Wednesday, February 28, 2007

July 2005 - Under the Cupboard

Since BGDF has moved over to a new server, they will eventually lose all of their old posting. So now I have to keep a record of my showdown entries somewhere else.

This showdown was pretty tricky, coming up with a game that had a gaggle of random pieces AND still keep it under 800 words proved that clever use of those words is just as important as what the words were saying.

Since it's easier to copy-n-paste from the archive than to link to it itself, here's the list:

Component List
155 Wooden cubes (31 each of five different colors)
50 tiny Wooden disks (in one single color, Brown)
36 plain double-sided square cardboard Tiles (blue on one side, red on the other)
30 cardboard Shield tokens (in one single color, Blue, with 10 each of three types, labeled 1, 2 and 3)
16 Wooden disks (in one single color, Yellow, numbered 1 to 16)
15 plastic Pawns (3 each of five colors)
10 six-sided Dice (2 each of five colours)
10 Wooden Elephants (in one single color, Brown)
5 Wooden markers (in the shape of a chair, an onion dome, a head, a plain square and a dragon)
Cash (in 1,5,10 and 50 denominations)

Mechanics Limitation:
Auction: There should be an auction that occurs more than once during the game.

Something I learned from this is that GDS entries don't need to waste their words on expressing a component list; you can simply intoduce the components as you go.

Typically, usual GDS entries are fairly "heavy" in regards their theme. For this month's entry, I decided to try and go against that grain, and instead try for something more whimsical, as if it was a game based on a children's book. In fact, at one point, I was calling it Whimsy. But then, I hit the 800 word limit, and included the first 3 words of the game theme description as the title of the game.

I still like the way this game reads. Maybe one day I'll collect the large component list to try it out.

Anyway, here's the entry.

Under the Cupboard...

…there’s a small mousehole that leads to a wonderful world. A world of delicious nectars and talking elephants, where every object is sprinkled with magic; if only you could convince Nimskill, the Guardian Mouse to let you visit. It has been rumored he likes honey…

Each player gets:
Equal amounts of CASH.
Three PLAYER PAWNS in their color.
Two DICE in their color.

All SHIELD TOKENS are placed facedown, center of table.

The game has four rounds. Each round has three phases:

The last player to enter the mousehole, divides up all discarded Honey (YELLOW DISCS) into an amount of stacks equal to the amount of players, any way he wishes. At game start, a random player does this with all the Honey.

Players openly bid using their cash for each stack. Each player can only win one stack per round. All cash paid is removed from the game.

Place Nimskill’s Will Power (50 TINY DISCS) in the center of the table.
During a Cupboard Set, players secretly selects one of their Honey discs and reveal their Honey value simultaneously. Players take turns removing Will Power equal to an amount of Honey followed by flipping over Shield Tokens to remove Will Power. The turn order is based on the Honey value, lowest (goes first) to highest. If any Will Power remains, the next lowest player goes.

The first player may select to flip 0 to 4 Shield Tokens. After that, a player can only select to flip up to one less than the previous player.

(Player one flips 3 Shields, the next player can flip over up to 2. If the second player chooses to flip over 1 or none, no others players can flip shield tokens this set).

If all players have played their Honey, and NimSkill still has Will Power left, the set starts over again, with players secretly selecting new Honey. The lowest Honey Player again can choose up to four shields.
If Nimskill’s Will Power is reduced to zero, the Cupboard Phase ends, and the player who removed the final Will Power gets to ENTER THE MOUSEHOLE. This player is called the GUEST. Other players are called HOPEFUL.

--Build a 6X6 grid using the BLUE/RED TILES, all tiles start RED.
--Starting with the Guest, players take turns flipping any tile to BLUE until 18 are BLUE.
--The Guest randomly places one Nectar (COLORED CUBES) on each tile.
--The Guest place his Pawns on the tiles. Followed by the Hopefuls doing the same. One Pawn per tile.
--The Hopefuls place the ELEPHANTS on tiles without Pawns. (3 elephants on the first three rounds, all un-owned elephants on the last).
--The Guest removes two of his pawns from the tiles. He will be moving the remaining Pawn.

The Guest moves by:
Rolling his dice, and selecting one of them.

The Guest MUST move the amount of tiles, in any NSEW direction as indicated by the selected die. The Guest may “wrap around” the board.

The Guest can ONLY move to a tile that has a Nectar on it and is the opposite color of the tile the Guest is currently on. Unless the Guest rolls 2 sixes; then he may jump to any tile.

