Flatlined Games - Fun games for smart people http://www.flatlinedgames.com/rss.xml en Flatlined Games à Essen Spiel 2018 [4F108] http://www.flatlinedgames.com/fr/flatlined_games_a_essen_spiel_2018_4f108 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Flatlined Games at Essen Spiel 2018 [4F108]</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/85" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehanuise</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 15/10/2018 - 09:00</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p class="text-align-center"><img alt="banner_640.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="171" src="/sites/default/files/news/banner_640.png" width="640" /></p> <p>Hi everyone. The Essen Spiel fair is near us, with no less than 180.000 visitors expected this year! (25-28 Oct.)</p> <p>We are moving to hall 4 (formerly 7) as the gigantic booths of hall 3 are no longer a good fit. We're joining the hall of indie publishers, with human-sized booths.</p> <p>SteamRollers will get the highlight this year on our booth, since it's the first time it'll be available for sale at Essen. Last year we were still preparint the launch of the campaign at this time, and the game was only released end March.</p> <p>Flatlined Games will be glad to meet you on our booth 4-F 108</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="halleplan2018.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="422" src="/sites/default/files/news/halleplan2018.png" width="726" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Author on the booth: Mark Gerrits</h2> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Mark Gerrits (Mini Rails, SteamRollers) will be on the booth most of the time, so don't hesitate co come greet him and ask for a signing!</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="mark.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="144" src="/sites/default/files/news/mark.png" width="639" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="booth_640.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="281" src="/sites/default/files/news/booth_640.png" width="640" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <h2>Games on sale</h2> <p>Essen is a very important event for indie publishers, as this is a rare opportunity for direct sales. We'll carry SteamRollers of course, and also Rumble in the House and Rumble in the Dungeon.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="Steamrollers_box_3D_1K_R.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="288" src="/sites/default/files/news/Steamrollers_box_3D_1K_R.png" width="288" /> <img alt="rumble_in_the_house_new_box_r_320.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="309" src="/sites/default/files/games/rumble_in_the_house/gamepage/rumble_in_the_house_new_box_r_320.png" width="320" />&nbsp; <img alt="box_shot_l_320px.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="313" src="/sites/default/files/games/rumble_in_the_dungeon/gamepage/box_shot_l_320px.png" width="320" /></p> <p class="text-align-center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="text-align-center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="text-align-center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="text-align-center">&nbsp;</p> </div> Mon, 15 Oct 2018 07:00:00 +0000 ehanuise 499 at http://www.flatlinedgames.com Mark Gerrits on creating SteamRollers http://www.flatlinedgames.com/mark_gerrits_on_creating_steamrollers <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Mark Gerrits on creating SteamRollers</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/85" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehanuise</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 08/09/2017 - 19:01</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><strong><em>Mark Gerrits, who are you?</em></strong></p> <p>I'm a civil servant software engineer who sometimes designs games in his free time.</p> <p><em><strong>What kind of gamer are you?</strong></em></p> <p>In board game geek parlance, I'm mostly a Eurogamer and a cultist of the new. I tend to abstract theme away to a high degree while playing, which makes it hard to really get into the theme of a game. I love exploring the mechanisms and workings of games and prefer the thrill of new discoveries to the satisfaction of really mastering a system. I like most weights of games, from light fillers to games that take all evening (but not so much games that take all day). In my regular gaming group I'm considered a train gamer, but that's of course very relative. I mean I've only played two 18XX games, so I hardly think I qualify :)</p> <p><em><strong>How long have you been designing games?</strong></em></p> <p>About six years.</p> <p><strong><em>What led you to game design?</em></strong></p> <p>I wasn't one of those kids who invented their own games out of the scraps of old games. But when I started working in Brussels, I joined a gaming group which had some successful and fledgling game designers as members or on its periphery. That demystified a lot of the design process and showed that great games start as humble prototypes. So I figured I could give it a try myself too. Of course my first few prototypes failed horribly but if at first you don't succeed, dust yourself off and try again.</p> <p><em><strong>What was the genesis of SteamRollers like?</strong></em></p> <p>After a game of Age of Steam, the loser (which was probably me, but I don't remember), joked that it was nothing but a lucky dice game. (For those that haven't played AoS, resources enter the game through dice rolls — it's a minor and easy to anticipate mechanism) That got me thinking about what a real dice version of a pick-up-and-deliver train game like AoS would look like.</p> <p>The first version didn't have any cubes but a delivery matrix. This made perfect sense to me but not so much to anybody else. Once that was replaced, the game very quickly came to resemble the version you see now. The last thing to be added were the action tiles. Of all the games I've tried to design so far, SteamRollers went by far the smoothest. Everything just kept clicking into place.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="MARK_02.