Chad Ellis
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
To Go or Not to Go?

I almost didn’t go at all.

Conventions are a tricky thing for a small game publisher. They’re an incredibly important part of your marketing effort, but at the same time they can eat up a lot of money without generating much return, especially with smaller shows. The booth may not cost much, but you’ve got airfare, hotel, food, etc. and you have to factor in the time as well – you could be spending that time calling stores, playtesting or whatever else.

Last year’s BGG.CON was, for lack of a better word, mediocre…great for the players, no doubt, but not so much for me. Foot traffic in the dealer room was really low, meaning not only that it was harder to get people to do demos but when someone did there were no passersby to rubberneck and get drawn in. Sales were low and I suspect that I gained very few new players.

With that in mind, I wasn’t planning on returning this year. I wanted to, because I really like BGG (both personally and professionally, since it’s been a great source of word-of-mouth for us) and want to support it, but better to spend the money on ads than giving most of it to an airline and a hotel.

This year, however, saw some major changes from last year. The vendor area would be in the same room as the main gaming area (rather than down the hall). That’s huge. I also really liked the overall setup, which combined a display table with two demo tables. There were also going to be maybe 50% more people. On our side we had a newly published game to launch (Battle for Hill 218) as well as a prototype (Shape) that I wanted to show to the good folks of BGG.

As the con approached, I got more and more excited. The BGG.CON crowd last year was really nice to interact with and I was looking forward to catching up with them. For some reason I thought I might even have enough energy to play some games in the evening, even though my would-be booth volunteer’s ride fell through, leaving me on my own for the 11-6 dealer shift.

If you ask my 3.5 year old daughter what a Pirate’s favorite class is, what will she answer?

I was also intrigued by Yehuda’s Pirate game. I’d never played anything like it but it sounded interesting. I also realized that while I didn’t have a large group of friends to pool cards with I would naturally end up chatting with more people than almost any regular attendee so I might actually be in a good position to accumulate and trade for cards. I knew there was a decent chance that I’d end up building up a decent pool and then giving them away, but I was looking forward to trying it out.

I quickly developed a powerful strategy for accumulating cards, which I call "Power Mooching." Whenever I spoke with someone I would ask them if they were playing. Many were not and happily offered up their cards. Those that were playing quickly noticed that I had a lot more cards than they did and thus happily agreed to exchange information or to trade.

For those that weren’t there (or who were, but didn’t play), the game worked like this. Each player received three cards, numbered from 1 to 600, in his or her welcome bag. Each card had numerical values ranging from -100 to 100 for five diamonds (A for amethyst through E for emerald). Your goal, as a player, is to turn in a set of up to five cards that have the largest total value for one (or more) of those gems. Simple, right?

Well, there’s more. Each card also has some game text that either can increase (or decrease) your score or that gives you information about how other cards might do so. There were a number of themes that a player might try to use to build up a much bigger score than by simple arithmetic. Here are a few of the mechanics:

Doubling. A number of cards would say things like, “Double the value of Diamonds on all cards whose card number ends in 2.” Other cards would refer to types of cards (each card had a “type”), so for example a “shovel” card might double the value of one or more items on a “pail”. Two doubles were “only” a triple, so this wasn’t totally absurd, but it was obviously something that could power up the right set.

Mermaid Inn. There were a number of cards that said that if you could correctly state the age of, for example, Aged Kelly McGee, you could add that person’s age to one of your scores. This would then be followed by a clue, such as that person’s age relative to another person in the Inn. I got the ages figured out pretty early in the show and then traded (and in some cases) gave that information away pretty freely. My Amethyst play included some Mermaid Inn bonuses as well as doubling of two 90+ values.

Jewelery. Beyrl Bracelets would each add 10 points to your Beryl score for each one in your set. This was cumulative, so if your entire set consisted of Bracelets you would be adding 250 to your score. A cool mechanic but too weak to be worth playing.

Pirate Attack. If your set included a Pirate Attack for a particular gem, you would engage in a separate battle with all other players who played Pirate Attacks for that gem. The winner of the battle is the player whose card numbers have the highest total; that player would then essentially steal the score of all the other players for that gem!

