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Subject: Gates of Eidolon rss

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Jocie Boettcher
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I have been working on a game now for over a decade. It is my baby and I have held it so close to my chest that no one knows everything about it except me and like 4 other people. But now I fear that as I close in to finishing up the prototype and betas and start towards the production of things, that I grow more and more afraid about the outcome. I love the game, I have loved it along the whole windy and twisted path it has taken from Pen and Paper to board based rp to a current system hybriding the Dm stylings of pen and paper with that of a card game (it now being a card based rp, with competitive options for all you pvpers). The races and game settings are unique, but I want to avoid the over generalized feel that some games gain due to a bland styling. I know that since i'm in wave 3 of the testing (I've tested it in every phase, and that is what has led it to it's current state). I also fear the upcoming actions of production and sales, as of this is the part I have no history in and I fear the mistakes that I could make that will hurt my "child" in it's development. I am willing to give more details of the game, but honestly when it comes to the full system, pretty much my close friends and my beta testers (which are more than 4, but they haven't seen everything yet at this point). I fear my fear is the biggest thing that will keep things from moving forward. Any suggestions? (and sorry about the block of txt)
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Nate K
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The more you tell people about the game, the more feedback you will get. The more feedback you get, the better the game will be.
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Eric Smith
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Jocielynn wrote:
I have been working on a game now for over a decade. It is my baby and I have held it so close to my chest that no one knows everything about it except me and like 4 other people. But now I fear that as I close in to finishing up the prototype and betas and start towards the production of things, that I grow more and more afraid about the outcome. I love the game, I have loved it along the whole windy and twisted path it has taken from Pen and Paper to board based rp to a current system hybriding the Dm stylings of pen and paper with that of a card game (it now being a card based rp, with competitive options for all you pvpers). The races and game settings are unique, but I want to avoid the over generalized feel that some games gain due to a bland styling. I know that since i'm in wave 3 of the testing (I've tested it in every phase, and that is what has led it to it's current state). I also fear the upcoming actions of production and sales, as of this is the part I have no history in and I fear the mistakes that I could make that will hurt my "child" in it's development. I am willing to give more details of the game, but honestly when it comes to the full system, pretty much my close friends and my beta testers (which are more than 4, but they haven't seen everything yet at this point). I fear my fear is the biggest thing that will keep things from moving forward. Any suggestions? (and sorry about the block of txt)


Hrmm...

Originality: Engaging story beats 5 eyed horse fiends from mars (almost every time). Cards + DM sounds like an excellent place for developing a great/unique world story that will attract players. I wouldn't worry here as this is an area where your single focus can shine. Great novels are written by individuals and not committee; great game play, I'm not so sure.

Fear: Do you consider your baby to be perfectly beautiful and immutable? If not, then maybe find a publisher to help with the bean counting so you can focus on mechanics, player engagement, and story. If so, then you'll probably have a harder time as its going to be a you+friends production.

Testing: I'm sure the forum denizens will echo in one resounding chorus... "More play testers".
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Jocie Boettcher
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Honestly I have roughly 2 dozen play testers in the wings, but before they are all in I want to make sure I am happy with things. But I do see what you are saying. I think the hardest part I am having right now is letting information out due to fear and fear alone.

Thank you for the great advice, The world story has been developing well, and I hope others find it enjoyable! I've been slowly letting info out slightly, but as Nate K said, I should be a little more free with the info so I can get some decent feedback. Thank you guys.

Gameplay has pretty much been me with 2 or 3 of my friends wrangling me in when I get too complex and mathy, though when it comes to the cards my inner circle of friends are going to help me because otherwise I will go crazy with numbers, which with balancing isn't good. The actual mechanics of the game have shown to be smooth and work well, but as I said, I haven't been able to get a large portion of the cards made yet, so I am still looking at how things can turn bad in the future.