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="214" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/articles/MARK_02.jpg" width="281" /></p> <p class="text-align-center"><em>The infamous delivery matrix</em></p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="MARK_01.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="341" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/articles/MARK_01.jpg" width="500" /></p> <p class="text-align-center"><em>SteamRollers early prototype</em></p> <p><strong><em>SteamRollers has a first, very limited edition in 2015. How was it received?</em></strong></p> <p>It's hard to get a lot of feedback with only 200 copies out in the world but my impression was that it was well received by most people. Certainly demos have always gone well. We were also lucky to have some vocal, enthusiastic supporters from very early on. Their support has meant a lot to the game but also to me personally. You know who you are.</p> <p><em><strong>How has the new edition benefited from the feedback on the limited 2015 release? Did you learn unexpected things from the gamer’s feedback?</strong></em></p> <p>Honestly, nothing much changed with the base game mechanisms, though the publisher has optimized some of the game components. Some of the feedback did lead to the mini expansions in the stretch goals (Coal, Orders and Starting Powers). For instance, noticing during development that some people tended to hold on to the delivered cubes provided the impetus for the Orders expansion.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="SR2015.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="358" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/articles/SR2015.jpg" width="300" /></p> <p class="text-align-center"><em>The 2015 limited edition</em></p> <p><strong><em>Since the first prototypes, you played a huge amount of SteamRollers games. Do you still like to play it?</em></strong></p> <p>It's become the gaming equivalent of comfort food for me. Some of the thrill may be gone but I have yet to tire of it.</p> <p><strong>Do you have other games published or to be published?</strong></p> <p>I had another game come out from Moaideas Game Design at Gen Con this year. It'll also be available at Spiel. It's another light train game but very different from SteamRollers: it focuses on stock manipulation and is a bit on the mean side.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="minirails.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="267" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/articles/minirails.jpg" width="400" /></p> <p class="text-align-center"><em>Mini Rails</em></p> <p class="text-align-center">&nbsp;</p> <p class="text-align-center"> <iframe frameborder="0" height="420" scrolling="no" src="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/steamrollers-the-definitive-roll-and-write-train-g/widget/card.html?v=2" width="220"></iframe></p> <p class="text-align-center">&nbsp;</p> </div> Fri, 08 Sep 2017 17:01:37 +0000 ehanuise 461 at http://www.flatlinedgames.com Benjamin Beneteau on illustrating SteamRollers http://www.flatlinedgames.com/benjamin_beneteau_on_illustrating_steamrollers <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Benjamin Beneteau on illustrating SteamRollers</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/85" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehanuise</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 08/09/2017 - 18:59</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><em><strong>Benjamin Benéteau, who are you?</strong></em></p> <p>I'm a French comic book artist, living in Brussels, mainly working on the backgrounds and cars of the new Michel Vaillant series since 2012, and currently working on a new one-shot, which will be published by Le Lombard in 2018.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="BENJAMIN_01.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="246" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/articles/BENJAMIN_01.jpg" width="680" /></p> <p><em><strong>Did you work for other boardgames before or only comic strips?</strong></em><br /> No, I usually work on comic books, and do various commissions, from wedding cards to car posters, but never had the chance to work on a boardgame. As a casual boardgaming fan, I always gave much attention to their art, hoping that one day I could make it, and SteamRollers made it possible.</p> <p><em><strong>Did you play the game before starting work on the art?</strong></em><br /> Of course: it was a critical necessity for me to grasp the spirit of the game, before trying to put drawings on it. The artwork is an interface for a logical gaming process I had to fully understand first. It needs to serve the understanding of the game as much as making it attractive.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="BENJAMIN_02.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="152" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/articles/BENJAMIN_02.jpg" width="680" /></p> <p><em><strong>What was your process for creating the SteamRollers art?</strong></em><br /> A long one. At the beginning I thought it would be a relatively short run, based on my experience on diverse commissions, but I quickly discovered it would take me much more time, as I was lacking the experience on this kind of artwork. The main difficulty is the amount of constraints for the short amount of images : every image must be thought of very thoroughly, because it has to convey a lot of infos and suggest different feelings, without being sketchy or overcrowded, therefore unreadable. Kind of a "less is more" approach : less visible complexity for the most infos conveyed.</p> <p>So I classically started with documentation : most of the visual cues were put in the briefing, so I had a clear angle of research. Google is my friend, but I have a lot of other friends too, like 90's French "Western style" comic books for this project.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="BENJAMIN_03.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="404" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/articles/BENJAMIN_03.jpg" width="680" /></p> <p class="text-align-center"><em>The SteamRollers graphical briefing document at a glance.