I’ve been quiet for a while — here’s what I’ve been working on

Apologies for flying under the radar for so long. I’ve had my head down, working on a lot of projects. Some of these are board games, some are me attempting (poorly) to get back into creative writing.

Here’s what I’ve been working on:

  • Based on playtest feedback and my personal vision, a revitalized version of Oath
  • Trying to pull my head out of my ass about promoting my game and building a emailing list
  • Editing two short stories, of which I’m thinking of starting another site to give them a home
  • Playtesting some ideas for the Button Shy Games 18 identical card game challenge (if you’re interested, you still have a week to submit something)

I think that about sums it up. Settle in, this is a long one.

Thanks for the update — now I’ve gotta run

Let’s talk about Oath first: My last post went on about how much I got my ass kicked, both losing the game and having it torn to shreds. That was the greatest thing to happen to Oath to date. Now I’ve really taken all of this to heart while (trying) to remain emotionally distant.

Images below contain placeholder artwork and are farrrr from final.

Here’s a high level of the flow of the game now:

  1. You play as a character with hidden win conditions (your Oaths) that you can fulfill in any order. After fulfilling your first Oath, you must reveal your character.
  2. You and other players are given one of four different types of crisis at the beginning of the round.

    Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 1.58.01 PM
    Different crisis types, from left to right: financial, civic, natural disaster, military
  3. You all collect Influence cards in accordance with Education and Wealth stats that you build up through various actions in game. (There’s also a Reputation stat that you’ll need to use guild abilities and gain benefits.)

    Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 1.46.35 PM
    Player mat that represents your various stats. You must balance your Debt to Equity ratio of Wealth, which determines the max amount of Influence you may draw at the beginning of the round. Education represents how much of each type of Influence you may draw. Reputation is needed for to use guild abilities.
  4. Players vote with any number of their Influence cards on how to resolve a crisis. There are now four different types of Influence, as opposed to the original eight.

    Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 1.56.45 PM
    The four different types of Influence that you use to vote on crisis outcomes
  5. Cards are shuffled and drawn one at a time until the draw limit is reached. (Starts at twice the number of players and increments one higher each round to a max of 20.)
  6. As cards are drawn, players can cancel out a vote (discard an Influence to cancel out the drawn Influence), which doesn’t count toward the draw limit. Canceled out Influence can’t be blocked.

    They can also replace an Influence, which does count toward the draw limit. Replaced Influence can also be replaced or canceled, though!

    Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 1.46.49 PM
    Cancelations and replacements aid card
  7. Once the draw limit is reached, count the votes. Highest amount of Influence wins and players take actions in accordance with how the crisis was resolved.
  8. Here’s where it gets interesting: Crisis outcomes affect the four guilds in the game, not the players directly.
    Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 1.46.59 PM
    Track active crisis, draw limit (ignore “vote limit”), and see all resolution outomes
    Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 1.46.17 PM
    The Nation: track national Wealth, Injustices, Threats, and Education levels (all based on guild agendas). All of these are changed as a result of crisis outcomes and various other player initiated actions during the game

    Each guild has their own agenda. These actions may help or hurt you. It’s your job to exploit them or try and stop them. Join guilds to take advantage of their benefits and use their unique powers.

    Screen Shot 2019-09-22 at 1.46.30 PM
    Not finished yet and super messy, but here’s an example of some of the things you’ll need to balance when you join the Freedom Fighters. Depending on whether you want Education, Reputation, or Wealth; Corrected Injustices or forgotten ones; or various other things, you might want to join the Freedom Fighters to help them our hurt them!
  9. The first player to fulfill all of their Oaths wins!

It’s shaping up. I still need to work on the guild abilities. I’m hoping to have a new version to playtest tonight.

If it works, I’m going to hit the road and playtest it with strangers. I’ll also most certainly update my current print and play with the new version of the game.

Wow, so exciting. Will you look at the time, I’ve—

I finally created a mailing list through mailchimp.

I’m still not exactly sure how it all works but if you want to join my emailing list and receive updates on the game, add your email address through this form(I promise not to spam you with anything but these diary updates and other tidbits about the game.)

That’s awful. Or great. Full disclosure, I wasn’t listening. Anyway, nice chatting with you…

To digress for a moment.

Oh god, if you really do exist, prove it and take me now

I used to write often. Ever since I began work on Oath many, many moons ago (even before that: I worked on a Roman themes game for months, and then scrapped it to make Oath) I’ve dropped creative writing altogether. I’ve since picked it back up. I wrote one scifi short story that I entered in two contests, and boy let me tell you…it’s gone absolutely nowhere.

You don’t say

I’ve recently finished another scifi short story. Since they’re not really seeing the light of day right now, I’m going to give them both another extensive edit and polish. Then, I’m going to subject myself to the cold, dark tendrils of the Internet. I’ll likely create another site to host them on, but I may also add them to some of the popular writing share sites (wattpad, writing.com).

My favorite part of your stories is when they’re over *hint hint*

Button Shy Games is challenging board game designers with creating a card game using only 18 cards that all must be identical.

I’ve got a few ideas that I’m floating around and playtesting. I don’t think I’m going to be able to get one finished in time to meet their deadline but the exercise has been great. Being able to design a lo-fi card game, print and craft the physical version, then playtest it and organically tweak mechanics all within the span of an hour has been exhilarating.

Whether I can finish the ideas in time for the contest or not, I’ll likely create print and play versions of them as a free download.

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