Door number two. Your card might offer you a choice – add a solid amount to some score (or scores) or else choose “All Hands Ahoy” or some German word. At first I thought this was entirely random as I saw over a dozen such choices and no cards with clues as to what these all meant. Then I finally got a card that revealed one of the mysteries.

Extra bonus cards. There were a lot of cards that could be used normally but could also be turned into a bonus of 5-25 points (some for any gem, some for one in particular), in which case they didn’t count towards your limit of five.

Oh, the metagaming.

My first thought was that the Pirate Attack was clearly broken and would probably dominate the game. How could doubling or even tripling cards compare with stealing entire scores from multiple players? Moreover, the power of Pirate Attack wasn’t terribly subtle, so it seemed likely that most other players would draw the same conclusion I had and lean towards Pirate Attack. That would make the strategy even more dominant, to the point that I predicted that Pirate Attacks would win it all unless there turned out to be another strategy I hadn’t seen the cards for.

The first set I put together was an Emerald Pirate Attack with pretty high card values.

As the game progressed I became less sure that Pirate Attack would dominate. For one thing, I didn’t know how many Pirate Attacks were out there. Simple math indicated that there were three copies of each card (minus a few cards assuming there weren’t quite 600 attendees) and that a decent number of cards were out of circulation, buried deep in the bags of people who weren’t playing and hadn’t bothered to trade or give away their cards. What if there was just one Pirate Attack card for each gem? That could easily mean that a Pirate Attack would only combine two scores, which could easily be defeated by a single score put together by someone who was abusing other mechanics.

The other concern was the all-or-nothing nature of the Pirate Attack. Suppose there were actually lots of different Pirate Attacks for a given gem, but their card value was spread out. Would anyone bother trying to win with a Pirate Attack whose card number was low? (If your Pirate Attack’s card number is 100 and mine is 400, you have to make up an average of 75 points on every other card.)

The other side to the all-or-nothingness of Pirate Attacks is that their actual scores could easily turn out to be quite low. The essence of the strategy is that you’re counting on stealing everyone else’s points rather than building up a big score of your own. Given a card numbered 550 that was worth 50 points and one numbered 570 that was worth -10 points you might well be smart to choose the higher number to improve your chances of winning the Pirate Attack…but if everyone doing the Pirate Attack followed that logic their efforts might amount to a handful of pennies trying to outspend a hundred-dollar bill. At one point my “best” Pirate Attack was actually worth negative points on its own!

Despite all that, it was pretty easy to see (both intuitively and from talking to people) that there were going to be a lot of Pirate Attacks and that my original instinct was likely to be proved correct.

Then another thought occurred to me. Pirate Attacks steal the score…and there was no rule stating that such scores had to be positive. With all the cards we had collected (at this point I was hanging out with a few other people who were into the game) I put together a high-scoring Amethyst play which I then went about protecting by putting together some Pirate Attacks with negative values and then asking bystanders to turn them in for me.

In the end I had two winning attempts: my Amethyst play and my Emerald Pirate Attack, which at this point looked like it was a sure win from the Piracy perspective. (I had two cards in the 590s, two that were 570 but gave 50 extra points to Pirate Attacks and were thus effectively 620), a card that was only numbered in the 30s but could be played as a sixth card in the set and then my Pirate Attack card which was around 400. I turned in the Amethyst set myself and enlisted a stalking horse (Mark Majcher) to turn in the Pirate Attack.

So how did I do? Well, my Pirate Attack won Emeralds (I gave Mark a bunch of Battleground stuff for his role as stalking horse)…and I submit that I only came in second in Amethyst because we went to dinner. Huh? Well, we got back with over half an hour to finish up but much of that was spent helping other people with their sets…so I ended up putting together only a couple of negative-value Pirate Attacks to protect my Amethyst score. I had three more ready to go and any two of them would have more than accomplished the goal, but when I suddenly realized that we were almost out of time to hand in cards at all I couldn’t put them together or find people to hand them in. The same is no doubt true for Suzanne Despres who worked with me on her Beryl play and also ran out of time before protecting it further.

Not bad.

My overall feelings on the contest were that I was really impressed with how much game play came out of a relatively short period of prep time (Jehuda told me afterwards that he came up with the card ideas in around four hours and random number generators and no playtesting kept the total time investment sane) but also that there were some clear issues with the game.