</em></p> <p>Then, a lot of sketches, beginning with the main and most important illustration : the box cover. We even made a survey on Facebook to see which one of the sketched composition were the public favourite.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="BENJAMIN_04.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="485" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/articles/BENJAMIN_04.jpg" width="299" /></p> <p>When the composition was set, I did a colour rough, to be sure of the direction I was taking for the final colour work. And finally, was the time for the finished inking and colouring. All on computer, on my Wacom Cintiq, so the infinite number of corrections and adjustment can counterbalance my lack of innate talent.<br /> And, except for the survey part, repeat this process for almost all of the game's artwork.</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="BENJAMIN_06.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="300" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/articles/BENJAMIN_06.jpg" width="600" /></p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="BENJAMIN_07.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="341" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/articles/BENJAMIN_07.jpg" width="680" /></p> <p><em><strong>Was it very different from comic strips?</strong></em><br /> Very different, firstly because I'm not used to doing my own colour work on Michel Vaillant, although I love doing it. Secondly, as I said earlier, it's not the same narrative process : each image isn’t designed the same way a comic book page is. As an example : there's no possible speech box to compensate the lack of readability...</p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="BENJAMIN_05.jpg" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="299" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/articles/BENJAMIN_05.jpg" width="600" /></p> <p class="text-align-center"><img alt="Steamrollers_box_3D_1K_L_0.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="300" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/Steamrollers_box_3D_1K_L_0.png" width="300" /></p> <p><em><strong>Will you be looking forward to other such projects in the future?</strong></em><br /> I sure am. It's a very exciting work for me, and I like to breathe another atmosphere than comic books'. As I said, I was hoping one day I could do boardgames artwork, so now I'm longing for the next one !</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p class="text-align-center"> <iframe frameborder="0" height="420" scrolling="no" src="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/steamrollers-the-definitive-roll-and-write-train-g/widget/card.html?v=2" width="220"></iframe></p> </div> Fri, 08 Sep 2017 16:59:38 +0000 ehanuise 460 at http://www.flatlinedgames.com Get SteamRollers now on Kickstarter http://www.flatlinedgames.com/get_steamrollers_now_on_kickstarter <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Get SteamRollers now on Kickstarter</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/85" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehanuise</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 21/08/2017 - 14:32</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/262599968?ref=website">SteamRollers is now live on Kickstarter!</a></p> <p><strong>America, shortly after the first transcontinental junction in 1869.</strong></p> <p>Railroads are developing all over the vast expanses of the wild west, and business is booming. It is a time of adventure, progress, and opportunity. The transcontinental junction was a great milestone in American history, a first step that reshaped a whole continent.</p> <p>In SteamRollers you are a railroad entrepreneur building a network of tracks and a fleet of train engines to secure freight delivery contracts before your opponents. At the core of the game is a very nice dice drafting engine by new designer Mark Gerrits (Be). In turn, players choose dice from a pool to draw rails on their individual playsheet, improve their engines, research new technologies or deliver goods to get points.</p> <p>This is a <strong>Kickstarter 1-Year Exclusive*</strong> project: after the campaign, SteamRollers will not be available in distribution. It will only be available direct from Flatlined games and via a limited selection of retail partners.</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/262599968?ref=website"><img alt="logo_names.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="124" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/KS/logo_names.png" width="680" /></a></p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/262599968?ref=website"><img alt="components_base.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="434" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/KS/components_base.png" width="680" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/262599968?ref=website"><img alt="KSE03.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="71" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/KS/KSE03.png" width="680" /></a></p> <p>The Kickstarter campaign will run from Aug 22 to Sep 21, so don't miss out, pledge now!</p> <p><a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/262599968?ref=website">https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/262599968</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/262599968?ref=website"><img alt="Steamrollers_box_3D_1K_L_0.png" data-entity-type="" data-entity-uuid="" height="300" src="/sites/default/files/games/steamrollers/Steamrollers_box_3D_1K_L_0.png" width="300" /></a></p> </div> Mon, 21 Aug 2017 12:32:52 +0000 ehanuise 455 at http://www.flatlinedgames.com SteamRollers video presentation - Ludochrono http://www.flatlinedgames.com/steamrollers_video_presentation_ludochrono <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">SteamRollers video presentation - Ludochrono</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/85" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehanuise</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Mon, 31/07/2017 - 11:57</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Ludovox, a french vlog has released an english language video presentation of SteamRollers:</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/aCNl-yCKTJg?rel=0" width="560"></iframe></p> </div> Mon, 31 Jul 2017 09:57:46 +0000 ehanuise 449 at http://www.flatlinedgames.com Flatlined Games Stakeholders report 2017 http://www.flatlinedgames.com/flatlined_games_stakeholders_report_2017 <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Flatlined Games Stakeholders report 2017</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/85" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehanuise</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Sun, 16/07/2017 - 20:19</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">Hi everyone.