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Subject: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Contest Ready ! rss

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Eric Miller
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Item for the contest:

2017 Solitaire Print and Play Contest



Description:
You are a TimeFixer. You and your machine need a break, so you stop on a familiar planet at a familiar time. But something's not right. You need to fix it, but first you need to fix your TimeFixer. How much time can be fixed in the limited amount of time you have?

Components:
This is a roll and write game. You will need the rules, the sheet and 3 twelve sided dice (3d12). Size/colors don't matter. And whatever you want to write with. This should be laminate friendly!


Play Length: 10 minutes.

Categories I'd like to be in:

Best Game by a Returning Designer
Best Rulebook
Best grayscale/low ink printing
Best Roll & Write game/ airline tray
Best Roll & Write game/ easy PnP
Best Designed in the Contest timeframe

Volunteers welcome!

Links:
v01 below: (for history)
https://1drv.ms/b/s!Al-7NpLwYUN9zhu2XKd9Wc8JkUdH

v04- July 4...

Full rules: https://1drv.ms/b/s!Al-7NpLwYUN9zkUxvPMEgKD92tZ9
Game sheet: https://1drv.ms/b/s!Al-7NpLwYUN9zkQ60MBSIMpf23ZS

v05- July 19:

Full rules: https://1drv.ms/b/s!Al-7NpLwYUN9zndo6oZ0hzGgTfi1
Game Sheet: https://1drv.ms/b/s!Al-7NpLwYUN9znYlxTwhh-R82Uxj

v06- July 28:
Full rules: https://1drv.ms/b/s!Al-7NpLwYUN9zytb8KQF4ESpxnQV
Game Sheet: https://1drv.ms/b/s!Al-7NpLwYUN9zyw4qjkDc0gAPkkR

v07- August 3:
Full rules (2 pages): https://1drv.ms/b/s!Al-7NpLwYUN9z1lSan9QwQzaHc4h
Game Sheet (1 page): https://1drv.ms/b/s!Al-7NpLwYUN9z1tj-3ZboAn2zaMj


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Eric Miller
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Idea Phase
The work in progress....



There's rules in there and parts of the sheet... And stuff on the back... Yeah, it's a mess...
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John Bailey
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Idea Phase
Great theme! But so similar to my submission that is about to go up over the next few days! Oh no!

But at least yours is roll and write, mine is not. So at least there's that. Once I get mine posted, I'd love to check yours out, Eric.
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mike heim
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Idea Phase
I'm definitely going to play this game!
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Eric Miller
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Idea Phase
jbaileymusic wrote:
Great theme! But so similar to my submission that is about to go up over the next few days! Oh no!

But at least yours is roll and write, mine is not. So at least there's that. Once I get mine posted, I'd love to check yours out, Eric.


Always room for more. Always. Looking forward to seeing what yours is like!
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mike heim
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Idea Phase
TIME TRAVEL
An interesting contest idea for the monthly 24-hour as well. I think in Novemberish of 2015?
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Eric Miller
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Idea Phase
kzinti wrote:
TIME TRAVEL
An interesting contest idea for the monthly 24-hour as well. I think in Novemberish of 2015?


Don't know...maybe? I miss those contests- I guess I'm not subscribed to the right place... This one did mostly come together in about 24 hours...
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John Bailey
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
govmiller wrote:
jbaileymusic wrote:
Great theme! But so similar to my submission that is about to go up over the next few days! Oh no!

But at least yours is roll and write, mine is not. So at least there's that. Once I get mine posted, I'd love to check yours out, Eric.


Always room for more. Always. Looking forward to seeing what yours is like!


Absolutely! We know that Time Travel was supposed to be the hottest theme, but someone went back and time and changed it to walking dead people...we need to fix that! zombie
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Israel Waldrom
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
I've been keeping an eye on all of the entries for this years competition, and as I am partial to roll & write games and the theme sounded interesting decided to have a go.

Rules are clearly set up and easy enough to follow in the most part. However a couple of sections left me confused for a little bit till I had started playing the game and understand them in context:
- value of die assigned to Activity is irrelevant other than if it is odd or even. You cross off just a single square.
- the value of the die assigned to confidence is written in a single square (I don't think the + is necessary).

