<![CDATA[Reindeer Games - Blog]]>Thu, 11 Feb 2016 15:08:17 -0800Weebly<![CDATA[The Kickstarter is Live!]]>Thu, 11 Feb 2016 22:24:54 GMThttp://jonathanbouthilet.weebly.com/blog/the-kickstarter-is-live
The Kickstarter for Siege of Sunfall is live! Check it out here. We are about 70% of the way there already in the first 48 hours. So excited for this; it's had great reviews so far and a lot support.
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Speaking of Game Crafter Contest winners, I'm also working on another game for their latest contest. The contest is to design a game that has a learning objective. Right now the game is called Impeachment and the object of the game is to figure out which president the other players are and to impeach them. If yourguess is correct, then they are eliminated and they draw a new card. The first player to eliminate 3 presidents wins.

The setup and components for the game are real simple. There are President Cards and Player Cards. Each player has one Player Card with a president on it. The President cards are dealt out into a 4x4 grid into the middle of the table. Each player will be one of the listed presidents. There is a body guard meeple that is placed onto the grid to protect the president it is currently on. Each player also takes two veto tokens.

A player has 4 actions to take on his turn. He can Impeach a president that he is next to, provided the bodyguard isn't on the accused. He can swap any two adjacent president cards, provided the bodyguard isn't on one of them. He can ask another player a yes or no question to determine which president another player is. The player being questioned can use a Veto token to not have to answer the question. The final action a player can take is to move the bodyguard. 

If a player is impeached and his president is removed, then he just grabs another card and continues to play. The game will end once one player has impeached  and removed 3 presidents.

It's not a complex game, but it is fun. It will also help players learn about their presidents. Look for a print and play and some more information on it soon. I want some more feedback.

The other game I forgot to mention I am working on is Capricorn Down. It was meant for the survival contest the Game Crafter was doing. I ran out of time, so I never got to submit it. The concept is all the players landed on Mars and are running out of oxygen. They can choose to work together or by themselves, but the goal is to get to safety.

Players search the crash site for parts to build devices to escape while doing their best to conserve oxygen. They can build escape vehicles that can hold more than one player or build one that will hold just one. Players can fight over parts, but have to be careful not to tear their suits. 

Because everyone is a scientist, players are able to make different devices with the different scrap they find. Some things might help them move faster. Some might help them breath better. Build the right devices, make some friends and find a way home. 

I never was able to play test it, but I have a print of it and want to try it out. I think it could work okay. I'm not too sure how well the shared victory thing works or if people enjoy that. The game would allow for anyone to make it home to win. I could add points to help create a solo winner. Let me know what you think.

Don't forget to check out Siege of Sunfall on Kickstarter.

-Jonny
Play games. Always.


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<![CDATA[It's been too long]]>Sun, 07 Feb 2016 19:07:35 GMThttp://jonathanbouthilet.weebly.com/blog/its-been-too-longPicture

It's been way too long since my last post, but I've been super busy. Between buying a new house and getting it ready for the baby on the way, I haven't had much time to work on games. Going back to school and starting a new job hasn't really made things easier too.

Last weekend was the first Protospiel Minnesota, and I was super excited about it. I was able to get there Friday night after work and got to play test one of my games and several of other people's. Unfortunately, I had some plumbing issues the rest of the weekend and couldn't make it back up to the event. I didn't get to play test any of the games I had hoped to try out. The plumbing also ate away the time I was going to put towards entering the Cardboard Edison game contest. House issues are a pain.

Other than those issues, things have been going great. Siege of Sunfall looks amazing and is all set to launch the Kickstarter next week on February 9th. I'm super excited about it. There is already a review from Father Geek which can be found here. I can't wait to see more reviews. Don't forget to become a fan on the Board Game Geek page. I should have a couple of interviews being released sometime soon with the game as well so watch out for those.

The game I got to play test at Protospiel was Pass The Salt. It's a newer idea that was just handwritten cards with no art, which is not a good way to attract people. I got some great feedback about the game. It was meant for the take-that contest the Game Crafter had a few months back. It's a simple game with not a lot of strategy. I think it's decent so far and needs to have some tweaks but could be a simple card game that could help children learn some math while playing. I just need some decent artwork and a Salt Meeple and it will be all set after a few rules changes.

