Showing posts from October, 2014

Common Legibility Problems in Graphic Design for Tabletop Games

When you're making your first game and doing the graphic design yourself, watch out for these common pitfalls of typography. Click the image below for full-size description of nine different legibility problems and what you can do to avoid them. This image is released under an Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Creative Commons License.

Arf! Progress Report: Choosing a Difficulty Level for Target Audience

I've been developing Arf! internally for a while and have finally polished up some of the rough edges with outside playtesting. I always knew this would be one of the simpler games in its final form, but there's this inevitable step of development where I make it way too complicated before scaling it back to essentials. This is particularly important for a game with such light, approachable art. I didn't scale back Nine Lives quite enough during its development, which has led it to being a slightly less approachable game than it could be. I didn't want to fall into the same trap with these pups. So first, a recap of gameplay. Theme : You're volunteers at a three-day adoption fair, competing to adopt out puppies to the best homes. You're sort of a matchmaker, presenting several clients to picky puppies who have particular needs. Cards : Each card is multipurpose. If a card is in your hand, you only pay attention to the information at the top of

Kigi Rules Preview

Kigi is almost ready to go to print! If you want to preview and comment on the rules cards, check them out here at this link . Thanks so much for your support! I hope to have Kigi available on DriveThruCards by the end of the month.

Patreon Icon Set #4!

Thanks to Patreon backers for supporting another batch of game icons! This update includes icons for game states, poker hands, social game interactions, and a few classic euro resource doodles!

Triple Triangle Card Deck Distribution

Here's a peculiar spin on triangle decks from James Ernest's Pairs and Great Dalmuti . I think I've talked about this before in another form, but as a mix of suits and ranks. When it's just numbers, I find it fascinating that all the cards divide up 19 in different ways. When two numbers are high, the third is low. The most balanced cards get are 6 6 7. What would you do with this deck?

Derek Guder reviews Suspense: the Card Game!

Edo Reviews' presents his first guest reviewer, Derek Guder! Derek says some very nice things about Suspense: the Card Game ! Just in time for the release of the second edition! Woot!

Happy Halloween! Suspense Second Edition Coming Next Week

Hey all, just wanted to give you a head's up that a second edition of Suspense will be coming next week as a part of the DriveThruCards Halloween promotion. Can you believe it's been a year since Suspense first came out? What's new in the second edition: Slightly different card size: euro poker instead of US poker. I've also updated the rules cards to follow the standard formatting of my more recent games. This includes rules for 4-6 players, which you can see a preview of below. VARIANT: 4-6 Players Setup: While setting up a round, shuffle cards from an extra deck of Suspense cards depending on the number of players. 4: Black 1 and 6. Red 1 and 6. 5: Black 1, 2, 5, and 6. Red 1, 2, 5, and 6. 6: Black 1–6. Red 1–6. END OF ROUND: The sum of numbers in play that triggers the end of the round depends on the number of players. 4: 27 5: 33 6: 40 SCORING: If multiple players win a round, all score points noted on their winning cards. END OF GAME: Continu

Puzzle Climbing Game [In the Lab]

Sometimes a little mechanism gets a hold of my brain and I can't shake it unless I write it down. This time it's inspired by Ninja Taisen 's linear board and Foxmind's lovely abstract Linja . Presently it's more of a system for solitaire puzzles, but I think there is some potential for two-player interaction. The theme is that you're a herd of goats trying to get across a mountain. If you get at least three over the top, you win. You have a set of numbered cards representing the size of each goat. Begin with them Big goats are stronger and can help their smaller brethren, but their bulk also makes them less nimble on the steep cliffs. Step 1: Take a card from the inside space of any level and move it down to the bottom level on the outermost space. Step 2: You have a number of moves equal to the goat you just sent to the bottom of the mountain. You can move any other cards in any order that many spaces up the mountain. Remaining goats o