I think the hardest thing I am facing is the art and design though, due to the fact I have problems conveying my thoughts to artists. Not due to fear, but because I have yet to sit down one on one and discuss things with them. I was waiting for the mechanics to be finished, or near so before I did. In otherwords, closer to my "wave 4" beta, which is the one with multiple play groups grouping towards 2 to 4 dozen people playing the games in 4 to 8 groups. I'm sure of the game, but in the end I fear my assurance the most I guess. Which can be a good thing or a bad thing depending.
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Jason Washburn
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You will never know if you do not put it out there.
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Jocie Boettcher
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Thank you, that is very true, and part of why I posted about it here, I knew if I got over the hump of mentioning it it'd force me to talk about it. It's sad that I needed to force myself to get over my fear, but what ever works. When I get home tonight I will post some of the details here so you all get an idea how the game goes.
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John "Omega" Williams
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Best question is. What do you want to do with the game?

Self publish? Sell to a publisher? free Print-n-Play?

As for fear of having the game stolen, etc. This is a very common new designer phobia and, as I say in so many of these threads. It is a useless fear. No one is interested in a WIP. It is the completed game on the shelves as it were that attracts attention. And then there is not a thing you can do about it. Ideas are just that. Ideas. They are plentifull and absolutely useless if unproven. Endless are the games that start off with a neet idea and then sputter and die out as the idea proves unworkable, unpopular, too expensive, etc.

You will desperately need more playtesters and they absolutely must not be friends or family.

Theres other threads on the processes.

So forge ahead. Explain what you are doing and what you need help with. Look at the hundreds of WIP threads here. Thats how you start.
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Sounds cool! I'm primarily an RPG-er and you've piqued my interest.

Honestly, this forum is full of people who will help make your game better if you give them the chance. But be prepared for criticism and welcome it, because that's an integral part of the making-the-game-better process.
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Jocie Boettcher
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Thank you Anna, and that is one thing I am hoping for. I don't fear criticism, it is being generic and dry I am worried about the most to be honest. And I am planning on posting stuff here, because I do know that this is a good place to go. I just have to trick/talk myself into it, it is how I am. But I don't mind. I love criticism (I used to be a musician, and that is how I always improved!)
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Jocielynn wrote:
Thank you Anna, and that is one thing I am hoping for. I don't fear criticism, it is being generic and dry I am worried about the most to be honest. And I am planning on posting stuff here, because I do know that this is a good place to go. I just have to trick/talk myself into it, it is how I am. But I don't mind. I love criticism (I used to be a musician, and that is how I always improved!)


Well I'm looking forward to seeing your "baby".

And I'm a musician too! I sing - (not professionally, although I have had some paid gigs) and find it very helpful to have others critique my performance.
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Jocie Boettcher
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Omega2064 wrote:
Best question is. What do you want to do with the game?

Self publish? Sell to a publisher? free Print-n-Play?

As for fear of having the game stolen, etc. This is a very common new designer phobia and, as I say in so many of these threads. It is a useless fear. No one is interested in a WIP. It is the completed game on the shelves as it were that attracts attention. And then there is not a thing you can do about it. Ideas are just that. Ideas. They are plentifull and absolutely useless if unproven. Endless are the games that start off with a neet idea and then sputter and die out as the idea proves unworkable, unpopular, too expensive, etc.

You will desperately need more playtesters and they absolutely must not be friends or family.

Theres other threads on the processes.

So forge ahead. Explain what you are doing and what you need help with. Look at the hundreds of WIP threads here. Thats how you start.


I have a variety of playtesters, A large number I have I have never met outside of the game. Though I am going to try and get more and more. I do need to run at least 2-4 play groups at a time beta wise to test some of the mechanics in the game, but I will go into that in a second, I just got home a short while ago so I am doing some internet clean up then I will post about the game!! Wish me courage! But in all seriousness, I am going to ask my friend who is an owner of a gaming company if he will produce the game, if not I probably will self publish (dread) but I already have a license (reason not even related, but it came full circle).