&nbsp; Flatlined Games is a one-man shop, operated and owned by Eric Hanuise, but there are many stakeholders to this indie boardgame publisher: designers, friends, volunteers, and of course gamers.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">I think it’s time to issue a stakeholders report, and let everyone participating or interested in the success of Flatlined Games know the current status of the company.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h1 class="western"><span style="color:#006400;">7 years - The age of reason</span></h1> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">I started working on Flatlined Games as soon as 2007 but the first game, Dragon rage was released end 2010. This means Flatlined Games is now 7 years old ─ the age of reason.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">This is both very young for a company and a very long time in this industry. And the boardgames market has changed A LOT during these 7 years and is still evolving at breathtaking speeds.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">I started this business as a sole proprietor, which is very flexible and easy but also very costly in Belgium, and I was finally able to incorporate as a Belgian law ‘SPRL’ in September 2017: Flatlined SPRL. This is mostly administrative stuff, but it will provide a good foundation to expand Flatlined Games in the future.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h1 class="western"><span style="color:#006400;">Money’s too tight to mention</span></h1> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">I am still a very small, one-man indie publisher. This started as a side project, along with my daytime work as IT consultant (project management and business analysis). From 2013 to 2017 I have been able to make myself fully available for Flatlined Games. In 2017 I have moved again to daytime consulting, and I manage Flatlined Games during the evenings and weekends. This should be temporary, I will be able to resume working full time on Flatlined games when finances get better.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">I view myself as extremely lucky to be able to switch back to a more reliable source of income in order to keep Flatlined Games going on. This allows me to invest the required time and resources before launching a new game instead of making bad decisions because of time and money pressure. It also makes things slower overall as no one can handle two concurrent full-time jobs continuously for a long period of time. I need time to sleep, play, and eat too!</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h1 class="western"><span style="color:#006400;">Current Catalogue</span></h1> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">Over these 7 years, I have released 8 games. Many are now sold out at the publisher level and some are still widely available. Here is a quick game-per-game summary of Flatlined Games current catalogue :</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="western">Dragon Rage (2010)</h2> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">This fantasy wargame was a niche project, and a labour of love. I printed 1500 copies with the goal of selling out over 5 years, and I only have 6 units remaining in stock. I’ll call that a success as the projection was right. Of course the money is ridiculously low.<br /> I think There’s still some interest for Dragon Rage, The author is working on an expansion, and I intend to offer it for reprinting through a crowdfunding campaign in the future. Most units sold in Europe, so there could be an untapped market in the US big enough to warrant a reprint.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="western">Rumble in the House (2011) and Rumble in the Dungeon (2012)</h2> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">Rumble in the House is our staple game. This mindlessly fun little party game is having a huge success worldwide, with translations in 10 languages including Russian and Chinese! Combined with Rumble in the Dungeon and the newer Chtulhu in the House (produced by CMON under license) we now crossed the 80.000 units threshold.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">I have managed to keep this one in print the whole time, and it is my priority to keep it in print in the future.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">Each publisher needs a staple game that continues to sell over time. Mine is Rumble, and I am very glad about this.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="western">Twin Tin Bots (2013)</h2> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">This Robot Programming game by Philippe Keyaerts (of Small World fame) had only one print run, and I think I should reprint in the future. As for Dragon Rage, it was mostly sold in Europe, and a crowdfunding campaign could allow me to reprint it and reach the US market.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="western">Robin (2014)</h2> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">This card game by Frederic Moyersoen (of Saboteur fame) sold out over a little more than one year, and was reprinted in Russian by Zvezda. It might see a reprint in the future, but will remain for now sold out at the publisher level.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="western">SteamRollers limited preview release(2015)</h2> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">This was a return to the roots of indie board games publishing: 200 hand-assembled numbered copies, sold at the fair during Essen Spiel 2015.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">The reception was overwhelmingly good, prompting me and the author to prepare a much wider reprint. More about this later ─ SteamRollers will return on Kickstarter end August.