The idea of the theme is good, but it is a shallow shell. When I was playing, all I was thinking of was the value of the dice and my targets, and didn't spare a thought for the theme at all. With some roll & write games that is always going to be the case, especially if you are using the values as actual numbers. I think I may be a little spoiled with roll & writes like 30 Rails where the theme really shines through.



Gameplay wise, it plays fairly quickly, especially of you are comfortable with the rules. The balance is there, and unless you get hamstrung by a series of really bad rolls (such as low counts in in both activities and the key person field), I don't think it should be too difficult to complete all 3 missions. The reroll rules are nice and work well, and do allow for some flexibility. I didn't end up using many (2 time blips, and 1 complete re-roll of all of the dice. I didn't use any time costing re-rolls).

What was absent from the rules is what happens to a event if you leave and then come back to it later. It says that you can, but makes no mention after that. I assume that you won't get any time bonus to confidence for the one you go to early (as the previous one is incomplete), and as a roll on effect lose the time bonus for the event that you attempt after completing the one that you left early as it has probably taken you too long to complete now as you have added on the time from the in-between event.

Something that I feel is missing is anyway to compare playthroughs of this game. You either win or loose and that is it. No final score, no grading based on how quickly you did it, or how much time yo had spare etc. Given the nature of the game, I don't know how much value would be in such a guage, but it does leave me thinking, well will i play it again it some point, or am I done now?

Overall, good effort though. It does work well, and I did enjoy my playtest of it even if it was all about crunching and rolling numbers. Hope that this feedback is of some help to you.
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Eric Miller
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
mogust wrote:
I've been keeping an eye on all of the entries for this years competition, and as I am partial to roll & write games and the theme sounded interesting decided to have a go.

Rules are clearly set up and easy enough to follow in the most part. However a couple of sections left me confused for a little bit till I had started playing the game and understand them in context:
- value of die assigned to Activity is irrelevant other than if it is odd or even. You cross off just a single square.
- the value of the die assigned to confidence is written in a single square (I don't think the + is necessary).

The idea of the theme is good, but it is a shallow shell. When I was playing, all I was thinking of was the value of the dice and my targets, and didn't spare a thought for the theme at all. With some roll & write games that is always going to be the case, especially if you are using the values as actual numbers. I think I may be a little spoiled with roll & writes like 30 Rails where the theme really shines through.

(snip)

Gameplay wise, it plays fairly quickly, especially of you are comfortable with the rules. The balance is there, and unless you get hamstrung by a series of really bad rolls (such as low counts in in both activities and the key person field), I don't think it should be too difficult to complete all 3 missions. The reroll rules are nice and work well, and do allow for some flexibility. I didn't end up using many (2 time blips, and 1 complete re-roll of all of the dice. I didn't use any time costing re-rolls).

What was absent from the rules is what happens to a event if you leave and then come back to it later. It says that you can, but makes no mention after that. I assume that you won't get any time bonus to confidence for the one you go to early (as the previous one is incomplete), and as a roll on effect lose the time bonus for the event that you attempt after completing the one that you left early as it has probably taken you too long to complete now as you have added on the time from the in-between event.

Something that I feel is missing is anyway to compare playthroughs of this game. You either win or loose and that is it. No final score, no grading based on how quickly you did it, or how much time yo had spare etc. Given the nature of the game, I don't know how much value would be in such a guage, but it does leave me thinking, well will i play it again it some point, or am I done now?

Overall, good effort though. It does work well, and I did enjoy my playtest of it even if it was all about crunching and rolling numbers. Hope that this feedback is of some help to you.


Thank you Israel!!

Tweaked it a bit more this morning- made the confidence boost spaces a bit bigger... And yes, you really don't need the "+"...

The die assigned to the activity is only odd or even- correct in that the number doesn't matter.

When I was building the files yesterday, the theme bit did come up. I kept thinking- this could be a spy game, could be a detective game, could be a political game, etc. I'm not sure- at this point- how best to "inject" more specific theme onto/into the game sheet. I find that I do what you did- focus on putting the dice in the best places.