Some of the mechanics were clearly weak – the jewelery, for example, could at most add 250 points to your score and playing a full set would mean not using anything else. Granted it might not be clear how big a deal 250 points was, but even without playtesting it was pretty clear that the Mermaid Inn mechanic (the ages were generally 70+) would be easier to make a set of and more powerful with or without a set. Of course, it’s not at all clear that all strategies should be viable; this is an information game, so having some strategies that look cool but lose even if you max out on them is probably a good thing. My issue isn’t so much that they were weak but that they were (in my view) too obviously weak. Long before you’d get near a set you would see that other approaches were going to be much better.

A more serious flaw in my view was the Pirate Attack mechanic. I can’t agree with Jehuda’s claim that the mechanic was perfectly balanced. Yes, there is a risk to playing them – you have to guess that enough other people were going to play them and you also had to win the Attack. So why do I think it wasn’t balanced?

Well first off, they won four out of five prizes. The first rule of playtesting is that when one strategy wins 80% of the games it at least deserves to be on the watch list. Everyone got the potential power of Pirate Attacks and it also became clear that through misunderstanding the rules or not being powergamers a large number of people were turning in Pirate Attacks that emphasized scoring value equally with card numbers. This is, in my view, predictable for a group this size and makes the hardcore Pirate strategy dominant or nearly so.

More significantly, however, it’s a strategy that simply asks to be broken collusively. I was handing out stalking horse sets with negative values to protect my Amethyst play but I could just as easily have handed out Pirate Attacks with positive values in Emerald to ensure that my winning attack there had plenty of points to defeat any non-Pirate play. It takes a lot of work to put together a set worth over 800 points. It takes almost no work at all to put together three or four sets worth 300 points each…that happen to be Pirate Attacks.

The other obviously broken mechanic (that I’m aware of) was the “double your entire Beryl score if you ask for Hornswaggle” that won the only category not won via Pirate Attack. I like the mystery bonuses in general, but a whole category double is pretty obviously broken and I feel a bit sad for Suzanne who came in second in that category with a set that was otherwise a clear winner but that wasn’t doubled.

I think the game would have been even more fun if there had been more mysteries to figure out and ideally a smaller concentration of prizes. Instead of over $100 retail for the five prizes, it would have been exciting to have some modest but nice prizes for the first person to break 500, the first person to solve particular riddles, etc. I’m not complaining, of course – I really wanted the Command and Colors games!

With those small negatives in mind, this game was a huge accomplishment by Yehuda, worthy of much praise and sure to generate demands on his time as next year’s BGG.CON approaches. A lot of people got involved and a lot of others had fun watching the craziness or, if they were near me, turning in sets as stalking horses. One measure of game success is that people who play it start thinking about how they might do something like it…and my brain is hurting with thoughts of something I might propose to the folks who run Origins.

[/b]OK, but what about the rest of the con?[/b]

From the above paragraphs you might forget that I came to BGG.CON as a vendor! My vendor report isn’t likely to make great reading, so it will be on the brief side.

I arrived Wednesday afternoon, checked in and then hung out in the open area to find someone interested in playing our Shape prototype. I soon found some players and was pleased with there generally favorable response. Then I helped move some tables and stack games in the library (an utterly broken game collection), made sure all of my stuff was ready and called it a night on the early side.

I was really happy with the whole vendor setup. We flanked both sides of the main gaming room which meant that instead of having to walk down the hall to find us people would inevitably browse when they had a quiet moment.

The one thing I was sad about was that I had no volunteer for my booth. I’d had someone sign up for the full weekend in exchange for entry and having his hotel room covered, but at the last minute his ride fell through and he had to cancel. That meant I had a room all to myself (nice) but I was going to be running games and trying to talk to everyone I could at the same time with only very short breaks.

I offered dealer bucks as prizes in my events but I don’t think too many people knew about them. When I mentioned them to people who I was encouraging to join in they seemed to like the idea but most people who came to the booth to demo games didn’t come when the events were scheduled. I didn’t mind either way so long as I got to demo a lot and I did, so that was cool.

