Privacy Notice

This site uses cookies from Google to deliver its services, to personalize ads and to analyse traffic. Information about your use of this site is shared with Google. By using this site, you agree to its use of cookies.Learn More

Amazon Affiliate

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

Saturday, February 10, 2018

January 2018 Wrap Up - Charterstone, Instagram, Streaming on Twitch, Prototypes, and More!

I wrapped up 2017 with a New to me 2017 post and liked the idea so much I'm going to do monthly wrap ups through out the year. After all, first impressions are fun moments are easier to remember as they happen rather than at the end of the year. Here's my January 2018 wrap up!

I played 3 new games at Pax South 2018 - Tzolk'in, Illimat, and Bargain Quest. You can read my Pax South 2018 Wrap Up for a more in-depth look, but Tzolk'in adds a great twist to worker placement games, Bargain Quest fell short in player interaction, and Illimat added some depth and additional game play to the classic Italian game Scopa.

I've been consistently growing and posting to my Instagram with #63daysofsmashup. In addition to in-game pictures and quick thoughts, I'm going through all 63 Smash Up factions. Smash Up is one of my favorite card games and AEG keeps pumping out new expansions. Trying out new factions and card combos is great fun! Follow me on Twitch to see the first 8 Smash Up factions in action.

Kingdomino continues to impress me with how quick, simple, and fun the game play is. I can see why it won the 2017 Spiel Des Jahres. I'm hoping that the Queendomino standalone/expansion offers a bit more strategic play. The Age of Giants expansion looks like it adds some "take that" player interaction, which I'm not sure the game needed

I was introduced to the new to me blast from the past stacking and balancing game Topple and the new Legends of the Hidden Temple game. Legends of the Hidden Temple is a collection of quick mini games and features player elimination, but any game with the rule "You become Kirk Fogg" is worth a try!
Gotta cross that moat to get to the Hidden Temple

Topple in action
Starting to Topple over!

I introduced Incan Gold and Targi to new people. Incan Gold is a wonderfully simple press your luck/risk management game about grabbing gems from a trap filled temple. Each turn, all players simultaneous choose to enter the temple, or flee to safety. If you enter the temple, you can share gems found with other players...or you can run into a trap! Run into the same trap twice and the round ends, with players who ran away keeping their gems and players trapped in the temple left with nothing. It's such a simple concept with really great game play.
The start of a treacherous expedition


Targi is a  2 player resource management game and worker placement game. The worker placement twist that makes this one appealing to me is that your workers on the outside of the board create a grid for the actions you can take on the inner portion of the board. It's a strategic 2 player game without a lot of Take That! combativeness,which I find refreshing.
Targi 2 player game
Watch out for the robber in Targi


The group has now played Charterstone 3 times...but unfortunately we have yet to play a game correctly! This has been our first experience with the legacy mechanic (where actions and outcomes n completed games will affect future games)  and it remains intriguing. However, it  is hard to recover from game play, rules, or set up errors since they directly affect future games. In game 1, we played some in game scoring wrong, in game 2 we missed some end game scoring and opened a wrong crate. In game 3, we realized that with the wrong crate, and had built 3 buildings that should not have been available yet. We basically played 2 half games of Charterstone will wrong action spaces. Talk about warping the game!
Charterstone with the mistake fixed
And after
Charterstone before realizing a mistake
Before we realized we opened the wrong crate...

Admittedly, these are all player and group errors and not the fault of the game or the designer but the mistakes, The reveals are fun, opening crates is exciting, and the story is progressing in an interesting way. starting to be more intrigued in the background story rather than that game play. I remain optimistic but games taking over 2 hours to play with mistakes, rules clarifications, board fixes, running out of reputation. Finishing the 12 games and seeing all the changes we made throughout will make it all worth it.

The Chartersone group also played Viticulture for the first time. Viticulture, like Charterstone, is Stonemaier Games product. It's a simple worker placement game with an excellent theme of creating a vineyard and making wines. My first impression is that some visitor cards are super powerful which may slightly skew the game. The winner of our game received an easy 4 points based on the visitor cards she drew while other players hardly got any benefit at all. Viticulture has an average worker placement mechanics, a great theme, and the mechanics and theme mesh beautifully. However, worker placement games need a twist to be interesting to me and I'm not sure Viticulture does that good enough for me. Time and a few more games will tell!



Viticulture and a nice glass of red


On the digital side of gaming, I put some time into building my Twitch channel layout. I'm torn between having a bigger screen for the game or using some of that digital real estate for game information or talking points for the chat. Which one do you prefer?

