Where Ya Been, Man?!

Side of a Funnel on the Disney Dream Cruise ShipThat is the question I would be asking if I had been following the posts on this site the past month-or-so … had all of this momentum on a number of different fronts, and then silence for almost two weeks.

The other questions I’d ask is: Where’s the DANGER! release announcement?

Well … I’ve been on vacation.  And this time I actually took a vacation during my vacation.  I actually did no work for my day job, and I didn’t do anything related to game design.  Which means the DANGER! rulesheet is still in-the-works.  (I *will* release by the end of March for sure though!) Continue reading

Final DANGER!-ous Tweaks and then Launch Next Week?

Dangerous Curve card from the "DANGER!" Expansion for Dicey CurvesI had great playtesting sessions at Con of the North with Whitney, Cyrus, Jeff and Anna, and then some follow-up testing with my buddy, Jon, on Monday.  From that, I think I have made the final tweaks needed to bring the “DANGER!” Expansion for Dicey Curves out for public launch on TheGameCrafter.

For those that have played using the expansion, here are some of the changes:

Slight Card Frequency Mix – I reduced the number of “debris” and “challenge” cards in the deck, in order to increase (by 1 each) the Lane Closed, Instant Repair, and Nitro Boost cards.

Slight Card Power Tweaks – A few cards needed rules tweaking in order to either make them have a better impact, or make them play a bit more naturally:  “Nitro Boost” now adds 2 dice to your initial roll (instead of just 1).  “Repair Shop” and “Lane Closed” can now be played on any type of track card, not just Straight-Aways and Wide-Opens.

Reduced Hand Size … Increased Hand Refilling – Originally, each player had a max hand size of 3 cards and could only add to it by drawing at the end of their turn.  Instead, the hand size is now 2 cards, and you immediately refill when you play a card … and you can immediately play the card you just drew, if it fits the situation.

Bigger Track Preview – Normally when playing Dicey Curves, you flip over 2 track cards in front of the race leader.  When playing with the DANGER! Expansion, you need to increase that in order to make better use of the track modifier cards.  Still want to play this one out a couple of times, but I now like having 4 cards out in front of the race leader.

These changes, although very subtle, have gotten the expansion to flow much closer that what I originally intended.  It plays quicker, is more “dangerous” (cars deal with gaining/repairing damage more often) and allows players choice of whether to work around the troubles or take damage and go faster in the short term.

Can’t wait to show it to you all!  Now, on to the rules-writing. (yeah)

Warriors of Destiny, Father Geeks, Games and Games

Playing Dicey Curves with Cyrus and JeffSaturday was a long (yet fast), fun day of meeting people, talking about games (and gamers) and playing games of Dicey Curves, Subtilla, and Space Mission.

I need to give a big “thank you” to the booth babes of the day (they each got to wear my secondary booth badge labelled “Warrior of Destiny”): Whitney Watts (pictured to the right), my wife Britt, my daughter Anna, and my son Seth.  Whitney has a bad tendency to beat me at my games — winning Dicey Curves twice (once as a playtest of the DANGER! Expansion) and also winning Subtilla twice.

Playing Dicey Curves (with DANGER! Expansion) with Whitney WattsThere was also a Father Geek sighting (see picture above and to the left).  Cyrus Kirby of FatherGeek.com and another local Twin Cities game designer named Jeff spent (also a TGC user) a couple hours at my booth to talk games and gaming, watch a game of Subtilla, and then play both Space Mission and Dicey Curves.  I also gave Cyrus a sneak peek at what’s up with the DANGER! Expansion.  Good times and glad to have these guys stop by.

The rest of the time was spent doing more games-playing and games-talking and even got some more discussion in with Donovan about multiple things, including additional progress on the “Magistrate” prototype.  Met a couple of people who had liked the “Jump Gate geocache” contest I ran a couple weeks ago.  They reassured me that I can keep the clues tricky, knowing who the target audience is. 😉  So, we’ll see what I work out for my planned “Dicey Cache” find-it-keep-it event in April.

In the main room where my space is located, the miniatures games have definitely taken over today.  I love the way these games look.  Here are a few examples:

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Con of the North Exploded into Gaming

The Matt Worden Games Vendor Space at Con of the North 2012So, I guess I was wrong about posting again once I had my vendor space setup at Con of the North.

As soon as I was setup, I was playing a game — seriously.  So, it’s really not my fault … I’m guessing you all would have been doing the same thing.

Sadly, my original “booth babe”, Whitney, is fighting off a bug and hasn’t been able to attend yet … but I’m guessing we’ll see her at some point this weekend. 😉  Just got word that my wife and kids will be coming to stay with me at the hotel tonight, which is pretty cool.  Very likely to have Britt or Anna working in the space tomorrow for some of the time.

