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Subject: Theme: Form and Function rss

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Russ Rupe
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One of the best parts of working on this project is that I've *had* to rewatch the TV series looking for good screen clips that fit our game cards. I typically did it while running on the treadmill. I dislike running, but at least running + W13 is something. Speaking of running, up next is a run on sentence for the ages. Michael's professional-editor-soul will probably die just a little in reading it. :)

It's been an interesting process in which sometimes a screen clip inspires a card outright ("this clip is so awesome, we must use it somewhere"), sometimes we have a card and then have to dig and dig for a matching screen clip ("I know they did that thing somewhere." or "They did that thing in 8 different episodes, which clip is most awesome?"), sometimes we have a card idea in mind but it ends up changing when we find the right clip ("Wait, in the show they did this other thing...let's tweak the card to match better"). Sometimes we had a card "done" for years and then something happened like not getting that actor's publicity rights, and so we had to retheme it.

I'll start occasionally posting cards and hope to spark up some thematic/development discussions about form and function while designing an IP-based game.
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Kaylee Jayne
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It's really amazing how much effort and time all of you put into this game. You can really see it! I love how much of the show you can see in the board game.
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Russ Rupe
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Knocking seems like the right place to start.


This card title "Knock Knock" and picture was in the earliest prototypes, before the game really was anything like it is now. It's got a different title now, but "Knock Knock" was such a fundamental part of Claudia's character development that it was never a matter of "if" but one of "where" to put this one.

At various points, if memory serves, it was an "environment" effect that remained in play until certain conditions were met. I think it was a Traitor card. It was nearly the name for one of Claudia's abilities.

It finally landed as one of MacPherson's plots against the team in the game's finale. He used Claudia, combining her computer skills with his knowledge of the Warehouse (hence the small Lore difficulty) to drive Artie nuts trying to chase him down across the internet (Logic) and plug the network security leaks back in the Warehouse (Tech).
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Russ Rupe
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Once we got the game board design settled into the "Warehouse side and Field side," we knew that Traveling would be an action, and we knew we wanted MacPherson to be able to put an obstacle in the way. It took a couple more years before we stumbled upon this "Road Closed" moment in the show. It wasn't a moment that I had remembered from my first watching of the series (live), so I was super happy when I found it on the treadmill.

It's also nice in that it features Pete and Claudia in the field together, a changeup from the typical agent pairings on the show. In the game, there really aren't agent pairings, though there are some ability synergies and it is handy to have a good mix of Focus Traits, as you can see over on this thread.
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Michael Aldridge
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With all the work we have been doing on the game, my oldest son (age 15) has recently gotten interested in the show, so we are watching it together. As we go, I'm taking notes for all the things we should consider using for the first expansion (with H.G., assuming we fund well enough to warrant creation of an expansion).

One particular thing that I was watching for throughout Season 2 is how to make the Adversary role unique to H.G., because she doesn't work against the Warehouse in the same ways as MacPherson did. I believe I've come up with a couple of incredibly thematic ideas that I think you all are going to enjoy, as long as we can balance it properly. No spoilers yet, though...
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Michael Aldridge
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sporksfoons wrote:

Once we got the game board design settled into the "Warehouse side and Field side," we knew that Traveling would be an action...


Warehouse Trivia: in early prototypes, the game board was a US map, split into 13 regions.
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Matt Lee
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BosonMichael wrote:
With all the work we have been doing on the game, my oldest son (age 15) has recently gotten interested in the show, so we are watching it together. As we go, I'm taking notes for all the things we should consider using for the first expansion (with H.G., assuming we fund well enough to warrant creation of an expansion).

One particular thing that I was watching for throughout Season 2 is how to make the Adversary role unique to H.G., because she doesn't work against the Warehouse in the same ways as MacPherson did. I believe I've come up with a couple of incredibly thematic ideas that I think you all are going to enjoy, as long as we can balance it properly. No spoilers yet, though...


Just checking, but no chance of trying to find some way of making HG a player role, is there? I think one reason she was such a memorable character is
Spoiler (click to reveal)
because she often danced between both Agent and Adversary roles


(Spoilered just because it's the right thing to do here )
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Michael Aldridge
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klz_fc wrote:
BosonMichael wrote:
With all the work we have been doing on the game, my oldest son (age 15) has recently gotten interested in the show, so we are watching it together. As we go, I'm taking notes for all the things we should consider using for the first expansion (with H.G., assuming we fund well enough to warrant creation of an expansion).