The other game I'm working on is Catch Diego. I'm super excited about this one. Players are old west bounties hunters trying to collect bounties. They can capture the bounties Dead or Alive, but earn more if they follow the poster. The tracking element in the game adds to the theme. There is a little memory element while players are trying to find where the bounties they are looking for are. Tracking the bad guys isn't always an easy task. 

The last time I was able to play test was at the last Protospiel in Madison. I made some nice changes to the game and helped the pacing a lot. Before the game got bogged down and there were some lack of actions on turns. The trick I learned about games where you get hands of not wanting to do anything is to make cards do multiple things. It's never fun to draw a hand of cards and have nothing to play. By having simple multi-purpose cards, you can help alleviate this issue.

I haven't done much with Meltdown! either. Meltdown is the dexterity based co-op where players are working together to shutdown a nuclear reactor. Players do their turns while stacking cubes each round. If their stack of cubes ever falls, the game ends because the nuclear went into meltdown. I need to do some tweaks still. I got some feedback from the last Protospiel but haven't been able to play since. 

That's pretty much it for now. I hope to get some play testing done for those three games and possibly make some more. Don't forget to back the Kickstarter for Siege of Fall starting February 9th! 

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<![CDATA[I'm getting my game published!]]>Thu, 24 Sep 2015 18:12:54 GMThttp://jonathanbouthilet.weebly.com/blog/im-getting-my-game-publishedPicture
I am so excited right now. I just signed Siege of Sunfall with Grey Gnome Games. It sounds like we are looking at trying to get it on Kickstarter next Spring. I'm still waiting to hear on what place I get in The Game Crafter Contest. So far, it's the highest rated of the finalists. I'm not sure if that's what they are using to say who the winner is though. Either way, I think entering it in the contest helped the exposure and helped with getting the game signed.

I started the game for the contest and brought it to Protospiel. I wanted to get some feedback about the game and to get some exposure on it to hopefully get more votes in the contest if people enjoyed it. I got great feedback and a lot of people enjoyed the game. It didn't have much for art but the mechanics were working well enough for it to be enjoyable. I made some changes at Protospiel and left with a better game. Jason from Grey Gnome had play tested it and liked it enough to eventually approach me about it. After the event I added slightly better art and entered it into the contest. I only used free art I found and modified it to look a little better. It wasn't great but it added a little more to the game.

I made it through the first round of voting and was able to be a semi-finalist. I landed in the middle of the pack with only 40 points for votes. I was just happy to see people besides me had voted for it. It wasn't  lot of votes but it was enough to get me into the semi-finals.

It looks like Gamer's Remorse went through all the games that made it through to the semi-finals. It looks like they judged the rules and the artwork on the page but not the page itself. I think this helped me because I didn't do a great job with the page. I thought my rules were lacking a little flavor but fortunately the game sounded good enough to get their attention. 

I was 6th out the 7 finalists. They called my game a "diamond in the rough." I was flattered with that comment. I knew it was enjoyable but was pretty rough looking.  I liked the look and the rules of the other games and was happy and surprised to have made it to the finals. I saw that the top 5 games were going to be reviewed so I was just hoping to land high enough to get a review done.

Slowly, Gamer's Remorse was releasing videos of the finalist. I was constantly looking to see if my game had been reviewed and counted how many were left to go. Finally, I saw it. My game was shown on their page with a link to the review. I immediately watched it and then watched it again. It was my first review.  I nervously waited until the  score popped up. I get an 8/10. I was ecstatic. That score sounded good enough to me. I thought they did an excellent job of explaining the rules too. I was going to incorporate their explanation into my written rules for how simply they explained it. I was nervous maybe I didn't write the rules clear enough and it might be played wrong. They played it correctly and it sounded like they enjoyed it.

While anxiously waiting to hear who the winner of the contest was, I got a Facebook message from Jason at Grey Gnome Games asking what my plans were for the game. I explained that I was just trying to make fun games and had plans of finding a publisher or possible self publishing it. He asked for a prototype and I sent one on its way. A few days later after he had time to look it over he sent me an offer to publish the game. This is where I screamed like a little girl at a Justin Bieber concert. My first opportunity to get a game published! I had a conversation about the contract and made sure of how things would work and then signed it. He sent over some art for a new prototype which looked a thousand times better than the art I had. I signed the game and less than a day later it had much better art; I could have fainted like a gussied up Southern Belle from the excitement. 

