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Arcana Victoriana Cards

Card Design 1

After a long hiatus, I'm gotten back to working on my game. I got tired of having to use sheets of paper with 8 characters printed out on each. After about 2-3 weeks of discussion of the layout, I banged 2 possible card layouts in 3-5 days totally about 6 hours of actual work time. I can't put both in one blog post so I'll post the First submission here, then another in another blog. I'd like to have some input on whether you'd prefer this card or the second card I've posted.

Here are some of the differences:


Playtesting and Refinement, Part Four

The Abbey Playtest Group 7/10/2012

Tonight was game night, and we did manage to get in a four-player playtest of The Abbey.

It was a semi-blind test, meaning that one of the four players grabbed the rulebook and tried to explain the game from it, while I looked on and tried to keep my mouth shut. Three of the four are part of my core playtest group and the fourth has done a playtest with me before, so there was a good vibe. Everyone knew that I don't take negative feedback personally and that the game was up for evaluation, not praise.

3 player playtest of my 2 player game

small three player board.png

One of the requests I KEEP getting after play testing with a new person or when observing new playtesters is their almost immediate desire to add more players to the game. While they enjoy the game and usually want to play more than once. A multi-player version is the MOST requested/asked about change that comes up. It would seem to be eminent.

More players means different (or more) boards to accommodate the extra pieces.

The 3 player version was easy to make and FUN to playtest. It did extend the play-time by almost 100% oddly enough.

Playtesting and Refinement, Part Three

The Abbey gameboard

THE SCENE: Cargo Noir on the table to the left of me, Settlers of Catan on the right (Miah: "We're coming to play with you", New Player: "Why?" Miah: "Because you're doing it wrong."). In the back, my son is hiding in the trees as the Germans advance...

The third (and last) game that got playtested last game night was The Abbey. The Abbey has been in development for a long time, but I'm still not quite ready to let it into the world. Without either game about to end, we decided we'd try out another playtest game, rather than break anything else out.

Playtesting and Refinement, Part Two

The second game that got playtested last game night was Sint Maarten, which has the dubious honor of never having had a complete play of the game (other than the one time when the ten-year-old purposefully threw the game, just to get out of the playtest).

After the great success of Disaster!, Mark and Gerald were willing to playtest another of my games. The ten-year-old solemnly informed us that he would not join us, since the store owner has invited him to play a demo of Flames of War.

Playtesting and Refinement, Part One


Last week's game night was very productive for me, in that I got three of my games playtested and each of them need to be refined in different ways. Here's a breakdown:

Disaster! (Working title, also called Disaster Management or DM)

Six words about chance/randomness in games

According to tweetdeck, one of the trending:worldwide topics on twitter not so long ago was six word stories. In the past several months I've asked people to say six words about game design, programming, wargames, stories in games, casual games, innovation (and plagiarism) in games, and zombie games.

This time the challenge is this: say six (interesting or amusing) words about chance/randomness in games.

Game Rules are a Pain in the "Watukas"

Here is an example of how a simple misunderstanding in the rules can break a game.


An amazing number of teenagers dream of making games for a living, if my informal surveys at local schools and colleges can be expanded to the entire generation.

There are all kinds of individual delusions (see ), but I’m talking about the big dream: “I’m going to be famous (and rich) as a video game maker.”

Tracking Turns: Unlimited Game-Time versus Limited Game Time


Many playground games will allow players unlimited time or turns to achieve the game objectives. Classics like risk or diplomacy have open-ended playground style structure allowing great freedom (and sometimes very lengthy games).

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