Which do you prefer: Small screen game...
Or full screen game?
Finally, I've had the urge to create again. I have a new prototype for a dexterity area control game tentatively called Splat! and want to revisit Transylvania Pizza Kitchen. Shout out to Wolfman at the Monster Cafe for the re-inspiration. (This technically happened in early Feb, but who's keeping track!)
Splat! version 1

Motivated by Wolfman Pizza
Motivated by Wolfman Pizza


I'm also toying around with an older solo game prototype based on the Tapper arcade game. I'm calling in Sarsaparilla Saloon and it should have been my submission to the Solitaire Game Contest over Super Fighting Robot. More details on those later, hopefully!

How was your January?


Saturday, January 20, 2018

Pax South 2018 Wrap Up

Pax South 2018 has come and gone. In my last post, I detailed my convention plans and itinerary. To the surprise of no one, I skipped all my planned panels and spent the day playing board games with friends instead. A weekend well spent!

After wandering the exhibit hall and checking out the Tabletop Indie Showcase, we set up a game of Tzolk'in: The Mayan Calendar. This game surprisingly blew me away and I can see why it's in the Top 50 on BoardGameGeek. Worker Placement is not my favorite mechanic in gaming, but any game that introduces time as a resource gets a thumbs up! We had 2 veteran players teaching 2 newbies.
In Tznolk'in, players take turns placing workers on spaces on gears or removing some workers for an action. Each space on the gear gives you a different action when you claim your worker. The 5 gears are connected to a central gear, and each round the central gear turns one tick clockwise.


This also ticks up the connected gears. It takes planning and good resource management to be able to execute the actions you actually want, and there seem to be multiple viable strategies to get points. When the central gear ticks around enough times, the game ends.



Praying to the Gods for big points
There are a lot of small moving parts and a bit of engine building. The moving gears is visually and strategically wonderful. About 3/4s of the way through the game, I realized no one was making any big pushes up the Temple Track, and ended up winning the game because of the end game bonuses there. It's a neat game that I will definitely play again if given the chance, but not one that will make it into my collection.
Not bad for my first game!


After lunch at a surprisingly average Mexican restaurant on the Riverwalk, we played a new game that a friend bought at the convention: Bargain Quest. Bargain Quest had a successful Kickstarter and had excellent production value. You don't always get excellent production value from Kickstarter games.

Selling my magical wares to adventurers.
Bargain Quest takes a traditional fantasy trope of adventuring heroes and turns it sideways. Instead of playing the powerful mage, sneaky rogue, or fearless fighter, players take on the role of shopkeepers selling magic items to the the adventurers. I love it when games take an easy theme and change it to be fresh.  Players acquire their items through a draft. After you draft your items, you set one on display to attract a specific adventurer to your shop. Then, you sell that adventurer what you can from the remaining cards you drafted, and wish them well as they go off to battle the nefarious monster. You get points if your adventurer lands a hit, survives, and/or kills the monster.
Bargain Quest has a lot of neat ideas and some mechanics that I really enjoy in other games, but the end product did not fully come together for me.  The attract customers mechanic is similar to an idea I never got into testing mode about running a lemonade stand, and drafting is always fun. The only player interaction in the game was reading the draft signals, and I felt there were some missed opportunities for more.

The final game we played was at a demo table for Illimat
Illimat builds upon the core game of Scopa, a classic Italian card matching game traditionally played with 40 cards. Illimat introduced an extra face cards and a 5th suit for 4 players, some restrictions on when and how to pick up cards, and some new end game scoring. The goal of the game is to collect points. You collect points by capturing the most total cards, having the majority of a particular suit, and a few other ways.

Illimat, a strangely themed game of card matching and collecting
There are 4 sections on the board, each with 3 face up cards. On your turn, you play 1 card from your hand, and either collect all the matching number cards from one section, or enough cards to equal the number that you played (You can grab a 2 and a 6 with an 8). You can also build up other cards (playing a 3 on a 6 to form a 9). The rule additions were nice, but I'd rather just play Scopa. We also never really understood the theme of Illimat. A good theme, like a good rug, can really tie the game together. Here, it felt disconnected from the game play.

The highlight of Pax was the Saturday night video game concert. A string quartet played some lovely music from The Legend of Zelda series (complete with ocarina!), Chrono Trigger, Halo, and other games with great soundtracks. It was really enjoyable.