I decided to go with Grey Gnome Games because I liked their previous games and it looked like they have a great track record with the games they sign. Jason was very open and seems easy to work with. I think he is just as enthusiastic about making this game as I am. I am happy to be working with Grey Gnome Games.

I was fortunate enough to not have to pitch a game to a publisher. I think taking my game out and play testing definitely helped getting it exposed. It also helps with networking and getting to meet people and publishers who would want to play it. The feedback is great too and helps shape a game from good to great. I would suggest any play testing conventions to any other designers out there.  The more people you know and the more people who have played your game, the better. 

Watch for the Kickstarter of Siege of Sunfall next Spring!

If you have any questions about my experience or anything else, you can reach me by email, Twitter, a comment here or on Facebook. 

-Jonny
Play games. Always.

P.S. Still waiting to hear who the winners are of The Game Crafter Contest.

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<![CDATA[Much Needed Update]]>Thu, 03 Sep 2015 17:36:25 GMThttp://jonathanbouthilet.weebly.com/blog/much-needed-updateIt's been too long since my last update. I've been busy lately with changing jobs and going back to school. Hopefully, I can still keep up with this. My last update was about the print and play of Siege of Sunfall. Sounds like some people are having fun with it. I found out that it is now a finalist in The Game Crafter's contest. I had my first review of a game as well:
Super excited about it. It sounds like people are enjoying it. I want to get some better art for it and polish it up a bit more though. I bought some more of the metal coins for it, so if anyone wants to try a nicer version, let me know.

I hopefully submitted Meltdown! in time for the Greater Than Games dexterity contest. It was the game I brought to Unpub 5 and had some great feedback. I added a little more to it and brought it to Protospiel where people still had fun with it. Hopefully it is good enough to make it to the second round of prototype entries. The game doesn't look the best yet (I need to work on my art) but it does play nice and has a lot of tension. Still working on, but I think it can be a great co-op. You just have to like the dexterity element with it.

I am also rushing 2 games to get them entered into the Take That contest on The Game Crafter. So many contests are going on right now. The first game I want to enter is a revamped Catch Diego. Players will work as bounty hunters to catch criminals dead or alive. The players want all the fame and money for themselves though so they will try and stop other players from taking their bounties. Super excited about the changes I made and now have a working game that is a lot of fun. Don't forget to vote for it once it goes up!

The next game is one I don't have a name for yet. It's more of an abstract game. Players are trying to play cards into their 2 piles and have the most at the end of a round. The player with the highest score in their lowest scoring pile wins that round. Players are playing cards on their own piles as well as their opponents. It sounds pretty boring, but it plays much better. Hopefully, at least one of the 2 can make it to the finals.

Another contest was just announced too with a Survival theme. I don't have anything going for it yet, but hope to get something soon. I was trying to work on something for my player elimination entry with that type of theme, but nothing worked out. I might go back and take a look at it again.

That's pretty much all I've been working on so far. In the process of trying to move right now to so a lot of prototype materials are packed away which makes it a little harder too. Hopefully I can get my 2 games polished up and tested before the deadline on Tuesday. Even if I can't I think I will continue making them and see where they go. Also, tonight the Unpub 6 tickets go on sale. Super excited to try and go again. It was a blast last time and I'm sure next year will be even better.

If you ever want a prototype of one of my games to play test, send me an email or comment.

-Jonny
Play games. Always.




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<![CDATA[Siege of Sunfall Print and Play]]>Fri, 08 May 2015 17:49:37 GMThttp://jonathanbouthilet.weebly.com/blog/siege-of-sunfall-print-and-play Picture
Siege of Sunfall Print and Play Color

Cut out the cards below. The last page of cards are card backs if you want to use them. The last two pages are the Armies and Coins. You can use different items to represent these instead of cutting them out. If you want a version that uses less ink, you can get it below.

If you have any questions or feedback for the game email reindeergamesllc@gmail.com or tweet @jonnyboardgames. The rules are still being edited so if you find any mistakes or have any recommendations let me know. I am also in the process of making a how to play video if the rules are unclear.