Probably the best news of the weekend for us was the speed with which I sold out of Battle for Hill 218. I really love this game, but you never know ahead of time how many people will share your excitement. Almost every time I demoed it I sold a copy and by the end of the con there were five names and addresses on my list for people who wanted to buy it after I sold out. To complete this rather blatant plug I’ll remind viewers that you can download a free computer version (created by BGG’s own Andrew Gross) from www.yourmovegames.com.

It was also great to have people play Shape. There was a good response overall and I got a lot of feedback for future development, particularly on the physical side. I was personally glad that everyone I spoke with agreed that we should keep it abstract rather than try to add a theme. 

Battleground, of course, if the core of our company and if it didn’t do well it would be hard for anything else to overshadow that. Thankfully, it did. BoardGameGeek has been our most successful marketing vehicle for the simple reason that Battleground is a great game and people here talk about their playing experiences. There are, of course, a large number of BGGers who don’t care for tabletop tactical wargames and we’re unlikely to win them over, but it seemed like about once an hour I had a couple of people come by who said, “OK, I keep hearing good things about this, so tell me more,” and a lot of them left with a few decks in hand.

On a personal note, BGG.CON reminded me why I left a great career to form my own game company. I love games, but I really love gamers. I didn’t get to play too much, but a game of El Grande here and Maus Nacht Haus there were great fun. I played Honeypot (self-published by Mark Majcher, who later became my victorious stalking horse in the Pirate Game) and happily traded him $20 for it. I traded cards and information with other pirates and enjoyed all of my many interactions. (The only interaction I wouldn’t have enjoyed was the person who accused a friend of having stolen one of his pirate cards, but I didn’t hear it so technically it wasn’t an interaction.)

I would game with this crowd anytime.

Hugs,
Chad
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Philip Reed
United States
Kyle
Texas
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chad_Ellis wrote:

Probably the best news of the weekend for us was the speed with which I sold out of Battle for Hill 218. I really love this game, but you never know ahead of time how many people will share your excitement. Almost every time I demoed it I sold a copy and by the end of the con there were five names and addresses on my list for people who wanted to buy it after I sold out. To complete this rather blatant plug I’ll remind viewers that you can download a free computer version (created by BGG’s own Andrew Gross) from www.yourmovegames.com.


I enjoyed this and I'm starting to kick myself for not buying a copy. My wife and I played Saturday night (checked the copy out of the library) and she just didn't like it.

I may buy a copy to play with others. For the most part, though, I try to just buy games that she'll play.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Ellis
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Well, we're carried by all the major US distributors, so it shouldn't be hard to get a copy at your FLGS or online.

I wish my wife played enough games for me to follow your purchasing strategy!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chris Hillery
United States
Sacramento
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chad_Ellis wrote:
and I submit that I only came in second in Amethyst because we went to dinner.


Heh. Sorry that our dithering over finding a place that wasn't slammed slowed you down. Of course, if we'd gone to our first choice we might still be waiting in line now...

Glad you felt that your overall BGG.con experience was positive this year! I enjoyed chatting with you over dinner and trying out your games, and am looking forward to getting some good playtime in with my new Battleground sets. And Hill 218 is definitely going on my Christmas list since it was sold out before I tried it...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
B Orr
United States
Southlake
Texas
flag msg tools
I hunger!!!
badge
Galactus wants to know if you have been Naughty or Nice
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for coming again this year, Chad. I enjoyed chatting with you and look forward to receiving a copy of Hill 218 in the mail.

If you make the jaunt down next year, I'll spring for dinner one night at my favorite BBQ joint, or whatever else sounds good.

-Brett
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sean Tompkins
United States
San Antonio
Texas
flag msg tools
Never go in against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line!
badge
You know what would be funny...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I wish I had gotten by to play Shape! I was interested in trying it out, but there just wasn't time in the day for everything I wanted to do... I passed by a few times and saw other people half through it.

Chad_Ellis wrote:
(The only interaction I wouldn’t have enjoyed was the person who accused a friend of having stolen one of his pirate cards, but I didn’t hear it so technically it wasn’t an interaction.)


