Building Better Board games Together

Unpub returns to BGG Con 2016
Oct28

Unpub returns to BGG Con 2016

    Unpub will be taking over the BGG Con ProtoAlley for the third year! Come join us, in room 1106 on Thursday (November 17), Friday (November 18) and Saturday (November 19) from Noon to 7pm each day, to play test the games of tomorrow. We will have special guests, special games, and a few surprises- so don’t miss out this year!       You MUST have a BGG Con pass to attend this event, as this event is held within BGG Con. Obvious, I know, but needs to be stated. About BGG...

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Born at Unpub
Jun12

Born at Unpub

It’s not often that a game gets signed for publication, it’s rarer still for a game designed AT an Unpub event should join the ranks of the Unpub Alumni. The post below, from designer Michael Kelley, is the story of how his game Dark Dealings went from idea to Nevermore Games; check it out! MVP Boardgames (Peter Gousis and I) came to Unpub 5 this year with several of our designs, including our new card game Dark Dealings. The game is played in three phases, which worked as follows (at the time): First, players drafted heroes by assigning them to other players.Second, players bid, using gold, on defense cards to fight those heroes, using a variation of the For Sale method… if you have to drop out of the bidding, you get last choice of the defense cards available.Third, players used the defenses to fight the heroes, seeing who could last the longest.Nevermore Games had contacted us before the convention (we’ve worked with them before, and they are awesome) with interest in trying the game. They played the game on Friday, the first day of the convention, and the reception was a bit lukewarm. They loved the combat, but the drafting and bidding… well, it felt a little slow and dull.We were hoping to get Nevermore to commit to publishing the game, and signs were not looking good. Where could we turn to improve the design before the weekend was out? Lucky for us, we were at a convention with some of the friendliest, smartest, most awesome designers on the planet! First, Richard Launius played the game. I had to walk up to him and ask, but he was super friendly and immediately agreed. He had a ton of great ideas, some a bit too heavy for the game I was envisioning, but his biggest suggestion was to cut the money, and cut the bidding. Get defenses some other way. So yeah… great idea, but crap! Half of the hero abilities were based on money and bidding. Heck, the only balancing mechanic between a strong hero and a weak hero was money! The game was doomed. But no, we weren’t giving up that easy. I worked with Peter, playtested some more, came up with new hero abilities… I worked until 3am that night making all new cards. But how would bidding work? How would players get defenses? Unpub designers came to the rescue again! I played a game, with some weak attempt at removing bidding, with Paul Owen and Keith Ferguson (and someone else? Sorry if I forgot you!). One of them had a great idea… what if the HEROES had...

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Unpub 5
Oct06

Unpub 5

So, another post about Unpub 5? More tricks? More mind games? No. No more teases, no more tricks, just the facts. Unpub 5’s location, date, and more is now finalized. While we continue to work on the schedule, here is the information you have been begging to have since Unpub 4. WHERE & WHEN Unpub staffer, Stephanie Straw, has worked tirelessly (since the final day of Unpub 4) to secure a new home for the Unpub Program. Her due diligence has paid off in spades as she has secured the optimal venue for us, the Baltimore Convention Center. This venue will give us plenty of room to grow over the foreseeable future. Unpub 5 February 6-8, 2015 Baltimore Convention Center 1 W Pratt St. Baltimore, MD 21201   SPECIAL GUEST UNPUB is incredibly excited to have famous game designer, Richard Launius join us for Unpub 5! In 1986, Richard’s original Arkham Horror board game design won the Origins HG Wells Best Science Fiction Board Game Award. In 2005 Richard teamed up with Kevin Wilson to redesign the Fantasy Flight Games publication of Arkham Horror, and worked with Kevin and Fantasy Flight Games on several expansions. Since then Richard has gone on to publish the epic fantasy cooperative game Defenders of the Realm with Eagle Games, as well as the Dragon and 3 Heroes expansions. Richard and Kevin Wilson teamed up again to design Elder Sign, another cooperative adventure game set in the mythos of H.P. Lovecraft published by FFG. Also among Richard’s more recent publications are; Season of the Witch, and expansion adventure for Mansions of Madness by FFG, and Dragon Rampage, a competitive fantasy game by Eagle Games. Other games in process of publication include Ace Detective, a story-telling game of Detective Noir in the 1940s from 8th Summit Games, Defenders of the Realm: Battlefields, a strategic competitive fantasy battle game from Eagle Games, Pirates VS Dinosaurs, a swashbuckling adventure game from Jolly Rogers Games, and Run, Fight, or Die! a zombie dice game from Lock N Load to name a few. Richard will be joining us all weekend for discussions, games, feedback, and more!   SCHEDULE Schedule details are still being finalized, until they are here is the basic day-to-day event schedule of what to expect. Friday, February 6 Friday kicks off play testing with an all-day DESIGNER ONLY event. A time to play each other’s designs ad learn from industry professionals before the general public hits the tables on Saturday & Sunday. Saturday, February 7 Public playtesting and open gaming Sunday, February 8 Public playtesting and open gaming   HOTEL Hotels in Baltimore are hard to come...