One particular thing that I was watching for throughout Season 2 is how to make the Adversary role unique to H.G., because she doesn't work against the Warehouse in the same ways as MacPherson did. I believe I've come up with a couple of incredibly thematic ideas that I think you all are going to enjoy, as long as we can balance it properly. No spoilers yet, though...


Just checking, but no chance of trying to find some way of making HG a player role, is there? I think one reason she was such a memorable character is
Spoiler (click to reveal)
because she often danced between both Agent and Adversary roles


(Spoilered just because it's the right thing to do here )


Absolutely, in the first expansion, assuming we can negotiate successfully with Jaime Murray on her likeness rights. (No, her rights weren't included with the NBC license. We similarly had to negotiate separately with CCH Pounder and Roger Rees' estate).

We also plan on making MacPherson a playable Agent in the first expansion.
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Kevin Driske
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Man I wish you guys could snag the x-files as well. Regardless I am super excited and have final backed my first kickstarter, so hoping this succeed's and you are able to make the expansion.
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Michael Aldridge
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locherbread wrote:
Man I wish you guys could snag the x-files as well. Regardless I am super excited and have final backed my first kickstarter, so hoping this succeed's and you are able to make the expansion.


Thanks so much!

X-Files has been done, recently-ish: The X-Files

We tried pursuing Supernatural and was told by WB that they "already have a partner in this market". Meaning, they have a company that did Supernatural Clue and Supernatural Monopoly. So that's another one we can't pursue.
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C B
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This game looks amazing.

It sounds like to perfect medium between Dark Moon (which I love because the traitors can easily remain hidden) and BSG (which I despise because the traitors can't do anything without making a soft reveal) in terms of game length.

I so wish I had an entertainment budget this month so I could back you guys on KS. Alas, I have to pass and hope it at least does well enough that you'll have direct sales from your website.
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Michael Aldridge
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ampoliros wrote:
This game looks amazing.

It sounds like to perfect medium between Dark Moon (which I love because the traitors can easily remain hidden) and BSG (which I despise because the traitors can't do anything without making a soft reveal) in terms of game length.

I so wish I had an entertainment budget this month so I could back you guys on KS. Alas, I have to pass and hope it at least does well enough that you'll have direct sales from your website.


We put a lot of time into making sure the game length wasn't too long. This was difficult for me to do, because I enjoy and prefer epic, long games like BSG, Advanced Civilization, and Arkham Horror with every expansion added.

Early playtests showed that the game we had designed was too long. But it was important for the Traitor to feel like they had influence on the outcome. It took many fundamental changes to the game to ensure that both requirements were met.

Stay updated on the Kickstarter campaign. If there is a way to late fund, we will be sure to post it.
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Russ Rupe
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This card Title was around from the very beginning. The photo used to feature an attractive guess star holding the poker chip, but alas, publicity rights are a pain to get for just 1 card. The text also used to have different effects...3 or 4 different sets of effects as the game evolved. It always had something to do with luck and its Vegas theme. It always had potential upsides along with downsides because the aforementioned user of the chip in that episode had amassed quite a fortune.

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Daniel Wolterink
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These posts are all really insightful and interesting! Keep them coming!
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Kaylee Jayne
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BosonMichael wrote:

We tried pursuing Supernatural and was told by WB that they "already have a partner in this market". Meaning, they have a company that did Supernatural Clue and Supernatural Monopoly. So that's another one we can't pursue.


Oh man. I bet a board game done by you guys with the Supernatural theme would be amazing. It's a shame they said that. Clue and Monopoly are not really designer board games like we have now. Something really amazing could be done with that IP in the right hands.
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Mindy G
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Yeah, it is totally disappointing that the IP holder doesn't recognize the difference in these types of games.
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Russ Rupe
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This photo was one of my personal favorite moments in the show. It's bounced around from card to card because a lot of things are happening all at once. It's certainly an Obstacle when you are stuck on the ceiling. HG's Cavorite could definitely be an Artifact...and might eventually be. :)

That trap scene is also a great juxtaposition between Myka's logical mind and Pete's gut intuition. Plus Pete says that great line, "Myka, in this job, there's no such thing as 'no such thing.' We just met the female H.G. Wells!"

