Game Designs

GJJ Games was started in 2014 because I had been developing a number of games and I wanted someplace to showcase those games and review other games that I love (or detest).  I have always loved playing board games (and other tabletop games, like card games, puzzles, etc.).  But early in 2014 my wife was thinking of getting a game or our sons.  The game turned out to be more of a solo puzzle solving game that had very limited replayability, especially after solving all the puzzles.  It was also not something our boys could play together or with us.  She was a little disappointed and said to me "Hey, I think you could come up with something better!" And that got me to thinking... I started designing my first game, now called Peacekeepers of Jar-Zabonia.  Since then I've been designing a number of other games as well.  Games listed below will have the date that I began working on them (beyond just an idea/concept phase) and their current state of development.

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Tanuki in the Garden
2-8 Players - 45-60 minutes
Development Period: March 2015
Status: Completed Seeking Publisher
Game Overview | Provide Feedback

In Tanuki in the Garden, players take on the role of Monks strolling through a Kaiyū-shiki-teien Garden, collecting Shitake Mushrooms for use in the evening’s dinner.  The first player to acquire enough Shiitake is the winner.  Each of the 4 paths on each tile will have a symbol on the path.  Symbols can be Shiitake, Tanuki Dens, or Ashi-magaris.  As players move along paths they collect Shiitake that they come across, or are harmed by obstacles they encounter.  There are also Tanuki that prowl around the garden trying to steal Shiitake from players.  If players encounter a Tanuki Den they will lose Shiitake and encountering Ashi-magaris slow players down.

I have also developed the Garden Masters expansion, which allows players to spend Shiitake to buy cards that have special effects, or lock in Shiitake so they can't be stolen.  The expansion adds a lot more player interaction.




Les Petits Pirates
1-3+ Players - 45 minutes
Development Period: May 2015
Status: Completed, Seeking Publisher / Self Published on The Game Crafter
Board Game Geek: View Game
Game Overview | Provide Feedback

In Les Petits Pirates players are pirates trying to gather resources and gold while trying to prevent their opponents from doing the same.  Through action selection and dice manipulation, players will plunder, attack, and sail the seas in their quest to bury enough treasure and enjoy a decadent pirate retirement! The game is played on a micro sized game board (3.5” x 5”) and with a number of readily available components (dice, coins, and a first player marker).  The game is for 2-3 players, but can support more players by combining more game boards or solo play with a special map and rules.



ChromaWerks
2 Players - 10 minutes
Development Period: September 2014
Status: Self Published on The Game Crafter
Game Overview

In ChromaWerks two players each use 9 double sided cards (shuffled) to make a 3x3 grid.  Each quadrant of each card is machinery of a different color and players must take turns completing one of four actions to try to get all four center blocks to be solid colors.  The design has various types of machinery in different colors: Red Gears, Yellow Drive Belts, and Blue Pipes.  There are also sections of 'broken' machinery with images of damaged components on a black background.  Damaged or broken machinery can't be used to complete blocks.



Snowball Fight
2 Players - 15 minutes
Development Period: September 2015
Status: Self Published on DriveThru Cards
Game Overview

Snowball Fight is a micro deckbuilding and deduction game for two players that only contains 18 cards. In the game players go head-to-head with their arsenal of snowballs in an attempt to be the ruler of the Blizzard Realm!

In Snowball Fight each card has two possible actions, one on each half of the card (top and bottom). The action a player takes each turn depends on the direction they play the card. The game is played in two phases, a quick Drafting phase where players build their initial arsenal and then the Snow Assault phase where there is all out war! Play is simultaneous and players try to attack each other with an arsenal of snowballs, slushballs, and the dreaded iceballs and snow covered rocks while also trying to dodge attacks and build up their weaponry!



4th Grade Confidential
3-5 Players - 10+ minutes
Development Period: October 2015
Status: Playtesting
Game Overview

4th Grade Confidential is a microgame of deduction, bluffing, and cunning. The idea is based on my friend Neal Simon's comic book project called 4th Grade Confidential, starring his kids and their friends (including my kids). The premise is that a 4th grader named Adin is a private eye at his school, working to solve the great mysteries of elementary school, like who stole his sister's stuffed pink bunny.

In 4th Grade Confidential one player is the Sleuth while 2-4 other players are the Characters. Each round the Sleuth is trying to solve a different mystery. The Sleuth has six Sleuth Cards and the other 12 cards are dealt evenly to the Characters. The Sleuth has four turns to try to figure out which Character has the Target Item for that round by calling out various attributes and seeing who has items with matching attributes. Through careful deduction and use of actions the Sleuth and Characters all try to be the player to end up with the Target Item.