I think I'm partially responsible for this, and want to apologize for what happened there... I had stopped by a table to talk / trade with another group of people who looked as serious as I did about the pirate cards. Time was running out, and as I was going through my cards I set aside the "keepers" and handed the rest over for them to browse through. Somewhere along the line one of those keepers got misplaced and I think I would up sitting on it. Anyway, my friend asked the people at the table "have you seen a card titled 'The Deep' " - which apparently they had, as they had one in their deck as well, and he asked if I had left it on the table. They said no, and we took them at their word... as I stood up I found the card under my leg. I'm sincerely sorry that the exchange happened the way it did, and that there were hard feelings afterwards. Please pass along to your friends my apologies...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yehuda Berlinger
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chad, all excellent points, and to keep in mind for next year.

As you note, it's not a problem that there are weak and strong strategies, since the point is to gain the information about this. But they shouldn't be too obviously weak or too obviously strong. On the other hand, you can't complain that too different strategies were too strong! That makes them both viable.

The game, or something like it, will certainly be tweaked if it shows an appearance next time around.

Yehuda
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Ellis
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Shade_Jon wrote:
As you note, it's not a problem that there are weak and strong strategies, since the point is to gain the information about this. But they shouldn't be too obviously weak or too obviously strong.


Absolutely. The jewelery strategy was a really cool idea and it would be great if around the time a player got close to a full set he or she realized that a full set probably wasn't going to win. The problem is that the realization is fairly trivial -- once you know that Mermaid Inn is adding up to 95 points per card (with or without a set), the 50 per card you get for jewelery can't compete.

Quote:
On the other hand, you can't complain that too different strategies were too strong! That makes them both viable.


Yes and no. First off, I think it's preferable for a game like this to have more than two viable strategies -- if anyone pursuing ANY other strategies was essentially wasting their time, I think that's too narrow. Secondly, the Pirate Attack strategy won four out of five prizes despite sabotage in one category and possibly because of sabotage in another. (I don't know whether the top Pirate Attack in Beryl lost by a smaller margin than the negative attacks we put in.)

More seriously, Pirate Attack strikes me as a problem because it essentially breaks the spirit of the game as one of competing sets submitted by individual players. If someone plays seriously and develops two or more winning attempts (as I did), that's one thing. Each attempt must still win on its own. But the Pirate Attack trumps that. Given a proper understanding it virtually forces people to submit card sets (through teammates or bystanders) that make no attempt at winning but rather serve only to maximize (or minimize) the ultimate value of the successful Pirate Attack.

Put another way, if the numbers were tweaked and the game was run a second time, with people having better (but still not perfect) information, what would happen? I think almost every serious competitor would try to put together a Pirate Attack that looked at nothing but card numbers and would then try to support that by submitting set after set of losing Pirate Attacks (with positive values). Against that, the only possible alternative strategy would be a "straight" play backed up by a concerted effort to submit Pirate Attacks with a negative value in the gem of that play. Sure, the people (if any) making the "straight" plays would have a separate competition amongst themselves to see who put together the best score in a particular gem, but whether they were even up for contention would depend not on how good their strategy was or whether they figured out the age of Kelly McGee but whether they and their friends had been able to submit a larger set of negative Pirate Attacks than the other players had managed to submit positive ones.

Looking at Hornswaggle briefly, I think the problem there is not so much the strength of the strategy but two other things: its low interactivity and the obviousness of its strength. Doubling is about as strong an obvious mechanic as the game offered; doubling an entire set is clearly extremely powerful. Once someone has the clue card that tells them what Hornswaggle is, they have a rather straightforward game plan of maximizing their score while looking for someone who has a card that lets them ask for Hornswaggle -- and they have NO incentive to tell anyone what Hornswaggle does. The person who has a card that lets you ask for Hornswaggle, meanwhile, has no idea of the power of what they are holding -- unless someone mentions it to them, Hornswaggle is just one of many unknown terms floating around the game that you'd like to know about but are unlikely to focus on.

Contrast that with the Mermaid Inn mechanic, probably my favorite in the game. It's clear from the outset that it's powerful but not at all clear HOW powerful it is. (At one point I thought my Amethyst play would have 4-5 age bonuses; in the end I only had one.) It's highly-interactive because everyone with the cards knows that the puzzle is there to be solved and that they need information. Early on I saw people trading aggressively for these cards but also for clues about the ages. Once I had the solutions I was able to use the ages in trades for cards or information.