I'm wondering (as I type this) if maybe I should back off and go to two (or maybe just one???) location/event and work on more of a "Mad Libs" type of story. I had thought of this as more of a "story" game with mostly a win/lose outcome. You can compare the actual time it took to play and the amount of units left as simple gauges against other games. Some "score" could be made out of that, but I'd rather up the theme bit first...

Thanks again!
 
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Israel Waldrom
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
I did some thinking about it, and another way to integrate the theme, at least for the events themselves (which are this at stage are just titles that you write down and that's it), could be to have them effect the parameters or rolls for that location, or perhaps even provide an selection of effects.

For example, Assassination you said could be fairly open - cause one or prevent one were the two options mentioned. What if you were trying to cause an assassination you get an extra investigation space, as you need to pick the perfect location, while if you are trying to prevent one you get an extra interview, as you are trying to locate the culprit. Conversely, you could be fixed to only 1 key person slot, as you only get 1 shot at stopping them dying?

Beside altering die results / parameters, the any other easy effect to implement would be special rules/abilities for that title, but of course doing any of these would increase the size of the rules.

Food for thought anyways. Take from it what you will Even with this sort of change, the theme would still be very light.
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
mogust wrote:
I did some thinking about it, and another way to integrate the theme, at least for the events themselves (which are this at stage are just titles that you write down and that's it), could be to have them effect the parameters or rolls for that location, or perhaps even provide an selection of effects.

For example, Assassination you said could be fairly open - cause one or prevent one were the two options mentioned. What if you were trying to cause an assassination you get an extra investigation space, as you need to pick the perfect location, while if you are trying to prevent one you get an extra interview, as you are trying to locate the culprit. Conversely, you could be fixed to only 1 key person slot, as you only get 1 shot at stopping them dying?

Beside altering die results / parameters, the any other easy effect to implement would be special rules/abilities for that title, but of course doing any of these would increase the size of the rules.

Food for thought anyways. Take from it what you will Even with this sort of change, the theme would still be very light.


I had been toying with tying something to the events- otherwise they are all just the same. Adding/subtracting things from the setup might be a good way to do that. And that might just work in a way where you have to travel to another location/event and do something else first... A little more like Utopia Engine...

Good thoughts... good thoughts....

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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
Okay... after some more thought (I really should be grading!) I'm thinking of making the "events" just three- and you have to do them all.

The catch, is that each event has two outcomes. And one outcome will make another event harder and the other event easier. The trick is to figure out how to do that.

Is "harder" making the time shorter? Or is it putting more things in the player's way? And what parts would I change? The confidence bonus boxes are probably the easiest to adjust, but if too many are taken away, that makes an event impossible to complete. That's not fun.

And I'd like to work the "real-time" bit into the game more. I think it would add some theme to the game, and possibly distract the player from only focusing on the dice. But how to do it without overdoing it...?

Lastly, I'd like to come up with some way for doubles or triples to play a roll in the game. Not sure if I want it to be a good thing or a bad thing- maybe it will depend on the event...
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Josh Saulter

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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
Just did a quick playthrough. Here are some random thoughts for you. Thanks for putting this together!

1) I like the theme and simplicity of it. The theme does seem somewhat pasted on at the moment. I don't think that's a detriment, but it doesn't add too much currently.

2) When setting up, do you see a difference between d12/2 and just rolling a d6?

3) Also when setting up, the "black out any above your roll" text confused me for a minute. I eventually figured out what you meant. There may be a clearer way to say that.

4) When I need to divide my confidence roll by 2 due to having completed the activities, do I round up or down?

5) Would it be good to have a minimum of, say, 2 or 3 for each activity? That may be especially important for the key player boxes. Or if you're going to change each event to be fixed then maybe each could have a set number of boxes for each activity. That would make each a little different and reduce setup rolling.

Suggestions:
Here's an idea that would help tie in the theme a little: If I were working on one event but rolled values that would work really well for another event, I could spend time (by rolling on the Landing Zone) to jump to another event. Then I could spend my good rolls there and continue working on that second event. If I then ended up with rolls that would work best for the 1st or 3rd event I could jump again, etc. I'd be spending precious time juice but maybe working my way towards completing events.

