Nathaniel Pollak
United States
Kansas
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Cryptographer - entry into the 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest
(better late than never ya?)

Nathaniel Pollak

Cryptographer is a game of prediction and out thinking. Players take the role of a code breaker during war time trying to crack the opposing encrypted messages. The first to crack a code might just change the tide of war, but be warned, there is a false code amidst the truth. It would spell disaster if you were to crack the code and uncover lies.

2 players
5-10 minutes

List of Components:
1 - 3"x6" Fold up board
18 - 2"x3.4" Cards
3 - Red cubes
3 - Blue cubes

Link to PnP:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1L79Bnih71m13dxQEgQLG_28S-sN...




Change log for 2.0:
-Fixed a bunch of spelling/grammar mistakes.
-Changed font to fit theme and card space better (hopefully it is readable ok).
-Secret objectives not properly have red/blue text.
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House Rules
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Overland Park
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Re: [WIP] Cryptographer: 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components Ready
New user, but not new gamer - see Nathaniel in Rhado's Final Thoughts of Istanbul: Mocha and Baksheesh, Cargo Noir, Celestia, and Lords of Waterdeep: Scoudrel's of Skullport.
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Alex Bardy
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Re: [WIP] Cryptographer: 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components Ready

It looks a beautifully simple design, so well done.

Just one comment, though, I think Decript should be spelt Decrypt, but otherwise all seems straight-forward enough, I hope...

Best o' luck.

Alex
 
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Marek Kolcun
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Re: [WIP] Cryptographer: 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components Ready
Hey, Nathaniel, I stopped by to check your game and would like to give you feedback, at least to PnP components/rules. I know it's the deadline time, but maybe you find some time to make fixes/updates.

Game overview
I like the concept of cracking the code. The overall graphics gives a hint that the game is set in Great War (quill-like pen, classic notepad...).
I am okay with the theme alone, but maybe somebody would appreciate speciffic event in war that players try to find/sabotage. Check this 24h design challenge contest entry. I'm not comparing the gameplay of the games, but the fluff in Cher Ami has given me enough interest to try it.

Rules
As you stated, the game is contest ready, hence I found some typos in rules, that I'd like to highlight:

"The goas is to get one cube to the opponent's..." - missing apostrophe.
"Each player chooses a color and ..." I don't know, this sentence is understandable, but bit cumbersome (too many "color" in one sentence).
"Player the board with the endzones..." Typo? Did you mean place the board instead?
"players then take a random..." - small first letter.
"The game takes place..." - I think, game round would be more suitable.
"Foiling an opponent's card causes them to skip the effect on their played car this turn." Again, apostrophe and typ in thier.
"Players then return..." - then return.

Other than that I find the rules quite simple and understandable - that's the thing I am looking for in small games. However, I struggled to understand the card iconography in top-left hand corner. It took me some time to understand that L means "letter", S is symbol and N is number. Maybe it would be nice to mention that in the rules.

I did not play the game yet, so I don't understand, why during a cube movement a cube always moves by 2 spaces. It just seems strange as the cubes never move back.

You mentioned basic info in your thread, but it'd be nice to see player count and gameplay duration in rules too.

Personal ideas
You can skip this part, because it will contain mostly my own ideas on how to upgrade your game. Take it as inspiration, not as trying to change your project completely.

I understand that it is mostly a game of brains, but still I'd add more cards with various powers. To move any cube by 1 space, to push back opponent's cubes, to charge some special power.
Special power could move more cubes at once, could lock opponent's cube in place and so on.
By adding more cards I'd enlarge the playing area as I think that gameplay is quite short right now, maybe 5 minutes rather than 10?

Hope some of my ideas and hints helped, wish you good luck in contest!
 
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Nathaniel Pollak
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Kansas
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Re: [WIP] Cryptographer: 2017 Mint Tin Design Contest - Components Ready
Mystael wrote:

Game overview
I like the concept of cracking the code. The overall graphics gives a hint that the game is set in Great War (quill-like pen, classic notepad...).
I am okay with the theme alone, but maybe somebody would appreciate speciffic event in war that players try to find/sabotage. Check this 24h design challenge contest entry. I'm not comparing the gameplay of the games, but the fluff in Cher Ami has given me enough interest to try it.

I like the idea of having a stronger theme. The current gameplay is very disconnected from "cracking a code". If I had more time to flesh out the mechanics like you mention below in your personal notes I would definitely make the theme a lot stronger, with real codes, scenarios, and potentially characters with minor ability.

Mystael wrote:

Rules
As you stated, the game is contest ready, hence I found some typos in rules, that I'd like to highlight:

"The goas is to get one cube to the opponent's..." - missing apostrophe.
"Each player chooses a color and ..." I don't know, this sentence is understandable, but bit cumbersome (too many "color" in one sentence).
"Player the board with the endzones..." Typo? Did you mean place the board instead?
"players then take a random..." - small first letter.
"The game takes place..." - I think, game round would be more suitable.
"Foiling an opponent's card causes them to skip the effect on their played car this turn." Again, apostrophe and typ in thier.
"Players then return..." - then return.

Other than that I find the rules quite simple and understandable - that's the thing I am looking for in small games. However, I struggled to understand the card iconography in top-left hand corner. It took me some time to understand that L means "letter", S is symbol and N is number. Maybe it would be nice to mention that in the rules.

All of this should be fixed. Thank you for bringing these to my attention. (spelling/grammar is obviously not my strongest trait)

Mystael wrote:

I did not play the game yet, so I don't understand, why during a cube movement a cube always moves by 2 spaces. It just seems strange as the cubes never move back.

This is because the foil cards allow the player to move a cube one space resulting in both stopping your opponents turn and half a turn of your own. Otherwise foil card either sucked because you didn't give much of a benefit or where the only good option. As it stands now you must choose to risk only taking half a turn (if you play the wrong foil card) or take a turn and a half (if you make your opponent skip their turn by correctly foiling their played card).
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Tom Coldron
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This is one of mint-tin games that I managed to play.

There's some nice ideas here. It turned out to be a very quick and simple play experience. That’s fine, and it was enjoyable, which is the most important thing, but I couldn’t help thinking there should be something more going on.

Perhaps I still had my designer’s head on but I kept thinking up tweaks that might add a little something here or there. I also felt that there was a bit of a disconnect between theme and mechanics.

 
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