Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Jack Vasel Memorial Auction



The Jack Vasel Memorial Auction is a great annual event that raises fund for the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund. From the website:

One tragic event and two acts of generosity brought the BGG community together: the result was the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund. In January 2011, Cate Pfeifer (Cate108) posted an auction for Tom Vasel and his family to help with the financial hardship related to the unfortunate loss of his son, Jack. The generosity of the BGG community was amazing. Tom was touched and wanted to pay the kindness forward so he created the Jack Vasel Memorial Fund. He used some of the money that BGGers donated and spent to build this fund. The fund is a not-for-profit with a simple goal: raising and distributing funds to help gamers in their hour of need. 

http://www.jackvasel.org/

This year, I've contributed a premium copy of Rayguns and Rocketships to the auction. One lucky bidder will win all of the following:


1. Signed and Illustrated copy of the retail game
The auction includes an autographed copy of the retail version of the game. Designer Scott Rogers will also draw the Rayguns and Rocketships character of your choice on the interior box lid!


Example of illustration


2. Plastic tokens and bag
Plastic Blast token and Action token add-ons plus cloth bag (with design voted upon by the Kickstarter backers)


3. Dice and cards
Kickstarter exclusive secret mission cards (12) and four faction dice


4. Cards and rayguns
Convention-Only Exclusive demo four card set and twenty-four plastic raygun add-ons


5. Exclusive minis
A full set of eight Kickstarter Mercenary miniatures and captain cards

Starting bid is at $70 (the cost of the Early Bird Galactic Adventurer pledge) Condition is brand new. Worldwide shipping will be added at the end of the auction.

Expected delivery date - January 2018

Auction ends November 16th! Thanks for bidding and good luck!!

Link to bidding is here: https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/230490/item/5721816

Friday, October 6, 2017

Music to shoot rayguns to: The unofficial Rayguns and Rocketships playlist



As we rocket towards the release of Rayguns and Rocketships, I created a play-list of thematic music that is great to play the game to. Enjoy!

Mars - Bringer of War (Gustav Holst) (7:21)


Zathura Soundtrack: Zorgon's Return (John Debney) (1:07)



Flash Gordon Soundtrack: Vultan's Theme (Queen) (1:13)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtABjm9aB5I

Flash Gordon Soundtrack: The Battle (Queen) (2:18)


Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Soundtrack: Robot Army (Edward Shearmur) (3:01)

Sky Captain and World of Tomorrow Soundtrack: The Flying Wings Attack (Edward Shearmur) (6:31)


Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow Soundtrack: Manta Squadron (Edward Shearmur) (6:33)



Zathura Soundtrack: They Aren't Friendly (John Debney) (2:25)


Star Wars Return of the Jedi Soundtrack: Sail Barge Assault (Alternate) (John Williams) (5:06)


 Starship Troopers: Klendathu Drop (Basil Poledouris) (4:32)



Star Wars Return of the Jedi Soundtrack: Battle of Endor I (John Williams) (11:50)


Rocketeer Soundtrack: The Flying Circus (James Horner) (6:30)


 Captain America: Captain America March (Alan Silvestri) (2:35)


 Star Wars The Force Awakens: The Resistance March (John Williams) (2:37)


Zathura Soundtrack: Main Theme (John Debney) (2:23)


Starship Troopers: Destruction of the Rodger Young (Basil Poledouris) (3.28)


Zathura Soundtrack: Zathura is a Black Hole (John Debney) (1:20)


 Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow: Main Title (Edward Shearmur) (1:07)




Some advice to new designers

Recently on a board game design forum, a first time designer expressed concern that their design didn't have deep enough strategy. As someone who deals with first time designers (in my board game design class) I thought I might be able to help. This is the advice I gave him and I thought others could benefit from it as well:

An exercise I like to give to first time designers is to review all of the actions that the player can do and all the affordances the components provide.

For example in your game you have:

The 5 different classes of gems
The tiles with 2 different types of gems
The hand of cards
Drawing a card from the deck
The numbers 1-5 on cards
The card attributes - just dirt, +1, -1, mine closed, steal card, etc.
The action of revealing the cards
The action of collecting the gems

You want to think of all of the things you can do with these components and actions and what other things the players can do with them. For example, you could have a tile with 3 types of gems, the gems could have different values or allow the player to buy certain actions, there could be a restriction or method to how the cards are drawn (draw 2 and keep 1 and discard 1 or draw 2 and give 1 to another player, or draw 2 cards and keep 1 and place the other on the top of the deck) or how the gems are collected - the gems are of limited supply and you can choose whatever color you'd like or the gems must be taken in a certain order that causes actions to happen when taken (for example, a cave in) or that the gems must be thrown into a bag and selected blindly but they can be stolen or traded between players. As you can see, with just the elements you have you have lots of options.

So, what is a designer to do? Which are the best choices? First, I would say use these choices to make the player play the game you want them to play. What is the "primary action" of the game? Collecting gems? Playing cards? Something else? What type of game is it? Blind bidding? Push your luck? Screw your neighbor? Make EVERYTHING in the game move the player towards this type of game play. If it conflicts with this, then it probably shouldn't be in the game.

Also consider another (at least two) ways for the player to win the game. It might be "get points by collecting gems" or it might be "play sets of cards and get points for those" - I like to make games that you can get points during the gameplay and points at the end of the game. This is often called "points salad" in Eurogaming and it can get out of control in heavier Euros - but lightly done, I find it interesting. It obfuscates the answer to "who is winning this game" until the very end (and you always want to end with an exciting finish)

Finally, I designed a "make a value go up or down by making it +1/-1 game" and when I shopped it around, I was politely told by publishers that they weren't interested in that type of game. That it was too basic and not engaging and they see a millions of these types of games. The game now lives on my shelf. I merely mention this so you might benefit from my own experience.