybe on a player board to help with tracking and allowing for more play options.

I do really like the overall art and the 2p asymmetrical game play.


From my husband.

Notes for Cafe Express
------------------------------------

Positive
The artwork on the board is nice.

Negative
The game feels too long, and could probably be shortened by a quarter.

There is at times a lack of movement options, leading to turns where one player can't really do anything, especially for the Authority character.

A suggestion is to allow players to play any card but choose to move instead of taking the action on the card.

The rule book needs to be edited by a native English speaker as it is difficult to understand and contains many typos and errors.

Some rules need clarification:

If an effect alters the time track, how does that impact when the event cards are revealed? There is no separate turn tracker, so it is possible to advance the time tracker past the 5/10/15 spots. Do the event card cycle? On turn 20 do you trigger a second event from the "5" pile?

If a character has fallen on the previous turn, and the other player is going first and shoots at the fallen character, do they take the hit even though they haven't resolved their turn to raise the fallen character? It can be difficult to remember whether or not both powers have been used on the caffeinated cards. Perhaps they have markers that can be filled with cubes or other markers and not be included into the player's hand. Alternatively, perhaps they can all be separate cards and the player must choose two at the beginning of the game instead of one.
 
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Kevin Talarico
Brazil
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sweetgotham wrote:
Played this the other night with my husband.

My thoughts- I was the one who did the build and it turned out very good. I liked the different size cards and especially the larger ones- the felt 'good' in the hand'



My husband read the rules and explained them to me; there were little issues in the process. The iconography was pretty clear but there was enough of it that I had to refer to the manual regularly.

Game play- this very quickly didn't work. I played the 'authority' and was very restricted in my movements. My husband was able to snag 2 coffee cubes while I was still trying to figure out how to move down the train. We could also tell just looking at the time tracker and the rules this game was going to be too long for the game play proposed in the mechanics. We made it about half way through a game play with a back and forth and once my husband was able to recover 2 lives while was still unable to do much movement and I called it 'done'. I think the two biggest fixes for me was making it shorter and allowing for more movement (at least for the authority). I also wonder if the game would be improved with a worker placement, maybe on a player board to help with tracking and allowing for more play options.

I do really like the overall art and the 2p asymmetrical game play.


From my husband.

Notes for Cafe Express
------------------------------------

Positive
The artwork on the board is nice.

Negative
The game feels too long, and could probably be shortened by a quarter.

There is at times a lack of movement options, leading to turns where one player can't really do anything, especially for the Authority character.

A suggestion is to allow players to play any card but choose to move instead of taking the action on the card.

The rule book needs to be edited by a native English speaker as it is difficult to understand and contains many typos and errors.

Some rules need clarification:

If an effect alters the time track, how does that impact when the event cards are revealed? There is no separate turn tracker, so it is possible to advance the time tracker past the 5/10/15 spots. Do the event card cycle? On turn 20 do you trigger a second event from the "5" pile?

If a character has fallen on the previous turn, and the other player is going first and shoots at the fallen character, do they take the hit even though they haven't resolved their turn to raise the fallen character? It can be difficult to remember whether or not both powers have been used on the caffeinated cards. Perhaps they have markers that can be filled with cubes or other markers and not be included into the player's hand. Alternatively, perhaps they can all be separate cards and the player must choose two at the beginning of the game instead of one.


Hey there SweetGotham!

Thank you very much for the feedback! You and your husband have some very interesting POVs.

The final version of the game is intended to have modular cards, which means that the final experience may be a little different than what you experienced. Also, it will have more characters, so one of them may suit you both better (or maybe worse -- I hope not)

That being said, I find it interesting that your match was that quick! I've seem many of them last to the very quarter of rounds (and some where the Authority won by arriving the town). Usually, the first two cubes are easily taken, but they are more like a "bait" than something to be REALLY protected.

The Sheriff's movements seems to be a little bit unbalanced, as stated above. And, like I said, we're probably boosting one or two cards to deal with that.

I'm really sorry about my skills in English language I know that rulebooks should be like REALLY well written, but to the final version I do will search for a native speaker, be sure of that.

Well, let's go for the questions:

- It is not possible to open more than 3 event cards. If the time track if forwarded past an event, it only happens in the end of the turn. If it goes back, that same spot will not trigger an event again.

- Yes, a player may be shot even when fallen. But it won't take two turns to get up or anything like that, it will just take another health point (in the case of the Outlaw, off course)

- The modular cards will help the players to track the caffeinated actions! It will be possible to remove or even flip just the used actions.

--

That's it, I guess! I'm glad you liked the asymmetrical gameplay (some people are often better playing with a specific character -- I, by myself, do super good with the Sherrif, while my wife is the inverse! Do you think that is a good thing?) and that you both liked the art!

Thank you again for the feedback, and I hope to bring you back some more characters and improvements in the near future.

Warm regards,
Kevin Talarico
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