Friday, August 18
The tales of a casual games designer: Part 4
Well, I got to Cast are Dice for the Saturday and managed to say hi to Jack who came over (after seeing my boardgamegeek avatar which I'd printed off and stuck to my back) and introduced himself. Glad he got a decent strike rate with Border Reivers and I hope it continues to go from strength to strength. The start of my Saturday's gaming was The World Cup Game which a guy called Shaun Derrick had designed, sent to a company in Germany to print up and seal and has been selling it himself. He was there hyping the game which I must admit was brilliant and I really enjoyed myself playing it (even though I couldn't quite get England into the final!). I asked him a number of questions about his approach to publishing the game and found out that for the 1000 copy print run it had cost him £13,000!!!!! Now I don't have that kinda money on me and it's one helluva investment and probably why he was selling the game at £29.99. If he'd been offering it at £20 to spread the word from the con then I'd have bought it without a second thought, but £30 is too much just to jump into. I'll buy it, but later in the year (I have birthday and Christmas within ten days of eachother). Anyway I got to playtest my game "Tour" which is a cycling game with a 'similar' mechanic to Formula De but, with the addition of cyclist statistics and cyling tactics (breaking away makes you tire quicker) it didn't seem to suffer from the early leader winning by miles. My cyclist who DID break away early DID win, but only just in a sprint with a cyclist who made a MUCH later break for home, and the other two early breakers were easily gathered up by the peloton around 40km from the end. I got really good feedback on the game and a few ways to finish it off. Mike Hibbert (hear him on the podcasts "The Dice Tower" and "Into The Gamescape") said that when I make the saleable copy he'll definitely be buying it as he actually CARED about winning. He and Paul spoke about it in the most recent Gamescape podcast and were very positive about it. Excellent! Can't BUY such coverage! So, I've charged into production of Tour with aplomb. This section will now keep people updated with news on Tour and a football management game which I'm working on while waiting for parts etc for Tour. THE CYCLISTS: Today I received a sample bag of plastic cyclists from Dice & Games in Suffolk. I've really fallen straight on my feet as they've told me they can provide continued supplies of cyclists for me if I desire. The price was very important as I was needing 30 cyclists per game, 5 in 6 different colours. Thankfully if I buy 600 (enough for 20 games) at a time it works out well within my self-imposed budget which is a weight off my mind. The colours they have are blue, red, orange, yellow, green and PINK (whoo!) and they're attractive pieces. I'll be placing an order in the next couple of days. THE DICE: Another major part of the game 'stuff' are dice. There are dice for 'normal' speed and dice for 'breakaway' speed. I was deciding whether to enclose just two dice per game OR two per player (12 dice). I asked Mike and he told me that geeky gamers tend to be okay paying a little more to have their own dice per player. I'm trying to get coloured dice for each player but they need to be blank as one will have 2-2-3-3-4-4 and the other 5-5-6-6-7-7. Bit of a pain but meh, such is life. OTHER STUFF TO BE SORTED: * Peloton tokens to keep track of tiredness; * Counters to place on cyclist abilities; * Board design, printing and creation; * The box; * Writing up people friendly rules; * MORE testing and feedback!