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="western">Otter Nonsense limited preview release(2015)</h2> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">Just as SteamRollers above, this was a limited 200 copies print run, to ‘test the waters’ and get feedback. The game had good reception, and I am working on making it ready for a wider release too.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="western">Argo (2016)</h2> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">Argo should have been released in 2015, but was delayed for financial reasons. Kickstarter and a partnership with German publisher Heidelberger (now Asmodee Deutschland) eventually allowed me to release this game by renowned French authors Bruno Faidutti and Serge Laget. Argo is currently available at your friendly local game store, and also direct from the Flatlined Games website <a href="http://www.flatlinedgames.com">www.flatlinedgames.com</a></font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="western">Future titles</h2> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">I have several titles in preparation for the future, but the first order of business for the time being is to reprint SteamRollers.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h2 class="western">Book</h2> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">I have been working on a book about the trade of board games publishing since 2013. It is now well advanced and I intend to finish that book and make it available for sale. There are plenty of books on board games design but none yet on all of the other aspects of board games publishing.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h1 class="western"><span style="color:#006400;">Distribution and licensing</span></h1> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">From 2011 to 2015, I have worked exclusively with Iello for distribution of Flatlined Games. First in France, then Europe and then the rest of the world. The partnership worked well in the beginning, but over time this arrangement proved unsustainable for me. The money from sales consistently diminished over time and I had to end that relationship or close shop.<br /> I was shocked when they offered me to buy over the licenses to my published games if I was to end Flatlined Games. It all but confirmed for me that parting ways was the right thing to do. </font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">This brought me back to square one for distribution and led to the ‘indie minimal print runs’ of Essen 2015 as well as a one year delay in releasing Argo.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">It also led to a re-evaluation of my business model for foreign language releases. Until 2015, my standard operating procedure was to make a first release in 4 languages, release at Essen and then look for partners to make localized versions in other languages. I would get their translation, arrange the reprint myself, and sell them the localized copies. This is a very cash-intensive way to do things.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">With my finances at an all-time low, I had to pivot to a licensing system. I will make a first edition, multilingual, and then look for foreign partners that will manufacture their own version of the game under license. With this model I get a per-copy royalty but I do not have to cover the cost of an industrial print run myself. As a print run cost several tens of thousands of euros this makes a huge difference in what I can do and avoids delaying the printing of localized versions because of me being cash-strapped.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h1 class="western"><span style="color:#006400;">A market evolving at light-speed</span></h1> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">The board games market is bearing a full-blown revolution as we speak. Overall, more and more people play and buy games and this evolution has been continuing steadily for several years now. As the market expands we also see dozens of new publishers appear, and thousands of new games are now published each year. So bigger pie ─ but lots of more slices being cut.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">We also see consolidation, with behemoths like Asmodee buying out smaller distributors and publishers worldwide. There has never been so much small and large companies in the boardgames market, which brings a lot of changes and growing pains. But I am certain overall that this growth is a good thing and a trove of opportunities.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">Distributors that were previously focused about exclusively on local gaming retail stored are courting larger shops and chains, as the market growth opens opportunities there. You can now buy some of the more mainstream board games like Ticket to Ride, Catan or Seven Wonders at Barnes and Nobles, Sears, and other similar chains. Some of these sales are to new gamers, but part of it are sales lost by the FLGS putting extra pressure on them to adapt or die.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">Then there’s the evolution of retail itself. Amazon and online vendors are the main way to acquire new games for many gamers, and brick and mortar retailers must adapt to that new landscape or die. This is in fact not specific to the board games industry! look at any retail category, from high-tech to groceries, from clothing to tools and you will see that online shopping is now everywhere, for better or worse.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">The last horseman of that retail-pocalypse is of course Kickstarter which revives the age-old subscription model in a modern way that is very well suited to the needs of boardgames publishers. Kickstarter allows direct sales to the gamers, without any distribution hassles. Again, for better or worse.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">I have no pretension of shaping the market or resisting to these changes. As a business owner it is my job to identify the changes in the market, and to adapt to them. I like to say I am not a salmon, and I will not spend my life swimming upstream. Which bring me to...