Some excellent video game music was had by all
The next act up was Bit Brigade. I had heard of Bit Brigade before; they are a rock band that plays the soundtrack to a game that one of the members is playing live on stage. This concert, they played to the Legend of Zelda on NES. Since that game only has 3 tunes in it, they jammed in as much Zelda music from other games in the series. Man, that is a series with some great music. It was really cool to see the band sync up the Triforce music when the player grabbed the Triforce at the end of each dungeon.

The schedule had Super Mariachi Brothers as an act, but instead of getting serenaded with Mario music, the final act was a rap ensemble. Not my cup of tea, so i left a little early. The Chocobros is a great name though.   

Pax South is a fun convention. The crowd size is manageable, the board game area is pretty good, and the there are some great cosplayers. Just Monica from Doki Doki Literature Club made me laugh out loud!


Just Monica
The real highlight was seeing old friends and getting some quality gaming in. See you next year, San Antonio!

Saturday, January 6, 2018

PAX South 2018 Itinerary

This will be my 2nd PAX South. I enjoyed the first one, but mainly spent my time people watching, connecting with college friends, and playing the demos in the TableTop Showcase. Since I'll only be attending Saturday this time, I've decided to better plan out my limited time. This year, I've also got my CheeseViking Games Instagram to capture the moments. The true highlight of the trip will be hanging out with old friends.


10:30-11:30  Scouting for Game Design: A look at how game design and game theory promote critical thinking, creativity, and organizational skills for Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts. (Or anybody, really). The focus of the panel is on learning the basics of game development and how people can start projects in their communities.

11:00 -1  I'll scoot out of scouting a bit early to catch Magic: The Gathering PAX MTG Open: MniMasters. It's been some time since I've played MTG casually and even longer competitively, but hey, it's a free tournament. We'll see if I've still got something left!

11:30-12:30 Assuming I bomb out of the tournament, there are two interesting panels at 11:30.
Esports are for Everyone: I am terrible at the popular Esports games, but I want to see the genre thrive and become more main stream. Activision is launching a full blown professional Overwatch League this year, so we might be closer to mainstream than we think!
and
Introduction to Modern Board Gaming: It's always interesting to hear fresh perspectives on the industry and how it continues to be a growing force. This panel will focus on interesting gateway games and mechanics to lure people out of the "You play board games? Like Monopoly and Life??" mentality. 

Nothing really jumps out that start at Noon, so if  I'm done with my panels, I'll head over to the open gaming area and try to squeeze in some games with friends...or possibly strangers (GASP!)

12:30- 1:30 Streaming 201 - I've got a ways to go on my Twitch channel but it never hurts to learn and plan for the future. It's a shame I will miss the Streaming 101 introduction on Friday

There's not much that catches my eye in the early afternoon, so a good time to grab lunch and see what the rest of the crew is up to.

3:30-4:30 - Everything You Wanted To Know About Kickstarter. I have a Love/Hate relationship with Kickstarter. It's a great platform for indie developers and creators to launch ideas and fund their dreams, but, at least in the board game space, it's increasingly being used as a pre-order system for the bigger companies. Funding an interesting idea is not hard if the idea is worth funding, but truly building a brand and string of successful projects is incredibly difficult and time consuming.

Another lull in the action until 7:00PM means dinner, a swing by the TableTop Showcase, and people watching!

7:00-8:00 - Playing Games with Weird Controllers - A guilty pleasure of mine is watching people play games in really bizarre ways. Super Mario on a DDR pad?! Modding the Guitar Hero guitar to play other games? Sounds awesome.

8:30 - Video Game Concert - Can't miss this! Live video game music played a String Quartet, Substituting live music on a Castlevania speedrun, including death music, and a video game rapper. Sounds like the best part of the convention to me!


Here's the full schedule for Saturday See you there!

Saturday, December 30, 2017

New To Me 2017

It's time to put 2017 back in the box and on the shelf! I didn't play too many new games this year, but I'd like to start a yearly tradition of highlighting the ones that were new to me. These won't be full reviews or rules overviews,  just some preliminary thoughts on how the games felt. Check out the links to Board Game Geek for more info if any of these games catch your eye!

