DSGN PNCH - A short series of short graphic design videos

I'm trying out something a little different for this series. I want to break down the big giant scary subject of graphic design into the tiniest possible pinches so they're a little less intimidating. I don't know how long this series will last, I only have a few topics lined up so far:

  • Which colors are best to avoid color-blindness issues?
  • How do I lay out light text on a dark background?
  • What's a good font size?

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Testing Updates to Monsoon Market

I'm in the process of updating Monsoon Market to make it more suitable for publisher pitches. I still enjoy this little game, but a few wrinkles have shown more prominently over the years of feedback and I am taking this opportunity to smooth them out.

Check out the current live rules doc here.

There haven't been any changes to the cards themselves, so if you own a POD copy already you're still good. It's mainly procedural tweaks and streamlining.

  • Bonus Goods are spent, no longer permanent. When you spend a good, you note its expenditure by upgrading the Order to silver.
  • Replenish the Market or Orders display at the end of your turn instead of immediately.
  • You only get Bonus Actions if you fulfill an Order at Gold or Silver accuracy.
  • The game ends immediately when someone achieves the point threshold, but you can adjust that threshold for longer games.

Hope you get a chance to test these changes at home and offer your feedback! Thanks for your support!

šŸ“¹ Watch: How to play Kodama: the Tree Spirits

I'm so honored to see Rodney Smith teach how to play Kodama: the Tree Spirits. He really sets the standard for all other video tutorials for clarity, brevity, and thoroughness. Check out the video embedded above to see Rodney teach the game far better than I could. :D

UnPub6 Feedback for "Curse You, Robin Hood!"

Wow, I'm finally starting to recover from the wild pace of preparing for UnPub. I had two games I was primarily showing, the main one being Curse You, Robin Hood! You can find the full rules for the game on this Google Doc. Overall the response was very good and I made some procedural tweaks after several tests that really streamlined the game significantly.  Check out the scores and responses out of 28 feedback forms. I've bolded some of the more representative comments as well.

(Image Source: Lauren Woolsey)

Was this game predictable?
No 100%
Yes 0%

Will you play this game again?
No 10.71%
Yes 89.29%

Will you buy this game?
(The responses to this question had a lot of "YESNO" responses, so I think there was something wrong with the form. In either case, the results were inconclusive.)

What was one thing you would change?
  • Maybe the option to add the AI with 6+ players
  • nothing comes to mind
  • art
  • Some of the suits look a little similar and get a little confusing at first
  • Nothing in particular
  • Maybe add in some Trump cards that can mess up other players.
  • The game is really easy to learn, but having a quick-reference card for each player that described the order of card-swapping would help a lot.
  • Better instructions or not sure I understood the bartering
  • Find some way to encourage players to arrange deals more. You may want to include a reference card to explain the resolution order
  • Clearer explanation of when I would barter with other players.
  • Nothing
  • N/A
  • Nothing.
  • The exchange system is completely blind. Maybe there could be a way for players to have a card to always go to market.
  • It looks ready.
  • Use characters
  • nothing
  • Rolling scoring option for longer play
  • Not really sure. I found the game to be pretty well balanced
  • This game is well thought out. I would not change anything.
  • Nothing
  • Nothing
  • Something to help me learn the why behind my choices quicker.
  • Nothing!
  • Nothing.
  • Not sure...strategy was hard for me, but I\'m not sure how to make it better
  • change six back to a number
  • Make icons a bit bigger

What was your favorite part of the game?
  • unpredictability
  • card options to play
  • attempting to guess other players possible selections
  • The "solitaire" aspect, ease of learning
  • The art is fantastic, it's a great original idea for a game and a really interesting mechanic. I'm excited to buy it when it's available!
  • The trading and negotiating
  • The fact that there's no downtime!
  • How quick it was
  • the robin hood targeting mechanic is implemented in a very clever way. the forced trades made for surprising results.
  • Fast play. Creativity typing into the Robin Hood theme. Ability to play single to 6 player
  • I love the whole concept.
  • Ability to play up to 6 players. Great for our gaming group!
  • The swapping mechanic.
  • That robin hood always steals from the highest target.
  • You never 100% control which card you will receive at time of card selection. Game allows for different social dynamics to make the game play differently.
  • The bluffing
  • being able to mess with other players
  • Varying random hands (Tuck, etc)
  • Trying to outwit the other players at the table and get the specific card you're looking for in the market
  • This is another game I would love to play with kids because it's easy enough to pick up but also allows for players to try to manipulate the game with what cards you throw into the center.
  • Mexhan (The rest of this form looked pretty broken, so I assume it's some bug?)
  • The additional player card
  • Great art, fun "yes" or "no" moments.
  • That the gameplay made you need to say "Curse You, Robin Hood!"
  • The balance of targets to points.
  • Loved the theme, loved the art, loved the idea
  • never knowing what was coming next
  • Trying to figure out who would wind up with which card

Additional Comments
  • I liked it as is, but could love it with a little more player control though I\'m not sure how to implement it.
  • would buy this today if it were available

Overall pretty good results! We'll see where it goes from here, but I'm pretty happy with letting this game be the fast, wild, rowdy tavern game it wants to be. :)

Game Designers of North Carolina at UnPub!

Come to UnPub in Baltimore this weekend, where you can find me and a bunch of other game designers demoing our latest creations. Details are at the UnPub site. I'm at table 3G, right by the feedback area.

I'll be bringing a lot of prototypes in various states of development, but the big headlines are Koi Pond Second Edition and Curse You, Robin Hood!

Hope to see you there!

Card at Work: 9 - Making a 3x3 Card Sheet

Howdy! Looks like I forgot to post the latest episodes of Card at Work to the ol' blog here. Sorry about that! For new folks, Card at Work is my video series covering the basics of designing cards for tabletop games.

I figured, what could be more appropriate for Episode 9 than to talk about making 3x3 card sheets? :) Check it out at the video above.

The previous episode covered variable front-and-back card designs.

Thanks for watching! I hope you find these videos useful. Support more videos at my Patreon!
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.