When a Guest lands on a tile with a Hopeful Pawn, the pawn is returned to it’s owner. The Hopeful Owner also gets ownership of the Magic Item (WOODEN MARKERS) related to the color of the Nectar on that tile. (ex:red-dragon, yellow-onion, brown-head, blue-square, green-chair). Magic Items can move from player to player this way.

When a Guest lands on a tile with a Nectar, he keeps it in his temporary Stash.

When a Guest lands on a tile with an Elephant, he keeps it in his temporary Stash, and may leave the Mousehole. Leaving the Mousehole let’s the player keep all items in his temporary Stash. If the Guest does not wish to leave, he rolls the dice again.

If the Guest cannot move to a opposite color tile with Nectar on it, the Guest is expelled from the Mousehole! Everything that was collected in his temporary Stash is returned “to the bank.” Collected “stuff” from previous Mousehole visits and Magic Items are not returned.

If a player leaves or is expelled from the Mousehole, a new round of the game begins with the Auction setup. The game ends after the fourth visit to the Mousehole.

Points are awarded for:
Nectars collected, double points for Nectar that matches the player’s color.
Elephants collected.
Value of leftover Honey.
Ownership of Magic Items. Bonuses for Magic Item combos (chair + dragon = the Dragon King)

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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Games 100: 1980 Edition, Part 4

This is part 4, and the final chapter, in the 1980 Games Magazine Games 100 in Review. Thanks for stopping by!

This page starts off innocently enough with Sorry! While nowadays, I'd imagine that's the first thing I'd say if someone suggested we play it, it kept us kiddies quiet for an hour at a time. So I can't complain.

Aside from Sorry! there's not much to look at here, except for maybe Speed Circuit, which was a relatively entertaining racing game for it's time WITH NEAT METAL CARS! Racing games have come a long way since Speed Circuit, and about the only good thing I can say about Speed Circuit is that it's design-a-car system worked great for the hilariously life-damaging game Circus Maximus.

Circus Maximus, for those who aren't aware, is a chariot "racing" game. Racing is in quotes, however, since it pretty quickly devolves into a combat game. While the race is supposed to take three laps, usually before you even hit the second turn you've got one runaway leader, two dead players, 1 player being dragged by his horse, and one player stopped just outside the second turn, waiting for the leader to come around for a few good whips and rams. Mad Max movies have never had this kind of vehicular carnage.

And I think, Circus Maximus made it into the Games 100 list a few years later, if you are keeping track.

Skyro, the hard rubber Ring of Death, while not a game, was/is a pretty amazing piece of technology. As advertised, you could whip that thing 3 football fields long. Have fun chasing it down, however, if you didn't have pinpoint accuracy with it. Or if there was a even the slightest breeze. But a close range, it could do about the same amount of damage to a kid's face as Xena's Ring of Death.

Electronic Tennis, Strobe, Sudden Death, Swashbuckler, and Split Second. Lost and forgotten, all.

221-B Baker Street and Twixt are the two nice additions here. Both games aren't that well known beyond the world of board game geekery, and both deserve some loving.

Trac-Balls are great. The ability to throw big, swooping curve balls around the yard is fun. Additionally, Whirlyball uses the scoops to throw the balls around in bumper cars. Without Trac-Ball, there would be no Whirlyball is the form that we know it's in now. And that would be a sad thing.

Terrible Swift Sword is a wargame I hear about occasionally on BBGwhich rates very highly. I find the abstract of the game slightly amusing: "Many short scenarios are available but its appeal is the 125-turn 60+-hour full game." YIKES.

A checkers variant makes the list. Unfortunatly, just like 2-5-8, I've never heard of Tournament Stadium Checkers. It looks kind of neat. Has four player action. And uses marbles, therefore ruining the checkers analogy.

The annoyingly spelled Trippples is a game I only knew about through the Avalon Hill catalogs. It has a clever movement gimmick in that your opponent can only in the directions shown on the tile that you are standing on. Which not only sound clever, but irritating as hell.

About the only thing I can say about Twister is this: There are a lot of people who I would not want to play a game with at a game convention for various hygiene reasons. Twister would just multiply that revulsion 100 fold. In my college days, we prefered Octopus, which due to the velcro strappings, we called the Bondage Game.

On the last and final page, we've got Waterworks, Uno, and Yahtzee representin' our classic games on the page, even though I think that Waterworks has fallen away with the onset of many more intersting card connection games, Carcassonne being one of many.

Ultimatum, another hex-based wargame is an unknown to me, as is Wizard.

