And some more tweaks to “Jump Gate”

Illustration of a "Jump" Action in the Jump Gate RulesWhile it seems like swimming in tar at times, I actually really like this end-of-design tweaking phase that I’m currently in with “Jump Gate“.

I have the rulebook a good 80-90 percent of the way to where I want it, and I’ve been able to do a some playtests of a few tweaks … then re-tweak … then re-test.  It’s the final polish (I hope) of what works as a really nice game.

In my last post here, I linked to my BGG feedback post where I mentioned that I was going to try having players always refill their hand at the end of a turn, and that every action would cost at least 1 NavComp card … well, those changes didn’t test very well.  Refilling every turn completely lost the nice tension that was there when trying to manage your hand … and having the refill as an action choice gives players a nice way of timing that to their plans.  So, I’ve dropped both of those ideas.

Instead, the “Research” action will allow a player to refill their hand back to 5 cards.  And some actions — Research, Fly, and Harvest — do not require a player to discard anything in order to take that action (using up an action is cost enough).

Some of the Special Actions also needed some balancing.  “Hotshot Pilot” originally allowed you to land on a planet just by discarding that card — but that was too strong … so now it serves as a “wildcard” that can be paired up with just 1 of the Landing Codes to land on a planet.  “Inside Info” was simply never used when it gave a player the chance to peek at a planet’s face-down cards — it wasn’t worth burning an action for that.  I’ve changed it to now allow you to refill your hand back to 5 cards, and it gives you an extra action to use in the turn … so, you essentially can refill your hand without using up an action.

I’m going to be adding in a few more graphics, running the thing through a few more word-editing rounds, and finish off the last page of the rules (thanks and ads).  I’m shooting for the end of March as a release … wish me luck!

Serious Update to Jump Gate Rulebook

Jump Gate Cover ArtI’ve made a serious first-pass at getting the “Jump Gate” Rulebook into shape.  I’ve put the details into my feedback thread on BoardGameGeek.

The formatting is intended to go well with how TheGameCrafter.com handles rulebooks (which isn’t great) … they print pages back-to-back on a black-and-white laser printer, and then fold them up however they can to get it to fit into the box.  Since “Jump Gate” is made up of a couple decks of cards and a few 4-by-4-inch boards, it can fit into a small box — so the rules will get folded up quite a bit.

Right now, it fits onto 3 sheets of letter-sized paper, with the back side of the 3rd page still blank … I expect to fill that up with acknowledgements, thank you’s, and some advertising. 😉

I would appreciate to hear any feedback that you might have on the rulebook, and the game in general … just leave a comment here or on the BGG thread, or drop my an e-mail.

Jump Gate: Resource Card Distribution & Scoring

Jump Gate Resources Card BackOne area of Jump Gate that has remained relatively stable since early revisions of the game, has been the types of Resource cards, their distribution and scoring methods.

The game has a number of layers of scoring, but the Resource cards will provide the main focus.  Because, while scanning and claiming Planets provides points for players, the main purpose of getting to the claimed Planets is to be able to harvest the Resources that are found there.  I wanted the game to encourage players to specialize in which Resources they were looking to collect, while having those Resources be randomly scattered around the Planets.  To encourage the specialization, most Resources score better when a player has collected more of that type.  This approach also adds in the strategic need to pay attention to what the other players are collecting in order to try to stop them from getting what they need … a bit of tension between wanting to collect *your* favorites, and stopping others from collecting theirs. Continue reading

Jump Gate: Finalized Resource Card Face Graphics

Jump Gate Resources Card Back(As I post this and see the card back graphic to the left, I realize now that I’ll need to update that one to include the udpated Gem and EnerGel icons.)

I got a few minutes over the weekend to get back into Photoshop and finalize the graphics for the Jump Gate Resource Card faces.  I’ve gotten great advice between my friend, Dan, and the folks replying to my feeback thread on BGG. Continue reading

Jump Gate: Updated Resource Cards

Jump Gate Resources Card BackI just posted yesterday with my latest updates to the faces for the NavComp cards for Jump Gate.  In fact, I’ve even tweaked those a bit to add a little extra computer-ish flavor text — something to fill in some empty space on the UI without being a distraction.

Since then, however, I’ve stayed busy in Photoshop and redid the faces for the Resources cards as well. Continue reading

Jump Gate: Updated NavComp Cards

Jump Gate NavComp Card Back

Jump Gate NavComp Card Back

In my original post for the updated website, I ended by saying “onto step #2”.  Step #2 is to return to making progress on my current game projects.

Jump Gate is my current board game design that is getting close to completion.  I just have to redesign the insides of both types of cards, clean-up the rules, finalize how it will all go together as a sellable product and launch it.

I made progress today on the design of the inside of the NavComp Cards.  Continue reading