As I said, my biggest fear is that what doesn't seem generic or over complicated to me won't appear that way to another...I am mostly afraid of the rejection I can't lie. I know it will happen (I regular MTG forums, and poor rosewater is flamed like he invented the flu), so I know I can't avoid the bad comments, but it is the sincere generism I am scared of. But part of that is that I have been nursing this idea for about 14 years, so the closer I get the more scared I get. But I will get over it as I said. In a second I will post at least the basics, for you all.
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Jocie Boettcher
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Where would I put said forum Duncan? I am about to go do it and I want to make sure that I post it in the right place. And thank you for the reassuring words (I won't lie, I have felt very much like floyd from "the guild" lately). I think I am ready to talk about it to other people!
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Jocie Boettcher
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The rules are at the final stages, where mainly it is just a few tweaks here or there, a little clean up, and for the most part Top Down designs that should be finished on it before release. The only thing keeping from publishing right now is we need to complete the cards for GoE and get those things rolling, that and I want to send it through a rigorous testing. And I do agree, all games need to constantly go through testing. Twilight creations are the top of the list in this, but playing 40k in the past I remember the huge errata in that, and then the large MTG errata (i'm mainly looking at the creature errata after lor/sdm block). Testing I know is a must and a continual must. Plus it give me reasons to play the game myself, not that I need a reason, but I really love the mechanics! (and yes, I do know I need to get people outside of me and my group for testing )
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Jocie Boettcher
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Ok, I was typing the rules when I accidentally closed my web browser, so here is try number two.

I'm going to give a brief discription of Gates of Eidolon for everyone to see so that I can talk about it easier.

The basic idea is that your character sheet is defined by cards instead of paper (though you still have stats). These decks size are determined by level and the type of cards in them by class, race, and path. The characteristics of the play style are determined by class and path, defining what cards are in the deck and how they work. (Sorry if I am having a hard time portraying the idea, usually my roommate types things up, I tend to have a habit of over explaining.)

A player would start a session by setting out their race, class, equipment, and any "boon" cards they have, and their stats in front of them (we will use the example of a Sondai Arcanist using Imperial gear for this). The gear gives a variable on how the deck acts, for instance in our example, the Imperial Gear allows the player to set up their deck in the order they choose for the day, though imperial abilities tend to be one use per day abilities (representing ammo, potions, ect). This requires Imperial Path players to be more strategic. Them being an arcanist means that they are a spellcaster (each path has their own version of the three basic classes fighter, spellcaster, rogue), so most of the abilities will be acts of arcane study, as well as a special boon card representing the familiar. As they continue on their adventure, the player gains Imperial Marks, these allow the player to buy new cards to place in their deck, level permitting. Different paths abilities grant different styles, depending on how the path would act. Each player may have up to two paths, but must choose one for which equipment they use (this is their primary path). There are six in total (Imperial, Harbinger, Primal, Tribal, "Mental", and Techniark), and represent the major influences of the worlds factions. Races also have abilities, modifiers, and flaws they bring to the table as well as racial ability cards. These cards are to be packaged as "base character kits" and "base class kits" as well as a small randomized set for cards that don't fit the current characters/scenarios.

Dm's have their own deck that includes monsters and challenges that the player may face, obstacles that are in the way, and help that may appear. These don't represent everything that the character will see, just the things that might jump out at them or hinder them. The deck acts as an open hand for the Dm, not restricting them to an order or singular path. A Dm may use their character as well. This will act as a boss of sorts, but is allowed to do things in the backdrop without players knowing.

One thing I am excited about with this system is the ability for a player to level their character into a dm character, spending points to build an army or a domicile, creating a rich tapestry of who the character is and why they do what they do. The system also allows Dm vs Dm, or competitive group play, where two groups would go against each other, representing a siege, assassination attempts, or other fun scenarios. (dungeons will be released as well as scenarios and events plus there will be DM cards available via the blind sets)

Battle is done via bonuses, abilities, and D10 dice rolls. Dice rolls are D10 vs D10, the second representing the challenge (bonuses and abilities apply).

I wanted to give something for both the out of the box players (character/dm kits) and the collectible players (blind sets) and allow for a player to not only fall in love with their character, but allow that character to live and grow organically through the system.