Siege of Sunfall Print and Play B/W

In order to be able to play Siege of Sunfall you will need to get tokens to use as coins as well as tokens to represent armies. Cut out the cards below. The last page is for card backs if you want to use them. This version is meant to save on printing. If you want a more detailed version, you can download it below.

If you have any questions or feedback for the game email reindeergamesllc@gmail.com or tweet @jonnyboardgames.



siege_of_sunfall_pnp.pdf
File Size: 753 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

siege_of_sunfall_rules.pdf
File Size: 117 kb
File Type: pdf
Download File

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<![CDATA[Letting the Idea Go]]>Fri, 24 Apr 2015 20:06:40 GMThttp://jonathanbouthilet.weebly.com/blog/letting-the-idea-goPicture
Last time I was talking about how designing bad games isn't a bad thing. It's practice that helps you get better and helps you generate more ideas. I have one game that I think works just fine, but it's simply not fun. There isn't something special about the game that makes me want to play again.

The game was one where players are trying to flip over their opponent's cards. When all of an opponent's cards are revealed they are eliminated. I've gone through several iterations of the game and picked it up again to see if I could get something that could work for the contest on The Game Crafter. After picking it up again, I've realized it just isn't anything fun. I tried to add player powers. I tried changing how the players interact with each other. It all just falls flat. It works okay but there isn't the "haha I got you"moment I wanted. There isn't as much tension when flipping the card as I wanted. There is some but it's more of a "what's this card" not a "don't be mine, don't be mine, don't be mine" thought when doing it.

The game play was simply that each player had 3 gems they didn't want revealed. There were also spell cards and nothing cards. Each player had a card in hand they would trade. There was a grid of face down cards in the middle. On a player's turn he would flip a card in the middle, peek at a card, and then swap his card in hand for one in the middle. If he flipped a gem, then that opponent was one step closer to defeat. Flipping a spell caused it to activate. Some of these were looking at cards, flipping cards face down again, swapping cards, etc. 

I tried changing the game so that each player was a certain wizard that would be able to do something extra with each spell card. I changed the spells to be more thematic. It played a little different but still felt like something was missing. I really wanted to have an 80s style fantasy art. I hoped during the process something else would click and fun would get injected into the game. This was not the case.

I am just letting this game go. It works but it's just not fun. There is not a lot of strategy and it just boils down to who can flip the random cards best.  There might be a time when a mechanic or the theme comes back, but I'm done with this game as a whole. 

It was a good exercise in the design. I wrote about before on how far to take a game that you know wasn't the greatest. This was one of those games and it was time for it to be let go. I've had some other ideas that I had to let go a little sooner. They had mechanics I just couldn't see working on the table. I never made a prototype for them either.


The name of the game was Saucy Jack and one player would be Jack the Ripper. The other players were working to catch Jack while he was still carrying out his dirty deeds. The game would start by getting Jack a special set of cards that were different than everyone else; however, I wanted it so that no one knew who Jack was. This was tricky to give someone a special deck without anyone knowing. I think I came up with a solution that works for it. I tested the dealing mechanic and it worked but I didn't go much further with it because of other problems with the game.

You have to figure who Jack is by collecting clues about his attributes. There were 4 attributes each character had. There was some variety in those 4 attributes, but what would happen is that one character would have a unique attribute. That would cause a player to know who someone was after seeing just 1 card and that was a problem. I thought about increasing the amount of attributes but there was always a small amount of cards needed to guess because of the 1 unique attribute.

 I’ve realized that this was the wrong way to do a deduction game. Most other games have it where you figure out the missing card.  This is a much better way of doing it. You need to see almost all the clues in order to determine what is missing. Now you would need to see 3 cards out of 4 instead of 1 out of 4. I haven’t taken the game to a prototype stage yet though. I’m still working through some other games first and want to get them out first. I think I have a different variation on how to do the theme also.

All the players would move around the board and visit places. They would place cards at different location and when a location had enough cards they would be revealed. If there were enough Jack cards there then there was another murder. Players would need to figure out who was there and try to figure out who Jack is based on where the murder occurred and where the other players were. Jack would then want to try and make it look like another player is the one committing the murders. The game would end after so many murders or if Jack had been caught. I think the non-Jack people would get 2 guesses and after the 2nd guess they would lose. There would be some penalty after the first guess too.