On the other hand, the Atari VCS is very well-known to me. Many hours of many years of my childhood were wasted, slack-jawed in front of an old Zenith black and white TV connected to an Atari. Ah, fond slack-jawed memories.

Wildfire, hot LED pinball action, while mostly the first pinball handheld, also proved that pinball is awful as a handheld LED device, which noone learned from, as many others tried to do pinball in the same type of format.

I think War of the Rings is well known, even though more recent movie-inspired versions of Lord of the Rings have surpassed it.

And finally, we end with one of the bigger "what the heck" moments: Weird Wands! Don't carnivals give these things away for free?

And so that's it for me and my smarmy comments looking back on the gaming world of 1980. It's interesting to note how many classics back then are still around, churning profits for the likes of Mattel and Hasbro. Thankfully, Games Magazine has created their own little Hall of Fame, so they don't take up valuable space in the more recent editions of the Games 100.

Another thing that strikes me is how much of the lists nowadays are really confined to hobby games, whereas the 1980 list really needed some fluff to fill out 100 slots. If you know about the games in the hobby market, things are a lot better now than in 1980, I believe.

And with that, I ask, anyone want to play Weird Wands?

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Thursday, February 22, 2007


In part 3 of my review of the games 100, I jokingly commented about the Rubik's Cube that "it's fascinating that people can now solve the cube with only one foot and their nose in 30 seconds."

How coincidental is it that I've just been shown a video of someone actually solving the nefarious cube with his nose.



Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The Games 100: 1980 Edition, Part 3

And we're off with part three of the 1980 Games 100 overview and review. Let's see how well they did!

Remember how in a previous review I camplained about including Go, but some other historical classics? Well Parcheesi is here! And an electronic Backgammon opponent; good ole Omar II. With a previous electronic version of checkers, and a (given a quick peek into the future) electronic opponent for chess, it appears that Games Magazine has got a lot of the main historical board games covered now. So I take back my original complaint.

Looking back, it's sort of cool that all of the computer opponents actually used tactile boards and pieces, and somehow you had to input this data into the device. None of this just-load-up-the-java-applet-on-screen-on-your-computer stuff. On the flip side, nowadays playing solitaire games on your computer is beyond common practice as a way to pass some time; a mere 25 years ago, if you sat around in front of a board by yourself and a little calculator device, you looked completely lonely and sad. It seemingly looked like not only did you not have friends to play a game with, you didn't have friends period.

In the smack middle of the page, there's the 3rd console of the Holy Trinity of True First Generation hardware, the Odyssey2. It was one of those systems that always seemed a lot cooler when your friends had it, and you merely had a Atari 2600 (or VCS). Until you went to your friends house to play it, that is.

On to the classics, of which there are many on this page. Not much needs to be said for Milles Bornes, Monopoly, and Othello, as they are all pretty much ingrained into our imagination (well, maybe not Milles Bornes anymore).

Nuclear War is a fairly well known game still in all of it's cold war Blow-it-all-up loopiness.

And both Panzerblitz and Napolean at Waterloo have been both, I believe, considered to be wargame standard bearers for quite some time.

And then there's the lonely Microvision, the caveman Gameboy. It was sort of unique in that each cartridge used it's own embedded LCD display in order to keep it flexible enough. But once you get past the breakout clone, there's not much you can do with blocks in the pre-Tetris puzzle age.

On the next page, are some interesting looking games, but aside from Pit (the scream at the top of your lungs "I NEED MORE WHEAT!" game), and marginally Pente, there's not much in terms of greatness here.

At this point, I have to confess, I know very little (which actually means nothing) about Go, except that it used colored stones on a grid. I had always assumed that Pente was some trademark-named version of Go. But apparently it isn't. I've played Pente and found it fairly easy to understand and grasp some of the strategies; nothing like some of the strategical nightmares I've heard referenced about Go.

From a personal standpoint, my parents had both Probe and Rack-o, which I played many times as a young one. They are both fairly simple to understand, and completely playable, and probably great learning games for the pre-teen set. I don't remember much about Probe; it's pretty much guess the letters of the word that your opponents are hiding. It's not too thrilling, if I remember correctly.

Rack-o, on the other hand, is pretty enjoyable. Rack-o is a game where you have to get all on your cards in order, from lowest to highest. However, the trick is that you can't just re-organize them at will. All you can do is draw a card from the face-up discard pile or face-down draw pile, and replace a card in your list as best as possible. It can be played with a certain amount of strategy by watching what kind of numbers your opponents are drawing for. I've recently played a flash game based on this game, and after forgetting about this game, I've realized that it's still pretty fun; really, good fun for a filler game.