The world has a rich history and mythology, with a unique setting that portrays a "light rays among a dark undertone" kind of setting.

sorry if I over explained, or didn't portray my idea really well, as I said, I tend to have my roommate explain better because he has a more simple way of describing it I tried to keep the number/rule explanation down to a minimum.

EDIT: Forgot to mention hand size, you keep 5 abilities in hand. I forgot what else I forgot to post, but if it comes up, I will remember.
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Jocie Boettcher
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Thank you duncan. As I said, the blind set was more for those that wanted off flavor cards, or "blue" cards (making a reference to the players out their who want their character more Risque) but then again, I do agree with the blind set not being in there, that was a suggestion from one of my friends who has seen the development from the beginning. I can do without it myself.

I do want the character/kit cards separate from the dm's kits for the sheer fact of I want players to love and keep their characters, and I for one would hate to give up my cards to someone who wouldn't return them...I know I am greedy like that. But I figured if I gave premade character kits and class kits to round the current campaign release setting out, it wouldn't cost too much for players. I do want to keep the cost down, I don't want it to become players with more money get better stuff.

But I do agree. The blind set was basically an add in for my friend, and an outlet to put things in such as the red light district assassin without "tainting" the main releases with more "adult (note, not pornographic)" material. But then again, I could just release a mini expansion a'la munchkin xmas expansions in the same like.

EDIT(as a funny side note, I actually play MTG, Yugioh, Pokemon, WoW TCG, Battletech, Star Wars CCG, Star Trek CCG, Redekai, and Vangaurd lol. I know a few of those are dead, but I won't take my decks apart just in case.)
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Jocie Boettcher
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I've thought of a few ways to expand, and I was thinking of a big box style for those who just wanted the whole thing. The basic idea I was thinking was 2 scenarios (the smallest kind of settings), 1 event (the more drawn out medium length thing) and a full sized dungeon, all following a theme for the year (for instance, release would be an urban setting). I was thinking the smaller (and mind you cheaper if I have my way) releases would allow the player to develop towards their own dungeon or campaign style without having to buy everything (for instance if they wanted a larger focus on the market, they could repurchase the market again, or just use the market if their character was to want to take over a market square kind of area via story). Though I would make a large format that would have the whole thing (at a slightly better price per, so to reward the dm for buying the big box).

Characters themselves would be fully playable out of the pack, and levelable to roughly 20-30. There would be choices the player could make out of box, so they didn't have to just keep to a rail roaded feel from it being prepackage. The class kits actually would be good for multiple players to pitch in for, allowing them the cards needed. How the system works, each of the Paths have their own version of the three classes, many abilities fit in 2 or 3 of them, some in all and some in 1 or 2. For instance, a fighter class pack would have extra cards for fighters of all forms, be it warrior (imperial), Barbarian (primal), Soldier (techniark), Monk ("mental"), Conqueror (harbinger), or Defender (tribal). Plus new equipment for warriors only and other fun stuff that fit with the class.

An annual complete set would be a fun way to get people to go in as a group though and wouldn't be out of the question, but I would still want to keep individual sets for stingy gamers who just want their gear and set up.
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Jocie Boettcher
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Thank you, and I think this conversation really helped me figure out my distribution. The smaller sets are all a set number, non random. The only thing random was going to be the blind set, but as said, it might just be easier as a mini mini expansion.
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John "Omega" Williams
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I have to agree that CCG is not the way to go anymore. More companies are moving away from the format. Retailers are getting more and more resistant to taking them for sale. In fact the very first CCG I worked on went non-CCG recently and one other looks to be doing the same.

Something to keep in mind for an art intensive game. If you arent the artist or have one on hand very cheap or free, then expect the art side to be potentially costly if you go self published. If you are looking to sell to a publisher then totally forget art. Most do their own.

As for getting a BGG entry for the game. Take note that the rules state you cannot submit WIP works. The game must be close to completion if not complete allready.

