Jeff Saamanen
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Hello BGG & Friends! (sounds like an awesome cartoon show *grins*)

My Name is Jeff Saamanen and I am striving to break into the game design & development industry with my first game Pirates Haven.



This game has been a passion of mine and a one man show, from the design, game mechanics, web site, promotional material, online game design and art are all created by myself.

Let me offer up a bit about the game first:

Pirates Haven is an action adventure board game, with deck building, exploration, player-vs-player and battling components.

Choose your ship, crew, Captain and first mate, then set out on the seas and skies of Haven. Become a Bounty Hunter, Treasure Hunter, Raider or Smuggler, attack the other players for the spoils.

The concept behind our game is that of telling a story, until you become a legacy that is passed on from generation to generation.

You will complete adventures, take on other players, explore and overcome the perils of Haven to earn story ranks. As you rise in story rank you will become more powerful, starting at a Whisper, becoming a Tale, a Legend, then finally a Legacy! But beware, as you grow in power so will the world of Haven.

I would love some feedback and you can learn more about the game on the website and see much of the games art and cards over on the facebook page.

http://pirateshavengame.com
http://facebook.com/PiratesHavenGame

The game is currently in Beta testing and we have been play testing it extensively to ensure a fun and engaging game.

But what I really need is support. I do not have a big name backing me or a publisher pushing out copies of my game, or even a budget for advertising and promotion. All I have is word of mouth and a few dollars here or there for spreading the word.

This is where The BGG community comes in. If you think my game looks good, if you have read over at my development blog and want to watch the game change and grow during our play testing, if you want to help make this game a success, all I ask is you tell your gaming group and friends about it! Get them to check out or even like our facebook page, follow me and my development on twitter or on my main site, anything helps.

Feel free to leave some feedback on the website, facebook page or even here on my blog on BGG.

I appreciate you taking the time to read this and I hope I can one day PROUDLY put a BGG listing for Pirates Haven up after its official release!

Cheers
-Jeff
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Liam
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Moved to Board Game Design.
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Jeff Saamanen
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Ok thanks sorry about that!
 
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Filip W.
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Linköping
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Hey Jeff,

initial thoughts:

1. Looks good. That's big in terms of saleability. I especially like the color palette you've used, fits the theme to a T.

2. There's not enough about the game to make me able to decide if I might like it or not. And since there are a lot of games that do post lots of content about the game itself (card images, rules, closeups of the components etc.) then I'm likely to simply discard anything that doesn't give me that level of service (i.e. "if the game is so great, why can't I see it?").

Most of all I'd like to see the rules and/or a game play sample (could be written).

3. There are no endorsements. Take a look at what Story Realms did, with getting endorsements from reviewers before launching a Kickstarter Campaign. I know the tastes of various big name reviewers and how they compare to my own so I can form an opinion without having the ability to test the game.

4. Get a BGG entry for the game right away. That's the best advice I can give as it will give you a place where you can divulge information and answer questions.

5. Flying ships? If the ships can fly, why sail them at all? Is this a pirate game or a fantasy game (both have their advantages, but if it's touted as a pirate game it makes me think of Sid Meyer's Priates or Pirates CCG and it will turn out completely wrong with a fantasy theme if I'm expecting a pirate theme).

Good Luck and great designing!
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Chris Leigh
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Leighton Buzzard
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Looks good, your clearly very talented in the art dept. The crux of the game lies in how fun it is, which your overview doesnt really capture.

Personally I'd let people print and play and get their feedback, after which you could tweak it further, the flying ships does seem a little out of character.

Finally I'm a big fan of looking what was done before, have you played Merchants and Marauders? This is a fantastic game in a similar vein and you can see how other designers have taken the same concept. Pirates Cove is another game in a similar vein, even Bucanneer is the same theme and worth a play through.

Good luck, if you ever want someone to help you set up, I'd be interested

 
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James Hutchings
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I'd consider rewriting some of your promotion material.

For example the website's title says the game is a "deck-building board game set in the Steam-punk world of Haven".

But the blurb you posted here talks about deck-building as one component among several, and doesn't say anything about steampunk.
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Jeff Saamanen
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filwi wrote:
Hey Jeff,

initial thoughts:

1. Looks good. That's big in terms of saleability. I especially like the color palette you've used, fits the theme to a T.

2. There's not enough about the game to make me able to decide if I might like it or not. And since there are a lot of games that do post lots of content about the game itself (card images, rules, closeups of the components etc.) then I'm likely to simply discard anything that doesn't give me that level of service (i.e. "if the game is so great, why can't I see it?").

Most of all I'd like to see the rules and/or a game play sample (could be written).

