Building Better Board games Together

Unpub Preview: Bar Hop In

Unpub Previews give designers a chance to talk in a little more depth about the development of their games in the Unpub Network. Bar Hop In, designed by Val Lang, is a strategy game where players will see a Bar and Hop In for a chance to win a beer challenge against other players! They’ll also get to sing karaoke, play quarters, and even explore some classic landmarks as the build their path around the board in pursuit of a perfect beer flight. Let’s learn more about the creation and development of Bar Hop In with designer Val Lang. What was your inspiration for Bar Hop In? The Bar Hop In game was inspired in our adventures around local bars in New York City and of course, our love for a good beer. Cheers!  What is your favorite part of Bar Hop In?  My favorite part of the game is the high level of group interaction. Players feel like if they were playing with each other opposed to against each other, without losing the competition and strategy factors. To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about Bar Hop In? Speaking of the game concept alone, most people enjoy the “Game On” activities which are in place to promote group interaction and the Bouncer Token which gives the player the ability to block paths or move other player’s tokens forcing them to adjust their game strategy throughout the game. Now, from the game to real life, the most interesting about the Bar Hop In game is the fact that once published, it will serve as an insider’s guide to a mix of 22 local bars, pubs, taverns and lounges in New York City. The Bar Hopping In Town Project has as one of its main goal to ensure a positive experience for the travelers and locals respecting the cultural values of the city and its residents. What has been the most challenging part of designing Bar Hop In? Considering its first layout started as a “monopoly” version, our biggest challenge was to establish our own identity which we have conquered by: – modifying the board layout to allow different moving directions giving the players more flexibility to build their path around the board; – simplifying the rules to better cater to our target population which includes international travelers (non-English speakers); – adding playing pieces that can be played by all players such as the Bouncer Token and the Beer Paddles; – selecting group interacting games that are fun and easy to play. What advice would you give to players attempting Bar Hop In for the first time? The rules are very straight forward, once you...

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Unpub Preview: Meddling Mine

Unpub Previews give designers a chance to talk in a little more depth about the development of their games in the Unpub Network. Meddling Mine, designed by Ian Reed and Daniel Yee, with Illustrations by George Tan is sort of a Hand management/Asset management type of card game, with a little bit of role playing/dungeon crawling spiced in. The themes in the game work together in a cycle: You need to mine resources to craft weapons, you need to craft weapons to defeat the snoglin monsters, and you need to defeat the snoglins to be able to mine the resources you want. The weapon cards and the snoglin cards are worth points, so claiming and spending the right resources at the right time is key. Players have to be careful though, as fighting too many battles with the same weapon will cause it to break! Let’s hear what designer Ian Reed has to say about the development of Meddling Mine… What was your inspiration for Meddling Mine?  Well, in an episode of Felicia Day’s “The Flog” she had mentioned that one of her favorite things to do in games was to blacksmith.  While the idea of a resource management game where you craft weapons was intriguing to us, we found that it was much more fun to smack snoglins with the weapons we crafted, so we leaned the game more that direction. What is your favorite part of Meddling Mine?  Personally, I like being the player that sneaks around the snoglins collecting resources, all the while leaving a mess of snoglins for my opponent. A couple of friends like being the type of player that has the biggest, baddest weapon, and go on a clobbering spree! To your knowledge, What do other people find most interesting about Meddling Mine?  Many of our gamer people who have played Meddling Mine have really enjoyed the hired helpers that add depth to the game, and many of our not-so-gamerish people have really enjoyed the “I have *this*…what can I craft?” shopping aspect. The other thing they have liked is that the mine itself is not only where players get the needed resources, but it’s also the game clock, so the heightened sense of urgency at the end adds a good source of tension. What has been the most challenging part of designing Meddling Mine?   The most challenging part of designing Meddling Mine was generating a way in which we could bring order to the chaos of random encounters. We wanted to be able to surprise people with the revealing of tough snoglin cards, but not leave the players in a position where they wouldn’t be able to...

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Unpub Preview: Firebreak

Unpub Previews give designers a chance to talk in a little more depth about the development of their games in the Unpub Network. Firebreak, designed by Charlie Hoopes of HoopCat Games, is a cooperative game where players must contain a spreading forest fire, and save buildings and wildlife areas in the path of the blaze. There is both a basic and advanced version of the game. Let’s hear what Charlie has to say about the development of Firebreak… What was your inspiration for  Firebreak? Younger son kept asking when I one of my games would be cooperative. A spreading forest fire makes a good mechanism for something that is unpredictable and random. What is your favorite part of  Firebreak?  The changing wind so that players don’t know which way the fire will spread next.  Also the choices of when to save and when to abandon a tile with points. To your knowledge, what do other people find most interesting  Firebreak?  The ever-changing wind. What has been the most challenging part of designing  Firebreak?  With a competitive game, the tension comes from other players. With a cooperative game, the tension must come from the game itself.  Play balance is harder.   If blazes are too easy to contain, players will quickly lose interest, but too hard and it will become too frustrating. What advice would you give to players attempting  Firebreak for the first time? Plan your airplane use carefully so that you don’t end up too far removed to assist on the next turn. What has surprised you most in play-tests of your game? I was nervous debuting at the South Jersey Unpub. What surprised me is how many playtesters liked Firebreak its first time out despite the fact that it still needs some adjustments. People who like___________ will like  Firebreak. Why?  Cooperative games  Tell us anything else you want to say about  Firebreak  that I haven’t asked or you haven’t said already.  As a teenager, one of my chores was weeding and clearing brush at the edge of my family’s property.  One dry autumn I had a brilliant idea that burning the brush would be much quicker. Oops. But I am proud to report that my friends and I had it out by the time the fire truck pulled up. For more information and to find out where you can play Firebreak, please visit the game’s page on here on...

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  Designer(s) Name: Chris Urinko Contact: Website: # of Players: 2-4 Play time: 30-60 minutes Ages: 12+   Battlejack is a fast paced arena game. Players create custom fighters and fight to the death in the arena. The last one standing takes home the spoils. The game has a modular board, 12 different fighters, 40 different fighter options, a wagering component, and is resolved through the use of playing cards. Battlejack appeared at the CritCon North...

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