Andreas Propst
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Fellow gamers and game designers!

With Biomechanical Dino Battles (www.biomechanicdinobattles.com) being well on its way to Kickstarter (August 2012), I have started to work on Biomechanic Dino Battles - The Customizable Card Game again!



The Customizable (not collectible!) Card Game version of the game actually came first. I designed it especially for the new online CCG platform www.kardfy.com. Encouraged by an Indian games company, I picked up the game again and am working on it again. I will put it on Kickstarter some time fourth quarter of this year.

Now I am looking for playtesters for Biomechanic Dino Battles: The CCG!

Maybe somebody would be interested to help me out in this endeavour. The only problem is that the prototype consists of over 350 cards that you would have to print and cut out etc. And all I can offer you in return would be a free copy of the finished game and your name in the credits. Please have a look at the rules and cards here:

http://ap.o-nan.org/2012/05/bdb-the-customizable-card-game-p...

(You'll also find the printer-friendly cards pdf...)

I would be more than glad if I could find some people to assist me with playtesting.

Thanks a lot in advance,

Yours,

Andi

P.S.:

Here a few card previews (top left: Dinosaur card, top middle: Upgrade card, top right: Action card, bottom: Combat Cards):

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Alberto Campos
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just download the material. i'm gonna print the cards this weekend and start play testing next week.
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Andreas Propst
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Wow! That was fast!! Thank you so much Alberto! laugh

I am pleasantly surprised that people actually are willing to go through the trouble of making a prototype of hundreds of cards...

Maybe we should get in touch via email. Do you have google mail?
Please contact me over geekmail!

Again many thanks in advance!

Cheers,

Andi
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Garry Rice
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What's the difference between the two games?
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Nate K
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garry_rice wrote:
What's the difference between the two games?


They take place in the same world and may use many of the same art assets, but one is a deckbuilding game a la Dominion or Nightfall while the other is a customizable card game akin to Magic: The Gathering or Call of Cthulhu: The Card Game. Different mechanics, different play styles.
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Nate K
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Oof. I just saw that playtesters have to manually fill in the stats with a pencil. While the makes perfectly good sense for playtesting, it's a wee bit more work than I can invest in someone else's game right now.

But the game still looks awesome!
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Andreas Propst
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Thanks for explaining Nate!

And no worries, I realize it is a huge effort to make a prototype for BDB the CCG. So no problem if it is too big a chore for you...
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Pierre Rebstock
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Had a quick look at the files/rules. I'm writing down my observations as they come to me, I am very likely to have missed some things. Take my comments (in no particular order) for what there are worth (probably not much )


1) I like the theme, a lot I think it's about as awesome as sharks with laser beams. I would buy that game just on theme alone Background (Terran emperor entertaining the masses with dino games) begs to be developed and incorporated in the game through cards.


2) As Nate said, the task of printing 126 cards x3 for 378 cards (probably twice that if you want each player to have their own complete card pool), cutting all of them and either sleeving or sticking on card and then still having to go through every single one of them adding stats feels just monstrous... My suggestion, cut down the number of unique cards and add the stats (it's fine making corrections on the fly even if stats are lready printed). Maybe remove 1-2 keywords (like poison or paralyse/stun) for the initial batch, that would make the game tighter and easier to playtest quickly for early detection of gameplay issues (if any). Once you got that solid base set, introduce new cards/concepts and see the impact on the existing structure. Again from a playtest PoV, cutting an additional 30 cards after making an initial set is a lot less daunting/time-consuming.


3) I feel a major Pokemon undercurrent, although not necessarily a bad thing, it feels very obvious: Paralyse mechanic, KO 3 dinos to win, "benched" dinos, Comp cards...
Don't get me wrong, there are major differences indeed but it just doesn't feel "right", I can't quite put my finger on it but I was reading cards and rules and all I could think about was "interesting Pokemon clone" when I should have been thinking "interesting original card game"


4) I believe you could do more with it than KO'ing three other dinos. I mean we're talking armored dinos with flamethrowers! surely they should be able to actually kill and mayhem each other, bit of blood and gore never hurts (unless your target audience is little kids... like Pokemon).


5) Rolling a dice for even/odd check is as interesting as flipping a coin.


6) The way the use of the initiative is described doesn't make me feel that it's very simultaneous, more like: i play my cards/ you play your cards / i attack you / you attack me / etc ... i suppose it is different from: i go through my turn (draw/play cards/attack/end) / you go through your turn.
Edit: My bad, Highest EVA attacks first. Still reading through Combat system. Point of "not really simultaneous" still stands though. I'd like to see a RPS-like system where players decide secretly what they will have their active dino do ... might lead to interesting strategic/bluff decisions. As it is, my dino stands there like a dummy waiting for the other dino to pound him into the ground, sure it can evade/defend but it also should be able to strike at its adversary too.
Edit2: Have re-read the combat section and understand better the use of the combat deck especially as cost to power attacks. My suggestion is to get rid of the combat cards altogether and add an icon (ATK/DEF/EVA) to all "normal" cards so players must choose to add to their combat deck or use the cards themselves. This should reduce the risk of players having bad draws and doing so also drops the number of cards to 100


