Tuesday, February 19, 2019

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 159: Patrick Rauland

Welcome to People Behind the Meeples, a series of interviews with indie game designers.  Here you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know about the people who make the best games that you may or may not have heard of before.  If you'd like to be featured, head over to http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html and fill out the questionnaire! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples. Support me on Patreon!


Name:Patrick Rauland
Location:Denver Colorado (Mile High City)
Day Job:eCommerce Entrepreneur & Educator
Designing:One to two years.
Webpage:indieboardgamedesigners.com
BGG:BFTrick
Facebook:Laid Back Games/
Twitter:@BFTrick
Find my games at:For right now Fry Thief on Kickstarter. Eventually I might sell through my own site.
Today's Interview is with:

Patrick Rauland
Interviewed on: 2/4/2019

I first met Patrick Rauland at Protospiel Milwaukee in 2018. He had this fun little card game that showed promise, but needed a bit of work. Fast forward almost a year later and that little game is Fry Thief, currently over 500% funded on Kickstarter and making Patrick's dreams of having a game published come true! I had the good fortune to play and review an updated version of Fry Thief and loved it. So be sure to check out Fry Thief on Kickstarter (just six days left) and read on to learn more about Patrick.

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
One to two years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
I love challenging myself. I do this by setting audacious goals like "I want to design a game and release it or have it ready for release by the end of the year".

What game or games are you currently working on?
Fry Thief is on Kickstarter right now. I also have two games that are in the initial prototype stage. The working titles are Samhain (https://twitter.com/BFTrick/status/1082653920562987010) and Light Cycles (https://twitter.com/BFTrick/status/1091825448579944449)

Have you designed any games that have been published?
Running a campaign for my first right now. :)

What is your day job?
eCommerce Entrepreneur & Educator

Your Gaming Tastes
My readers would like to know more about you as a gamer.

Where do you prefer to play games?
At someone's home or a coffee shop

Who do you normally game with?
When I have a romantic partner I love playing a game with them every weekend.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Totally depends on the friends. I always try to cater the right game to the right group. I like lots of games so whatever works best for them.

And what snacks would you eat?
Whatever is around honestly. But I do like pretzels since they aren't greasy on the cards.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Sure! I like to try to find a play list for each game. Ex. playing a horror game find a horror movie soundtrack.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
I quite like The Tabletop Tap which is a bar that has great board games. You can't buy any there but it's a great place to play and chat.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
My favorite: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 Least favorite: Carcassonne Worst game ever played: Twilight Imperium

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Input randomness. I love drawing something (a card, or something from a bag, or a random die roll) and figuring out what I can do with that input. I love when there's 2-3 choices for each input.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Pandemic Legacy: Season 1 (still only 1/2 way through the campaign!)

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, Miniatures Games, RPG Games, Video Games

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Board Games, Card Games

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
No

You as a Designer
OK, now the bit that sets you apart from the typical gamer. Let's find out about you as a game designer.

When you design games, do you come up with a theme first and build the mechanics around that? Or do you come up with mechanics and then add a theme? Or something else?
I tend to come up with a LOT of dumb ideas and then I have a bank of mechanisms I use and I try to see if they work with that theme. I wish I could come up with a mechanism first but my brain doesn't work that way.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
I've entered a few and gotten onto the more advanced rounds.

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
I don't. I looked at my favorite games and there's not a single designer who made the top 10 twice.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
When I have time. I hear something funny, smart, entertaining, etc and get a board game title or premise in my head. I need and empty block of time to turn that into a few different concepts.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
We have a monthly (usually twice monthly) prototyping group in Denver. I try to have new versions for that meetup. It keeps me constantly improving.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
It can be really hard to work with people who don't have a similar vision so I'm hesitant to work with people.

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
Time to make prototypes. Often I find it better to test crazy suggestions and figure out if they work or not. But to do that you need to make a lot of prototypes.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
Warhammer 40,000. I love that universe.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
There's a ton of rules of thumb and all of them can be broken under the right circumstances.

