Unpub Preview: Flea Market Sweep

Unpub Previews allow designers the opportunity to talk more in depth about the development of their games in the Unpub Network. FleaMarketeer is a dexterity game designed by Bonnie Neubauer. Let’s hear what Bonnie has to say about FleaMarketeer, which will be sweeping the tables soon… What was your inspiration for FleaMarketeer? It’s a more elaborate version of a game called Pip Up Cubes that won a contest from The Boardroomers. I wanted to create a modern version of JackStones / Knucklebones, the game that American Jacks is derived from. What is your favorite part of FleaMarketeer? I like that strategy and luck have been added to a dexterity game. This mix keeps the mind and body involved and gives the underdog a chance. To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about FleaMarketeer? It’s like Jacks but it’s not just for young girls. Also, adults find it more challenging than teens. What has been the most challenging part of designing FleaMarketeer? Coming up with a theme. The idea of competing to see who can de-flea flea market items and amass the most goods that will net the biggest profit came to me right after we had a yard sale! What advice would you give to players attempting FleaMarketeer for the first time? Practice the sweeping technique of picking up the flea cubes on easy cards first. Do this a handful of times and you will quickly see success. After that, the rest of the game will fall into place. By the time you get to them, you will be able to tackle the hard cards. What has surprised you most in play-tests of FleaMarketeer? People were weirded-out that the theme has to do with fleas. I had to add cartoon images to the prototype to get people to agree to test it. Now that it looks fun people are willing to have fun and play. Who knew? People who like JACKS or games with a physical challenge element will like FleaMarketeer. Why? It’s based on Jackstones which is the predecessor to Jacks. Tell us anything else you want to say about FleaMarketeer that I haven’t asked or you haven’t said already. I was just OK at Jacks when I was a kid, yet I do well at FleaMarketeer. I am fascinated to see that my hand-eye coordination has improved over the years. For more information, photos and to find out where you can try FleaMarketeer, please visit the game’s Unpub.net...

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Unpub Preview: Tank Tournament

Unpub Previews allow the designers a chance to talk a little more in depth about the development of their games in the Unpub Network. Tank Tournament, designed by Michael Scott Matecha, is a light hex based war game involving tanks. We’ll leave the details about the game to Michael to describe… What was your inspiration for Tank Tournament? In the early 80’s I envisioned a board/minis game using the tanks from the movie TRON.  I took some cardboard rectangles and drew the TRON tanks on them with basic stats and while it was fun, there was no objective apart from elimination.  In the late 90’s I played Unreal Tournament a LOT and wrote down a notebook full of ideas on a fast-paced tank boardgame with capture the flag, assault and domination scenarios but I never made it. In the past decade I’ve enjoyed the minis game Necromunda with its squad development using RPG-like experience points for upgrades. This past year I tried the PC game World of Tanks and it seems derived from very similar inspirations as my boardgame idea so with the encouragement of my weekly game group I’m finally taking 30 years of inspirations along with a crate of new ideas and forging them into reality. What is your favorite part of Tank Tournament? I have to choose just one? Okay then – having a platoon of tanks and crews that are upgraded and designed for my specific play style. I like 2 Artillery, 2 scouts to spot for them and a TD to protect my flag. Max upgrade guns on Arty, max upgrade spotting on scouts and whatever is left on the TD. Repair kits on scouts since they tend not to survive long. To your knowledge, what do other people find most interesting about Tank Tournament? The custom dice have gone over well because the color-coding is easy to remember. Some of the ways you can damage/destroy opponent’s tanks have been termed ‘awesome’. Players who enjoy building decks in CCGs or love spending almost as much time creating characters/squads in games as playing them(I’m guilty) enjoy optimising platoon configurations. There are 26 tank combination variations in a platoon. What has been the most challenging part of designing Tank Tournament? Not knowing if the game will turn out fun. I KNOW that the design is chock full of very cool, awesome, even unique ideas and mechanisms but in the end what matters is if the game is fun to play. Also the graphic design. I am a self-taught photoshop amateur and unfortunately(at times) a perfectionist so it is a challenge to accept that any particular component...

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Unpub Preview: Hopeless Happiness

Let’s take a deeper look at Hopeless Happiness: The Board Game,  which first appeared in the Unpub Program during the Valhalla’s Gate Unpub Mini from 12pm to 8pm on Saturday May 11, 2013!   Hopeless Happiness: The Board Game ,designed by Bryan Corum, is based off ideas and concepts from a weekly blog he writes. Let’s hear Bryan’s words on the development of this property… What was your inspiration for Hopeless Happiness: The Board Game? Web site / Weekly Blog – ‘The Periodic Happiness Table of Elements’  which can found at www.hopelesshappiness.com What is your favorite part of Hopeless Happiness: The Board Game? The Uncertainty is my favorite part of this game. Just as in Life, a roll of the dice can change one’s entire perspective; and end-of-game point total. To your knowledge, what do other people find most interesting about Hopeless Happiness: The Board Game? The ‘uniquity’; (I made that word up) – the specific comment was that ‘they had never played a game quite like it.’ Also, I have received the comment that it ‘encourages one to think philosophically’. What has been the most challenging part of designing Hopeless Happiness: The Board Game? The structuring of the scoring (both game-play and end-of-game) combined with the challenge of game strategy. What advice would you give to players attempting Hopeless Happiness: The Board Game for the first time? Do not use any of the alternate/optional rules and play as if the end-of-game scoring will be Empirical, as that is most likely. What has surprised you most in play-tests of Hopeless Happiness: The Board Game? How close we come to Transcendental scoring, when by reading the rules, Empirical scoring seems to have much greater odds. I have determined that this is because of the ability of one player to move other player’s Belief pieces with them, specifically by rolling a 6 or landing on ‘Groupthink’. People who like___________ will like Hopeless Happiness: The Board Game. Why?   Philosophy; Thoughtful Reflection; Something Unique and Different. What do you hope to accomplish at the Valhalla’s Gate Unpub Mini from 12pm to 8pm on Saturday May 11, 2013?  I would like Feedback to help me fine tune – specifically on the scoring structure and the potential of the optional rules to satisfy Players who desire a more definite game strategy. Tell us anything else you want to say about Hopeless Happiness: The Board Game that I haven’t asked or you haven’t said already. I will let the game speak for itself. Come play Hopeless Happiness: The Board Game at the Valhalla’s Gate Unpub Mini from12pm to 8pm on Saturday May 11,...

