Remember remember the rest of November

I seem to have slumped to a monthly blog posting schedule here, which is not exactly ideal, but is better than nothing, I guess.  With the nights drawing in I've been finding myself a bit tired and sluggish on many fronts, but I've not been completely off the game design path.  Most of my efforts over the last month have been working on one of three projects which are at very different stages.

Explore and Settle

This is an old design that I alluded to in last month's post, and one that has a pretty misleading name. It's what you could describe as a "3X" game (explore, expand, exploit, but not exterminate), and it is based on cards that overlap to form a grid of squares, but the additional "tab" of the card (the bit beyond the square) has a game effect until it is covered over, as well as providing uses when played from hand. The core mechanism is pretty fine, and gets a bit brain-burny (more than anything else I have designed), but overall the game is just not compelling, so I need to find an "angle" to use, and it may require a major redesign. 
At least it's prettier than it used to be.

This was the game that I took to this month's London playtesting meetup, as well as coming out for another game designer meetup I was at, and I got some interesting feedback, but I'm struggling to figure out how best to move forward.

Scurvy Crew

I'm still in a development phase here, working on building the campaign mode of the game. We have some really interesting ideas bouncing around for how we can carry threads on from game to game. There'll be missions and changing threats and opportunities through the campaign, but things aren't locked down enough for me to be able to talk about them much at the moment.


This is the game designed by Tom Coldron that I've been doing some experimental development on. It's a fast-playing game (usually takes about 15 minutes), so we usually get to have at least a couple of plays in a row, often trying a small rules tweak in between to compare and contrast.  Small and quick games are so much easier to playtest. :)

I think I'm getting to the end of a development arc with this game though, so I have one last round of playtesting coming up (see below) and then, unless that opens up some new avenues that I want to explore, I think I'll probably send it back to Tom and see what the original designer thinks of the ways I have destroyed his original idea!


It's that time of year. As I write this, I'm avoiding getting ready for Dragonmeet, which is on tomorrow in London (Hammersmith, actually), though actually I've got most of what I need to do done.  I'll me spending most of the day at the Playest UK stand -- volunteering there until 2pm, after which I'll have a couple of hours playtesting the latest version (of mine) of Elvic.  If you are there (if you are in the area and want something to do, why not come along?), please swing by and say hello.

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