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
Follow your gut. If a game is fun for you it'll be fun for other people.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Games that will soon be published are: Fry Thief
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: Fry Thief
Games that are in the early stages of development and beta testing are: Samhain & Light Cycles

And the oddly personal, but harmless stuff…
OK, enough of the game stuff, let's find out what really makes you tick! These are the questions that I’m sure are on everyone’s minds!

Star Trek or Star Wars? Coke or Pepsi? VHS or Betamax?
Star Wars, sugar is sugar, & streaming services. :)

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
I love acroyoga

What is something you learned in the last week?
My friend used the term "loverfriends" to describe one of her relationships. I love that term!

What was the last book you read?
The Mask of Masculinity

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I've run every week since 2017

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
Life 😁

Who is your idol?
Brene Brown

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
Ambivert! I often score introvert on personality tests but it's really somewhere in the middle.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
The Flash. I could super clean my house.

When the next asteroid hits Earth, causing the Yellowstone caldera to explode, California to fall into the ocean, the sea levels to rise, and the next ice age to set in, what current games or other pastimes do you think (or hope) will survive into the next era of human civilization? What do you hope is underneath that asteroid to be wiped out of the human consciousness forever?
I want abstract games to survive. Cards are great but they require reading skills & a specific language. I don't want any knowledge lost forever. Every thing humanity has gone through can teach us about future problems we can (hopefully) avoid. I want to preserve all knowledge.

If you’d like to send a shout out to anyone, anyone at all, here’s your chance (I can’t guarantee they’ll read this though):
I couldn't have done any of this without Jeff Swiggum, Gerry Hazen, Kristie Wirth, Ralph Rosario, & Neil Edards. Thanks!


Thanks for answering all my crazy questions!




Thank you for reading this People Behind the Meeples indie game designer interview! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples and if you'd like to be featured yourself, you can fill out the questionnaire here: http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html

Did you like this interview?  Pleasse show your support: Support me on Patreon! Or click the heart at Board Game Links , like GJJ Games on Facebook , or follow on Twitter .  And be sure to check out my games on  Tabletop Generation.

Tuesday, February 12, 2019

People Behind the Meeples - Episode 158: Cole Kornell

Welcome to People Behind the Meeples, a series of interviews with indie game designers.  Here you'll find out more than you ever wanted to know about the people who make the best games that you may or may not have heard of before.  If you'd like to be featured, head over to http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html and fill out the questionnaire! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples. Support me on Patreon!


Name:Cole Kornell
Email:cole@alliancecardgame.com
Location:Ohio, United States
Day Job:Freelance Director/Filmmaker
Designing:One to two years.
Webpage:www.alliancecardgame.com or www.colekornell.com
BGG:Cole Kornell or Alliance The Card Game
Facebook:Alliance The Card Game or Cole Kornell
Twitter:@cardalliance
YouTube:Cole Kornell or Alliance The Card Game
Instagram:@alliancecardgame or @colagorn4ever
Find my games at:Kickstarter at the moment & www.alliancecardgame.com
Today's Interview is with:

Cole Kornell
Interviewed on: 1/16/2019

Cole Kornell is currently running a Kickstarter campaign for his first game, a game he's been working on since he was eight years old! Alliance the Card Game features some incredible artwork, so be sure to check it out on Kickstarter now!

Some Basics
Tell me a bit about yourself.

How long have you been designing tabletop games?
One to two years.

Why did you start designing tabletop games?
To make a child's dream come true. When I was about 8 years old, I was a fan of card games like Yu-Gi-Oh, Pokemon, & Magic: The Gathering. However, my friends and I never played by all the rules. We really liked the artwork and characters though. And I figured if we weren't playing by all the complicated rules, then surely other kids weren't as well. So I decided to make my own game. I loved battling games like those, so I made my own, but simplified so that other kids or anyone could learn the rules quickly and play! All my friends loved it. Since then, I kept it in the back of mind, wanting to make it a real game. When I went to college for Film (Ringling College of Art & Design), I took my game with me to see what some artists/20 something year olds thought. The result, they loved it! That's when I knew had something.

What game or games are you currently working on?
I am working on Alliance: The Card Game. After graduation, May 2017, I started developing Alliance. Over 1 year and a half later, Alliance was born with an all new design, characters, and story.

