Archive | September, 2013

Harvest Moon, The Board Game!

26 Sep

OK, so I had an Idea the other night to make a game based around one of my favourite video game franchises, Harvest Moon. Now I know what you’re probably thinking… “They have that game… It’s called Agricola.” Except the problem with that is that as amazing of a game as Agricola is, it does not feel like Harvest Moon… I mean think about it, what is your primary goal in Harvest Moon, to orchestrate a well rounded farm that will sustain you and your family? I suppose to a certain extent I can see that, but is that really ever what you’re thinking when you play the game? No. Or at least I’m not. When I grow vegetables in Harvest Moon, sure some of it is gong to go towards buying more seeds to grow more vegetables, but most of harvest moon is based around relationships. I need to grow some nice grapes so I can impress the wine makers daughter. I need to take care of this horse because it was given to me by a friend who wants to see it race in the annual horse races. I need to take care of this cow so it’s milk can win first place in the milk festival (or whichever festival it was). The point of Harvest Moon isn’t really having a fruitful farm, it is being accepted by the town as a member of their community… The farm just happens to be the profession you have fallen into in this small community. So how to make a Harvest Moon board game that isn’t just a re-hashing of Agricola… Unfortunately, Agricola is so firmly connected to farming that I almost cannot conceive of a farming game without some form of a worker placement mechanism. But I think I’ve figured it out.

 

Stay tuned, subscribe and comment as I try to bring take this from idea to reality!

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My Journey Through this Forrest Of Paper, Cardboard and Plastic

10 Sep

So I had a pretty typical transition from the games of my childhood to the games that I play now. I used to think Monopoly was about as good as it got until I discovered Party Games and began to realize that having fun was far better than doing math and following algorithms. So I picked up a copy of ‘Cranium WOW!’ and was finally able to get more than just my immediate family into gaming with me (and my immediate family became far less reluctant when they did play). Then I went to University and got into Card games like ‘Euchre’ and ‘Hand and Foot’  and kind of forgot about board games until someone introduced me to Killer Bunnies as something that no one could have made without being on copious amounts of drugs… And for the most part I’d have to agree. I had rediscovered all the fun that went along with Party Games only in a slightly more strategic format (and I think I’m being pretty generous with my use of strategic there).

It was around this time that I decided to take off to the Netherlands for a year, and since I couldn’t take every game along with me I decided to bring ‘Killer Bunnies Remix’ (because randomness is always a good time), ‘Set’ (because Math and Algorithms are still fun every once and a while) and ‘Xiang Qi’ (because who wouldn’t love to play Chess with Elephants and Cannons?). But gaming in Europe is a whole different beast! Soon after arriving I was invited to a gaming weekend where we did nothing but play board games for 3 whole days, and it was AWESOME!!! I was introduced to so many fantastic games that I didn’t know what to do with myself. First thing I did was go find a copy of ‘Ticket to Ride: Nordic Countries’ to tide me over until I got home about half a year later. Since Ticket to Ride was the best game I was introduced to that weekend I didn’t really think it could get much better, so I basically just began buying more Ticket To Ride games and new expansions as they came out.

Then about half a year ago my cousin bought a game after he had carefully considered and researched which game to get online while I was out visiting him and I suddenly came to realize that there was a whole world of fantastic games that I was missing out on simply because I’ve had nothing but crap for so long that I was not aware of all the amazing games that have come out since I became financially responsible enough to be able to buy my own games for a change. It was at this point that I was introduced to ‘7 Wonders’ and since then my board game collection has grown considerably. While I would call ‘Ticket to Ride’ my gateway into quality gaming, ‘7 Wonders’ definitely pushed me over the edge and made me take the leap towards developing my own collection of games and even starting a board games club (which will soon branch off into two separate groups due to an increase in interest).

So if you are at all interested in what I have acquired in these few short months, you can find my collection here. Basically everything on that list aside from Ticket to Ride and the Classics/Party Games mentioned above has been added since the New Years 2013 (Ya, I may have a bit of a problem).

Another Blog I Forgot About?

8 Sep

How could that be? It’s not like that has ever happened before. Oh wait, that’s exactly what has happened to every blog I have ever started… Well let me re-assure you, my likely zero viewers I have amassed with my last 3 posts, that I have not given up on this one just yet. I have turned my attention to trying my hand at game design and in that time I kind of forgot about this blog (much like the title of this post suggests). But now that I’ve finally prototyped my first design and have passed it off to some friends to playtest I’ve decided to start chronicling my foray into game design.

So what can you expect now that I’ve decided to start blogging again? Well, there are a few things I’d like to do.

1) Develop my design ideas into fully fledged games: Perhaps this may include posting rules for games I’m toying with, ideas for game mechanics and perhaps even the odd print and play game to get some real feedback on how my designs are coming along.

2) First Impression Reviews: There’s plenty of people reviewing games and explaining how to play the more complicated ones. I don’t need to saturate this market any more by trying to force another review blog onto the net. That being said, I do quite enjoy this writing thing, and I also appreciate a good review every now and then. So I was thinking, the one thing I never get from the review sites I visit is an honest review of how games play on the first night… Because depending on that first playthrough you may never get a second (or so I have found). And I really like the idea of first impressions being a legitimate first impression, not a first impression that has had multiple playthroughs to develop.

3) I would love to manage some sort of massive playthrough of some of my favourite games once I’ve got the readership to support it (so like and share if that sounds like an awesome idea). By which I don’t necessarily mean get a massive player count in on a game, but perhaps find a solid co-op or something and have some way of determining what moves get made… Call it a gaming experiment, but this experiment that I’m gonna wait till I have upwards of 20 regular readers to begin.

I’ll probably still through the odd random post just for fun… But for the most part, it’s going to be limited to what I just described above. So hopefully that sounds good… And I know everyone says it, but Subscribe, Comment and Like… The more appreciation I see for my work, the more likely I’ll be to not let my blogs fall into the unfortunate realm of forgotten blogs.