Building Better Board games Together

Unpub Preview: Duck Blind

As we move towards upcoming Unpub events we’re going to preview some of the games which will be exhibited. The final game I have preview information on for the Unpub Mini at Atomic Empire in Durham, NC on Saturday March 2, 2013 is Tom Gurganus’s Duck Blind. You may know Tom from his successful blog Go Forth and Game. Who knew he was a game designer too? Let’s have Tom do the talking about his card based auction game, Duck Blind… What was your inspiration for Duck Blind?  It was inspired by For Sale & Kingdom Builder What is your favorite part of Duck Blind?  My favorite part is that it’s an auction game with some take that aspects. To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about Duck Blind?  The theme. What has been the most challenging part of designing Duck Blind?  Finding balance with the scoring. That’s one of the things that I will use Unpub for – help me with the scoring mechs. And adding in some hard choices. I like having hard choices. What advice would you give to players attempting Duck Blind for the first time?  Don’t be afraid to use the actions. What has surprised you most in play-tests of Duck Blind? It’s fun. I knew it would work mechanically but didn’t know if it would be fun. It is. People who like___________ will like Duck Blind. Why?  The inspiration games I mentioned. For Sale is an obvious influence. What do you hope to accomplish at the Unpub Mini at Atomic Empire on Saturday March 2, 2013?  I need to find the issues. I need new eyes on the game to see where it needs work. So, put you bidding hats on (and they’re probably camo…) and head over to Atomic Empire in Durham, NC on Saturday March 2 to play Duck Blind....

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Unpub Preview: Station Fall

As we move towards upcoming Unpub events we’re going to preview some of the games which will be exhibited. Gary Dahl of Sugar Pill Studios joined us for Unpub 3 and I didn’t get to play any of his games. I’m happy to have another shot at this weekend’s Unpub Mini at 7th Dimension Games! For this event, Gary is bringing his area control game Station Fall. This game involves dice rolling and strategic placement based on the combinations rolled. Let’s hear a little more about Station Fall  from designer Gary Dahl… What was your inspiration for Station Fall?  Farkle is a big influence in terms of player experience, but I wanted those per-turn risk-reward trade-offs to continue having implications later in the game. Tripple Triad is probably the biggest influence on the game’s deployment-based battle system. What is your favorite part of Station Fall? I enjoy how the game constantly challenges players to balance the value of each tile with the difficulty in re-rolling die combinations that can be deployed there. To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about Station Fall? I’m not sure enough people have played for me to answer this with authority. What has been the most challenging part of designing Station Fall?  I think the game originally felt overwhelming in terms of the amount of information you needed to take-in before choosing a strategy each turn. I believe that’s improved, but look forward to hear what unpub3 participants think about it. What advice would you give to players attempting Station Fall for the first time?  Think hard about how you place your tiles, and be weary of opportunities to attack that also leave your position more exposed. What has surprised you most in play-tests of Station Fall? I’ve been surprised by how balanced games tend to be. It’s a short game to 6 VP, and I’ve yet to see a run-away lead or complete skunking of a player. People who like_______will like Station Fall. Why? In addition to the games listed above, Alien Frontier makes a good point of comparison. However, instead of AF’s resource collection and management, SF puts more emphasis on area control, and your choices in deployment and attack. What do you hope to accomplish at the Unpub Mini at 7th Dimension Games on Saturday March 2, 2013? I can’t wait to see how fresh eyes respond to playing Station Fall in its current state. Tell us anything else you want to say about Station Fall that I haven’t asked or you haven’t said already.  Like Rollaway, there is an online playable version of Station Fall , though I must disclaim the fact that...

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Unpub Preview: Hunting Dice

As we move towards upcoming Unpub events we’re going to preview some of the games which will be exhibited. For the first time in Unpub history, we have a father and son team presenting at the same event. Tom Gurganus is bringing Duck Blind and his son Zachary Gurganus is bringing the game previewed here, Hunting Dice, to the Unpub Mini at Atomic Empire on Durham, NC on Saturday March 2. Zachary may also be our youngest designer ever. We’re pretty stoked about that! Let’s hear what Zachary has to say about his game Hunting Dice. What was your inspiration for Hunting Dice? Started deer hunting this year. What is your favorite part of Hunting Dice? Moving the deer using the dice. To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about Hunting Dice? It really simulates deer hunting pretty well. What has been the most challenging part of designing Hunting Dice? Figuring out the moving and shooting mechanisms. What advice would you give to players attempting Hunting Dice for the first time? Have fun. What has surprised you most in play-tests of Hunting Dice?It actually works best with a smaller board. What do you hope to accomplish at the Atomic Empire Unpub Mini on Saturday March 2, 2013?  Get some good feedback to make the game better. If you’re in Durham, go to Atomic Empire and try out Hunting Dice on Saturday March 2! Good Luck Zachary and Welcome to the Unpub Network!...