</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h1 class="western"><span style="color:#006400;">New business model</span></h1> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">A new business model is required for me to stay in operation in this changing market. Manufacturing games, placing them at a distributor warehouse and relying on them to do sales and solicitations requires a sizeable amount of cash on hand to start with, and is a very risky proposition. It also requires marketing and promotion efforts at a scale well beyond my reach. With the current quantity of new releases each week, no distributor can effectively promote each of my games to their retailer clients. Even them must make choices to face this flood of releases. But then what with the games that are not picked for the spotlight? Is the publisher expected to just write them off and have them destroyed? This is of course unsustainable, and more like playing the lottery than actually managing a business.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">Distributors will of course be happy to carry titles that are in demand by their clients, so it’s now my job as publisher to make sure this demand exists and to build up a game’s reputation before it reached distribution ─ if it ever does.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">The explosive growth of the market and of Kickstarter and online sales offers new sales channels. I view them as complementary to the ‘main’ distributor-retailer sale channel more than concurrent, and I will start to aggressively make use of these newer channels.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">So my new model would be fund through Kickstarter, sell to gamers and interested retailers, sell direct and through some online channels, and then if the game reaches a high enough threshold move it through ‘classic’ distribution.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">It means offering incentives to the players and stores that support us for launching new products. I have some ideas about this and I look forward to experimenting the opportunities that the new channels such as Kickstarter or direct sales offer.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">I also have some ideas to support retailers in the process with models that are compatible with the way a FLGS is run: paying hundreds of euros up to a year in advance of receiving the product doesn’t work for a shop, so alternative models are required.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">I will also aggressively pursue licensing with foreign partners, as a local publisher is better suited than I ever would be to release and promote localized versions of my games in their country.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <h1 class="western"><span style="color:#006400;">The future of Flatlined Games</span></h1> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">Here is what you can expect from Flatlined Games in the near future:</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">SteamRollers will return on Kickstarter. This should be around August 20-25. The game will exclusively be available through Kickstarter for a 12 month period before it becomes available in distribution. Yes, a ONE YEAR exclusive period.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">After the KS campaign and until the end of the 12 month period, the only way to get the game will be through retailers that have registered with us during the KS campaign, directly from the Flatlined Games store, and on our booth during fairs and conventions.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">This should make SteamRollers a sought-after game, while avoiding some of the darker effects of current exclusive propositions such as overpriced resales. The one year period should allow us to establish SteamRollers as a game worthy of a wider audience for distributors or foreign language partners.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">I want to finish my book on boardgames publishing and release it, so this will be the next project after SteamRollers.</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">There are many other boardgames that I am working on, but that will be for the future. First comes SteamRollers!</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm">&nbsp;</p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">Brussels, 15 July 2017</font></font></span></span></p> <p style="margin-bottom:0mm"><span style="font-weight:normal"><span style="line-height:100%"><font size="3"><font style="font-size: 12pt">Eric Hanuise, Founder of Flatlined Games</font></font></span></span></p> </div> Sun, 16 Jul 2017 18:19:18 +0000 ehanuise 405 at http://www.flatlinedgames.com Cthulhu in the House coming at Gencon from CMON http://www.flatlinedgames.com/cthulhu_in_the_house_coming_at_gencon_from_cmon <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Cthulhu in the House coming at Gencon from CMON</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/85" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehanuise</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Wed, 20/07/2016 - 11:33</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>I am delighted to echo the announcement of CoolMiniOrNot (CMON), our new US partner: <img alt="cmon_logo_300.png" height="136" src="/sites/default/files/logos/cmon_logo_300.png" style="padding:10px; float:right" width="300" /></p> <p>Cthulhu in the House will debut at gencon on the CMON booth.</p> <p>CoolMiniOrNot has partnered with Spaghetti Western Games and Flatlined Games to release the board game <em style="line-height:1.6">Cthulhu in the House</em><span style="line-height:1.6">. The game will premiere at Gen Con with a trade release to follow in Q3.</span></p> <p>With now over 70.000 copies sold in 5 years, the Rumble in the house series (Rumble in the House, Rumble in the Dungeon, and now Chtulhu in the House) is Flatlined game's besteller. The partnership with CMON for exclusive english language distribution of the Rumble in the House series will no doubt boost the audience of the games, and continue to reach new gamers.</p> <p>The Cthulhu in the House game is similar to <em>Rumble in the Dungeon</em> and <em>Rumble in the House</em> but with new gameplay mechanics.