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4 Unpub Games Find Publishers

Over the past month we’ve watched with joy as 4 games from Unpub 3 announced that they had found publishers. This is awesome news! First announced was a triple play of games getting picked up by Dice Hate Me Games!  You can read their announcement here. Belle of the Ball, by Daniel Solis is a card game for 2 to 5 players, ages 8 and up. It received the most plays of any game at Unpub 3, which makes it one of the most popular games we’ve seen in the program. Daniel has been working on it for a while now and entered the game in 2 Unpub events (Unpub 3 and the ProtoZone at the Escapist Expo.) I had a chance to play what seems to be a very different version of the game at the Escapist Expo, which I liked. …But the reactions to this new version far eclipse what I was feeling and seeing from people then. Daniel has, through hard work and repeated play-tests, created something awesome. Trust me, the bidding war that was going to start over this game would have been phenomenal! Look for this one to hit shelves in the early part of 2014. Benjamin Rosset doesn’t seem to want to rest on his laurels, as his first game (Mars Needs Mechanics) moves closer to hitting the store shelves, he’s now got Brew Crafters in the hands of a publisher.Brew Crafters is the game that was formerly known as Brewmasters which was formerly known as Brewing up a Business. It’s first appearance in an Unpub event was Unpub 3, but it was definitely a success and listed by many as their favorite game of the event.   This time out Ben has created a deeper Euro along the lines of Agricola and Le Havre. Rumor has it that Brew Crafters is definitely more interactive than both of those titles.  Keep yours eye out for this one in the second quarter of 2014. Coming sooner than both of these is the spin-off game from the wonderful VivaJava: The Coffee Game by TC Petty III. This time, you’ll be brewing your coffee with dice.  VivaJava: The Coffee Game: The Dice Game is a neat little distilled version of it’s popular big brother. This time your dice are you coffee beans and the choices you make will score you points but might decrease the number of dice you get on a turn. I’ve had a chance to play this one and I’m eager to play it again. TC had VivaJava Dice at the ProtoZone at the Congress of Gamers and also at Unpub 3. We’re...

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Compounding Success!

Wow. For the second day in a row I get to announce that an Unpub game has found a publisher! I couldn’t be happier! Today I am pleased to announce that Darrell Louder’s Compounded has been picked up by Dice Hate Me Games! Many of you are familiar with the wonderful reviews and pod casts that Dice Hate Me has offered over the years…and their attention to detail and passion for games has definitely shown through as they’ve become publishers of great games like Carnival and VivaJava:The Coffee Game (another Unpub Alumni.) Dice Hate Me Games and Compounded are a great fit and I think we should all be excited about this news. Darrell first created Compounded (in about a week) for the Original Unpub in January of 2011. He’s taken it to lots of the Unpub Minis, Unpub2, and entered it into the game design contest at the 2011 Congress of Gamers. The game has garnered lots of fans over the last year and we’re pleased to have played a major role in the development of this game! More information on the game can be found at Dice Hate Me Games website. You can experience the game at Origins 2012 May 30 through June 3. Compounded will be on display at the Dice Hate Me Games Booth (#809.) More success stories from our network of Unpublished games and designers are coming!  Get involved in the program. Ask me how. Email...

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Another Success Story!

We’re pleased to announce, along with Nevermore Games, that they’ve officially picked up a game by Unpub participant Benjamin Rosset! Ben’s game The Market was presented at Unpub2 and at the Unpublished games event we co-hosted last summer at Games and Stuff in Glen Bernie, MD. Since then it has traveled to other cons and into the hands of a few publishers. It’s been picked up by Nevermore Games, the gang behind the recently successful Chicken Caesar!  Of course, a few things have changed since you have seen The Market, which is expected in the development process. One major change is the name and the theme. Today we’re proud to announce the Market as a completely new property named:   Click the banner and visit Nevermore Games to find out more about this awesome game from a member of  Unpub Community! Of course, if you’d like to see this game in person, Ben will be presenting at the Unpub Mini this Sunday at Labyrinth Games in Washington, DC! The event is from 11am-6pm and there’ll be plenty of fun and games for everyone the entire day! See the event listing for more information on this Unpub Mini! Great Job Ben! Stay tuned for more...

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