Honorable mention to the games I received as gifts or bought late in the year that haven't hit the table yet

  • Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective: Jack the Ripper and West End Adventures
    • I've always enjoyed a good mystery and even though I never finished case 1 of the original Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective, I knew I wanted more cases to crack into. Sherlock Holmes unfolds a mystery in a "Choose Your Adventure" sort of style. In this cooperative game, you investigate an area, read a passage from the manual, and try to find clues. After discussing next steps with the team, try your best to follow the story and investigate a new area. When you are ready to solve the case, the game asks you to answer a handful of questions. This game has a points system based on efficiency, but the most important thing brings to the table is a great experience solving a mystery with friends. 
  • Mythos Tales
    • The same style game as Sherlock, but set in H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos. Stop the cultists from summoning the Elder Gods and solve all sorts of macabre mysteries. Sounds Fun!
  • Bottom of the 9th
    • A dice rolling game for 1-2 players that simulates the last inning of a baseball game. As a baseball fan, I was pretty excited to pick this one up. The rules never clicked for me so I have not felt confident enough to get this to the table. The game is available as an app and on Steam which may help with learning the rules.
  • Kingdomino
    • 2017's Spiel des Jahres, the German Game of the Year award. Previous winners Carcassonne, Ticket to Ride, Kingdom Builder, and going all the way back to the first winner, Hare and Tortoise, are some of my all time favorites. I'm excited to see how this twist on the classic game of dominoes plays.
  • Seafall
    • My first Legacy game. Legacy is a type of game where the decisions from one game have meaning in future games. They typically involve ways to permanently alter the game board or components, and have a set number of plays before you are left with a board truly unique to your group's experiences. Seafall is set in the pseudo Golden Age of Sale time era. The denser rule set may leave this one on the shelf for awhile.
  • Charterstone
    • A Christmas gift and more accessible and easier to understand Legacy game about building and expanding a village. I'm extremely excited to see how this one plays out!
  • Rick and Morty Total Rickall
    • A game based on the hilarious Adult Swim Rick and Morty cartoon. This werewolf-esque game revolves around the "real people" trying to identify and destroy the "parasites" before the parasites take over. 
  • Smash Up Cease and Desist Expansion
    • An expansion to one of my favorite card games. I'm interested to see how the spoofed Star Roamers (Star Trek), Astroknights (Star Wars), Changerbots (Transformers), and Ignobles (Game of Thrones) play with the Robots, Wizards, Zombies, Ghosts, Super Heroes, etc... from the game franchise


Clearly, I have a backlog to work through in 2018! Here are my thoughts on new games to me that did see play in 2017.


  • Exit: The Game - The Abandoned Cabin
    • The 2017 Kennerspiel des Jahres, or Advanced Game of the Year, winner is an escape room in a box. Unfortunately, this game has no replay value since once you solve the series of puzzles and escape, you know the solution. Fortunately, a price point of under $15 makes it cheaper than a movie for an evening of entertainment, and there are 6 different scenarios with more in the works.  
  • Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego: The Card Game
    • Talk about a nostalgic blast from the past! Players play the role of gumshoes trying to track down Carmen Sandiego, what she stole, and where she stole it from. By rolling dice and using light deduction, gumshoes match Location Cards to Loot Cards and arrest classic villains such as  Rosa Sarrosas-Arroz (A rose is a rose is a rose) and Sam O'Nella until Carmen is finally apprehended. There's a bit of luck and dice dependent rolls, and the game has a chance to gridlock until someone is forced to make a winning move for another player, but it's a fun trip down memory lane. Bonus points for having dry erase markers as a component! 
  • Treasure Hunter
    • When Richard Garfield makes a drafting based card game, I pay attention! The creator behind the world-wide phenomenon Magic: The Gathering has created a simple yet clever game of drafting cards across 3 locations. Each location has a set of hero cards that are combined with additional cards to form a central stack. Each round, the players receive a hand of cards. They pick one and pass the rest around the table until all cards have been drafted. Each location has a randomized treasure that is awarded to the player with the lowest amount of total card points in that area, and one that is given to the player with the highest. Some treasure is cursed, so it takes some planning and drafting finesse to get the make sure you are highest, lowest, or neither. A Goblins Attack phase that can result in lost points forces players to pick between the Hero card, support cards, or watch dogs to defeat the Goblins each round. Treasure Hunter is a great intro to drafting game that is just a little too simple. It's a step up from Sushi Go and Fairy Tale. Perhaps the expansions add some additional dangers and decisions making 
  • Bomb Squad Academy
    • A great press your luck game about defusing bombs. Stay on a bomb until the end for big points and risk losing it all in a detonation, or play it safe and get out and pray for an explosion next turn? It's up to you and your risk tolerance! This game reminded me of another press your luck favorite, Incan Gold, and is exactly the kind of complexity and fun level game that I aspire to create myself. 
  • Jamaica
    • A well known and hyped game in gaming circles, Jamaica asks players to take on the role of retired pirates, racing around the island to collect treasures. You have to carefully manage your food and gold supplies, as they are crucial to moving. And what kind of pirate game would it be if you couldn't attack the other players! Jamaica has an interesting movement mechanic. A rotating start player, The Captain, rolls 2 dice and assigns one as a daytime die, and one as a nighttime die. Each player than decides to play a card from their hand that has a day time action and a nighttime action. Actions could be movement along the race track, but they can also be ways to stock up on food, gold, or cannons for fighting in later rounds. Land on the same space as another player and you get to fight! I'll definitely need to play this a few more times, but my initial impression is that it's a light and accessible race game that's good for all ages. Frustration can mount based on how the dice and action cards line up. The rule book, which thematically unfolds as a treasure map, is actually a pain to read and reference. 
  • Monopoly Gamer
    • An attempt to spice up Monopoly with a Mario twist. Players get power ups and items that can be used to attack other players. Very random, wide variety of power levels of characters, and the classic and repetitive Monopoly roll, move, buy pattern. If you want to play a Mario game, check out the next item 
  • Super Mario: Level Up
    • This game surprised me on so many levels. Players take turns moving the characters of the Mario Universe up or down the staircase at the end of a level. When a character reaches the top, all players vote on whether to end the round, or kick that character out of the game. If the round ends, players reveal their hidden agenda and get points based on how high certain characters are on the staircase. Super Simple! Super Fun! Super Mario Brothers Power Up!