Rummy-O II sure looks like a relative to Rummikub, which BGG seems to confirm as the same game. I remember it as a playable filler game, even though I can't remember why you'd play this instead of just Rummy with regular cards. Well, aside from the cool plastic tiles.

Passing Through the Netherworld
is unusual in that doing a BGG search for "Passing Through" leads you directly to the Senet page, instead of giving you a list of games. How odd. Like chess, it's a historical game. Unlike chess, I would not consider it to be a classic, since I don't think ANYONE plays Senet anymore. Well, outside of Egypt.

In the column listed as "I've Never Heard of it" I have to add Pass It On, and Penumbra. And might as well add Quebec 1759 too, since I've never heard of it either. But that's a wargame, and I'm not that aware of wargames to begin with. However, the geeks on BBG do rate it pretty highly as a nice little introductory block warwargame, so it's probably pretty decent.

The next page gives us the classics known as Risk and Scrabble. Both well-deserved, even though I think most geeks will say that Risk's old-and-fogey dice rolling fest is a little tired nowadays due to all of the new advances in battling outcome deciders. In fact, the newer, goofier versions with their expansion-like ruleset such as Risk 2210AD are fairly well liked.

I remember Risk for three reasons. One, as a kid playing with friends, it quickly became the game that never got finished. Instead, there would always be argument of players teaming up against someone else, then chaos ensuing, and finally the board being thrown angrily across the room (or backyard) resulting in a game over situation. Two, later, in high school, playing the game with "captured POW" rules, which usually resulted in all of the POWs being held in a concentration camp in Japan. A broken part of this rule was that the player who had all of his armies trapped in Japan could still grow his armies by 3 every turn, and a roll of 6 and 6 on the dice would result in a breakout of the "camp". This usually resulted in the giant march of POWs collected over an entire game taking over the board. And finally, later in college, playing Risk for money, where you put 10 cents into a pool for every army you placed on the board, and collected 10 cents for every army that you defeat.

This usually resulted in the net result of winning pretty much zero money, but at least you never lost any money either. Welcome to the world of zero sum games.

There's the previously mentioned electronic chess playing computer with the Sensory Chess Challenger. A friend of mine had this; it was pretty cool in that you didn't have to input co-ordinates of moves; pressing the plastic membrane on the board with the piece would signal the move to the computer. And little LED lights would indicate the computer's move. It was quite a leap forward in terms of interface design for computer challengers.

Along with chess, there's the additional added historical classic of Japanese Chess, Shogi.

Simon probably dances on the edge of the "Is this a game or a toy?" question even though it has an entry into BGG, while Rubik's Cube clearly falls off it. However, there is no denying the selling power of either.

I remember friends "lubing up their cube" with Vaseline for quicker spinning action, cubes falling out from the wear-and-tear on the plastic, and probably the first investigative logical discovery of toys/games in my life. A friend gave up trying to solve it, and starting swapping stickers around on the faces. This is when we realized that there can only be one color of each on any of the center sqaures, which led us on to many more discoveries of the magical cube.

It's fascinating that people can now solve the cube with only one foot and their nose in 30 seconds. I remember the big news when someone managed to break the 2 minute barrier on the damn thing.

I have no recollections of Score Four at all. And like Quebec 1759, Richthofen's War I know nothing about. It's a war game! Nothing against wargames, it's just that we never played them.

But now, Rack-O, that's the ticket....

Part 4 coming soon.

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Thursday, February 15, 2007

The Games 100: 1980 Edition, Part 2

Ok, on to part 2, as we look back at the top 100 games as selected by Games Magazine back in 1980.

The top of the page features two classics, Diplomacy, and Dungeons and Dragons. Not much needs to be said about these two. While, like most games on this list, I've never player Diplomacy, but it's pretty much the grand-daddy of negotiation games. What's frightening is that it's created in 1959. D&D pretty much invented the whole role playing concept (if not invented it, it exploded RPG's into public awareness).

We've got 3 electronic games, Electronic Space Invaders, Electronic Boxing, and Electronic Detective. And, strangely enough, all by three different companies; while I would've thought that someone would've tried to capture the "electronic" branding, just not EVERYONE.

I knew someone who had Detective and played it, which I remember not quite fondly, but it wasn't terrible either.