3. There are no endorsements. Take a look at what Story Realms did, with getting endorsements from reviewers before launching a Kickstarter Campaign. I know the tastes of various big name reviewers and how they compare to my own so I can form an opinion without having the ability to test the game.

4. Get a BGG entry for the game right away. That's the best advice I can give as it will give you a place where you can divulge information and answer questions.

5. Flying ships? If the ships can fly, why sail them at all? Is this a pirate game or a fantasy game (both have their advantages, but if it's touted as a pirate game it makes me think of Sid Meyer's Priates or Pirates CCG and it will turn out completely wrong with a fantasy theme if I'm expecting a pirate theme).

Good Luck and great designing!




Thanks for the feed back Filip W.

As for learning more about the game try reading my Blog:
http://pirateshavengame.com/pirates-haven-blog/

There you can see Artwork, the prototype, and follow my journey of creating a well rounded and enjoyable experience.

You can also see a ton of art and images of the game on the facebook page in my albums :
https://www.facebook.com/PiratesHavenGame/photos_stream

As for the Flying ships aspect, yes it is a Fantasy setting The story of Haven and the world will be explained in the rule book and through my site as I near releasing it. But here is a little teaser:

"The World of Haven was once a grand unified planet under one banner, but “The Great Shift” caused the continents to break apart. The planets gravity was fractured in space and time, sending the pieces of each continent to the edge of the skies. Development of technology to hold the continents in place and great Airships for the royal navy to try and keep order and trade among the newly formed nations became necessity. "

On the sides of main game board are great waterfalls for the main map, the expansions will introduce open sky leading to more floating islands, with new ports and places of interest to visit. More details coming soon.

As for your comment on endorsements, my only issue is i don't even have the money to send a copy of the game to anyone, yet alone get them printed, which makes it tough for a reviewer to get a hold of the game to try out. I don't really know how to solve this issue as i am by no means rolling in the dough to make it happen, living day by day like most everyone I know. But Might you suggest some reviewers i could contact that carry weight in your personal opinions?

I really appreciate you taking the tie to lend your advice! thanks again!
 
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Jeff Saamanen
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Thanks Chris! I have actually player Buccaneer and Merchants and Marauders, both similar in style but not in play to Pirates Haven. I would say Pirates Haven Is similar to a mix of Munchkin and Heroes Quest with hints of Catan.

As for the print and play idea. I had considered it but the print costs are significantly expensive as there are lots of cards, the board is fairly large. So i find my self wondering who would take the tie and effort to do so. However i know that's not an excuse to put it out, so after the new rules for version 4.0 are written up and the card changes and board changes made i will be packaging one together.

Thanks for the Two-Cent's!
 
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Jeff Saamanen
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Hey James! thanks for chiming in!

A lot of this is subject to change drastically over the next few months. I am still in testing, and I am working out all the games details before hand and expect a shift in a lot of this. I will also be redoing the sites content to match the final product in the end.

 
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Eric Ruhland
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Hi Jeff,
As was said earlier what you've presented on your website looks very interesting. I love the look and the theme you've presented and if the gameplay reflects the description you offer it sounds like a lot of fun but unfortunately without more to go on my interest dies very quickly. You need to post the rule book as well as card examples so that interested people can get a sense of the gameplay.
Also, a few minor criticisms.
First, the name of your game doesn't make any sense, grammatically or otherwise. Before reading into the backstory people will think you've made a mistake and should have called it either "Pirate's Haven" or possibly "Pirates' Haven". Having read into use back story we realize it makes even less sense since Haven is the name of the world so it is the equivalent of calling it "Buccaneers Earth" which really doesn't mean anything. Possibly it could be "Pirates of Haven"?
Second, I advise against using wooden dice. They're just crap and while I appreciate the thematic reasoning behind the choice in the long run your customers will be glad of your choice to use high quality dice.
Just my rambling thoughts so take them how you will.
In the big picture I'm intrigued by what you've shown me and wish there was more so that I could get a better picture of what you're doing. Take that as a good thing and give us more.
Good luck.
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Jeff Saamanen
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Thanks Eric! Did you have a chance to see the cards, player mats and map images on the Facebook page? As for rules I have not posted anything because they are still being changed and developed through our closed beta, As soon as I have a solid rule book that is concise and easy to understand I will have a section of the site dedicated to it!

I am seeing however quite a bit of confusion / suggestions about the name, and I myself have wondered about this. So I expect that the next prototype I will be changing the name up to reflect the steampunk airship game world.

I appreciate the feedback , and will take all of the comments here into consideration for the next iteration of PH!

Keep em coming! you guys have all really helped so far!
 
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