In additional to getting some games to the table, I also bought apps or Steam versions of some popular games that I had not played before. 

  • Colt Express
    • Players rob a train in the Old West! What a theme! The Easy and Medium AI on Steam don't always play sensible moves, but it's a great way to learn this programming game. Each player has a hand of cards and programs 4-5 moves in advance. The robbers try to steal from the train and each other by punching and shooting. It's a game of guessing and some memory work and more often than not you will be punching the air or attempting to pick up loot that isn't there. 
  • Onirim
    • A solo card game. Your goal is to open 8 doors (2 each of 4 colors) and escape the Dream World before the Nightmares deplete you of all your cards. You open doors by matching a key to it's colored door, or by arranging 3 of the same color cards in a row, with some placement limitations. Keys also help you peer into the deck and plan your next few moves. It's an interesting little game that I've played almost 200 times, but mostly as a time filler.
  • Mysterium
    • A cooperative game I picked up on Steam Sale, Mysterium adds a bit of game play to the Dixit card matching mechanic. Most players are psychic investigators communicating with a recently murdered victim. The ghost tries to guide the psychics using clue cards that somehow match up to the murderer, weapon, and location. The fantastic and surreal artwork makes being the ghost a real challenge.

It will be fun to share these and other digital ports on my Twitch channel in the coming year.

Happy New Year from CheeseViking Games! What games were new to you this year?

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Pivoting in 2018

Well, hello there Internet.

Just a quick post today. It's been over a year since I blogged! So much for once a month. Starting in 2018, I plan to be way more consistent.

Speaking of blogging and consistency, I am going to pivot away from designing (though not entirely), and take this blog more in the direction of board game reviews and streaming Let's Plays on  my Twitch channel, CheeseVikingGames.

I still have a ton of ideas in the back of head for designs and they will come out eventually. I'm just more excited to share my enjoyment of board games (and some video games) on Twitch

It should be a fun ride in 2018!

In the meantime, I'll be most active on Twitter and Facebook.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Streaming on Twitch!

Hey everyone, just a quick update. I'm going to consistently update the blog once a month until we get closer to actually manufacturing and producing a game.

I've started streaming some online board games on Twitch. You can watch here. The stream is still a work in progress, but we'll get there! Right now I'll be playing games on Board Game Arena and in my Steam library.

But more importantly, I've wrapped up my super secret confidential consultation for Coalition Game Studios. It was a big of a time sink, but now that's it's done I can return to focusing on my own creations.  I really enjoy working on these games and I strongly feel that they are honing my game development skills. I'm spotting potential problem areas much earlier in my design process now.
Practice makes perfect!

I've also agreed to help Mike, from Coalition Game Studios, further develop his newest idea. It's been stuck in a rut and a fresh set of eyes and thoughts can only be good. He's got some exciting ideas and is much better at this than I am. Stay tuned for more exciting details on Fires of Kiluenya!