It was also tough to decide whether to try to fit this into the base game or to wait until the expansion that will feature HG. But we finally decided that getting the Imperceptor Vest was a key part of MacPherson's master plan as he also had devised a way to power it using CERN's anti-matter and gone to great lengths to get that. We don't know what he really sent HG into the Escher Vault to get or what he planned to do next since his plans were...uh...cut short moments after. :)

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Russ Rupe
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This one was right after Claudia joined the Warehouse. She's just trying to help out by tightening that light bulb, but doesn't yet understand how dangerous artifacts can be. Get a ladder. :)

We wanted the artifact's effect to potentially be helpful, but still balanced. So it's got a higher than average total difficulty, mostly in Tech, but Tech is "magnetized" and draws the occasional 0-clue to it.


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Russ Rupe
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This one was a pivotal episode for me. I think it transitions the team from co-workers into family. Myka and Artie get real with each other, but only after Claudia and Leena basically disobey their boss and build something that will let them talk to the reflective entity.

We wanted to create something that, if you got it wrong, you were punished. If you believed Alice was Myka, you got kicked in the gut. :)


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Russ Rupe
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After Artie tells the Regents that Myka and Pete are the best agents the Warehouse has ever had, Mrs. Frederick gives a rare compliment and even more rare smile to Artie:

F: Bering and Lattimer are not the best agents we've ever had. You are.
A: They said that?
F: It was said... And they were smart enough to believe me.



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This card is an example of where we had a fairly generic Trait Card effect in the game for a long time, but we didn't have a compelling theme for it. I think the photo we were originally using had an extra in it (i.e. not worth trying to track down publicity rights for that). Then in our travels through the episodes, we found this photo that we just loved. It's the team laughing around the table after a shared meal. So we paired up a great photo with an effect in need of some theme, and said "You know what, when the team is in sync, they can turn some bad situations in tenable situations...make ugly 2-Clues that you don't have cards for into 1-Clues that you do have cards for." It fits well enough.

I remember a quote in the DVD extras from the show runner about how he does Family really well in his shows. My first hit on google just now, and I found him using nearly the same quote in an article here.
Quote:
For me, this show is about a family, because that's what I do: family comedy, family drama," said show runner Jack Kenny ("Titus"). "Claudia is a little Artie in training, and Pete and Myka are like siblings. The artifacts are used for the adventure, but the show is really about characters.



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This one seemed apropos to help cheer the KS campaign down the home stretch. We had a ton of photos to choose from where there was some combination of the team looking at the computer, working together on stuff.

You typically spend an action to get 2 cards, so this is 3. Though it is a card itself, so that's sort of a wash. What's it good for then? It's great for when you have a small draw pile that still has calamities in it. It's also great to get cards to another agent who may be really card poor, or who may have spent their action already, but still needs a specific type of card to be able to claim a clue in the upcoming Work the Case phase. Maybe they had drawn poorly on their turn, or maybe their action was something even more critical, or maybe they were in the Field and unable to draw the needed type of Trait.

This card also fits nicely with the Traitor mechanic, because you are trusting the other agent to make good choices, and of course, you'd never want to play it for its text as a Traitor. So, seeing it get spent for it's number/symbol instead of text might be telling, situationally. :)


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Russ Rupe
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This is from the episode where Claudia embraces the call to become a caretaker but she's afraid the Warehouse is trying to kill her. Abigail sets her strait: "If you want to be the caretaker so badly, go care-take!" Afterwards, Claudia makes the victory walk set to Pink's Trouble. Yeah, it's cheesy, but it's the fun and awesome kind of cheese. :)

In the game, Warehouse maintenance is never a problem. Until it's a problem. And then it's handy to have a Goozooka.



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I imagine that, after a nail-biting [for me, at least] Kickstarter campaign, you folks probably just want to take a break. Plus, you've got plenty to do getting the game into production. However, as someone above mentioned another property to consider, I thought I might suggest one: Fringe. As much as I loved Warehouse 13, I probably loved Fringe even more.

Unlike The X Files, Fringe has no pre-existing licensed game to compete with a new product. Admittedly, I have no idea how a game based on Fringe might be structured, but then I wouldn't have imagined making a game from Warehouse 13 either.

While neither show was a The Walking Dead in ratings terms, I'm guessing that Fringe might have broader recognition than Warehouse 13, and, hence, might result in an easier Kickstarter--if you can come up with an equally appealing game system embodying a similarly authentic incarnation of the show's atmosphere.

I hope you'll think about the suggestion.
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Michael Aldridge
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I haven't watched Fringe before, but it's certainly worth considering! Thanks for the suggestion. We hope to make many more solid IP-based games in the future.
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