As for criticizm and views. Worst thats going to happen is I tell you its been done before. I allmost certainly will. :robot: Then I'll tell you to keep going as the fact a theme or such has been tried before is no reason not to try your own approach. Card game RPG? Been done 3.5 times at least. Each was very different from the others.

Will people pick apart your rules? Probably. Thats the whole point of getting feedback. Strangers will see issues where you might have overlooked because it seems obvious this and this do this. When it isnt.



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Jocie Boettcher
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I do agree, honestly the blind set was something a friend of mine was asking for, and I probably will scrap it. I really want the game as available to people as possible. As far as it's been done before, I'd figure. It's all been done before, so I have no worry there. I only worry if it is likeable in my mind. The setting and story itself I have taking great care on and really put a lot of love into (I am a firm believer in top down design).

As for the artist(s), even if I get the publishing company I want (thus not self publishing), I know the owner and he will probably want me to get my own artists. This is fine, I actually have one that I have been talking to whom I can get for pretty cheap. I really hope to gather three artists, so I can have one for living figures, one for landscapes, and one for inanimate objects, but that would be in a perfect world.

As for people picking apart the rules, constructive criticisms are always welcomed to me, it is how we grow!

The thing I think that makes the game truly wonderful I think, is how the thematic setting, the world, and the mechanics blend together and gives you a feel for the world of Eidolon. And I think that is a hugely important part. I have been trying to post things about the world (mainly races recently) on the facebook for Gates of Eidolon, just recently realizing my spelling and grammar is horrible in some of the older posts...That was an embarrassing realization...Ok, it was like 2 or 3 mistakes, but the mistakes nagged on me.
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Eric Smith
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Under "My Geek", select Blogs and set up a "Gates of Eidolon" Blog and link to it from this thread.

In terms of game bits, can you tell us if the game feels like any other? Munchkin-like in that youv'e got your character layed out in a tableau in front of yourself? MtG-like in that your character is a pre-constructed deck?
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Jocie Boettcher
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Ok, will do.

as for how the game feels, I am going to have to get back to you with that, I really haven't came up with a great way to describe it via other games. I had a friend describe it as like "warlords" but I have never played that game so I couldn't affirm or deter that comparison. The cards that stay on the field start the gaming session on the field, more like a character sheet. Your hand and the deck pretty much represent the regularity and behavior of your non basic actions you can take.

If I come up with a good comparison, I will definitely give it for ya.
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Jocielynn wrote:
As for the artist(s), even if I get the publishing company I want (thus not self publishing), I know the owner and he will probably want me to get my own artists. This is fine, I actually have one that I have been talking to whom I can get for pretty cheap. I really hope to gather three artists, so I can have one for living figures, one for landscapes, and one for inanimate objects, but that would be in a perfect world.


Normally publishers foot the bill for the art, editing, etc. That is not the designers job unless they are buying a game 100% complete and ready to go to print. Which is not often.
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James Hutchings
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Jocielynn wrote:
I have been working on a game now for over a decade. It is my baby and I have held it so close to my chest that no one knows everything about it except me and like 4 other people. But now I fear that as I close in to finishing up the prototype and betas and start towards the production of things...


I think most people would strongly advise you not to move to production until you've had it more widely tested than you seem to have done.
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Jocie Boettcher
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I agree, I still have a large test period I want to go through. When I go through saying I want to get it made, I mean it probably wouldn't be for another year or two at least. I have a lgs that is actually going to hold open beta's for me (the store is actually an hour or so away, so I know no one there except the workers) and I have a few closed and open groups in which they are bringing their own gaming groups. My 4 dozen goal jumped to much more after the good news this weekend about the lgs letting me run some beta's there. The one in my town wouldn't allow it because they focus on magic/yugioh/pokemon and want nothing to do with any other game if they can help it, the store I had talked to are all about the full gamer experience and were actually excited about me asking.
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James Hutchings
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Sounds good. You could also post the rules to boardgamegeek, and at least get 'proof-reading' type feedback.
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