Bake It! (or Ready, Set, Bake!) is next on the surgeon's table. This one got put on the shelf as I had other things going on, but now that I have more time, it's ready to come down and join the party! Well, not yet. The game isn't quite playable in it's current state, but I really like the ideas and mechanics.  Mike suggested starting with a simpler premise and removing the in game baking timer. It's a good place to try a fresh start, but I really liked the timer idea and would love to fit it in intuitively.

Our two player game, formally Riddle of the Sphinx, got a graphics re-haul to match the new theme of deciphering and alien language found on an empty floating space ship. It's being blind play-tested right now and is still the closest game ready for publication. Riddle of the Stars (tentative name) should be ready for crowdfunding in January!

That's it for this month's update, but don't be a stranger!
You can always connect with CheeseViking Games...
On the Website
On Twitter
On Facebook
On Board Game Geek
And now on Twitch!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Lessons Learned from the Solitaire Contest

The 2016 Solitaire Contest is just about finished, and I'd like to reflect on my experience.

The Contest:
This was my first time entering a board game design contest and I didn't really know what to expect. It was for Print N Play, a genre I haven't touched as a gamer, and was run by the community with no real prize. I entered mainly to give myself the push I needed to actually finish a game on deadline. I learned a lot about my design process and how to improve it, so in that sense the contest was a success for me. The contest fell really flat for me in how it was run. As contestants, we were supposed to play other games and give feedback. Part of this is on me, as I only read the rules and never constructed another contestant's game. I only had 1 person give me feedback, and that was after the deadline to change rules.


Voting:
Since the contest was run by the community and not an official publisher, it missed it's own deadlines. The voting page for the contest went up about a week late. In theory, this should have given people more time to play other designers' games.

I didn't really push friends and family to vote for my game because the voting system was a little convoluted and it forced you to have an account. I also hate contests that boil down to popularity and how well someone pushed their game. Super Fighting Robot probably shouldn't win any awards in it's current state anyway.


The Game:
Super Fighting Robot started with the simple idea of simulating a robot fighting tournament through card play. The game spiraled a little out of control. I implemented changes pretty hastily without fully testing old ideas, and I hardly sought out help from anyone.  I added too  many moving parts as I kept refining. The game would have been fun as a simple Punch vs Block vs Counter-Punch system, but I added extra moves that just got in the way.
My only feedback from a player during the contest was the game was too hard. He might have been right. I added a big change with an energy management system about a week before the deadline. I did not give myself enough time to balance it correctly. I ignored my Keep It Simple, Stupid mantra and the final game suffered for it. The more I refined the game, the harder I made it. I should have erred on the easier side of things.

You can read how I arrived at these decisions here and here. Looking back, I was much more optimistic of the changes!

The game was only tested by 2 or 3 friends, and only very early on in the design process, before I made massive changes, tested it solo, and submitted it. The changes felt rushed and not fully thought through, and when the deadline passed, I didn't want to continue refining the game.


Silver Lining:
I'm proud of myself that I completed and submitted a game. I learned a lot about my design process and how to improve it. I need to focus on keeping games simple and, for solitaire, a win rate closer to 75% instead of 25%. I had read that people who like playing games solo want a bigger challenge, but I don't think that's true. People like winning. People don't like being frustrated by a hard game. I even sold Forbidden Desert after 15 straight losing sessions with friends, so I should have known better.

The most important thing that came from this contest was that I was able to get a designer page, game page, and publisher page up on BoardGameGeek. This will speed up any other game submissions in the future!

Super Fighting Robot is fixable but might need to a fresh start from the ground up. The basic concept is fun, it's just a question of balancing out the moves. I'll get to that eventually and in the meantime, the game, as it is, will remain a free Print N' Play.


Exciting Times Ahead!:
The finish line for the 2-player game that I've been working on with Mike from Coalition Game Studios is in sight! We're getting some much needed graphic design and art direction to make a prototype that looks good. While he works on that, I've been sourcing manufacturing quotes from USA, China, and India.

You and your opponent are rival scientists trying to be the first to decode an alien message. There are 4 scoring objectives, so each game will be slightly different, and it the game play uses an "I divide, you decide" mechanic that works well in 2 player games. 1 player divides 5 cards into 2 piles and the other player chooses which player gets which pile. Both players must then play their cards onto 1 of 3 personal piles, scoring points in different ways depending on the scoring objective used.

I'm increasingly confident that this will be the first published game from CheeseViking Games!