The game can be played in a single quick round, or in a longer game with each player taking the role of the Sleuth.


A Buckin'-Press-Your Luck Rodeo Game
1-8 Players - 10-15 minutes
Development Period: February 2016
Status: Playtesting

8 Seconds is a press-your-luck dice and card game for 1-8 players about the action and excitement of bull riding in a rodeo.  Roll your dice and match your moves to the moves of the Bulls.  But beware the rodeo clowns!  There are only three on staff, so if you roll a fourth Rodeo Clown you’ll have to fill in and you won’t score your Bull!


MiniSkull Caverns
A 9 Card Dungeon Crawler
1-3 Players - 30-45 minutes
Development Period: January 2016 - February 2016
Status: Playtesting
Game Overview

In MiniSkull Caverns, 1-3 heroes will compete to explore the caverns beneath the ruins of MiniSkull Castle and return with riches beyond their wildest dreams. You are one of those optimistic explorers. Are you prepared to risk your life for diamonds the size of a wild boar? Along the way you will encounter monsters, battle other heroes, and recover some priceless gems. Be careful though, the more noise you make, the more you will attract the deadly denizens of MiniSkull Caverns. Before you can escape with your spoils you must battle the affectionately, though unsuitably, named Tiny. Dragons don’t like it when you try to burgle their baubles.



Looting MiniSkull Castle
2-4 Players - 40-60 minutes
Development Period: July 2016
Status: Playtesting
Game Overview

In Looting MiniSkull Castle 2-4 heroes (working on a solo variant) are back at MiniSkull Castle, but instead of stealing treasures from the caverns beneath the castle, this time they are searching for loot in the castle rooms. All the while they are being chased by a monster guarding the castle. How much loot can they steal and bring back to sell at the Port Tiny Black Market?



Heroes and Rogues, Out for Gold
2-4 Players - 15+ minutes
Development Period: September 2015 - November 2015
Status: Playtesting
Game Overview

Heroes and Rogues, Out for Gold is a micro action-selection and set-collection game with a bit of deduction thrown in for good measure. The game consists of only 18 cards and a set of rules.  It's for 2-4 players and one round takes 10-15 minutes. It can be played for one round or several and scores tallied.

In this game 2-4 players compete to create a team of adventurers by choosing actions from character cards that are available on the table. Selecting a character from the face-up choices in the center of a table is done by exchanging one card from your hand with one on the table. Then the action of the character that was selected is taken and the character removed from the player’s hand is placed face-down on the table. The object is to build a team of character cards with the same Elemental Affinity (color) and/or Race (symbol or suit) in your hand.


2-4 Players - Per player: 8 minutes, plus 2 minutes per color
Development Period: June 2016
Status: Playtesting
Game Overview

Emotions are fickle things, here one second and gone the next.  Others can toy with your emotions, manipulating and deceiving you, making your current emotional state a state of constant flux.  Until you can secure your emotions in your memory bank there is no telling how you’ll end up feeling.  In Gemotion you and up to three other players will compete to collect the most positive emotions while avoiding the negative emotions.


Race to the Moons
2-4 Players - 60 minutes
Development Period: July 2016 - 24 Hour Contest Entry
Status: Playtesting
The year is 2069 and mankind has pretty much filled up the Earth.  It has been 100 years since man first set foot on the Moon.  And now there are cities on the Moon and Mars.  But our Solar System is just the beginning.  It might be home, but Earth is the only truly hospitable planet nearby.  But recent breakthroughs in warp travel  mean that interstellar travel is finally within reach.  There are several extrasolar systems that have been discovered to have planets and moons that appear to be very Earthlike and likely hospitable.  The nearest of these is a series of moons, orbiting a gas giant, in the Gamma Leporis system, 29 light years away from Earth.  Now, the race is on.  Several Earthly, Lunar, and Martian organizations are competing to be the first to send humans to one of these habitable moons and establish a permanent human colony.  But this will take research, determination, and a bit of luck to be the first to arrive.  Do you have what it takes to drive the next great space triumph and win the Race to the Moons?





Aspects of Scouting
2-6 Players - 45-90 minutes
Development Period: August-September 2015
Status: Playtesting and Ongoing Development
Game Overview

In Aspects of Scouting Scouts play cooperatively, working together to create the best Scouting experience for their Pack, Troop, or Crew.  The Scouting Game promotes learning Scouting concepts, activities, and components from all four areas of Scouting: Cub Scouts, Boy Scouts, Venture Crew, and Varsity Scouts.  The game is easy to play and can be played as a quick game at just one of the Scouting levels, or as a longer game that encompasses multiple Scouting experiences to represent a Scout’s entire Scouting career.