Quote:
The game, or something like it, will certainly be tweaked if it shows an appearance next time around.


I hope it does! Criticism aside, I'm really impressed with what you were able to put together and had a lot of fun playing and trying to work everything out over the course of the weekend.

Best,
Chad
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Yehuda Berlinger
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Again, all good points, and I agree that the game could have been that much better with even more viable victory conditions.

Your unique situation made it obvious to you that the game was "broken" in this way, but you had to gather that information first! Anyone else also gathering this information would have been in the same situation you were in. And then the game would still be a trading game to collect the best set of cards and forming teams to attack other players, which is exactly what happened.

The real strategy in the game was how much information you gathered and how you gathered the information.

Which is the beauty of the trading, negotiating, and auction mechanics, and why you see so many of them in Eurogames: perfect information about the game's components doesn't equal perfect victory. You need to combine forces and to have on-the-ball information about what's happening in the game, too.

Despite all this, of course the game would have been even better if the jewelery sets were worth +30 each instead of +10, and so on.

And maybe the pirate attacks should have been worth only +50 for each beaten opponent (of course, you could still submit fake opponent sets to boost the score, but that requires a lot of work). Only I really liked the negative pirate attack values because they provided an opportunity for teamwork and let you attack your opponents. I may dump the Pirate Attack mechanic in a future version since it so radically altered the nature of the game, and simply have more logic puzzles, which people really liked.

Or, of course, I could come up with something entirely new.

Thank you so much for your comments and playing!

The game now has a BGG entry: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/33074

Yehuda
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Chad Ellis
United States
Brookline
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think we're largely in agreement here, but I have to take issue with one pair of points:

Shade_Jon wrote:
Your unique situation made it obvious to you that the game was "broken" in this way, but you had to gather that information first! Anyone else also gathering this information would have been in the same situation you were in. And then the game would still be a trading game to collect the best set of cards and forming teams to attack other players, which is exactly what happened.


The sense that the Pirate Attack was broken arose after I'd only seen ten or so cards -- it didn't take a unique situation at all. If you have a set of mechanics that seem to cap out at "double one or more cards" and another mechanic says, "Probably steal multiple entire sets of values" it's clear that the latter is potentially dominant. Granted, there is still plenty of information gathering to be done at that point and it's telling that even after a lot of thought and having seen a lot of cards I still wasn't sure that Pirate Attacks would do as well as they did.

More seriously, I think it's understating the problem to say that the game remains a trading game to form sets and teams. Not only does the game become completely dominated by the struggle to see whether Pirate Attacks win each category (i.e. an alternative strategy cannot win unless it includes a massive anti-Pirate Attack effort), the outcome of that struggle comes down to volume more than information or any particular skill. Because it's much easier to put together three sets worth +/- 300 points each than one set worth +/- 900 points, the game would likely come down to who could assemble the largest card collection (and find enough bystanders to turn in sets) rather than doing anything particularly clever in assembling the sets.

In many ways this is all beside the point. I devoted a sizeable number of hours to the game over the weekend and, as a semi-professional Magic player and game publisher I've developed above-average skill at breaking games. Thus, the fact that I sort of figured out how to break a game designed for 600 players with the impossibility of playtesting is something I consider an amazing achievement on the part of the designer. That I point out what I consider to be technical flaws or breaks is because I can't help it...I'm a game design geek. The fundamental reality is that the game worked. It may have been breakable, but it was not, in fact, broken during the actual course of play. It held together and I doubt very much that anyone was highly confident of their victory before the results were announced.

Well done. I look forward to seeing what you come up with next year.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Zontziry Johnson
United States
Seattle
Washington
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Chad - just wanted to say thanks for teaching my husband and I both versions of Shape the first night at the con! My husband and I really enjoyed it - I especially enjoyed it, as I LOVE abstract games, and Shape totally fit that bill. Hill 218 also fit that bill - another awesome game. The terms confused me at first for where I could play cards, but after a couple games, it all started to click and I ended up beating my husband every time we played.

Hope to see Shape get published soon!
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.