&nbsp; In the game, players compete in a royal rumble to see which Old One has the staying power to outlast the other opponents. Players hide their identities and compete over three rounds to determine who is the toughest. Throughout the game, player can either move a character in the house or start a fight between two characters in the same room. The game includes portals, which allow player to teleport around the board and change outcomes of fights.</p> <p>Cthulhu in the House can be combined with Rumble in the House and Rumble in the Dungeon to seat more players, for an epic all-out Rumble!</p> <p><img alt="CITH_cmon.png" height="952" src="/sites/default/files/games/chtulhu_in_the_house/CITH_cmon.png" width="960" /></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>For all sales inquiries, please contact CMON directly :)</p> </div> Wed, 20 Jul 2016 09:33:36 +0000 ehanuise 390 at http://www.flatlinedgames.com New website http://www.flatlinedgames.com/new_website <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">New website</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/85" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehanuise</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 07/07/2016 - 02:46</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p>Our new website is online. <img alt="website.jpg" height="200" src="/sites/default/files/news/website.jpg" style="padding:10px; float:right" width="320" /></p> <p>Most of the contents have been migrated to the new site, and the URLs remain the same where possible.<br /> The Flatlined Games website was set up in 2010, and an upgrade was long overdue. Drupal 6 is no longer supported, so not upgrading was becoming a security risk.</p> <p>I have carefully exported all contact requests and surveys, so have no fear - your request is safely logged and will not be lost!</p> <p>Check out our new website, and make sure to send us your feedback!</p> </div> Thu, 07 Jul 2016 00:46:58 +0000 ehanuise 385 at http://www.flatlinedgames.com Argo, it's now on Kickstarter! http://www.flatlinedgames.com/argo_its_now_on_kickstarter <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Argo, it&#039;s now on Kickstarter!</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/85" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehanuise</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Thu, 04/02/2016 - 18:39</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><p><iframe frameborder="0" height="420" scrolling="no" src="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/argo/widget/card.html?v=2" width="220"></iframe><p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;<a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/argo?ref=flgnews"><img alt="Argo -- Kicktraq Mini" src="https://www.kicktraq.com/projects/flatlinedgames/argo/minichart.png" style="display:block; margin-left:auto; margin-right:auto; float:left" title="Argo -- Kicktraq Mini" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><img alt="" height="200" src="/sites/default/files/games/argo/argo_box_top_fontonly_300px.png" style="margin:20px; float:left" width="200" />The crowdfunding campaign for Argo is now live!<br /> Some of you supported us during the first attemps, thank you, we hope to see you onboard this time again!</p> <p>Link to kickstarter :<br /> <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/argo?ref=flgnews">https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/argo</a></p> <p>Argo is the latest game co-designed by Bruno Faidutti and Serge laget. They already teamed up to give ue Mystery at the Abbey, Khéops, Ad Astra, Mission red planet and Castel.</p> <p>In Argo you lead a team of Astronauts to the escape pods: you awoke from cryostasis on an unknown mining station, and the computer woke you up because of a bug. Plenty of large bugs, that is, as the station is swarming with Aliens!</p> <p>You gain points by placing your Astronauts on departing shuttles, and by using Aliens to kill other Astronauts. However the Aliens also get points for each kill, and if you use them too aggressively they might end up winning the game!</p> <p>The game is simple but deep, it's cramped, people get pushed, there is no room for luck, and no niceties to be expected from the others!</p> <p>You'll get all informations and the multilingual rulesbook from the KS page : <a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/argo?ref=flgnews">click on the chief!</a></p> <p><a href="https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/flatlinedgames/argo?ref=flgnews"><img alt="" height="300" src="/sites/default/files/games/argo/KS-french/avatar01.png" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;" width="300" /></a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> </div> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 17:39:33 +0000 ehanuise 251 at http://www.flatlinedgames.com Twin Tin Bots : Design Notes by Philippe keyaerts http://www.flatlinedgames.com/twin_tin_bots_design_notes_by_philippe_keyaerts <span class="field field--name-title field--type-string field--label-hidden">Twin Tin Bots : Design Notes by Philippe keyaerts</span> <span class="field field--name-uid field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden"><span lang="" about="/user/85" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="">ehanuise</span></span> <span class="field field--name-created field--type-created field--label-hidden">Fri, 27/06/2014 - 18:26</span> <div class="clearfix text-formatted field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field__item"><h2>Twin Tin Bots design notes</h2> <p><em><span style="font-size: xx-small;">Philippe Keyaerts</span></em></p> <h2>1. The spark&nbsp;: Spaceships, combat and inertia.</h2> <p>A finished game is something solid, clear and detailed. The rules are precise, victory conditions are well defined, as are the means to reach them. In the beginning however, things are much more murky. There is nothing, or almost nothing. A spark, a blurry aspiration to something.</p> <p>One morning I was toying around with the idea of a low complexity space combat. One ship per player, simple actions&nbsp;: move forward, turn, shoot, … and we merrily duke it out. I already created such a game, with simultaneous programming followed by a common resolution of the moves. Here I rather thought about turn-based, where you would end your turn by secretly choosing your next turn's move.