Wednesday, July 25, 2018

Another travelling adventure, another game idea

In one of the many podcasts I've listened to over the past few months it mentioned how game ideas can come to you completely unexpectedly, when you had not plans or intentions to do so.
Yesterday was the perfect example of that.  For months I have been working on three different game concepts, and a potential RPG world, and that was plenty to keep my mind active and ideas churning out into the laptop and real life.
I don't have the time or ability to work on yet another game idea right now, but for some reason one struck me yesterday while walking along some paths in Radium BC.  The concept itself has been done many times over, but the mechanics and structure of the game I believe would be unique.
I spent an hour or two late into the evening writing thoughts on it into my notes app, not wanting to forget the idea.
So for now it will be put aside, but I think it may have great potential so it is likely something I will come back to after Dragons and Novus are brought to life.

Here is what I had typed into the notes app, just as an example of how suddenly an idea can spring to mind:
Spell book Game, or Duel of the Wizards

A fantasy Deck Building dueling card game

Different spell group cards drafted during Stage 1 of play, players will each draft a 30 Card deck out of the 90 cards in the game

Play out card combinations with the deck you build during Stage 2 of play

The last 30 cards are used for Stage 3, somehow playing differently than stage 2

Stage1 - Studying
Each player gets 10 random cards. They get the chance to look at them, then place face down as the beginning of their spell book.  These cards may help determine what kind of cards or strategy you use to pick your next 20 cards. 
Next 6 cards are laid out in between the 2 players. Players take turns choosing 1 card from the 6 piles (then replace it from the top of the deck) OR drawing a card from top of deck. You may not draw from the deck 2 turns in a row. This happens until each player has 30 total cards in their decks. 
Shuffle the decks and proceed to Stage 2. 

Stage 2 - Spell Duel
Each player draws 6 cards from their drafted decks.
They each choose 3 cards and place them facedown in front of them, then reveal them at the same time. Follow the rules card for how this plays out. The winner of the round takes the three cards and puts them to the side as one Victory Point. 
Then they each draw 3 cards and repeat the process. Once the deck is out of cards play out the remaining cards.
This results in 10 total rounds of spell battle.  It is possible that one player could win the game at this point (if they have more than 10 VPs already then the opponent could not possibly win the game). 

Stage 3 - Endgame 
With the 30 remaining cards from Stage 1 deal 15 to each player. 
Players look at their fifteen cards and sort them into five sets of three cards, setting each face down in front of them.   Line them up with the opponents five sets of cards. 
Flip each set of cards over and compare to the opponents three cards. The winner earns a VP. 

The 5 Fields of Magic are:

Illusion - cloud - Blue
Evocation - fireball - Red
Necromancy - skull - Black
Conjuration - claws - Green
Abjuration- shield - White

Card types:
12x Each of the five Magic School Cards  - Just a symbol for the school of magic, with a 1 or 2 or 3 on it (3 cards are 1, 6 cards are 2, and 3 cards are 3)
1x Each Magic School Card, an ability Card. 
5x Dispel Magic - Wins a round automatically.  If both players have a Dispel they cancel each other out. 
5x Enhancement - Adds +2 to any school of magic. 
5x Knowledge - Worth an extra VP if acquired. 
5x Multiplier - Doubles the value of your cards when played
5x Negate - Removes one of opponents cards from the round, if both players have a Negate they cancel each other out.  A Negate can cancel a Dispel Card.  

Bonus ability Cards
Illusion - Change a Basic Magic Card to symbol of your choice (either player)
Evocation - 
Necromancy - Swap this Card with any Card from the Void
Conjuration - Place on the table, add +1 to your total each turn until they reveal 3 Evocation or Illusion
Abjuration - Place on the table, subtract 1 from opponents total each turn until they reveal

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Kickstarter Campaign Creation

Finally decided to dig in and figure out how to create a Kickstarter Campaign page.  I have toyed around with it a bit before, but now I am formally designing the layout for Duel of the Dragons.
The options within the site are fairly limited, and sometimes glitchy, so if anyone out there is working on one of these get yourself familiar and plan out your pages at least a few weeks in advance of your planned launch!
I am finding that the easiest way to do it is by creating pages with art/text on Photoshop and then exporting as JPEGs to install directly into the app.  The actual KS editor has very few options for font/style so this opens it up significantly.
The other critical thing to consider is the Reward tiers and the Stretch goals.  I have not formally decided either of them, but have to get my act together and finalize them soon.
Its great to have some game specific art I can call my own, as well as a logo specifically for my game.  These will be significant when it comes to displaying the pages and in promoting the launch outside of KS!
The landing page is the one page people will see the most, and its image will decide if a potential backer clicks to learn more about the game.  So far I've created a couple of iterations, and the below is the simple but eye catching landing page/project image I think is best for this game....