I’m not sure which game would work better. They both might end up in different mechanics, but I really want to do a game with that theme and call it Saucy Jack. The core game would be identifying Jack with the secondary part of catching him. White Chapel is a fun game; I just think it might add some more fun and change it a little more to need to figure out who Jack is.

Final Thoughts
The main point of this was to say that you need to be able to let ideas go. Some ideas just won’t work and there is no point in wasting too much time on them. Let them be an exercise, but then be able to let them go if nothing good is coming out. At the same time, don’t completely forget about the idea. Someday you will think of a new idea about that old game that wasn’t working. You’ll start working on it and after a while you’ll realize it’s not any better than what it was before. That’s okay though. The mistakes you make while designing the broken and unfun games will teach about what doesn’t work and hopefully moves you one step closer to making your perfect game.

I lost half of what I had written and had to rewrite it because Weebly crashed so I apologize if some of it doesn’t make any sense.

-Jonny
Play games. Always.





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<![CDATA[Protospiel Milwaukee]]>Tue, 21 Apr 2015 19:58:50 GMThttp://jonathanbouthilet.weebly.com/blog/protospiel-milwaukeePicture
Over the weekend I was able to attend my first Protospiel in Milwaukee. It was a fantastic time. Driving the 5 hours to get there wasn't the most exciting, but it was well worth the trip. I got to play a lot of other designer's games as well as my own. I got a lot of great feedback and hope I was able to provide some helpful insights for other designers. It was a completely different experience than Unpub. At Unpub I wasn't able to play any other games until late at night and it was only 1 or 2 when I did.

I really should have taken better notes on the games I did play. I'll try my best and hopefully the Protospiel website to figure out which games I played. I apologize to anything I mess up or forget.

The first one I played was Beeeees!(that's 5 e's) by Marcus Ross and Cara Heacock. They were one of the previous winners of the Tabletop Deathmatch. It was a real time dice rolling and matching game. It gave the feel of "bee"ing a busy bee. It went through a few different stages during the weekend and it's definitely going somewhere. The artwork was phenomenal just like their previous game Discount Salmon. I'm excited to see what comes out of the game.

One game I was only able to watch was Goodbye Friend, Hello Dinner by Kevin Jones. I started watching in the middle of the game but I was able to quickly understand what was going on. It was a secret bidding game where you're trying to grow your village. There are cannibals and other tribes involved so it can be tricky. The artwork was fantastic and was done by Jason Gerke. The game used a bidding type similar to Revolution! The way bidding worked was kind of like a worker placement on your own board. You were deciding what the people in your village were going to do. You use people to get more people to win the game. You need to try and get enough food for your villagers each round so they don't starve. If they do, they might eat each other making it a little tougher to win.  I didn't get a chance to play it but I plan on it if I get the chance. 

Parkies by JT Smith was a game I was also only able to watch. I started watching close to the beginning of the game. It was a game where each player is trying to build an amusement park. There were plenty of attractions for players to bid on and expand their parks. They wanted to build a variety in their parks to attract more guests but also needed to be profitable. The game looked fantastic and had a shorter playtime while allowing players plenty of time to still build a decent park. It looks approachable to mostly everyone. There is enough of a game to satisfy a gamer and it's easy and simple enough to get a new comer to play it and not be lost. It is one I would definitely play with any group. It's a game I would for sure back when it comes to Kickstarter.

7 Cities was a game I was able to play. I don't have the card with me but there it more to the name and I can't remember the designers name. I know the rest of the game's name means 7 cities in a different language. It is a city building game that involves war. It is relatively simple but is also fairly complex at the same time. There are only 2 types of units and then cities. You're trying to build 7 cities or get victory points by killing other troops and cities. The board is not a typical hex or square grid. It's really cool and has spaces that are not always adjacent. Some spots have 8 adjacent spaces and others only have 6. It makes the map and planning something to think about. I think the game still has a way to go to streamline everything but I thought it was fun. There is an opportunity to win via attacking people and building up your city to 7. I think the game lasts shorter than it looks and will have lots of decisions to make. I'd be interested in seeing how it ends up. The combat does not use dice and is more direct. It feels like a Euro game that has combat in it.