I do want to give grand thanks to Donovan Loucks, who I ran into right away.  He came up with a novel way to get my “T” shaped table setup to work (and he is the reason for my instant gaming).

First Magistrate Playtest at Con of the North 2012He and I played through a 2-player game of “Magistrate” — the prototype I’m excited to test a lot this weekend … and it really helped to reveal a number of areas where balance issues still abound.  We were also able to “talk shop” about different ways to improve the design.  As for the result of the game … he smoked me!  He played as blue and I as green … that’s his flag pawn near the end of the VP track and mine *way* down toward the start of the track.  See the final shot to the right.

Prepping for the Con

Banners to be Used at Con of the North 2012I seem to be working on a dozen things at once during the times I have available to prep for Con of the North.

I’ve put together a set of banners (pictured to the left — click for a bigger view) that I plan to display in my space.  I’m still working on how they are going to be held up, but I think I have a good approach so far.

I’m working on getting my for-sale products ready: the Dicey Curves are all ready, about half the Jump Gates are ready and the other half will be done tomorrow, and the copies of Subtilla were shipped from TheGameCrafter.com on Monday and I expect them to arrive tomorrow (cutting it a bit close with that one).

As I mentioned in my earlier CotN post, I will be bringing a few copies of some games just to play, and those are all ready to go.

I’m also going to have 2 different prototypes for testing — the DANGER! Expansion for Dicey Curves, and a heavier “Waro” that I’ve been working on for a number of years.  I was originally hoping to have at least 2 more ready, but they just simply aren’t.

Dicey Curves DANGER! – Instant Damage/Repair & Challenges

Dicey Curves DANGER! Expansion Card BackThe final set of cards for the DANGER! expansion of Dicey Curves include two “instant” effects on the new car damage mechanic, and the “Challenge!” card, which will take a little bit to explain.

First, the Instant Damage and Instant Repair are about as easy as it gets:  One adds a damage marker to the current player’s car, and the other removes a damage marker … not sure what else I need to add on that.

The Challenge card, however, has a lot going on with it.  Here’s how the cards look:

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Dicey Curves DANGER! – Dice Modifier Cards

Dicey Curves DANGER! Expansion Card BackThe second set of DANGER! Expansion cards for Dicey Curves are those that modify the dice being used by the current player — taking dice away, adding dice, or making it seem like there are more dice than are actually there.

While sometimes you will want to use these cards on yourself, you will definitely find times to use them on the other players.  Can’t get much more “direct-interactiony” than this.

Nitro Boost gives the player an extra die on their initial roll, while Critter Crossing takes away a die from that initial roll.  Super Size lets you treat a Combo (or a Single) as if it has two extra dice in it — very handy when trying to get past a Dangerous Dicey Curve without taking damage.

Click the image for a bigger version:

Dicey Curves DANGER! Expansion - Dice Modifier Cards

Dicey Curves DANGER! – Track Modifier Cards

Dicey Curves DANGER! Expansion Card BackIn addition to the final touches on Subtilla, I’ve been working on the graphic design of the cards in the up-coming Dicey Curves, expansion that I will launch in February.

First up have been the five track modifier cards, pictured below.  Minor Debris and Major Debris add a little hurdle for cars to get over when travelling between two track cards … they can either add an extra die or two to the Combo used to move across that location, or they can take some Damage.  Lane Closed shuts down one of the lanes on a Straight-Away or Wide-Open! track card.  Repair Shop will give players a way to get rid of all of their damage (although this may delay them a bit).  And, Dangerous Curve will increase the Gates on a curve track card by one (or the player can take Damage instead or using an extra die).

Next up will be the “messin’ with the dice” cards, the “instant damage/repair” cards, and one card that stands alone in its own category … I’ll probably need a whole post to describe that last one by itself.

Here’s how the track modifier cards look so far (close to final, although there may need to be some tweaks yet) … click for a bigger image:

Dicey Curves DANGER! - Track Modifier Cards

TheGameCrafter.com Hall of Fame

TheGameCrafter.comToday, I had the honor of being inducted into TheGameCrafter.com’s Hall of Fame.

Primarily, this was due to having first published Jump Gate at TGC, and the success that has followed for that game.

However, if you click over to the article, I think you will agree that my best hopes are for my freakishly-huge logo to take over the world! 🙂

Thanks to Tavis, JT, Jamie, and the rest of the team at TGC … it’s a great crew, and a great site for a guy like me to make some games!