I might remember a friend having Space Invaders, which I suppose if I was more sure of myself, I would remember it as being a bad, LED handheld version of the real-life classic.

I knew noone with Boxing.

There's two Avalon Hill games here, both of which I have (through my parent's collection) and remember playing fondly.

Facts in Five probably is the first REAL good general trivia game. Even though, I think, it's pretty much based on a pen and paper game.

Feudal is sort of a halfway point between wargames and chess, with REALLY NEAT molded plastic figures (well, at least neat to a 10 year old at that time; they are still cool however), and enough colors for 6 players. The peices move like chess peices, but there's terrain to deal with, and each player can setup his original starting positions anyway he wants.

Finally, there's the completely unknown to me Epaminondas, which is as hard to type as it is pronounced. Boardgamegeek seems to rate it highly, for those few who are aware of it.

The next page is a little weak. I guess I can start on the electronic games, since I think that these are the remarkable games presented on this page.

Every boy in grade school in the late 70s/early 80s better have had Mattel Handheld Football, or he was just a wimp. Case closed.

Game of the Generals was a fairly sleek Statego variant, where you let a "computer" decide the results of a battle for you, without showing your peice to your opponent. So, unlike Stratego, you never really knew what the exact strength of your opponent's piece was. I had the version simply titled The Generals, but adding The Game Of to the front does make it sound cooler.

Anyway, it worked by placing pieces battling each other into a little slot off to the side; various forms in the bottom of the pieces would trigger various switches, which allowed the game to "see" what the pieces were. Simple LEDs bounced back and forth between the pieces, with a nice little electronic ditty/death dirge. Finally, the light would stop on the victorious piece.

Gunfighter, I assume, was a badly done LED version of the Gunfighter videogame that every system of that era had to have. Well, the description says "flourescent" display, which is most likly correct. But I bet is still looked crappy. Actually, I think that most of the handheld games on this time period used some sort of flourescent technology to allow for shapes that were better defined than "blips." But as a kid, you always thought of them as LEDs anyway.

Frisbee and Fore Par Table Golf both don't have entries into the canonical BBG database. Frisbee (and let's not forget Master Frisbee), I can understand. However, Table Golf seems like a relative to Crokinole, so that's kind of surprising that it isn't in there.

The ever-popular Grass ends the page just as the end of the happy drug-induced era of the 70's was ending, and crippling Crack drug-induced 80's were beginning. So that game seems just so homey and silly, compared to the downfall of civilization that spurred the "War on Drugs" in the Reagan years.

The ancient game of Go is nicely recognized. But it's inclusion seems odd, in that it leaves me wondering why you would add a generic game to the list, while leaving out others, such as plain old Chess, Checkers, Mah Jong, poker, rummy, etc.

At the top, there's Football Strategy by Avalon Hill (boy, they are in this list a lot), which I know little about, and 4000 A.D., which I know even less about, but those little ship holders look darn cool.

This next page has only one electronic handheld game, that being Head-To-Head Hockey. While unique in letting two players play truly head-to-head, nothing seemed to eclipse the Mattel juggernaut of hand held sports games.

Krypto, Marrakesh, Kangaroo, and Isolation all seem pretty forgettable, and they must be, since I don't remember them at all, or have ever heard of them.

I remember. However, I never played it. I assume I've heard of it basically by remembering the name in the Avalon Hill catalogs that cam packaaged with every AH game purchased.

Junta I am aware of only because I saw that someone somewhere is doing a re-print.

Of course, Labyrinth and Master Mind are both very well-known, and I would consider both of them to be classics. Not that I would have any inclination to play them again (I was always terrible at getting that little ball to move where I wanted to), but I think they both deserve some kind of praise for their success as mass merchandised products.

I believe that Master Mind was based on an old pen and paper game. Well, you can't invent the wheel every time, I guess.

And Labyrinth probably also strikes some geeks as a toy, rather than a game. LOOSEN UP PEOPLE!

Hmm, maybe I am talking myself out of rating these games so highly after all...

Finally, Leverage is a game that I think comes pretty close to being a classic. It had a cool gimmick (moving pieces around that would tilt the board), and was pretty fun to play as a 10 year old. But unlike the little train who thought he could, it just couldn't make it over the mountain.

All in all, looking back with the knowledge that we have now, this page is pretty weak.

Part 3 coming soon!

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Games 100: 1980 Edition, Part 1

As some people know Games Magazine puts out a 100 Top Games article every year just in time for Christmas. Well, it's really 200 Top Games now, as they have 100 board/card games, and 100 video games.