From Gutter to Glitter by Deirdra Lyon was a game that was not a style I look for. I was not the demographic this game was aimed at though and neither were the other people I played with but we gave it a try. The game is a girls night out party game. Each player is taking control of a princess and is trying to get the end and then whoever can tell the best story will win. The game has a truth or dare type category, a trivia category and an action category. Right now the game is roll and move to determine the category you land on and to get to the end. There are also spaces on the game to collect story pieces. You use the story pieces to create your story at the end. The more you have the more you have to choose from when you create your story. While I wouldn't be dying to play the game, I think there are people who would love it. I think there are aspects that could get some men to play the game as well. I want to see where it goes and would be willing to back the game to see it created. It's a game I think my wife would enjoy.

My prototypes
I was able to play my games a few times. Siege of Sunfall is a new one that I am working on the The Game Crafter's player elimination contest. Don't forget to vote for it! It has a small co-op  element where players must work together to not die, but in the end they want to come out ahead. Players start the round with coins. A card will be flipped with a number on it. The players now have to secretly put coins in their hands to try to beat the card. They don't have to beat the card by themselves though. The total of all coins played by the players are used to see if they beat the card. If they beat the card, the player who put in the most gets the card. If they don't beat the card, then the player who put in the least is out for the remainder of the round. A round will last 5-10 cards and the game will be about 5 rounds. Any coins you have left at the end of a round are converted into points and the player with the most points at the end of the game wins.

The game is all about social loafing. If you can beat the card, putting in 0 coins might be best. If you can't beat the card, then just don't be the lowest. The game has a lot of player interaction and a lot of second guessing on how many coins you should put in based on what you think others will do.

The feedback I got from this game was fantastic. I tweaked a few things during the play and think I have a better game now then when I started. I plan on getting a print and play version as soon as possible. I want to get as much as feedback as I can for the game. I think it can fill that quick social game to either end or start a game night. Look for the print and play soon and then play it again and again.

The other game that I was able to get one play test with was Meltdown! It's my dexterity based co-op. I got some feedback from Unpub and lot of people enjoyed it. I think there is quite a bit to do with the game and there a few tweaks I want to try. It's still at a point where I might completely change a mechanic though. I think the changes from Unpub were a step in the right direction. I need to see adjust it again based on the feedback from Protospiel. I don't think this one would work well as a print and play though. It uses too many pieces to try and do it.

The basic premise is that players are trying to work together to shutdown the reactor before it explodes. Each player has 4 cards they need to play from the deck to shutdown their part. Each round players will stack cubes showing the core heating up. If a stack ever falls then core exploded and everyone loses. The game has a dexterity element along with hand management. I wanted to make a game that had the tension this provides. I think it's a unique idea and I hope to get it working well soon. It's playable now, but I just want the win percentage a little lower. I think the game is a little too easy right now. I also need to work on the different roles for players.

That's all I have for now. Protospiel was a blast. I got to play my games and I got to play tons of others. I plan on going to any other ones I can in the future and recommend any other designers do the same. You get to see what other people are working on and provide help. You also get tons of help for your own games. Remember to watch for the print and play of Siege of Sunfall coming soon.

-Jonny
Play games. Always.



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<![CDATA[Narwhals!!!]]>Fri, 03 Apr 2015 22:45:34 GMThttp://jonathanbouthilet.weebly.com/blog/narwhals
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Narwhals: An Epic Game for an Epic Animal
One game I really want to make now thanks to the above video is Narwhals!!! It's an action programming game to collect points. You, the player, will play as a Narwhal, the greatest animal to have ever lived. You start out swimming in the ocean with the goal to collect items in said ocean. You collect and store items with your kick-ass facial horn. After a set period of time unfortunately the game ends. I haven't determined the end game yet, but it could be points, a deck that runs out, or a number of rounds. I think it will be once the collectible items are getting thin the game will end in a certain number of rounds.