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Unpub Preview: Feudum

Let’s take a deeper look at Feudum, which first appeared in the Unpub Program during the Valhalla’s Gate Unpub Mini from 12pm to 8pm on Saturday May 11, 2013! Mark Swanson’s Feudum is subtitled “Fierce, Yet Frolicsome Game of Fiefdoms and Feudal Lords,” which really gives you a little flavor for this medieval economics game with Action/Movement Programming, Simultaneous Action, Hand Management, and Area Influence. Let’s hear what Mark has to say about his creation… What was your inspiration for Feudum? I saw a poster in an ice cream shop with a monster on it. Really. It’s the medieval game I’ve always wished existed. And, now it does! What is your favorite part of Feudum? Multiple paths to victory and unique game mechanic that involves a progressive economic cycle. To your knowledge, what do other people find most interesting about Feudum? Ability to optimize your actions. A true sense of being the master of your own destiny! What has been the most challenging part of designing Feudum?  Balancing the game so that each strategy (out of many) has merit! What advice would you give to players attempting Feudum for the first time? Adapt to changing game conditions. Timing is important for scoring. What has surprised you most in play-tests of Feudum?  Very balanced and very close endings. Oh, and that people actually like playing my game and want to play it again. Gosh! People who like___________ will like Feudum. Why?  Wow. I tried to make it unique, but I’d say Puerto Rico (replayable), Shogun/Maharaja (Unique actions), Ascending Empires/Rattus/Mykerinos (Special Character abilities), Moongha Invaders/Small World, (whimsy) Caylus (cuz it’s deep, but not brain busting) What do you hope to accomplish at the  Valhalla’s Gate Unpub Mini from 12pm to 8pm on Saturday May 11, 2013? Fine tune game mechanics. Understand popular strategies. Work out kinks. Tell us anything else you want to say about Feudum that I haven’t asked or you haven’t said already. “Blimey! You’ve been exiled from your homeland and left with but a few shillings. What a shamble! Now, you must journey to a strange land to reinvent yourself—and reclaim your honor. Will you farm the earth, fight as a knight or finagle your own feudums?” Feudum (Latin for fiefdom) is an economic medieval game of hand and resource management for 2-5 players. With many strategies at their disposal, players optimize 4 actions per turn in attempt to score the most victory points over four epochs. Each player controls up to three characters (farmer, merchant, alchemist, knight, noble and monk) who roam the countryside tending farms, taxing towns and taking outposts in effort to rise in power. But, that’s only the tip...

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Unpub Preview: Corpus

Let’s take a deeper look at Corpus, which first appeared in the Unpub Program during the Valhalla’s Gate Unpub Mini from 12pm to 8pm on Saturday May 11, 2013! Designed by PJ Shearer, Corpus is an asymmetric board game for 3-9 players featuring placement and removal mechanics, faction specific strategies and unique win conditions. PJ filled out our Unpub Preview Form, so let’s hear more about Corpus… What was your inspiration for Corpus?  My Sister-in-law, a chemistry teacher, challenged me to find a way to teach cellular mechanics to her students. What is your favorite part of Corpus?  It is a both a competitive and a family game. To your knowledge, what do other people find most interesting about Corpus?  The play style and the mechanics that make strategy games great often turn off casual gamers.  Strategy gamers like Corpus because the mental dexterity required to win keeps it challenging and casual players enjoy it because the rules are simple. What has been the most challenging part of designing Corpus?  Play balance. What advice would you give to players attempting Corpus for the first time?  Play all 9 factions. What has surprised you most in play-tests of Corpus?  The diversity of players who enjoy it. People who like Small World will like Corpus because like Small World, each faction has different strengths which you must capitalize on and provide many simple but impactful choices regarding token placement.  Also, like Small World, early sound strategy is rewarded but not completely decisive.  Players are often still in a game winning position right up until the last round. What do you hope to accomplish at the  Valhalla’s Gate Unpub Mini from12pm to 8pm on Saturday May 11, 2013?   To get lots of people to try several factions and get their feedback about which they prefer to play. Tell us anything else you want to say about Corpus that I haven’t asked or you haven’t said already.   Say goodbye to luck, reflex and charm.  Say hello to Corpus. Come play Corpus at the Valhalla’s Gate Unpub Mini from12pm to 8pm on Saturday May 11,...

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