Could each event use a different set of dice? That would give you different value distributions to play with and might tie into the suggestion above. I think the game would be fairly different than what you have now so I may be way off base here. Just came to mind so I wanted to write it down.
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
saultydog wrote:

Suggestions:
Here's an idea that would help tie in the theme a little: If I were working on one event but rolled values that would work really well for another event, I could spend time (by rolling on the Landing Zone) to jump to another event. Then I could spend my good rolls there and continue working on that second event. If I then ended up with rolls that would work best for the 1st or 3rd event I could jump again, etc. I'd be spending precious time juice but maybe working my way towards completing events.


Thanks Josh!

First, your questions: I'm tweaking v03 of the game and I think it addresses most of those...

You could use a d6 for the Investigations, yes. I just like a d12 and wanted something that at least seemed to have more options.

Your suggestion has been rumbling around in the back of my head. I've been looking for some reason for the player to WANT to go to another event- and that may be it. It would still take a d20 "landing" roll to go there and back, but that should up the 'push your luck' end of the game as you indicate.

I've worked the graphics over and I've actually got three specific events that all tie into each other as a way to up the theme content.

I've toyed with the idea of having setup include "1+die roll" so there are at least two of each item. I might go back to that...

I hope to get v03 out soon. I had v02 and just kept tinkering with it and never "finished" it- that's why it never appeared (in case anyone wonders).

Thanks again!
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
Sorry folks... MAJOR redo last night. Now going up to v04... Gonna spend my holiday working the files...
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
And v04 will be up shortly...



I just need to "Cliff Notes" the rules to fit on the back of the game sheet. Then PDF the two files and get them up here....
 
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Josh Saulter

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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
Looks very different! Looking forward to it.
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
saultydog wrote:
Looks very different! Looking forward to it.


And they're up!
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Israel Waldrom
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
govmiller wrote:
saultydog wrote:
Looks very different! Looking forward to it.


And they're up!

The game has been evolving quite a bit!
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
Love the idea, and the design is really intriguing. A question of clarification though...

If I'm reading this correctly, grey boxes are functionally optional, right? Like, they *may* get filled up, but they don't need to? (After completing events, of course, they may need to be filled up as per the timeline ripples)

If so, that section of the rules was a little opaque for me; I don't know if others were having issue with that. Would it be smoother to call the "gray boxes" something like "overflow" or "temporal noise" or "timeline ripples" or whatever you want? Then you could rephrase the event adjustment to be something like "Each part of the Missile Launch event requires +1 overflow to complete" I was having trouble why I'd want to fill up those boxes, but then I realized that they might quickly become mandatory.

Alternatively, a more generalized, blanket approach might be something like the first event solved requires 0 overflow (grey) squares, the second event solved requires 1 overflow square, and the third event solved requires 2 overflow squares. A blanket rule like that simplifies the rules a fair bit, without having to reference a table mid-game, although it would amp the difficulty a statistical hair from your current table...
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
BizzFoth wrote:
Love the idea, and the design is really intriguing. A question of clarification though...

If I'm reading this correctly, grey boxes are functionally optional, right? Like, they *may* get filled up, but they don't need to? (After completing events, of course, they may need to be filled up as per the timeline ripples)

If so, that section of the rules was a little opaque for me; I don't know if others were having issue with that. Would it be smoother to call the "gray boxes" something like "overflow" or "temporal noise" or "timeline ripples" or whatever you want? Then you could rephrase the event adjustment to be something like "Each part of the Missile Launch event requires +1 overflow to complete" I was having trouble why I'd want to fill up those boxes, but then I realized that they might quickly become mandatory.

Alternatively, a more generalized, blanket approach might be something like the first event solved requires 0 overflow (grey) squares, the second event solved requires 1 overflow square, and the third event solved requires 2 overflow squares. A blanket rule like that simplifies the rules a fair bit, without having to reference a table mid-game, although it would amp the difficulty a statistical hair from your current table...


A good point Joshua! Those boxes do need a "name" of some sort. They are really there to just have the player be able to mark something down- until they must use them... And it was kinda hoped that once you set the order of events, you'd mark the next two events accordingly. That may need to be cleared up in the rules as well. If the 2nd and 3rd events are marked as soon as the events are set, that should negate needing to flip the board over...

Thanks!
 
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
Setback!!!! Someone rolled the clock back on me!

