Updated “Danger at the Walls” Print-and-Play

Danger at the Walls, Castle Sketch, June 2014FREE GAME: Danger at the Walls (124) (2-players, 30 minutes, area control)

Based on the feedback from Protospiel-Michigan this summer, and as one of the first steps that I needed to take as I get my games projects fired up again, I’ve updated the Danger at the Walls print-and-play file (above).

The Leaders are now mostly place-at-a-wall-and-leave, without any of the fiddly “you can move a leader around at the start of your turn” nonsense. Also, I’ve replaced the weak-and-confusing Archer Attacks with Flags, which are placed on walls to lock their control in place and can be used to trigger the game end.

I’d really love it if you would try the game out and let me know how it goes. It’s going onto the back burner for a while.

Flags on the Walls?

Blue Flag of DangerMy testing and the PnP feedback for Danger at the Walls yielded a couple of things. First, the optional “move a leader” step at the start of a turn was fiddly and seemed to be overlooked at times. Second, the structured game end lent itself to a rather strong last turn advantage.

Going into the next version of the PnP, I’ll be making changes to fix these 2 areas. Most of the Leaders will be place-and-leave, just like the Archer and Cannon cards. This means the abilities of some of the cards will need to be adjusted to fit. For example, instead of the King & General moving cards around, they will instead do a simple 2X on their current strength at the Wall.

For the end game, I’m doing something a little more drastic. I should mention that I wanted to remove the 4 Archer Attacks because they didn’t quite feel as I had hoped (the Cannon Attacks work fine). Now I have something to replace them with — Flags! Each player will get a Flag in their personal deck, and the remaining 2 will be placed in the bottom half of the main deck.

To play a Flag, a player sets it on a Wall. The ownership of the Wall is now locked. You can still play things at the locked Wall — it just won’t change who owns it. When the 3rd Flag is played, the other player will get 1 more turn and the game ends.

This will give it a bit of a nearly-instant “go out” effect. But the opponent will get one more chance to respond … so a player will want to be sure when going out. I’m curious to see if this will work better.

Heading to Protospiel-Michigan this Weekend

Map to Protospiel, Chelsea, Michigan, July 2014Tomorrow, I leave for a pretty exciting game design related road trip. I’ll be picking up Jeff King (from All Us Geeks), Jason Glover (from Grey Gnome games), and David Sheppard (known to most as Sheppy) along the way. We’re headed to this year’s Michigan Protospiel event, where indie designers get together to test prototypes of their games with each other. While it’s always great to get games tested by a wide mix of players, getting them tested by other designers can yield espresso-like shots of great feedback you can’t get anywhere else.

King of Danger, TGC Version, Card Examples - March 2014I will be focused on testing my two Land of Danger card games — King of Danger and Danger at the Walls — along with my tile-laying, pick-up-and-deliver game set on the 1800s prairies, Abbottsville. I will also bring Magistrate along for continued testing as well.

Abbottsville, Early Playtest at Paul's Cabin, May 2014Another exciting development will be that Jeff Large from Happy Mitten Games will be there, testing my game, Aether Magic, which they will be publishing later this year. Can’t wait to watch that one being tested by Jeff and the designers there. A few of them may have played it in Milwaukee during the March 2013 Protospiel when it was still called “For Goods and Honor” … it’s undergone quite a thematic change, but the main social and production mechanics are still there.

I will try to send out tweets while the roadtrip is taking place, and throughout the weekend. So, follow me on Twitter to see how that bit of chaos works out! 😉

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

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

“Danger at the Walls” Print-and-Play Available (beta v2.1)

Danger at the Walls, Castle Sketch, June 2014As promised earlier in the week, I have assembled a print-and-play file for Danger at the Walls.

It is a free download available here as a PDF: Danger at the Walls (124)

54 cards, 2-players, 30 minutes, Area Control.

It really is the same-old-story from the Land of Danger: one army attacking another King’s castle, looking to take control of those walls. Play as either the attackers or defenders, using your Archers, Cannons, Attacks, and Leaders, utilizing clever card play and a little bit of luck to give yourself more strength at more of the walls than your opponent.

The artwork and layout is rather rough and quite basic … just enough to make the game work cleanly. I do plan to upgrade and improve all of that after the gameplay gets nailed down.

The specific items I’m looking for feedback on at this time is spelled out in the PDF file. I do not expect to update the PnP until the late-June/early-July timeframe as I get it ready for the Michigan Protospiel at the end of July.

Update on “Danger at the Walls”

Danger at the Walls Prototype, Red Deck Back, Feb 2014After first introducing Danger at the Walls a few months ago, the game has gone under a lot of changes. I even just tossed the scribbled-up index cards into a corner at one point and moved it off my formal “current projects” list.

Then I had a new direction for it pop into my head as I was falling asleep one night a few weeks ago. Since then, I’ve worked up new cards and tested it out … and it really works well. 🙂 So, back on the current projects list.

I expect I’ll have a print-and-play doc available sometime later this week. This is a 2-player area control game card game that takes about 30 minutes. If that sounds like something you’d like, I’d appreciate if you’d try it out and let me know your thoughts. Just watch for a post later this week with the PnP in it.

If the game continues to play well and I get the gameplay and card info honed down, I’ll work on a better design. In the meantime, here are how the cards are looking right now … still very early and rough:

Danger at the Walls, Prototype Card Examples, June 2014

Introducing “Danger at the Walls”

Danger at the Walls Prototype, Red Deck Back, Feb 2014I’ve started working on another card game set in the Land of Danger, currently called “Danger at the Walls.”

This one is a head-to-head, tactical game, with each player having an identical 18-card deck. The premise is similar to Castle Danger — 2 castles directly across from each other — but the delivery is quite different.

This will feature deck-to-hand, hand-to-table type play, with the goal of removing cards from the other player’s castle until you’ve accumulated a certain number of points from those cards. Some of the cards are simple attacking troops, and some are leaders with special powers. The flow and mechanics have started coming together pretty well in the past couple of days.

There will be some familiar-looking unit types (King, Wizard, Builder, Cannons) along with a couple of new types (Archers and a Spy). I’m being a little coy in the pic below (click for a bigger version) by not showing much of the faces for the prototype so far … pretty sure the info on those faces is likely to change near-daily until I have the design nailed down. 😉

Danger at the Walls, early prototype card examples, Feb 2014