</p> <p>This kind of daydreaming is what a game designer's days are made of. Most of the time the dream fades. But every now and then it catches on, develops and grows into something worth working on. I was just finished with my big game Olympos and I guess the idea of working on a game with few rules made for a nice pace change.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><!--break--><!--break--></p> <p>From that starting point, I now focus on movement. I have my little remote controlled spaceship, more toy than game. How do I steer it&nbsp;? I try different ways : cards with complex orders or basic orders that can be combined to form complex sequences, all orders available or a randomly drawn hand, etc. There is an anchor point : there should not be too many possibilities, because my ship will not be the only one in the arena. I want players to be able to anticipate the opponent's moves, which shall not be possible if there are too many options. And I am also careful about not allowing them to plan everything : some uncertainties must remain.</p> <p>In the beginning, there is no move forward order, the ships are always moving, they have inertia. But the idea of a sequence of simple orders settles and I then add to it the idea of looping the sequence, with only minute changes. Each turn you will do almost the same moves as before - 'almost' being the key. The big picture is now appealing to me : there is inertia as action choices have an effect over several turns, and it is now possible to change speed or even to not move at all. Complex moves can be staged, without losing the ability to anticipate your opponent's next moves.</p> <p>The design of a game is not a straight and steady path, it progresses by stages. An idea eventually comes out of the fray and overbears the others.</p> <h2>2. Changes : from space to mud, the twin robots</h2> <p>There were other such stages.</p> <p>Now I mostly have an object to toy around with, combat is secondary. Instead of a big central clash we could invite the players to a stroll on the board, to pick up something for instance. Here come the crystals! It is also at this stage that spaceships morph into robots. I see huge machines, caterpillars in the mud, furiously excavating rather than silent spaceships collecting asteroids. The game soul changes. Pure combat is replaced by a disputed mining competition.</p> <p>I already think in 3D, with big crystals that would stay in the robot's arms. They need some place to bring them to. Easy : each player will have its own base. Did I think about Full Métal planète ? I honestly do not remember. But I love that game. It was probably lurking somewhere in my mind.</p> <p>Another founding change comes from a prototype I never completed. You controlled several objects with limited means. That idea quickly becomes evident. On one hand I wanted to have more objects on the board, to have more density, a chaotic swarm. Two robots for each player, of course! Then there is that image of two kids about to misbehave in each corner of the room, I can only tend to one, but which ? Angst and tough choices, these are very nice game ingredients. But I also want it to still be possible to anticipate the opponent's moves. With a single change per turn can I partly see what others will do. But only partly.</p> <h2>3. A small game, yeah right!</h2> <p>That is when I built a full prototype. I played it a dozen times solo to make a first set of rules. And then invited a group of friends for the first test!</p> <p>“I have a small and simple family game for you to test. An hour, tops.”</p> <p style="text-align:center"><a href="/sites/default/files/games/twin_tin_bots/articles/ttb_early_prototype.jpg" target="_blank"><img alt="" height="192" src="/sites/default/files/games/twin_tin_bots/articles/ttb_early_prototype_0.jpg" width="320" /></a></p> <p>Three hours later we were still at it... I guess it's easier to foresee opponent moves when you're playing alone.</p> <p>Some issues are easily addressed. In this version we play to the last crystal, which can take some time. During playtesting, the game end will evolve significantly.</p> <p>The number of crystals on the board rises from test game to test game. All parts of the board now offer interesting things rather than having a crowd gather around the few available crystals. And most importantly it leads to using both robots instead of focusing on just one, having to control two things with one hand being one of the game's key aspects.</p> <p>There is a recurring issue. We end the game turn by secretly changing our program for the next turn (by placing an order behind a screen, which will be revealed at the beginning of the next turn). However quite often either the next player moves before the programming is done (which is natural : my neighbor has moved his pieces, it's my turn), or the next player just sits waiting because he does not know his neighbor is done programming (as it happens behind a screen). The “Solution” : an active player token that is passed to the next player while saying beeeep. But even so we notice during the next play test that many times nothing moves, until one player elbows the active player saying 'hey, you got to say beeeep and pass the token'.</p> <p>The real solution will be to move the programming phase to the start of the player turn. Afterwards it seems evident, but it was the most difficult single change to implement. For a simple reason : it was not hard to find the idea, but that notion of secret programming was there since the very beginning of the game. It seemed impossible to remove, until I noticed it had two goals : provide uncertainty, and help fore planning. Two things that the new version also provides.</p> <p>From that point on, the game is now on a straight path. There will be numerous minute changes (game end, number of crystals, bases positions, starting positions, …) but no more major changes.</p> <p>Make sure to check out the second part of this series : <a href="/twin_tin_bots_making_of">Twin Tin Bots - the making of</a>.</p> </div> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 16:26:17 +0000 ehanuise 258 at http://www.flatlinedgames.com