Friday, March 8, 2019

Eye on Kickstarter #61

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 related reviews or interviews 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 2019 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 March, 2019:

Fail Faster: The Playtesting Journal
  • GJJ Games Backed
  • Over the last year I've spend a lot more time refining my own game designs in the hopes that I'll be able to get something published soon. I've done a lot of playtesting, refining, and updating. I've never been very good at taking notes, even in school, so any notes I did jot down for playtests were usually on the pages of rules that I had printed out. As I make changes to the games and need new rules the old ones get tossed, along with my notes. I've been trying to force myself to do a better job of logging the amount of time a game takes, who I play with, etc. but I'm still not as diligent as I should be. Fail Faster: The Playtesting Journal aims to make the whole process of playtesting a game, and in particular tracking data and notes for playtests, a whole lot easier. And easier is definitely something I need. I'm really excited to get my journal and see how well it helps me keep my thoughts and ideas organized.

Designing a board game requires a lot of creativity, but also some discipline when it comes to the most vital part of the process: playtesting your game. The Fail Faster Playtesting Journal will guide you throughout your playtesting process to ensure that you’re capturing the right information as well as guide you towards improving your design.

At its core, the Fail Faster Playtesting Journal contains pages to keep track of 36 playtests. The journal is most useful if you dedicate one journal to each game that you are designing, but you could easily use one journal to keep track of all the different games you’re designing. Each section has been tested and planned for optimal use of space.

Feudum: Rudders and Ramparts
  • GJJ Games Backed
  • People Behind the Meeples Interview
  • Feudum is by far the heaviest game I own. It's also one of the most beautiful. The artwork and components are absolutely stunning. Now you can add even more stunning components and some additional variation to gameplay with the Rudders and Ramparts expansion.

Graphic Novel Adventures - Season 2
  • I backed the Graphic Novel Adventures last year and, unfortunately, have only gotten to play one so far. However I've had fun with that one and the others look really awesome, too. The artwork and quality is top notch and this second season looks great, too.

  • Palm Island is one of my top games from last year. It's a great solo game that you can play without a table just about anywhere, so it goes with me everywhere. Planetoid also looks like a fun casual game, although it definitely isn't as portable. It's got great table presence though, and a nifty way of flipping up the tiles.

Lord of the Chords
  • My family is very musical. My wife plays piano, violin, cello, dulcimer, and more. My oldest son plays Spanish classical guitar, piano, and is teaching himself French horn. My middle son plays piano, sings, and takes dance. My 20 month old dances to anything with a beat. I play the radio (and poorly according to my wife). Here's a game that we can all come together on though. It's educational, all about music theory, and filled with puns (I've been accused of making a few bad puns from time to time, too).

Throw Throw Burrito
  • This is the next game from The Oatmeal (after Exploding Kittens and Bears vs Babies) and looks to be just as silly. I'm mainly watching this to see just how high it's funding level will go. Currently it's at $1.4 million, so it's not doing quite as well as Exploding Kittens, but still, not too shabby.

Fuzzy Mage Fight
  • People Behind the Meeples Interview 1
  • People Behind the Meeples Interview 2
  • This is the second game from the team that brought you Wanted Earth and it's a huge change from the miniatures heavy combat game. Fuzzy Mage Fight is a battling card game with really awesome artwork. I was scheduled to review this, but unfortunately it didn't work out for my group. We found it to be too unbalanced and it felt unfinished, despite having some interesting mechanics. Even though it wasn't right for us, go check it out and see if it's right for you - it's already funded and knocking out stretch goals.

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