Muse vs. Focus

Whisper, whisperIf you’re familiar with the classic Greek concept of the Muses, you’ll know what I mean when I refer to my muse giving me an idea for a game … or when I say that I’m waiting on my muse to help me figure out the answer to something I’m working on.

I don’t actually believe that I have an invisible woman following me around, whispering in my ear with new, creative ideas. But, I’ve always found … Continue reading

Solitaire Games are on My Mind

Space Mission's 3D Space Ship ModelI’ve been thinking a lot lately about designing solo-play games, and about adding a solo-play option into games that are normally played with multiple players. It’s a different sort of task — and I think a harder task — than normal game design since you can’t rely on player interaction to add an extra layer of challenge for a player … you need to have the game system itself handle that part in addition to the main challenge of the game.

Blaster Waves Setup to PlayI’ve only finished one game like this so far — Blaster Waves. This game came about as part of the 2012 Solitaire Print-and-Play Contest at BoardGameGeek.com. There are print-and-play files available for those that like to print their own for free, and also a TGC-produced version that can be ordered.

I want to get better at designing for this type of play, and I think I’ve worked out a plan for that … Continue reading

What I’m Aiming at with “Danger at the Walls”

Danger at the Walls, Main Deck Back, June 2014When I first started Danger at the Walls this past January, I wanted a quick-playing, 2-player battle game that just used cards.

Initially it was going to be 2 small decks — 1 for Red, 1 for Blue. Take your deck, shuffle, and try to capture enough of your opponent’s cards to win. Both players had ways to build their own walls, tear down the other’s walls, and capture the other’s cards. Since the decks were small, there was a lot of cycling through the cards in a way that didn’t require more shuffling. A sort of deck-depleter (as opposed to a deck-builder) with room for some clever power card combos. But, it didn’t really work. I mean, it worked mathematically, but there wasn’t much “there” there. So I actually decided to put it on hold sometime in April.

Then, in May, I had an idea pop into my head … Continue reading

Dicey Curves, Deluxe Edition, Available at TGC

Dicey Curves, Deluxe Edition, 3D Box Render, March 2014Earlier this week, I completed the changes needed to release the new Deluxe Edition of Dicey Curves in the shop at TheGameCrafter.com.

As I’ve detailed on earlier posts, I was able to update the track cards to look like actual curving race track sections, and also include the cards and pieces needed for the DANGER! Expansion in the same box.

I really like how the updates make the game look …

Dicey Curves, Deluxe Edition, Cars on the Track Dicey Curves, Deluxe Edition, Danger Expansion Obstacles on the Track Dicey Curves, Deluxe Edition, Green Car at a 4-Dice Gate Dicey Curves, Deluxe Edition, Cars at the Finish

Working the DANGER! Expansion into the Dicey Curves Update

Dicey Curves DANGER! Expansion Card BackAs mentioned in my previous post, I’ve been working through a graphical & packaging update to Dicey Curves. My plan is to call it the “deluxe edition” and have it include both the base game and the DANGER! Expansion.

There were 2 different hurdles to get over with this: (1) the changes to the track cards in the updated base game meant that the original DANGER! cards weren’t going to work, and (2) I wasn’t sure if I could pack all of the stuff into the size box that I wanted to use. But I think I’ve gotten past both of those issues by making a few changes to how the expansion will work.

Bits for Updated DANGER! Expansion, January 2014The main step was to take a “bits as toys” approach to how things would be marked on the racetrack when the DANGER! elements were added-in. Originally, the deck of cards in the expansion were actually placed down onto the track to indicate things. With this update, the cards still trigger the stuff going onto the track, but actual nice little wooden bits will be placed on the track instead.

I’ll be using red cubes to show where damage can be picked up (and to represent the actual damage a player currently has), orange cylinders (“barrels”) to show closed lanes, and a blue building to represent the location of a repair shop. I’m really excited to see how this will actually look while playing!

Finally, I updated the cards in the deck that needed it (check out the bottom row) … they now look something like this (click for big picture):

Updated DANGER! Expansion Cards, January 2014

I’ll also be tweaking the rules a little bit to make things a little less clunky, and to work more easily or quickly during the game. I’ve just started working through complete rewrites of the rule books for both the base game and the expansion. So, I’ll have more once those are ready.

Moving Forward with the Dicey Curves Update

Dicey CurvesI’ve been toying around for the past few months with an update of some sort for Dicey Curves.

In a post back in October, I was starting to look at ways to more graphically represent the actual dirt track that the cars were racing on. At that point, I was toying around with using “domino mats” which are 4×8-inch rectangles. I liked how the track formed, but didn’t really like the feel of how the game played with them.

So, I switched back to using poker cards as the track cards … I do really like how that works in the game right now. But I wanted to make them look like an actual race track. So, I’ve come up with this over the past week-or-so (click pic for bigger version):

Updated Dicey Curves Track Cards, January 2014

These 7 track sections represent the ones in the original game (left-to-right, top/bottom): Straight-Away/Wide-Open, Dicey Curve, Gentle Curve Left/Right, Hard Curve Left/Right. I’ve also updated the “Start” and “Finish” cards to match the new style:

Updated Dicey Curves Start Card, January 2014 Updated Dicey Curves Finish Card, January 2014

My hope is to get everything to fit into one of TGC’s Small Pro Boxes (the same box size/shape used for Jump Gate, 3rd Edition. I’m still working through whether there will be other tweaks to the game components or rules yet … but I don’t expect anything drastic. I’d also like to work in the “DANGER!” Expansion as well, but it won’t work in its current form … so, I’ll spend a little time seeing how to update it to be included in the same box. I’ll update you as I make progress.

Winner Selected for “Late Christmas Present” Game Give-Away

Matt Worden's Games at TheGameCrafter.comMy first post of the new year announced a game give-away called “Late Christmas Present.” To enter, you had to make a comment (or tweet or FB me) with someone you would like me to send one of my games to.

I had 10 entries that met the criteria (I’ll give the list of entrants at the end of this post), and randomly selected a single winner.

The winner of the Late Christmas Present Game Give-Away is Scott Metzger, who would like me to send a copy of Jump Gate to his friend Dave. I will be contacting Scott directly on how to arrange delivery of the game to Dave.

Thanks to everyone who played along, and to everyone who shared info about the give-away via the various social media! 🙂

Now, here’s the list of all entrants … Continue reading

Right out of the Gate for 2014: “Late Christmas Present” Game Give-Away

Matt Worden's Games at TheGameCrafter.comOver the Christmas/New Year break, I picked up a few more Twitter followers, putting me over 1500. In celebration of that milestone, along with a fun way to start out 2014, I am going to be giving away some of my games.

Here’s the surprise: No purchase necessary. No “likes” or “follows” or “pluses” or “shares” or any of those types of things necessary either. 🙂

So, what sort of rigmarole will I put you through to be eligible? Simply: I want some direct feedback … and I want you to be generous, by suggesting someone *else* I should send a game to.

Here are the formal rules: Continue reading