Have you designed any games that have been published?
No, as this is my first game.

What is your day job?
Freelance Director/Filmmaker

Your Gaming Tastes
My readers would like to know more about you as a gamer.

Where do you prefer to play games?
At home or at a friends house, in a comfy living room, in comfy clothes.

Who do you normally game with?
My friends. Every few weeks, when we can meet, my friends and I play games like Catan, Cards Against Humanity, 5 Seconds Game, & even Alliance.

If you were to invite a few friends together for game night tonight, what games would you play?
Catan for sure. We are planning to play Catan: Game of Thrones next, as we are huge fans of that show and Catan. To be honest, I've watched some gameplay reviews on YouTube about it, because I really want to play it.

And what snacks would you eat?
We would have maybe popcorn or ice cream and other deserts, with a glass of wine.

Do you like to have music playing while you play games? If so, what kind?
Yes. Sometimes we like epic, or dramatic fantasy music playlists because it makes the game that much more exciting. Especially for games like Alliance.

What’s your favorite FLGS?
It used to be our card and comic shop at my town square growing up. I would go there and play in Yu-Gi-Oh tournaments. However, it left when the Walmart was built. Now we don't have a local one.

What is your current favorite game? Least favorite that you still enjoy? Worst game you ever played?
Catan is my favorite board game. Love having to manage your resources while dealing with the other player's personalities and backstabbing. Stratego is fun as well. Least favorite game would be a classic like Monopoly, but I'll still play it with friends if they want to. Worst game I ever played was Yahtzee. I don't get it the fun in it. I only enjoy yelling "Yahtzee!", and I think that's the only reason it is still around.

What is your favorite game mechanic? How about your least favorite?
Dice. Love the excitement that comes with chance and fate. All from the roll of the die. That's why it's a big part of Alliance. I don't like puzzle boards or mechanics that require putting lots of pieces together. I think it takes too much time to set up, and complicates things. I know I say this after I said I like Catan. But truth be told, usually I'm the not one in the group putting it together. Ssh. Don't tell anyone.

What’s your favorite game that you just can’t ever seem to get to the table?
Stratego.

What styles of games do you play?
I like to play Board Games, Card Games, Miniatures Games, RPG Games, Video Games, Other Games?

Do you design different styles of games than what you play?
I like to design Card Games

OK, here's a pretty polarizing game. Do you like and play Cards Against Humanity?
Yes

You as a Designer
OK, now the bit that sets you apart from the typical gamer. Let's find out about you as a game designer.

When you design games, do you come up with a theme first and build the mechanics around that? Or do you come up with mechanics and then add a theme? Or something else?
Theme and story always come first for me. Outside of this I'm a director/filmmaker, where I am always thinking about storytelling. So before remaking my card game, from when I was 8, the story and theme came first. The title "Alliance" came from a fantasy novel I've been writing. So did the characters and existential theme of good vs evil and honor. Then I built the design around that. Luckily I had the original mechanics, so I started with that and tested different changes and added things. One of the things I learned was it was faster and more exciting to not have cards in your hand at all. So you always place the next card from your deck, not knowing what it is, hoping for the best. I also kept in mind that I'm not just making a card game. I'm not just making a story. I'm making an empire. It's not just a card game. It's a world full of story and other characters that can always be expanded on. It's bigger than me and a game. It can be much more than that.

Have you ever entered or won a game design competition?
No, but I hope to!

Do you have a current favorite game designer or idol?
I'm still new in this industry and learning about all the different game designers, so it's too early to tell.

Where or when or how do you get your inspiration or come up with your best ideas?
As a creative, I always have to create things. It fills my soul or I don't feel like myself. Usually the right music playlist will inspire me, or when I'm alone with my thoughts when I'm trying to sleep. Late at night I tend to feel my most creative. I think of all these different ideas, stories, and goals that I want accomplish. Side effect...it keeps me up.

How do you go about playtesting your games?
For Alliance, I've played it with many friends and have given it to acquaintances and mutual friends. I have Feeback Forms for anyone who plays to fill out. This way I get feedback and can see if there's anything else to adjust. These people then pass on the prototype to others who will then play and fill out the Feeback Forms. When people play test, always make it aware to them that you want brutal honesty. You should want it. If somebody hates it, find out why. There may be something worth looking at or changing that will save you lots of money in the long run.