The game is for 2-6 players and is played in a series of rounds where each round represents a year or rank in the life of a Scout.  Players take turns completing actions that let them work together to complete activities to earn advancements.  At the end of each rank and between Scouting levels there are scoring rounds in which players combine all scored activities to see how well the group performed as a team.  Players can try again to better their team scores!

Aspects of Scouting was created as a Patrol Project for my Wood Badge training course (C7-127-15).  The rules are complete and there is a complete set of cards for the Cub Scouting level, however I am still slowly working on creating cards for Boy Scouts, Varsity Scouts, and Venturing.



Fundraising Wars
2-4 Players - 90-120 minutes
Development Period: April 2015 - Current
Status: Playtesting
Game Overview | Provide Feedback

In Fundraising Wars players are raising funds for their respective organizations by selling products throughout their neighborhoods.  Boy Brigade, Voyager Girls, East Spiel High Marching Band and West Spiel High Athletics all need money to support their activities.  Players can sell products around town, but not everyone will want to purchase from them.  Players must balance selling at homes, small businesses, apartments, and office buildings with setting up booths at grocery stores, churches, and other community locations.  Players can also perform Service Projects that will help them sell more when they are out in the community or hold Fundraisers that will provide more immediate benefits.  The ultimate goal is to win awesome sellers rewards, like science kits, books, and electronics, or to fund outings and adventures like camping trips, magician performances, and awards night banquets by earning enough money and completing enough sales to accomplish these goals!



Exploring Argadnel: Quest for the Orb of Mystery
2-4 Players - 120 minutes
Development Period: February 2014 - March 2014, June 2014, September 2015-Ongoing
Status: Playtesting and Ongoing Development
Game Overview | Provide Feedback

In Exploring Argadnel: Quest for the Orb of Mystery, Fellowships of Mages (users of Magic) explore the game board, moving spaces each turn and discovering what is around them, while searching for places to build settlements and finding magical artifacts. They also encounter magical creatures, make remarkable discoveries and even battle, trade knowledge with, and steal artifacts from opponents. Mages in settlements will research new mysteries, expand the knowledge of already obtained mysteries, produce new Mages, and protect recovered artifacts.

Players earn Victory Points for building settlements and discovering artifacts. 25 victory points are needed to win the game, after all the artifacts at Mystical Sites have been recovered.

Exploring Argadnel: Quest for the Orb of Mystery plays in about 5 hours and is appropriate for 2-4 players (5 or 6 with an expansion) ages 15 and up.



Polter-Heist
2-4 Players - 45-60 minutes
Development Period: May 2014 - June 2014
Status: Completed, Seeking Publisher
Board Game Geek: View Game
Game Overview | Provide Feedback

Polter-Heist is for 2-4 players, ages 6+, with a playtime of 45-60 minutes or more. The object of the game is to explore the haunted mansion, uncovering rooms and searching for the hidden Treasure. Along the way you’ll make discoveries that can help you out and encounter ghosts that will deplete your courage or hinder your search. Occasionally you may encounter a benevolent spirit that will help you along the way. Be careful though, because if you get scared to death you’ll become a ghost that can chase down your former friends! You win the game by acquiring the Treasure and getting it out of the house. The ghosts win if everyone in the house gets turned to a ghost. You lose if you are a ghost and one or more players are able to make it out of the house with the Treasure.

Polter-Heist: Don't Go Outside
4-8 Players - 60-90 minutes
Development Period: July 2014
Status: Completed, Seeking Publisher
Game Overview | Provide Feedback

Polter-Heist: Don’t Go Outside brings all the spine-tingling fun of the original Polter-Heist to an 8 player game. With all new areas to explore come all new discoveries to be made! This expansion keeps all the excitement while letting even more people get in on the game. The expansion is ideal for 6-8 players, but can be used to make 4 and 5 player games even more interesting. The expansion isn't recommended for fewer than 4 players unless you want a really long game. So on your next game night, invite everyone to play! Sit back and enjoy, but don’t relax or you might find yourself haunting your friends!

Polter-Heist: Quests
2-4 Players - 60-90 minutes
Development Period: September 2014
Status: Playtesting
Game Overview

Polter-Heist: Quests adds a level of complexity to the original Polter-Heist, bringing more competition, more strategy, and more cooperation to the game.  In Quests each player will have specific goals in their exploration of the haunted house.  New Item Decks for each floor of the house include different treasures, artifacts, and items to collect.  Your character may be required to work with the other characters to complete tasks and find items, or maybe you have an evil heart and will complete your goals at the peril of your fellow players.