I "upgraded/updated" my copy of LibreOffice to 5.3... and all the text/font renderings in both the Draw and Write parts are now different! It still says the same font name & size, but no longer fits the spaces!!!!

That means I now get to reformat all the text. Not a 'hard' job, but one I didn't think I'd have to do...

Bummer.
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Israel Waldrom
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
Read through the rules and had a go at v4.

An observation: the only time it mentions that the game is over when you run out of endurance is during the fluff at the beginning:
Quote:
If the equipment breaks, you cannot restore the timeline and lose the game.

It might be worth mentioning it again later and more explicitly in the rules in one of the two sections where you discuss marking off endurance.

Once you have completed an event, are you still able to put die rolls into the grey boxes for that event, or are they now locked out?

If you fill in all of the required boxes for an event out of order, once you have completed the prerequisite event does that event also automatically complete, or do you need to do a roll first?

d12 was an interesting pick of dice choice. As I only have 1, and couldn't easily acquire more singly, I just ended up rolling the same die 3 times and noting down the rolls. The side effect of that was on occasion I forgot to mark off endurance, but I was regularly double checking to make sure that I had, so I caught all instances of when I do so.


The theme feels a little more connected on than it did last time due to the order of events, but mostly it is still looking at numbers and deciding where to put them, but that is the nature of this game I think. I do like this version much more than the previous incarnation.

For the first half of the game or so I was just plugging in the numbers as they were rolled. After I had set up the order of the events I do go through and mark which grey boxes would be necessary so that I knew ahead of time which areas could be problematic.
(It might be worth moving the missile launch header down to below the circle instead of above - a couple of time I got confused as to which section it was. I know there is an arrow there as well, but at a glance it looks like it should be the top section.)
Once sections started to fill up then I started combining numbers in order to get more desirable results (noted by the lines to the right of the rolls in the list. I did like that feature, but would have liked to have seen more of it (see later comment).

The two sets of events that are quote close can be rather brutal (2nd /3rd and 5th/6th). In the case of the latter I rolled a total of 15 for the event, which put me straight into the next event roll. Over the course of the events I lost 9 endurance to Lost Data, and 2 to Splutter for a total of 11 (about 1/6th of the total available).

I lost the game due to running out of endurance. I needed to check of 5 more boxes, which would have required at least 6 more endurance, but more likely 10-12. No hope of getting a good score with the rolls I had.

A couple of thoughts / suggestions:
Have you considered having the game run with 3d10 instead of 3d12, but still keeping the 12 spots? It would mean that in order to fill 11 and 12 you would have to manipulate the data, and would require more contemplation of how to use the rolls gained. Given that, the machine would need more endurance in order to cope with the added strain. (I have oodles of d10).
What about changing one or all of the rerolls to a pick a number for a die instead? Would make the game a little easier as you would be able to gain that much needed result, and prevent the reroll result being exactly the same as the original.

A low ink version without the grey background would also be appreciated if you have the time ^^

And as an aside:
Quote:
I "upgraded/updated" my copy of LibreOffice to 5.3... and all the text/font renderings in both the Draw and Write parts are now different! It still says the same font name & size, but no longer fits the spaces!!!!

What that an optional update? I'm still running 5.2.7.2, and it isn't coming up with the update reminder.
 
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Re: {WIP} Time Fixer (2017 Solo PnP Contest) Components Ready Phase
Israel-

Thanks again for playing! I'm glad this seems better than the previous version!

The Endurance is what probably needs the most tweaking- the game 'feels' too long, and yet not long enough. What I hope to do (and your comment about moving the Missile Event helps) is to put the endurance tracker around the clock- that would allow me to move the Missile Event text & box to a more obvious space next to it.

The first part of the game is about just rolling and sorting. I may need to see about cutting down the bits of data from 4 to 3 and see how that goes.

The d10 is an interesting idea. I wonder how a mix might do...

And I like the "any number" idea too. I might swap out some re roll spots for some "any number" spots and see how that works... Along with dropping the data points to 3, the game should be quicker, but the decision-making should start sooner too...

(And the upgrade popped up- normally it's safe and I see nothing. I even checked the release notes. I'll load it again and just go with it and not be so quick next time...)
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