The Kick-Ass Facial Horn
The main part of the game will be collecting items on your horn. That means each player gets a horn to put their collection on to. The trick to the horn though is that each item will only be able to stack at certain spots on the horn. If you get a small item first, you would be able to collect anything below it. The small item will stop it from going down farther. You want to collect the larger items first so that you have more space to collect the smaller items. Like in my awesome Paint drawing(Left), the green item is large so it slides all the way to the bottom of the horn. The brown(great color choice Jon) is smaller so it falls into about the middle. The red is smaller still so it lands higher. Then the player collected the yellow. The yellow could go below the green but since the red was collected it can't go past it.

You want to collect what you can when you can, but you can limit your own points by collecting things in the wrong order. There will be options to move some things on the horn around as well as eat the top item on your horn. Doing so will give a special action during the game, like a speed boost.

I haven't decided if the horns will be on the table or worn by the players. It might make it more difficult if they are worn but it would be even funnier to play. You also would have to try and keep track of what is on your horn and if you want to use it.

The Game
The game will be played in rounds where players lay down actions simultaneously. It can cause some havoc where you run into other narwhals, sea walls, or items you didn't want to collect. 

The board will be created at the start of the game using blue hex tiles because hex tiles>square tiles. There will be sea walls, item spawns and starting points on the tiles that players will place. The items will be round chits that will represent the larger tile that will go on the horn. They will be scattered around the board randomly. When a player passes through a spot they will grab the object and put it on his horn. These are going to be worth points at the end of the game. They may also give a special action. Also, a player can eat what is on his horn for a special action too.

A game round will start with players drawing Action cards that allow them to move their narwhals. They will all simultaneously play their cards for how they want their narwhal to move. Players will all move their narwhals and look for collisions and see if they collect any items. Before the move a player would be able to eat the top item on his horn for a special effect. If two narwhals ever try to take the same space, they must duel in epic narwhal combat!

I'm not sure how combat will take place yet, but either dice or cards that are one time use kind of thing where you get them back once they are all gone. The winner of the combat might be able to steal the top item from the other narwhal and knock them into a different space. I want the combat to feel like sword fighting but it might be too much to add to the game. Some sort of card combat that involves parrying and is fast paced would fit nicely. I want there to be some strategy in the fighting but I don't want the game to get bogged down it it. 


Summary
The main part of the game will be to collect the items. I have yet to prototype anything so far but I am really excited about the stacking items on the horn mechanic. This will be the hardest part of the game to do. It will probably be card board chits cut out in to different shapes with varying holes in the middle. The size of the holes will determine where it falls on the horn. I'm not sure what the best thing for the cone will be yet. I could just make a cheaper prototype without the 3-D cone but I think it will definitely add to the game and make it more fun. 3-D is always better, just look at Camel Up.

I think it would be amazing to get the artwork from the video into the game. A game this silly deserves art to match it. It will be more of a light game with some light strategy. I can't wait to try it.

-Jonny
Play games. Always.
 







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<![CDATA[Honest Designer]]>Tue, 10 Mar 2015 21:43:57 GMThttp://jonathanbouthilet.weebly.com/blog/honest-designerAre your games truly that great? Could you sit down play them forever? Games do get old, but make sure you don't hate your game after 4 plays. Make sure you are making games that your will love to play. It might not be a let's play this game 6 times in a row but don't make games you only want to play yearly. At Unpub 5 Richard Launius said that you could bring him any of his games and he would happy to play with you. It makes me question about how far I should take a game I don't think is really the best game I've ever made. Should I keep making a game I think someone might like, but I wouldn't play it much? 

Should I stop working on the bad ones?
The answer is most likely no. I just won't make a Kickstarter out of it or try to get people to buy it. My reason being is that no matter how bad of a design it is, it's still working on a game. It will help build creativity and might result in a mechanic that turns out to be great, but it just needs a better game to go in. It's kind of like doodling. Your just going through the motions and working on ideas and seeing what develops.

Are there too many games in the market to keep making them?

It might seem like there are too many options, but at the same time it might only feel like that from inside the hobby. People outside the hobby might not be aware of an overload of all the new games coming out. There were 530 successful board game kickstarts in 2014 according to a BGG post.