Do you like to work alone or as part of a team? Co-designers, artists, etc.?
Teamwork makes the dream work. Unless you got all the skills and talents you need, then you'll need others to help you. I designed the game and made early card designs. However, I like professionalism and accept nothing less for my product. So I hired an artist who makes stunning artwork for the card artwork, and a graphic designer for my logo, card design, and packaging. Luckily, I'm a director/filmmaker, so with a crew and VFX artist I've been able to make my own commercial and videos for it. This has saved me thousands!

What do you feel is your biggest challenge as a game designer?
The biggest challenge is getting it in front of people. You think you have a great game, but you really won't know until people play it. In order for people to play it you need to make it and get prototypes. Prototypes cost lots of money. Another challenge that goes along with being an artist in general, is that you poor all of your being into a piece/project, that may take weeks, months, or years, and then a viewer or player can look at it for a second and go, "eh". The beauty is that not everyone will have that same reaction. You can't have the positive without the negative.

If you could design a game within any IP, what would it be?
This is something I've thought about with Alliance. I'd love to make an Alliance: Game of Thrones version, a Star Wars version, and others.

What do you wish someone had told you a long time ago about designing games?
It will take everything you got it. There will be times when you doubt yourself and what you've done because of all the time and money you've put in it, and then there will times to be greatly proud. I learned that you must have full confidence in yourself and your game, in order for it to be successful. If you don't care, than why should others?

What advice would you like to share about designing games?
I would tell others that you must remember why you started making it in the first place. I think of that 8 year old Cole, who made his own game, so anyone could play and easily understand it.

Would you like to tell my readers what games you're working on and how far along they are?
Games that will soon be published are: Alliance: The Card Game
This is what I have currently crowdfunding: Alliance:The Card Game
Currently looking for a publisher I have: Alliance: The Card Game (probably self publish)
Games I feel are in the final development and tweaking stage are: Alliance: The Card Game. Still play testing and will take feedback from our backers. More will be added in the manufactured version, if needed.
And games that are still in the very early idea phase are: One game, but I can't share all my ideas or they may not be my ideas anymore ;)

Are you a member of any Facebook or other design groups? (Game Maker’s Lab, Card and Board Game Developers Guild, etc.)
Board Game Exposure, Board Game Spotlight, Board Game Reviewers & Media, Tabletop Backer Party, THE BOARDGAME GROUP, & Everything Board Games Community

And the oddly personal, but harmless stuff…
OK, enough of the game stuff, let's find out what really makes you tick! These are the questions that I’m sure are on everyone’s minds!

Star Trek or Star Wars? Coke or Pepsi? VHS or Betamax?
STAR WARS always. Pepsi, but Coke for headaches. VHS

What hobbies do you have besides tabletop games?
Writing.

What is something you learned in the last week?
You can do everything you can to the best of your ability, but there comes a point where you must let go and have a trust in all of your hard work.

Favorite type of music? Books? Movies?
80's, 90's, and a little bit of everything else. No rap. Fantasy novels. Time period, Fantasy/Sci Fi, Drama, Romance, Adventure movies (I don't mean all in one lol, but would watch it).

What was the last book you read?
Angel In A Foxhole.

Do you play any musical instruments?
Used to play guitar and trumpet. None at the moment. Always wanted to learn piano.

Tell us something about yourself that you think might surprise people.
I believe Dragons were real "once upon a time". It's too convenient that cultures around the world, that were separated for thousands of years, depicted these awesome creatures.

Tell us about something crazy that you once did.
Making Alliance is financially the craziest thing I've ever done.

Biggest accident that turned out awesome?
A video project idea with my classmates became my career and passion.

Who is your idol?
Optimus Prime, Gandalf, Obi-Wan Kenobi, Steven Spielberg, my father

What would you do if you had a time machine?
I would check out the dinosaurs and maybe fix a few mistakes I made, but mostly the dinosaurs.

