GALAXY RISE – A hidden identity trick-taker card game.

This weekend I received the first prototype printing of the GALAXY RISE card game!

It is currently in TheGameCrafter’s Trick Taker Challenge Contest.

Check out the product page.

Here’s a quick How To Play video:

CHANGES: Under some lighting the blue gems look like the black gems, so the blue gems have been switched to WHITE GEMS. I’ve also done several minor color corrections, including the identity scoring rules are now easier to read on the Player Guides.

CONTENTS

● 54 bridge-sized Playing Cards:
    ○ 48 cards in 4 suits
    ○ 6 Hidden Identity cards
● 6 Jumbo Cards
    ○ 5 Player Guides with Rules
    ○ Score Track
● 19 Glass Gems
● 5 Score Cubes

STORY

Centuries of multilateral conflicts throughout the galaxy are being resolved at the diplomatic conference of the era: The Congress of Zienna. Borderlines will be drawn and the resources of entire systems will be acquired. Empires, alliances, and multi-planetery corporations struggle for power — not in battle but at the negotiating table.

You are a representative of a galactic power sent to Zienna Prime. Your goal at the negotiating table depends on your hidden identity:

Envoy – Galactic peace alliances benefit from stability and mutual success. The Envoy’s goal is to help all parties get what they want.

Saboteur – Hired by nefarious provocateurs seeking conflict, the saboteur is sent to prevent the negotiations from being a success.

Solo Agent – Representing the interests of a single client state or corporation, agents work to maximise acquisitions with no regard for competitors.

RULES

Players are given hidden identity cards: The “Envoy” scores points for other people making their bid, the “Saboteur” scores for others failing, and everybody else (“Solo Agents”) score for making their own bid. The deck size changes depending on the player count (3, 4, or 5) so every game is balanced.

After being dealt their hands and hidden identities, each player bids the number of tricks they will take using gems. Color-coded gems make it easy to see if the bid is under, full, or over. One player may be a saboteur, so you cannot count on every bid being legitimate.

The hand is played out in tricks. The Solar suit is always trump. As players take tricks they place their gems on the piles so the status of all bids is apparent to all. After the last trick is taken every player reveals their identity and scores points accordingly. Players move their corresponding cube on the score track until one player makes it to 30 points to win the game.

VARIANT

Draft the Hidden Identity cards instead of dealing them out randomly. After looking at their hands players select from the Hidden Identity cards, dealer first and passing right counter-clockwise. This mixes up the game for experienced players.

Use the normal Hidden Identity cards for the number for players. Deal out the deck and everybody looks at their hands. The dealer looks at all the H.I. cards and secretly selects one to use. Then the dealer passes the remaining H.I. cards to their right (the opposite direction of bidding). That player chooses one, and so on, until the player to the left of the dealer selects one from the final two. That player then begins the bidding and the game continues as normal.

SITA, India Themed Adventure Game 33-Card Print and Play

I have a new board game available for free print and play!

The game was developed for TheGameCrafter Adventure Challenge Contest. It is a feminist deconstruction of the Ramayana myth, and pastiche of the Osiris Myth and Baal Cycle.

The construction is super easy, just 33 cards (of different sizes) on 4 pages, but you need several cubes of different colors and a bag

1-5 Players
20 Minutes

Components
7 Character Cards
4 Artifact Cards
10 Encounter Cards
12 Location Squares
1 Sun Marker
1 Dharma Bag
33 Cubes

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Low-Ink Print and Play [Letter or A4]
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Parakeet™ Card Game

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We are developing a Card Game engine. The first game to be released is a colorful trick-taking game, Parakeet™. We are also selling it as a physical card game from the Print-On-Demand boardgame store TheGameCrafter.com – a great way to get boardgames out there without committing to huge print-runs.

Thanks to @woubuc for this widget.

The physical cards.

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The game engine will also be ready soon.

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Cross-platform Action RPG Controls

My Action RPG game Complex State will be playable on everything: gaming console,  smart tv, phones, tablets, and PC’s. Players will play together on tv consoles using gamepads in the living room… and continue grinding by themselves on their phones.

To achieve this I’ve been designing control systems for each type of platform to be as consistent as possible. This is what I’ve come up with.

The basic in game controls are movement and actions (ie. weapons). Movement is controlled with a joystick, arrows, or pathfinding to a selected spot on the map. On all systems the player is given 4 actions in the form of 4 weapons slots (could also  contain equipment, potions, magic). These correspond to the standard A, B, X, Y buttons on gamepad, or are toggled. Aiming ranged attacks works differently on different systems. NPC interaction will be initiated automatically by going close to an NPC.

