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Subject: Game Status and Availability rss

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Robert Arroyo
United States
Salt Lake City
UT
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I have ran into this today for the first time and it looks pretty cool. I really like your concept for a board, both the modularity and the art for the back of the cards. It appears to have everything you could ever ask for in a civilization game; lots of resources, lots of units. Lots of ways to win. I am quite interested in trying it but I have a few questions about it.

1) It appears that this is currently self published. Are you working with a publisher on this or will you be trying to kickstarter it?

2) I read the rulebook and I'm not sure I fully understand how to play the game. Is the rulebook finalized or will there be changes made to it?

3) Following on three, are the game's art, rules, and components finalized or will they change?

4) I am unfamiliar with thegamecrafter.com. What exactly are you selling there; Is it a print and play or would I actually receive a physical game?

5) Are there any additional materials how to play? For example player aids, glossaries, quick start guides, video tutorials, FAQs, etc...

6) How many people have play tested this? How may times has it been play tested? How many different groups have play tested it? How long has this been in development?

7) Will you be demoing this game anywhere?

8) The game appears to be pretty long which isn't necessarily bad. What are actual play times that you are seeing both for new users and experienced groups?

9) Is there an existing community of players for this game? Where could I find them?

I know that is a lot, but I am subscribed to this game now and I look forward to seeing updates.

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Brian Lemler
United States
Plymouth
Indiana
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Thanks for the feedback! I started a BGG page for Magnus Rex last year, but only just started adding page content the last few weeks. This game started as a hobby game in 2016 made with some components I had laying around. In 2017, I discovered an on-demand game printer, the Gamecrafter.com. GC is a great asset for game designers to self-publish as well as print one-off protoypes of new designs. There's over 200,000 users, 7000 published games, and they sell over 2000 different game pieces such as tokens, minis, dice, which can be ordered as part of a game or standalone. I encourage you to check it out. https://www.thegamecrafter.com/status

So that's my GC ad...

I appreciate your interest in my game! Yeah the map modularity is one of the things I'm most proud of with regards to the design.

1) It appears that this is currently self published. Are you working with a publisher on this or will you be trying to kickstarter it?

Currently it is published on the Gamecrafter, you can go to my game page there and order a copy at any time. They print all the components (except for the rules and resource tracker, which are print-and-play to cut cost). The Gamcrafter will box and ship the game with all the physical components as well. You would receive in 1-3 weeks, depending on their queues. https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/magnus-rex

The downside to a print-on-demand is the cost for a single unit is about 15% higher than you might expect and my margins are razor-thin. The GC does have bulk order options and their version of a mini-Kickstarter called Crowd Sales www.thegamecrafter.com/crowdsales. I'm currently applying for a Crowd Sale for Magnus Rex that would take place in January. Crowd Sales are a great way to get the cost and selling price down.


2) I read the rulebook and I'm not sure I fully understand how to play the game. Is the rulebook finalized or will there be changes made to it?

The rulebook is basically finalized. I've gone through several playtest iterations and a couple re-writes already. What is there is the finished ruleset, however I admit it could probably be re-written again for readability and to address exceptions we haven't experienced in playtest.

There's 4 game phases during a turn:
Harvest
A player rolls the harvest die. All players harvest any resource of that type from within their borders. Harvested resources are tracked on the resource tracker.

Focus Actions

Players take any actions from their Focus Row which are listed as "Focus Actions" (found on the Faction card).

At game start, all players have the same 3 basic abilities on their Focus Row:
Tribalism
Nomads
Bartering

And 1 unique faction ability. Germany's is "Blood and Iron" for example.

Only actions that say "Focus" on the card can be performed during this phase. Some examples are "Build a Spearman with a Bronze resource and any Growth resource", "Complete a Trade Mission", "Trade an Iron for a Manuscript resource," etc.

Players can take as many Focus actions from their Focus Row as they wish or are able to during this phase. Resources are spent here and are usually the constraint as to which Focus actions you'll perform.