7) Combat resolution feels very math-y and likely to bog the game down. Shame to slow down the part that should be exciting (dinos launching at each other, no time to count stuff ). You roll dice, add to value compare to opposing side, then subtract one from the other to determine damage. I could be wrong (especially without testing it further) but I'd try to shift towards a simpler or more exciting system. Can't think of anything specific at the moment but, assuming custom attack/defense dice (with hit/miss/shield) faces, something along the lines of "throw attack dice equal to ATK value and opposing throws defense dice equal to DEF value" shield cancels hit, rest = damage. What can i say, i like throwing heaps of dice


8) While we're on damage. Tracking damage looks like it's going to be a real pain, especially with the high HP dinos. Unless 1 damage = -5HP? Haven't looked at the stats in details but it feels to me that good old Brachiosaurus with 80HP (that's one big pile of damage counters) and 9 DEF is going to tank for a long while. Considering simple bare stats versus TRex (ATK 14) and unbelievable luck (always 1 for Brachi and always 6 for Trex), Brachi will "only" take 10 damage per turn/attack. But maybe that's perfectly fine.


That's it for now. Again take all this with a grain of salt. I'm sure you'll disagree with quite a few (if not all) points
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Robert Beachler
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PierreNZ wrote:
As Nate said, the task of printing 126 cards x3 for 378 cards (probably twice that if you want each player to have their own complete card pool), cutting all of them and either sleeving or sticking on card and then still having to go through every single one of them adding stats feels just monstrous... My suggestion, cut down the number of unique cards and add the stats (it's fine making corrections on the fly even if stats are lready printed). Maybe remove 1-2 keywords (like poison or paralyse/stun) for the initial batch, that would make the game tighter and easier to playtest quickly for early detection of gameplay issues (if any). Once you got that solid base set, introduce new cards/concepts and see the impact on the existing structure. Again from a playtest PoV, cutting an additional 30 cards after making an initial set is a lot less daunting/time-consuming.


This is the main reason I wouldn't playtest this. There are a lot of other games out there that I can help playtest that are more complete and will take less effort of my own.
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Andreas Propst
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Thanks for your very detailed first impressions and feedback on the rules Pierre!! Much appreciated! laugh I agree with you on most accounts.

My biggest issue is the "bookkeeping" of HP in the game. My friends and I usually took note of HP on a sheet of paper. It worked...

Nate, Pierre, Robert and others:

What if I made 2 "Starter Decks" with all the stats already filled in for you guys to download, print and play right away? That would be 130 cards (2 x 60 cards decks plus 2 x 5 initial combat cards). Anybody willing to try that out? If yes, please tell me and I will get at it asap and post the finished starter deck pdf here!

Thanks a lot so far you guys!!

Cheers,

Andi


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Nate K
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jilocasin wrote:

What if I made 2 "Starter Decks" with all the stats already filled in for you guys to download, print and play right away? That would be 130 cards (2 x 60 cards decks plus 2 x 5 initial combat cards). Anybody willing to try that out? If yes, please tell me and I will get at it asap and post the finished starter deck pdf here!

Thanks a lot so far you guys!!

Cheers,

Andi




Fantastic idea! It's probably a bit unreasonable to ask people to playtest every single card, but a couple of decks to finetune the mechanics? People would definitely do that.
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Andreas Propst
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I am at it right now! Expect the "Starter Decks" tomorrow at the latest! laugh
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Andreas Propst
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You asked for it, I provide it:

http://ap.o-nan.org/2012/05/bdb-the-customizable-card-game-p...

Scroll down to find two 65 card preconstructed decks: Herbivores vs Carnivores. Herbivores relies on high-DEF Dinos and direct damage in the form of Laser Guns and Rocket Launchers. Carnivores just pushes ATK to the max! laugh

Please note that these decks as they stand are entirely untested, so maybe they are totally imbalanced. My apologies in advance for that...

If anyone of you has a deck idea after browsing the card lists I posted I can make a pdf of any deck with stats filled in and everything for you to print and play...

Again, many thanks to all of you guys!

Cheers,

Andi
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Andreas Propst
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PierreNZ wrote:

8) While we're on damage. Tracking damage looks like it's going to be a real pain, especially with the high HP dinos. Unless 1 damage = -5HP? Haven't looked at the stats in details but it feels to me that good old Brachiosaurus with 80HP (that's one big pile of damage counters) and 9 DEF is going to tank for a long while. Considering simple bare stats versus TRex (ATK 14) and unbelievable luck (always 1 for Brachi and always 6 for Trex), Brachi will "only" take 10 damage per turn/attack. But maybe that's perfectly fine.


The "bookkeeping", that is keeping track of damage/HP, is actually the biggest issue I am having with the current rules for BDB CCG. In our initial playtests my friends and I just kept track of everything with pen and paper. They said they didn't mind it but to me it was tedious and interrupted the flow of the game. Please check out my recent blog posts where I am offering a couple of possible solutions for the issue:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blogpost/10363/ways-to-keep-tra...

Please have a look, post your ideas there if you have any and please subscribe to the blog if you are interested in the game! laugh
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Andreas Propst
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Thanks for your willingness to playtest Josephus!

I have updated the rules and preconstructed decks and will post about it on the blog: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/blog/771

@ everyone: Please let us discuss game mechanics there! Thanks!
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