Showing posts from June, 2016

Card at Work: 11 - Inserting Optional Line Breaks with DataMerge

It's a new episode of Card at Work , the video series covering the basics of designing cards for tabletop games! This time we're building on the GREP tricks from the last episode on inline icons and using similar technique to insert optional line breaks within a single cell of a spreadsheet. Using this method, you can drop a line break into a single block of text without needing a manual line break in the InDesign template itself OR using a find-replace after merging the document. This is my first Card at Work episode in HD resolution. I'm slowly figuring out Adobe Premiere so hopefully these episodes will be even higher quality as time goes on. P.S. I'll be streaming today live at around noon EST. I'll be working on a new round of layout updates for Chimera Station from Tasty Minstrel Games at . Support more videos at my Patreon!

Coffee & Carcassonne - "That Radical Rock"

It's the second episode of Coffee & Carcassonne ! Megan and I usually play Carcassonne over Sunday brunch at home. We hope you enjoy the gameplay and dorky conversation!

Transparent Card 2-Player Abstract

2-player abstracts are really hard to make commercially viable, but that's never kept me from noodling them a bit. This is one idea that I've had on the back burner for a long time while I was focused on card games, but I'm pushing it forward a bit now that Onitama and the Duke are more prominent. The basic idea is using transparent cards like Gloom or Mystic Vale with an abstract movement UI as seen in Onitama, the Duke, and Tash-Kalar. Each player has identical set of unique pieces. Call them A, B, C, D, and E. To set up the game, each player draws five cards from the deck. Each player simultaneously secretly picks then reveals a card to assign to each type of piece. In the above example, player 1 picked Elephant and player 2 picked Crab. For this game, A has the traits and powers of Elephant and Crab. Then you do the same for B, C, D, and E. Then you play the remainder of the game using those movement rules. I'm imagining the game played on a 9x9 board, I ca

POD-X: Find the last escape pod!

Button Shy's been teasing the release of POD-X, coming to Kickstarter in July 5 through July 16, 2016. It's their 3-4 player adaptation of my microgame Suspense, using the original "Escape the spaceship" theme I had waaaay back at UnPub 3. I'm super excited to see how it turns out. Hope you dig it too! In Pod-X, players are trying to escape a fallen spaceship on the last escape pod. One player knows its  location, but is keeping it secret to themselves. What a jerk! All the other players are trying to deduce and bluff their way to the secret location in this quick parlor-style card game. Fair warning though, this is basically the Dark Souls of deduction microgames. It rewards repeated play and familiarity with the card deck. We hope you'll play again and again, developing your own mini-meta within your group. Look for POD-X next month!

Designing the Job – Part 1: What does a game cost the designer?

Most professional tabletop game designers I've met have a day job. This is just anecdotal, but it seems a full time game designer is VERY rare. I’m more of a pro today than I’ve ever been, but most of my household contribution still comes from an aggregate of freelance projects, Patreon, DriveThruCards, and SkillShare. Only a fraction of comes from traditional game design work. And all of that totaled together is still only about a third of what my wife makes at her normal day job. When I'm working on any game eventually I have to ask myself the scary question: “Is this game worth designing?” Is this game costing me too much money? Is it costing too much time? With this series of short articles, I want to share how I figure out whether a game I'm working on is worth designing and, if so, how much I can expect to earn for my time and expense designing it. First up... How much money has this game cost already? The most common expense is material costs. My prot

An Investigative Reporting Push-Your-Luck Game

I've been noodling a push-your-luck game themed around investigative journalism for a while now. At first I was exploring a reverse-auction mechanic , but the push-your-luck aspect of Circus Flohcati, Incan Gold, Dead Man's Draw, and Abyss seemed to make more sense. The idea of "digging" into the deck as a mechaphor of investigation sounded really compelling. I also really love games where the only prep you have to do is shuffling one deck of cards. Here are the basic ideas I have right now, which haven't entirely gelled yet into a real game, but are close enough to get to the table by next week. Cards have ranks and suits, noted by the number and large symbol along the top corner. Each suit represents different subjects your reporter is following. Below the suit is a little arrow pointing at another suit. Lower ranks have more arrows than higher ranks. 1s are "?" and have an arrow pointing to "?" Setup Shuffle the deck. De