Are you an extrovert or introvert?
I find that I'm both. I need to be around people and may appear to be an extrovert, however I need time with just myself and my thoughts. Time to recharge, so I can be the real me.

If you could be any superhero, which one would you be?
Iron Man because that's actually possible if I had the money. Plus I think I could be Tony Stark. Like him I wouldn't be afraid to say "I'm Iron Man".

Have any pets?
A Border Collie named Jesse James and an orange Tabby cat named, Cowboy. The best brothers I could ask for.

When the next asteroid hits Earth, causing the Yellowstone caldera to explode, California to fall into the ocean, the sea levels to rise, and the next ice age to set in, what current games or other pastimes do you think (or hope) will survive into the next era of human civilization? What do you hope is underneath that asteroid to be wiped out of the human consciousness forever?
Alliance: The Card Game, the United States, and cheese can survive. I hope man-buns and low pants are gone forever.

If you’d like to send a shout out to anyone, anyone at all, here’s your chance (I can’t guarantee they’ll read this though):
Here's a shoutout to my family, who have always supported me and encouraged me to follow my dreams. To my Dad specifically who, through in this process when I have had doubt, reminds me of what I have and what I've done. To Alex Stubbs and Emma Hegner, thank you for being the biggest fans of Alliance and for your support in its creation. Without your love for the game, it would have been harder to make.

Just a Bit More
Thanks for answering all my crazy questions! Is there anything else you'd like to tell my readers?

The job you don't want will always be there for you. Your dreams, opportunities, and loves will not be. Build your own life. Don't believe you have to be what society or someone else tells you to be.




Thank you for reading this People Behind the Meeples indie game designer interview! You can find all the interviews here: People Behind the Meeples and if you'd like to be featured yourself, you can fill out the questionnaire here: http://gjjgames.blogspot.com/p/game-designer-interview-questionnaire.html

Did you like this interview?  Pleasse show your support: Support me on Patreon! Or click the heart at Board Game Links , like GJJ Games on Facebook , or follow on Twitter .  And be sure to check out my games on  Tabletop Generation.

Press Release: Evolution: The Video Game launches with a 1,000 board game giveaway!

Support me on Patreon!

Evolution: The Video Game Launches on Darwin's Birthday
North Star Games Will Give Away 1,000 Evolution Board Games to Celebrate!


KENSINGTON, MD. - Feb. 11, 2019 - The official launch date of Evolution: The Video Game, the strategy game of adaptation from North Star Digital Studios is Tuesday, Feb. 12th. It’s also Darwin’s Birthday. Coincidence? Nope. It just seemed like a natural selection!

Over 4 years in development, Evolution: The Video Game represents a massive evolutionary leap of the Evolution board game. It's the most refined and beautifully detailed board game conversion ever. From the very start, players will adapt nigh-infinite species combinations by merging natural traits such as climbing or horns to survive deadly predators and dwindling resources. North Star Games has created a new Release Trailer with new environments and campaign footage.   
    
Also, some screenshots of the backgrounds, campaign, and rankings are now up in the new press kit.

Within moments of playing their first game, even new players will understand why the Evolution board game became an award-winning franchise with more than 1.6 million players around the world. Anyone can jump right into the diverse ecosystem on PC, Mac, iOS or Android.
1000 Free Board Games
North Star Games is so confident that players will be blown away by the lush game-play, they are giving away 1,000 copies of the original Evolution board game just for trying it out. Every day for the first 100 days after launch, 10 winners will be randomly selected out of everyone who played an online game that day.  It's free to enter on iOS and Android.  Just download Evolution (free-to-try in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store) and play an online match each day. New winners will be selected daily out of everyone who played an online match that day.  Winners cover the cost of shipping.
While Evolution’s digital adaptation is loyal to the original board game, it has also done some evolving of its own. Stunning new artwork, animated cards, lush environments, distinct enemy A.I. Bosses, and a new campaign mode are but a sample of the new features exclusive to the digital edition.

Playing against human opponents from around the world provides its own thrill in fast-paced games. Cross-platform multiplayer provides a deep pool of players to battle wits with, and skill-based matchmaking encourages healthy competition. Evolution’s digital form has been crafted to play as fast as possible, so matches generally last less than ten minutes.