Catacombs of Mu
2-4 Players - 60 minutes
Development Period: November 2014 - Ongoing
Status: Playtesting
Game Overview
In Catacombs of Mu each player takes on the role of a character exploring the mysterious labyrinth that is the Catacombs. Buried deep within the winding passages are ancient relics from the prehistoric lost continent of Mu. Players race to discover these priceless treasures and escape to the surface. But without a map the treacherous journey may result in you getting lost forever!



To Reign Supreme
2 Players - 20 Minutes
Development Period: September 2014
Status: Playtesting and Ongoing Development
Game Overview

To Reign Supreme is a 2 player area control war game that uses 18 cards.  Each player battles to conquer 6 contested Territories, using the abilities of the Territories to build their Military and increase their Wealth.  Battles are conducted via a card based mechanic that limits chance and increases decision based strategy.

Update: An updated version of To Reign Supreme is under development.  This will use more cards for more varied game play and simpler mechanics.



Pirates Enjoy Math (Don't Say Arrrrrrithmetic)
2-4 Players - 10+ minutes
Development Period: November 2014
Status: Playtesting
Game Overview

Pirates Enjoy Math (Don't Say Arrrrrrithmetic) is a micro card game fro 2-4 players in which players use math and the Order of Operations to try to become the pirate with the most Loot.



Peacekeepers of Jar-Zabonia
1-4 Players - 20-45 minutes
Development Period: January 2014, June 2014-July 2014
Status: Playtesting
Game Overview | Provide Feedback

The object of Peacekeepers of Jar-Zabonia is to place as many races into peaceful positions as possible within the area allowed by Queen Moxie. Players score points for the number of pieces in their ‘zone’ - side of the board (2 players) or quadrant (4 players) as well as for cubes captured from their opponents.

Peacekeepers of Jar-Zabonia can be played solo, collaboratively, competitively, or as a solo or multi-player puzzle solver by 1, 2, or 4 players (other numbers of players can play Collaborative or Puzzle Solver modes) ages 10 and up and should take 15-45 minutes for each game. Multi-player games should take close to 45 minutes, solo games can be played in less than 30 minutes.



The Great Flood
Status: Component Creation

All around the world cultures have myths and legends of a Great Flood that covered the Earth in water.  In The Great Flood each player takes on the role of survivors in various corners of the globe, desperately trying to build his own ark and collect his own animals to rescue.  The Great Flood combines resource management (managing supplies to build an ark, feed a family, and feed a lot of animals), set collection (remember, there has to be two of every animal, one male and one female), economics (you’ll need to barter and trade to earn enough resources and purchase as many animals as possible), worker placement (those big families way back when could help out in a pinch), and more!  The game is played in two phases.  The initial phase consists of building the arks and collecting the animals.  But as the game progresses it’ll eventually start raining.  When it does, tiles will gradually get removed from the board as flood waters rise.  Players must have their arks as complete as possible and then survive the 40 days of bad weather.  Players who do and save enough animals will earn redemption in their god’s eyes!



Villainous
Status: Component Creation

Villainous is a single player game in which the player takes on the role of a Super Villain trying to accomplish dastardly deeds while battling various heroes, law enforcement, and civilians.
The game will be played with 3 Tool decks (6 possible tools to choose from – tools will be equipment, abilities, hired goons, etc.).

There will be several Villain starting decks (of 10 cards) that will each have a different set of base skills.  The player chooses which villain he wants to play at the beginning of the game.



King's Favor
Status: Early Development

King's Favor is a worker placement game where players use workers to take on various roles throughout the kingdom, enhancing their status among the realm's nobility.  Or players may select a more nefarious route to victory.  Players place workers in mines and on farms (or as bandits), buy traps to catch goblins, research alchemical knowledge (or sorcery), raise an army of soldiers (or an army of goblins), and work the trade markets (or black markets) in order to earn gold and gain influence over the king's royal court.



Phylogenesis
Status: Idea Phase

Phylogenesis is a game where players are attempting to build life forms that evolve from single celled organisms to great beasts.  The game starts with each player starting with a small, single celled creature.  Throughout the course of the game players will earn Energy that they may spend to evolve their creatures, giving them new traits and improving others.  Players may also ‘Branch’ their life forms and begin evolving different traits on different lifeforms.



Interstellar
Status: Idea Phase

In Interstellar each player takes on the role of a nation in a space-race toward interstellar colonization.  The game has two distinct stages; initially players will have to focus on building ships capable of bringing colonization crews to distant planets, and once those colonization crews reach the planets players will need to keep their colonists alive and thriving.