Going through an old stack of magazines, it turns out that I've got most of the issues throughout the 1980's, including their very first list, published waaaaaay back in 1980. It's sort of interesting reading seeing what were considered to be the top games 25 years ago.

First of all, it's not filled with 80% of import games, since, well, they weren't importing German games yet at this time. Hare and Tortiose did make it into the 1982(?) list. Second of all, their definition of "game" would surely make the purists squirm who have very exacting definitions of what a game is. Frisbee and Master Frisbee anyone? Astro, the calculator that doubles as an electronic astrologer? Fun stuff.

Prices are nice and cheap. Acquire for $15, Yahtzee for $3, Monopoly for $10. Well, I guess the price of Monopoly hasn't changed too much if you buy the most basic version.

There's a nice set of classics back here in 1980, which I guess reminds us why timeless classics are timeless. You 've got your D&D, Othello, Scrabble,and even 221-B Baker Street. However, the oddball games from the smaller publishers are more interesting, such as Passing Through the Netherworld and Compulsion.

Anyway, here's the first in a multi-part post of a slice of gaming history.

Page 1 includes the classics Acquire and Boggle, and the not-quite-so-classic, but fairly well-known Awful Green Things from Outer Space. Pretty good start.

However, things drop off a bit, as I doubt Boffers, in all of it's safety-goggle glory would make anyone's list nowadays. But at least you can "play" a swordfighting game with them, I guess, which is something Astro finds lacking.

Blockade is a nice marginal entry, I remember Baseball 3 and Bank Shot from my childhood.

I draw a blank on Brain Baffler. Hey, $60 for a computer that plays Simon and Hangman, and can do Anagrams is pretty pricey in those days. At least Bank Shot played something unique for $50.

Another set of classics here, with Can't Stop, Cosmic Encounter, and Clue. I'm somewhat surprised at the lowly score Clue gets on BoardGameGeek, however. How sad.

We've got a creation toy in Capsela, and two games I've never heard of before in Compulsion and Counterstrike.

Conquest I am aware of, and it's game that's always looked interesting with it's cool components and non-symmetrical board. And finally, the family classic of Careers, which garners a 5.7 rating on BBG. Which sadly, beats the rating for Clue.

And, oh yeah, a Checkers Computer.

Part 2 coming soon!

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Friday, February 09, 2007

Fun With Cards

Discovery Cards

I've been spending a lot of time developing organized charts in Excel for Leviathan. It's turning out to be one of my more complicated efforts in terms of controlling data. Even though you don't hear it mentioned much, Excel (or really any other spreadsheet program) really is a necessity in the game design toolbox.

Anyway, here's an example Discovery card. It has a list of the various ocean locations a player can be, and these get mixed up on each of the 10 cards. A player's turn begins with moving around the Map Board, and then drawing one of these cards. This card gets placed on the Discovery Board, and based on the player's location listed on the card, a player gets some codes to look up data in a set of tables to determine what he has discovered there. These codes are on the left and right of the card listed on the Discovery Board. It's a fairly simple player action, and probably doesn't make much sense at this point without seeing the Discovery Board.

After finding his discoveries (which is basically Fleet composition, but there are Weather events, also) the player can determine what his next move is, which for the most part is comprised of two choices: attack the Fleet, or hide and rest.

But the mechanics, planning, and math behind the curtain, so to speak, of what's actually going on and running the Discovery Phase is somewhat complicated. More on this later...

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Thursday, February 01, 2007

Fun With Maps

I spent my lunchtime putting together a basic map for Leviathan. I came to realize that I really need the map to get a good idea for how the my Origin/Destination generation mechanic is going to work, and I wanted to see a layout for keeping track of Tales at each port.

Origin and Destination plays an important role. Ships that survive a player attack report the Tale at their Destination. The main goal of the game is to become as "famous" as possible, and amassing Tale counters throughout the world's ports is how that's done.

Additionally, based on the amount of Tales told about you at the Originating port, tougher ships will join the fleet. If you have truly become famouos at a particular port, Monster Hunters will join the fleets from there, who will ruthlessly pursue you for the fame and fortune killing a sea monster provides.

Surprisingly, it was kind of hard to research some good ports that would A)work geographically for the game and B)recall a time of tall ships and exploration.

Additionally, a co-worker of mine has donated some server space for me to play with Restless; he's trying to get the server's part in making "server side includes" work, so there's hope along that front also. These were the things that Comcast refuses to talk to, unless they were specifically "Microsoft Front Page includes". Jerks.

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