What's been going on?

I've not been very good at blogging lately, but I have been moving a number of projects along, so I thought I'd just write a quick post about some of the things I have been working on lately.  If you know me personally or have been reading this blog for a while, you will know that I tend to flit around between many projects and am not very good at concentrating on one thing until it is "done", but I am finding a sort of rhythm where there are a number of games that I bring back after months (occasionally years!) of lying fallow, and on going through a few iterations like this with several games, it looks like the time spent is beginning to pay off.

The main game I've been working on over the last few months is Scurvy Crew, a pirate game which has its origins some five years ago, but has finally got to a stage where I think it is mostly there.  I stripped out a load of complexity, while leaving some engine-building aspects of card play (where you can spend part of the game building an "engine", in this case a set of cards, which you then move on to exploiting as you push for victory), leaving a game that generally only takes five minutes to explain and around half an hour to play.  I'm still not happy with the end game, and the balance of the cards needs looking into, but I really feel I'm getting somewhere now.

Scurvy Crew heading towards a conclusion. 

The Castle War, based on a 12th century war in England, is a game that hasn't been on the back burners for more than a few weeks at a time, and is less than six months old as a project, but has come fairly quickly to be close to how I want it to be.  I think it is a bit more of a "Marmite" game than Scurvy Crew, but I'm pretty pleased with how it is going.  There are some fairly serious balance issues to work through, but it's a small game and I feel pretty confident about it right now.

Mid way through The Castle War, which saw some interesting swings and roundabouts.

In a very different style, Corlea is the closest thing I have made so far to a regular "Eurogame".  It's inspired by an archaeological site in Ireland, and is about building an oak trackway through a bog.  My last attempt at working on this one was last summer, and it just wasn't working, but I have stripped out one big element of the game (building sections of trackway that you could then use to activate actions within the game) and moved much closer to an ordinary "worker placement" game (you have "workers" that you put in various parts of the board to take actions).  I'm still having all sorts of trouble with this but I think it's now moving in the right direction, so we'll see how it goes over a couple of playtesting sessions.

A three-player (though all of them were me!) game of Corlea just before I abandoned it.

Apart from these things I have also created early prototypes of two (count them!) very different games inspired by the bizarre instances of snail-related warfare in early 14th century illuminated manuscripts.  Not much to report on those for now, but we'll see.