Movement
Pretty self-explanatory. The Focus Row has some abilities that can only be performed during the Move phase. (Mostly related to combat bonuses, increased movement speed, ability to cross water or mountains, etc). So if a movement or combat ability is not in your focus row during this turn, you lose that ability during this turn.

Research
This is where players gain new ability cards. All players can bid Science resources on the tech of their choice. The bid mechanic does guarantee all players will receive a tech here, even if they did not bid or place the minimum bid. The highest bid receives their choice of the available techs on this turn. The next highest bidder would receive his choice of the remaining techs, and so on. However, if no player placed a minimum bid, then no research will occur on this turn for any players. So it's an all-or-nothing scenario. This is intended to level the field and not allow tech snowballing. However it does reward high bidders of course. Low bidders can ride the coattails just to receive something, but it may not be their choice tech.

At the end of the research phase, players have the option to place new action cards/re-organize their Focus Row. Only cards that are visible in the row can be performed during the next turn.


3) Following on three, are the game's art, rules, and components finalized or will they change?

Art, rules and components are finalized.

I do have some thoughts on a future 'deluxe' version of the game with different physical components and using more chipboard/less cardstock. Especially, I'd like to re-produce the map in chipboard, as I think a chipboard map would be an upgrade over the current cardstock map. Although I see no problem with the current map from a playability standpoint, cardstock has the tendency to get jostled on the table simply because it's not as heavy as chipboard. If I went forward with pursuing a high-volume publisher or grew my sales volume on the GC, I would be able to offer a chipboard map at a competitive cost.

Also, if I found a publisher, I'd probably commission some new artwork for some aspects (probably the hex buildings). I'm very happy with the map, resources, and card artwork. Other than that, this is the finished game.


4) I am unfamiliar with thegamecrafter.com. What exactly are you selling there; Is it a print and play or would I actually receive a physical game?

See my GC blurb above!

5) Are there any additional materials how to play? For example player aids, glossaries, quick start guides, video tutorials, FAQs, etc...

Along with the demo days mentioned below, I am going to post a video tutorial soon. Especially for the initial map setup.

Player aids included in the game...
On the reverse side of the faction mats, there is a building guide..


Also, on front of every faction mat is a Turn Summary, Victory Conditions, and Magnus Achievement tracker. All the faction mats are dry-eraseable also for marking their achievements.





6) How many people have play tested this? How may times has it been play tested? How many different groups have play tested it? How long has this been in development?

I've been working on this game since late 2016. I'd playtest about every 2 months with a group of 4, then revise as needed until the next playtest. I have listed some of the playtests on this site with outcomes. My wife has also playtested a few 2-player games and proofed the rules.

7) Will you be demoing this game anywhere?
Chance are you aren't in my area, but actually, I've been working locally with game shops to set up demos. I have a demo scheduled at "Got Game?" in Plymouth IN on Nov 30th, and another demo at Super Game Geeks in Warsaw, IN sometime in December. Next year, I'd like to demo at some game conventions. Though I've boardgamed for about 10 years, I've not been to any conventions.

https://www.facebook.com/events/528113197968816/

I've also talked to an area Youtuber who is interested in reviewing my game on his channel.
https://www.youtube.com/user/mrcervantesdaniel

8) The game appears to be pretty long which isn't necessarily bad. What are actual play times that you are seeing both for new users and experienced groups?

For my experienced playtest group, playtime is consistently between 2-3 hours (not counting setup). I've worked hard through the design process to get it down to something manageable. I'd recommend for new players for the first play to only go through the Ancient era, which should take about an hour of actual play after introducing the rules.

9) Is there an existing community of players for this game? Where could I find them?

Obviously, hoping to grow the Magnus Rex community; at this moment the Magnus Rex world is basically myself, my playtesters, and my wife and few other gamer friends at the stores I mentioned. We're in northern Indiana.

Thanks for asking some really relevant questions. A great start to my FAQ! Feel free to ask anything else. I'll try post when I have more updates!
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