“Since its release in 2014, the original Evolution tabletop game and its many iterations have been a huge hit with players,” said Scott Rencher, president and co-founder of North Star Digital Studios. “We wanted Evolution: The Video Game to not only stand out as a worthwhile adaptation of the tabletop original, but as a great strategy video game all on its own.”
Evolution: The Video Game is available in English on PC and Mac via Steam for $14.99. It is also available as free-to-try on iOS and Android with a full version available for $9.99 as a one time purchase. Those who purchase the game in the first week will receive a 20% launch sale discount.

If you would like a free copy for review, reply and let us know which platform you prefer (PC/Mac, iOS, or Android).

For more news about Evolution: The Video Game and details on the 1,000 Games Give-Away, follow North Star Game Studios on Twitter and Facebook or visit the official website.

About North Star Digital Studios

North Star Digital Studios is a digital board game development house based in Kensington, MD. Founded in 2014 by Scott Rencher and North Star Games, the company is devoted to adapting North Star board games into digital versions that capture the heart of the originals while taking full advantage of what video games have to offer. Evolution: The Video Game is the studio’s first release.





Did you like this press release?  Show your support: Support me on Patreon! Also, click the heart at Board Game Links , like GJJ Games on Facebook , or follow on Twitter .  And be sure to check out my games on  Tabletop Generation.


Friday, February 8, 2019

Eye on Kickstarter #59

Welcome to my Eye on Kickstarter series!  This series will highlight Kickstarter campaigns I am following that have recently launched (or I've recently discovered) because they have caught my interest.  Usually they'll catch my interest because they look like great games that I have either backed or would like to back (unfortunately budget doesn't allow me to back everything I'd like to).  But occasionally the campaigns caught my attention for other reasons.  Twice a month, on the 2nd and 4th Fridays, I'll make a new post in this series, highlighting the campaigns that have caught my attention since the last post.  In each post I'll highlight one campaign that has really grabbed my attention, followed by other campaigns I've backed or am interested in.  I'll also include links to any reviews I've done.  Comments are welcome, as are suggestions for new campaigns to check out!

You can also see my full Kickstarter Profile to see what I've backed or my old Eye on Kickstarter page that was too unwieldy to maintain.  Also, check out the 2018 Kickstarter Boardgame Projects geeklist over on Board Game Geek for a list of all the tabletop games of the year.
So, without further ado, here are the projects I'm currently watching as of the second Friday of February, 2019:



HIGHLIGHTED CAMPAIGN
Fry Thief
  • GJJ Games Review
  • GJJ Games Backed
  • I've played Fry Thief quite a few times now, both in a very early prototype form last spring, and a review copy just before this Kickstarter. It's gone through a lot of balancing changes, but the core of the game has remained the same, and it's a ton of fun! It's a two player game (although you can play with 3-4 players with a second set of cards and tokens) where one person ordered fries and the other ordered a salad, but is stealing fries from the first player. Whoever eats more fries wins! It's fast, easy, and a ton of fun!


Fry Thief is a light-hearted asymmetrical microgame for 2 players. It's a game about poor life choices. Like that time you tried to be healthy and ordered a salad and your friend ordered fries. And how you’re going to have “just a few” to make up for your poor life choice. Fries = delicious More fries = more delicious. The goal of the game is to eat as many fries as possible, and if possible dunk them in ketchup for bonus points. Fry Thief has an incredibly simple core mechanic. On your turn you: Draw one card Play one card That's it. The richness comes from the asymmetrical (meaning they're different for each player) cards and choosing which card to play at what time to devour as many fries as possible.




Parks
  • Both my parents were teachers, so we traveled a lot during the summers when I was a kid. We visited a ton of national parks and went on hundreds of hikes. In Parks you control two hikers that are hiking through all of this country's gorgeous national parks. Parks is absolutely gorgeous and looks like a ton of fun, too!


The Game Designers


Human Anatomy Jigsaw Puzzles
  • While this isn't a game, it is being published by a game (and book ) publisher. Genius Games is known for their science themed games and children's books, and now they're bringing their high quality production skills to some incredible human anatomy jigsaw puzzles.