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Unpub Preview: Dorobo

As we move towards upcoming Unpub events we’re going to preview some of the games which will be exhibited. Ninjas are the frequent target of themes in some very popular games. Let’s add a new one to that collection, Dorobo designed by Rocco Privetera of Mighty Fist Games. Dorobo is a press your luck dice game where you are Ninjas stealing from houses. Maybe not the most family friendly theme, but certainly fun. You’ll have a chance to “Ninja Up” this weekend at our Unpub Mini at Atomic Empire in Durham, NC.  Rocco gave us some insight on the process behind this game. Let’s hear what he had to say… What was your inspiration for Dorobo?  Trying to make a more sophisticated version of push your luck dice games like Zombie Dice What is your favorite part of Dorobo?  I enjoy the drama of the Fortune die results, which depend on die placement! To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about Dorobo? While it is simple to learn, it has a decent amount of strategy and interaction for a push-your-luck dice game. What has been the most challenging part of designing Dorobo?  Balancing the odds and game time, adding enough player interaction to keep the game riveting. What advice would you give to players attempting Dorobo for the first time? Make sure you understand the scoring and Interference rules. What has surprised you most in play-tests of Dorobo? It has a broad appeal, for both casual and hard core gamers. People who like___________ will like Dorobo. Why?  PYL games like Zombie dice and Martian Dice who want something more challenging but still simple What do you hope to accomplish at the Unpub Mini at Atomic Empire in Durham, NC on Saturday March 2 ? More playtesting, more feedback, more accurate play times, rules corrections, getting the word out about it and fun! Tell us anything else you want to say about Dorobo that I haven’t asked or you haven’t said already. It’s got a cool Japanese theme and you can sabotage other players! Maybe you’ll get a chance to press some luck and steal some stuff stealthily in Dorobo at the Unpub Mini at Atomic Empire in Durham, NC on Saturday March...

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Unpub Preview: World Shapers

Unpub Previews are where we let the designer talk a little more about their games that are part of the Unpub Network.World Shapers, is a tile placement game about ancient magic and strategic manipulation. The game’s designer is Derrick Vidal and he is supported by the team from Baked Fresh Daily Games (who also created Mecha Mayhem.) Derrick took some time to answer our Unpub Preview survey, so let’s hear what he had to say… What was your inspiration for World Shapers ? Well I had a crazy dream one night about the Doctor, yes THE Doctor, manipulating the elements and from that I sort of borrowed the theme. Aside from that, I felt the need to create a game where people were actually building, or creating something without the complete threat of someone being able to block your plans. In a sense, I wanted to create a game where people were free to accomplish their own individual goals, while still being able to interact with each other at the table. I was looking to create a social experience out of a bit of a sheltered objective. What is your favorite part of World Shapers? My favorite part of the game is its core essence: building your own island and creating big chains. To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about World Shapers? By far, the most interesting thing about our game is its replayability. You can play this game multiple times and it always seems to be a unique experience each time. What has been the most challenging part of designing World Shapers?  The most difficult part of designing this game is trying to find the right number of tiles to include. Either it’s not enough of a variety for players, or it’s too much and players feel overwhelmed, or the game drags on too long. So far, I think we’ve managed to find a happy balance, but it’s a precarious one. What advice would you give to players attempting World Shapers for the first time?  Well, I haven’t won a single game yet, so I’m not sure asking for my advice is the best choice. If I had to give advice, I’d suggest people pay attention to other players’ islands carefully. While I wasn’t going for a “take that” focused game, it’s still competitive and important to know what others are going for, so you can be sure to “keep up with the Joneses” while building your island. What has surprised you most in play-tests of World Shapers? The thing that has surprised me the most about our game is how easily it has gone from idea to physical reality....

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