Monday, February 5

FlickFleet: A Meeting of Minds

This week just gone has been all about FlickFleet. At the beginning of the week I was trying to get everything in place for a Cardboard Edison Award submission. I needed a short intro (easy!), a rulebook (needed a lot of work!) and a less than 5 minute video overview. I revised the rulebook, adding a few more diagrams and three scenarios (only one of which I'd tested!) and then ran out of time. I think it's just about good enough to learn the game from, but it desperately needs another revision with more diagrams and some examples. The final piece of the puzzle was a video which my mate Wilka helped me with. As always when you see your hear yourself in recorded form it was excruciating. I've a face for radio and a voice for silent films. It's hard to imagine that someone could make a game as fun as FlickFleet sound more boring. Next time, I need to bring some energy, enthusiasm and personality.

But, I submitted it anyway. I'm really hoping to get some decent feedback from the process. I'm one of 192 entrants, of which about ten will be chosen as finalists based on the overview, video and rulebook. Those finalists will have to submit a prototype at the end of the month.

With the Award submission out of the way, the next focus is making some prototypes. I spent three of my lunch breaks last week on that: taking the second set of perspex (delivered to me and not random stranger in London) to give to my mate Dan for laser cutting; collecting a bag of pieces from Dan and then collecting the ship dashboards from the printers (my printer is still broken).

I wanted to get at least one finished, before my mate Paul (the co-designer) arrived for the weekend with his family on Friday evening. I had to strip the plastic coatings off the ships, bag the ships and wooden bits, cut out the dashboards, make a box and finally fold and staple the rulebooks. I finished five minutes after they arrived!

Paul's prototype in the flesh

Paul had the original idea for FlickFleet back in the Summer of 2016 and has had several critical ideas during the development. Until now though the only copy in existence has been mine and I've been doing the lion's share of the playtesting and development.

Now Paul finally has his own copy for testing with his friends, and it meant that we had a updated version to try out together over the weekend. We ended up playing all the scenarios (the two I hadn't tried yet twice each, and the other one once) and managed to work out a couple of kinks. The new jigsawed bombers worked much better and the scenarios were surprisingly together and fun considering I'd just thought them up one morning on the way to work and then typed them up. We also spent the day on Sunday with Paul coming up with scenario after scenario. I'm hoping to have four or five in the rulebook and then a bunch more on the website - for a long time this looked like it would be a bit of a stretch, now, not so much!

Scenario testing

This week I'm travelling for work again, but I'm also hoping to get some more prototypes done for sending out to some blind playtesters.

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