The Little Flower Shop: Potpourri Pack
  • The Little Flower Shop was a success on Kickstarter last year. Now Steve Finn, the king of filler games, brings us a small expansion, as well as the opportunity to get the main game as well as a few of his other hits.


Dead Man's Cabal
  • Pandasaurus Games brings us a much darker game than their hit Dinosaur Island, but it still has fun artwork, a goofy theme, and some real interesting mechanics.


Race for the Chinese Zodiac
  • This game is about the creation on the Chinese zodiac. Players race animals in an attempt to be the first animal to finish and be named the first animal in the 12 year cycle. The game uses simultaneous card play, so there should be little downtime, too.


Hyperspace
  • This is a beast of a game. If you like large, 4x space opera games, check this one out. It's a little longer at 1-2 hours, but pretty quick compared to something like Twilight Imperium. Hyperspace looks gorgeous and you could have up to 25 different races to choose from when you play. Sandy Peterson is known for a number of great games, from video games like Doom and Age of Empires to board games like Cthulhu Wars.


Dice Coins 2019
  • Dice Coins are incredibly high quality coins that can be spun like tops and then stopped with a finger to simulate a die roll. I reviewed similar coins from this publisher when I reviewed Ultra Coins and their quality is incredible!


Mechanica
  • Mechanica is a fun, lighthearted game about designing the best robotic factory to build more robots.Noting could go wrong there, right?


TACTIKI
  • TACTIKI is a two player abstract game that looks both simple and deep. It borrows some hidden unit value mechanics from Stratego, but in a very unique game. Plus the giant tiki heads look incredible.


Getting Geeky with Gamer Leaf
  • Gamer Leaf is one of the hardest working content creators out there, releasing multiple podcast episodes each week. He features interviews, Kickstarter previews, reviews, and more.


Green Bee Tomato
  • OK, so this isn't a board game, nor is it even related to board games, but I do love me some homegrown tomatoes! As Guy Clark sings, "Homegrown tomatoes, homegrown tomatoes, what'd life be without homegrown tomatoes Only two things that money can't buy And that's true love and homegrown tomatoes."

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Press Release: Exploration from Ply Games launching on Kickstarter on February 12

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It is time to Explore near Earth space

New game from Ply Games launching on Kickstarter on February 12

Pl.y Games is proud to introduce an exciting space exploration that utilizes familiar mechanics of deckbuilding and area control. Exploration is not another 4X or Mars Terraforming game.

Exploration has been blind playtested by over 50 people across the world in more than 250 play sessions. It will launch on Kickstarter with the full art and design complete. The Kickstarter campaign will feature the game at $80 and include a money-back guarantee to all Kickstarter backers.

About the game:

In Exploration, touring near-Earth space is just one facet of achieving victory. Players must build fleets, collect resources, and of course, exert their dominance over the competition. Exploration boasts an array of ships—from transports to destroyers, and everything in between—letting you decide how to explore wild space. Some ships rely on speed and maneuverability, while others boast impressive shields and armaments. Build your fleet to your faction’s strengths to gain dominance of near-Earth space. Exploration will provide plenty of deep strategy that’s attainable to both new and seasoned gamers.

With a playtime of 60-120 minutes, Exploration is a 4X game that doesn’t require the dedication of a host of hours, as do other 4X games. With flexible strategies, Exploration looks to bring countless hours of new possibilities to the table for fresh gameplay every time it comes out. Complete with miniature models of the ships, Exploration’s quality and production value aims to be high-end.

Number of players: 1-5

Time required: 60-120 min

Recommended ages: 14+


About Pl.y Games:

Exploration is the brainchild of Damian Korus, an aerospace engineer. Taking his love of space and science to the board game realm, Korus is excited to share his creation with the world. Korus loves the atmosphere board gaming brings, and hopes to bring both new and experienced gamers together through his game Exploration. Korus started Pl.y Games to make his game a reality.

BGG: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/233673/exploration
FB: https://www.facebook.com/explorationtheboardgame/
Mail: pl.yteam@outlook.com


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Wednesday, February 6, 2019