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Duel of the Dragons Logo

Well, being part of many Facebook Groups opens up discussion and opportunity.  In this case there was a simple post from an aspiring designer looking to design logos for boardgames.  I thought it was time to get a logo for my little cardgame, and although I could have spent days of laborious research and personal effort trying to design something I might like, I thought I would give this guy a chance.
His name is Taylor Ruddle, and he was willing to give a decent price to do the logo, knowing it might soon be on KS and that he would have his name mentioned as the logo artist.
After some back and forth discussion, a few sketches, and then some post sketch suggestions we were able to agree on a pretty solid looking image that I think represents the game well.
I have posted the logo and cardback images across Reddit, Twitter, Instagram, and multiple FB groups to get opinions.  Be cautious when doing this, and strap on your best armor because people will be honest if they really don't like your ideas and images.
The logo is good, and the cardback was pretty decent in my opinion.  Out of about 60 respondents there were only 3 or 4 totally against the concept, the rest seemed positive about it with 45 of them choosing one specific cardback which really solidified that as an option for the game.
Taylor was able to tweak a little bit, and provide the words separate from the image for better usage of his work in social media and KS later on.
The end result I am quite please with, so here you are with my second game logo (Legends of Novus being my first).

Sunday, July 15, 2018

Building Followers

Out of everything I have been doing for game design so far, building a following has been the most challenging.  My time for social media is limited, as is my ability to read others rules, playtest others games, or get involved in real life.
I am relying on FB, Instagram, Twitter, and Reddit but feel I have a long way to go to be able to succeed with a full KS.
I should be getting some Drivethru Cards decks this week and if the quality is fair then I plan to order up five games worth of cards which I will build playstest games with to send to some of the more well known reviewers out there.  This is costly, but I think its important if I want the game to succeed.  People want to know a game has potential, they have so many options and need to know if they are worth paying for.
I have found it is easiest to get followers on Instagram, as pictures say a thousand words and files are easily viewable without committing to anything.  With 230 followers right now I am going to try a few Facebook ad redirects to see if I can build my FB group from 35 to become over 100.  Once it is over 100 I would feel a little better about game interest for KS launch.  They do suggest over 500 but as a first time game designer I am not certain that is going to happen.

The other way to build up is through my Dragon card game.  That one I plan to launch soon without reviews/feedback just to see how that is received.  The next week will be about designing an eye catching and informational Kickstarter page/videos that may cause an impulse buy at a low price point.  If I can get even 100 backers on Dragons I could push those out within 2 months and then start building a game developer following as well.

Vacation is over, both for work and game design, time to forge ahead and build this company up!

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Vacation Week

Every once in a while one needs to take a break from the hustle and bustle of full time employment, and this is that time.  I am off for 9 days to travel and hike in the Alberta Rockies, mainly in the Jasper National Park area this time.
I am attending, Emcee, and Best Man for a wedding, and seeing how it’s my first time this should be interesting. Hope I do my good friend John Rocha a hosting to be thankful for!
But even with travelling, hikes, family fun and adventure I still think it’s important to keep some daily attention to my new game company and developing games. To do this I have made sure to stay active on Instagram, FB, Reddit, and Twitter. I find Instagram the easiest to earn followers, and FB the hardest. The posts and articles all suggest needed at least a few hundred FB followers before launching a Kickstarter, so that is my focus. Finding ways to make people interested in joining (rather than trying to buy ads that attract followers). It’s great when you work hard to find some new followers by discussion and interaction, as then you know there is a higher chance of conversion to backers when the time comes.
To have some fun I’ve been taking some fun shots of the Wizard Meeple from LoN in scenic Jasper locations. Can’t seen to load a pic on my mobile, but will add a later date!

Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Original Novus Creatures

One of the things players love to see is originality in a game and theme.  When designing Legends of Novus I knew that traditional tropes would be prevalent in the game, IE Fighter, Priest, Dragon, Skeleton, etc.  Part of the fun of creating a fantasy game is being able to rely on these familiar classes and creatures for players to be attracted to and feel comfortable.  And in many of the articles/podcasts it is highly encouraged to develop games in genres and settings you are familiar with.  For me that is Fantasy settings.
Now that a lot of those core pieces are in place, I felt it was necessary to have some original pieces for the game.  This is the first of those pieces.
The Roaming Eyeclops is a creature created at the time of the Maelstrom, and embodies the magical energies created by it.  It is reminiscent of other big eye creatures (such as a beholder), but is different enough to be unique to Novus.
Andrea took a simple sketch provided and brought it to life in a clear and exciting way.  Collaboration and creativity with your artist can go a long way to your games image, and I hope what we are doing with this creature, and hopefully a few more, creates an exciting world for the future players.