Here’s an outline of the 3 platform control methods.

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I’ve yet to find Action RPG controls on phones that I love. Originally I tried out more complex swipes and gestures, but they were difficult. Instead I’m simplifying phone controls to single-handed tapping. This will lift attack combo versatility compared to gamepad. Gameplay will have to address this somehow.

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Keyboard and Mouse basically combines the other two control methods.

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This is my solution to the problem of supporting a console action game on mobile. I don’t completely know yet how simplifying the controls to just four actions will affect game design.

Explore The Galaxy mobile game coming soon

The last couple weeks I’ve been working on the mobile game version of my solitaire 18 card game Explore The Galaxy. It will be released for phones and tablets and available in the iOS App Store, Google Play, and Amazon Appstore.

Here’s some screenshots from today. The interface is not final. It gives immediate feedback on what skills you need to complete each location.

Work in progress

work in progress

The plan is for the game to be a proof of concept for mobile card games. I will also be making  larger, multiplayer FRESH Big Time game.

FRESH Big Time, an 18/36-Card Print and Play

I’m working on another print and play card game. This time a totally tubular 1980’s themed Wall Street game! It’s looking awesome, and plays pretty great.

The game is influenced by materialistic 1980’s culture, the pop art of Patrick Nagel, 80’s music, and character’s like American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman. Check out the Work-In-Progress thread at BGG for the whole story.

The game is 18 cards for 1 or 2 players, comprised of 2 stock marker cards and a 16 card deck. Print the cards twice for a 32 card deck needed to 3 to 5 players. The game plays great with 5 players!

Full Color Cards

Full Color Cards

Rules Document

Rules Document

A couple notes on the rules:
– Stock values don’t go below 0. When scoring, treat any stock below 0 as 0.
– Going last is an advantage, particularly in 2 player game. I am considering to play to specific rounds instead of to 100 points so that each player goes last same number of times:
2 Players: 4 Rounds
3 Players: 3 Rounds
4 Players: 4 Rounds
5 Players: 5 Rounds

DOWNLOADS
Full Color Cards PDF – Full color legal paper prints.
Low Ink Cards PDF – Great for home printers, including b&w laser printers.
Rules PDF – Rules document, sized for 5×3.5 inch back and front on one page.

This game is also part of the 18-Card MicroGame Contest 2015 on the BoardGameGeek forum, with many other great easy to print and play 18 card games.

Explore The Galaxy, an 18-Card Print and Play

I just completed Version 0.6 of an in progress card game of only 18 cards. The game is a skill solving game where each card has 3 different roles. Anybody can print and cut it out. I’ve even created a low-ink version of the game if the awesome space graphics are too ink heavy for your home printer.

The game idea originally came from these space and planet textures I created for the game I’m working on, Hyperion. The characters and back story are influenced by Star Trek, Star Wars, and Guardians of the Galaxy.

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Full Color Cards

New Rules Ver. 0.6

New Rules Ver. 0.6

DOWNLOADS
Full Color Cards PDF – Full color legal paper prints.
Low Ink Cards PDF – Great for home printers, including b&w laser printers.
Solitaire Rules PDF – Rules document, sized for 5×3.5 inch back and front on one page.

You can follow the game’s progress in the original Work-In-Progress thread at BGG.

This game is part of the 18-Card MicroGame Contest 2015 on the BoardGameGeek forum, with many other great easy to print and play 18 card games.

Blended map textures for Complex State

Today I’ve been working on the map textures for our Action-RPG Complex State.

The game is largely inspired by some of my favourite games, Zelda: A Link to the Past and the Baldur’s Gate. The game maps are built using a grid, so maps can be designed easily or created procedurally during play. However, player and NPC movement is free like Baldur’s Gate, not along the grid like Zelda. My goal with the map textures is for it to work like a simple 16-bit style RPG, but have a unique more realistic look. I’m doing this by random variations of each map grid texture and with blended edges.

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This creates a varied texture for outside grass.

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Today I am working on the look of the space station and space ships. It’s not quite finished.

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I also just implemented how NPCs will talk, I am testing it by having them say “moving,” while moving in their API loop. The game will support couch multiplayer, trying to reproduce some of the funnest times I’ve had played Baldur’s Gate and more recently Diablo III with friends. One thing that always bugged us in those games — when one player talked to an NPC the dialogue took over the screen and paused everybody. In this game players will be able to walk around freely, and NPCs will respond with un-disruptive speech bubbles.