The Hex
Status: Idea Phase

The Hex is a mysterious hive of interconnected biospheres that completely surround a distant star.  Players control different alien species that have all been brought to The Hex in order to survive and grow.  Each player has a starting biosphere that has been fine tuned to their ideal environmental conditions, however there are many other biospheres connected to theirs, each with different conditions.  Players must use the resources they can generate in their home hex to expand and adjust the hexes around them to be suitable.  But beware, some hexes are already inhabited and you don't want to step on the wrong toes (or tentacles or whatever the neighbors have)!  (Idea inspired by Hex by Allen Steele.)




Oz 1 - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Development Period: July 2014 - Ongoing
Status: On Hold
Game Overview

Oz 1 - The Wizard of Oz is a micro-game that can be played with just a collection of 36 cards and a minimal number of other easily obtained components (coins, markers, and a pawn).

This will be a cooperative quest type game where players take on the role of one of the travelers (Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, Cowardly Lion) as they try to reach the Emerald City, then defeat the Wicked Witch, and finally get Dorothy home.  The hope is to create a series of games to represent each of the books in the entire Oz adventure by L. Frank Baum.



The Phantom of the Opera
Development Period: July 2014
Status: On Hold
Game Overview

The Phantom of the Opera is a bluffing and deduction game for 2-3 players.  Players compete to see who wins the affections of Christine.  The Phantom has many tricks up his sleeve, but using too many of them will drive Christine away. Raoul is more traditional, but less interesting and mysterious than Erik/Phantom.  The game is a micro-game that consists of four 9-card decks (an Event Deck and three Response Decks - one for each character) and 15 Tokens of Affection.

UPDATE: This game is being revised to be a 2-4 player game with a few more cards.  It'll also likely lose the Phantom of the Opera theme.



Construction Wars
Development Period: July 2014 - Ongoing
Status: Early Development
Game Overview

It may be just a job site prank, but another construction crew has stolen your lunch! That’s ok though, you stole someone else's lunch! But you still want yours back, and will use all the tools of the trade to ensure you get your lunch before the other crews get theirs.

In Construction Wars, up to 6 players players each control their construction crew of two pieces. Players move pieces on a three-dimensional playing area, building walls, bridges, and tunnels around each other in order to acquire their team’s lunchbox before other players acquire theirs. Each player controls two pieces in their team, generally one for defense and one for offense. Each player gets to take one action per piece per turn and different characters have different special abilities. Players create Blueprints for each piece on their team and when they are satisfied they may execute those Blueprints and see what happens. Each of the six different teams has special abilities that will help them out in their construction battles.



The Crowd
1-4 Players - 20 minutes
Development Period: March 2015
Status: On Hold

The Crowd is a strategy game for 1-4 players ages 10+.  Crowds are confusing, complex things.  Moving through a crowd is a challenge in anticipating the movements of those around you and finding space to move forward.  Sometimes the crowd doesn’t always work with you the way you want, pushing you in a direction other than that in which you want to go.  In The Crowd you are trying to work your way from the back rows of a crowd in order to have a prime viewing spot for the passing parade.  The first player to reach the front of the crowd is the winner.



To the End of the Line
2-4 Players - 10 minutes
Development Period: October 2014
Status: On Hold

To the End of the Line is a three-dimensional strategy game in which each player attempts to create the longest possible contiguous line in their color.  18 cards have cuts that allow them to be interlinked vertically.




Game Ideas
These games are just in the very basic ideas stage. Check back to see any progress:
  • Neutron Star Game - Players are each a tribe trying to build their civilizations on the surface of a neutron star.  However the gravitational forces of this star make east/west travel extremely difficult.  In order to grow your civilization and share resources and knowledge with your neighbors you will need to develop techniques to trade and communicate across the magnetic field lines. (Idea based of the Dragon's Egg novels by Robert L. Forward.)
  • Fur Trade Game - Players manage one of the fur trade companies of the 1600s-1800s, gaining control of areas on a period map of North America, trading with Native American tribes, and exploring.
  • The Grand Saga of George and Neal's Adventures Through Time and Space (and Pudding) the Game! - Party game where players draw cards and have to decide if an event described is from their universe or George & Neal's universe, or players may have to invent stories that other players guess if they are true or false for this Universe.
  • Chemical Reactions Game - Players try to acquire different elements to build molecules and chemical compounds, then combine them into exothermic or endothermic reactions to gain or lose energy and acquire different molecules and compounds. (Update, I have since learned about an interesting chemistry game called Compounded that has a similar idea, so this may take a back seat for a while.)

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