Looking at the magic world, magic like magician not the card game, there is a similar thing happening. Every other day I get an email about the latest and greatest new trick. It's a slight change on an older trick that is nothing really new or innovative. It's something for magicians to waste their money on. Is it ruining the hobby? No, I would argue that it isn't. It might be taking people's money but I think at the same time it will allow people to learn a trick they might not otherwise have seen. The general public really doesn't see all these new tricks. They still only see the great tricks and performers anyway. This is like the board games where only the better and more popular ones get through. Now people will argue about the board games we see in Target and how they aren't the best ones. It's still getting people interested in the hobby which might lead them to finding even better games.

On a Boardgame Breakfast, Chaz Marler was talking about the 5 different versions of Abyss and the amount of version of the upcoming Pandemic Legacy. He compared this to the downfall of comics where they had several different versions of the same thing. Like any industry people will try to make money the easiest way possible. We buy bottled water; why wouldn't people buy the same game with just a different box? It's all about the companies trying to make money. I don't think it's the best thing for the industry but I don't think it signals the end just yet.

Tom Vasel only adds a new game to his library if it replaces another game. That means that new game has to fill a niche and be better than any previous versions. This should be the goal when developing a game. Is your game any better or that much different than one that already exists? 

All the new releases also turns into having tons of games in a collection that aren't played. I have a few right now but most are random purchases from the thrift store so I'm not dying to play them.

Decide why you want to design games
Eric Lang was talking about the reason you do things in the first place on a something from nothing podcast(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OqkDGMTvt9E). Are you an artist? You want to entertain your friends and make the world a better place. You want a game to make a great game for people. Are you a Rock Star? You want to make a game for fame. You want to recognized and be known for your games. Are you a Business man? Do you design your games for the money? You want to have a successful business in making games. 

I'll keep the ideas for the bad games and see what comes from them.
I have a list of game ideas that has some terrible ones on there. I'm working on the player elimination challenge on the Game Crafter right now.(http://news.thegamecrafter.com/post/112055961722/killer-gamers-remorse-challenge
) seeing made me take another look at an idea that I was working on but wasn't fun. I think I can make it work into something better and have a decent game to submit for it.]]>
<![CDATA[Unpub Recap]]>Wed, 11 Feb 2015 22:06:52 GMThttp://jonathanbouthilet.weebly.com/blog/unpub-recapPicture
It's been way too long since I've last posted here. I just got back from Unpub5 and it was amazing, great games and great people. I brought 2 new games I was working on, Meltdown! and Asteroid Exchange. Now it's definitely smarter to playtest your games a least a little before going to Unpub but I was going to risk it. I had other prototypes with that need some more work that could have been used. I would recommend not doing this though. I got lucky that both games were not broken.

Meltdown! was the game I thought was not going to work and would either be way too hard or way too easy. It's a co-op where players must play their 4 step cards before one of the reactors goes into meltdown. Each turn players will add a cube to their stack to represent the core heating up. If anyone's stack falls the game is over. I started with 6 step cards and with adding more than 1 cube per turn. I changed it last minute because I thought it would be too hard. I thought I'd try it out anyway and if it was broken I could just stop play and try fixing it. Fortunately the game was pretty close to being balanced. The players still win a little more than I want but the stacks are wobbling when they do.

People had a lot of great feedback and thought the game worked pretty well. They had fun playing and few asked to play again. The feedback got 4/5 across the board except a 3/5 for decision making. I'm happy with those numbers for a game designed and tested only in my head until it was played.

The other game I brought, Asteroid Exchange, was broken. I thought because it was a market game it would hopefully allow for it to balance itself. I was wrong, there was a dominant strategy from the start and some of the cards I had didn't work well. I got some great feedback and think it can be a really fun game once it is fixed. The premise will be to mine and sell gems in a market. The market will be determined by how many are sold though so you'll have to lie and weasel your opponents to get the most for your gems and let them get the least for theirs.

The last game I brought was a card game I based on the Space Team App. I will probably change the name of it and retheme as it sounds like they might be working on a game of their own. I made the game to try to give the same feel as the app as you work together to complete cards. The prototype game only lasts about a minute, but people had a lot of fun with it. It was just a quick prototype I wanted to make and see if it did what I wanted. Now that I know people like it, I will make more missions for it and make it more challenging with more crazy things too. I think it will be a fast paced co-op that will act as a filler game.

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