4 Japanese Games to Watch: Edo Yashiki, Colors of Kasane, Ninja Taisen, and Onitama

I had the opportunity a few weeks ago to play at a dedicated game night for Japanese games, but I was recovering from some nasty con crud and had an 8-hour drive ahead of me the following morning. Probably for the best health of my friends that I didn't attend... I guess . It seems I missed out on some great light abstracts. Thankfully Eric Martin has been posting video reviews! No substitute for actual play, but at least covers the basics. Each of these games strikes my curiosity for their unique mechanics and effective use of cards as primary gameplay components. They may use oddly shaped cards or add a die to the mix, but overall these are mainly card-driven games. Edo Yashiki has a cool scoring mechanism for its "advanced" mode. You can score A, B, C, or D on your turn, but once you've done so you can't score it again until the others have scored first. For example, if you scored for Apples this turn, you couldn't score Apples again until y

Dice Tower Reviews Belle of the Ball

Tom Vasel of Dice Tower reviewed Belle of the Ball ! So, how does Tom and his gang of gamers react to the theme, art, and general feel of this fancy schmancy card game? Oh dear. Watch and find out. Spoiler: It was actually a very fair review. In the first minute I was prepared for lots of negative comments, but in the end it ended up pretty balanced. Tom's been in the business long enough to know whether or not a game is aimed at the hobby strategy market and evaluates Belle of the Ball accordingly. I must say it's a surreal experience seeing the game I've worked on so long finally making the rounds of tabletop media. Between Wil Wheaton's very positive comments , Secret Cabal's very negative response , I'm kinda getting whiplash. Best to just keep an even keel and see how the game sells in the long term. If the market's responding, that's what pays the rent. :)

Review: JonGetsExcited about Koi Pond!

JonGetsExcited is a brand new board game vlogger that is really good at energetically talking about board games in a single take. I can't tell you how hard that is to do. No ums, no vocal tics, it's so impressive. Of course I may be biased because he's so enthusiastic about Koi Pond and DriveThruCards. Check it out!

Interview: Using Google Helpouts in your Business/Education

Christine Gertz from the University of Alberta's Career Centre interviewed me recently about how I use Google Helpouts for my business . It's a short conversation covering a lot of ground including education, time management, picking your first project, and the advantages of video conferencing vs. asynchronous communication. For the past year or so, I've offered 30min consultation sessions for $15. So far the reviews have been great and I'm eager to do it more often.  Here's a link to further reading compiled by Christine, including my recorded Helpout sessions with Jaren Maddock.

Suspense News: Emboscada and Second Edition

I've got two big pieces of news for Suspense fans and fans-to-be! EMBOSCADA or " Ambush " is the Portuguese language edition of Suspense, just signed to Funbox Jogos. They're the fine publishers who also just picked up Light Rail! In the rethemed game, players are trying to deduce the secret weakness of a hidden medieval army. Suspense: Second Edition For production reasons, I'm resizing the standard size poker cards of Suspense to Euro poker size (2.48" x 3.4"). Looking back over those old production files, I realize how many improvements I've figured out in presenting rules and gameplay on cards. So I'm taking this opportunity to rebrand Suspense with a new edition. The game is mostly the same, I'm just making the rules easier to understand and cards easier to read. Hope you dig it. :)

September 2014 Sales Report

Each month I share my sales numbers from DriveThruCards, hopefully giving you some perspective if you pursue this POD self-publishing model. Notable business events this month include the inaugural tiltEXPO, my first time boothing solo at a convention and pitching my POD games in person. You can read more about that here. I handed out a lot of business cards and a few discount codes. Hard to say how many sales came out of that push, but at least I planted some seeds of awareness around Durham. Unfortunately I couldn't nurture that in subsequent weeks because I came down with a double-dose of Con Crud from tiltEXPO and SPX the following weekend. Three weeks of coughing and sneezing really knocked out my promotion and production cycle. One new release, limited buzz, and no huge promotional discounts all contributed to a dip in sales for September.     And here are the hard numbers: 9-2014 2x Bird Bucks -4 18x Koi Pond: A Coy Card Game -16 5x Koi Pond: Four Wal