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SnowDay

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polymerguy
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Joined: 10/01/2009

I am new to this forum and am trying to find a way to get my game in front of someone who may be willing to pick it up. I thought I would throw the premise out here to everyone to critique and possibly answer some of my questions.

In the game of SnowDay, players race around the board of a city seperated by a Mountain Pass in an attempt to complete various mission, earning them Victory Point Tokens. Each player chooses a vehicle type which locks them into the types of missons they are to complete. The eight players to choose from are Policeman (which must be chosen no matter the amount of players), Snow Plow, Mailman, Wrecker, Semi-Driver, Office Worker, Teen Driver and Bus Driver. On the board are various paved and dirt roads which lead to houses and businesses.

Once each player chooses an occupation/vehicle type, they receive their player tray which includes their game play tokens, dice and vehicle. On the player card lists the objectives of the player, which change each game, making it unique. For example, the Office Worker starts at a random rolled house in zones 1, 3 or 4. (There are no houses on the Mountain Pass). Once the starting location is determined, objectives are rolled out and VP tokens are placed on the board at the various houses or businesses the player must reach. This sounds simple enough, until the weather spinner is spun and snow and ice tiles are added to the board! Players must then navigate the hazardous weather, rolling a specific sized die depending on how much snow is on the roadway for their vehicle type! The Wrecker player then takes advantage of players who get stuck (getting stuck on certain die rolls) by taking their VP Tokens if they cannot get out before they are rescued by the County Plow (we'll talk about him in a minute). The Snow Plow Man takes VP tokens from players by clearing roadways which are being traveled on by players. And each different player type has specific unique advantages / disadvantages during the game. This brings us to the Policeman, whose only mission during the game is to keep order and pull over rule-breakers and yes, there are speeding rules for high die rolls. Once a player is wanted by the cop, the cop turns on his sirens and has a lot of freedom to catch the rule-breaker to take a VP token!

The County Plow clears roadways and can rescue those who are stuck. They potentially come into play during each players action sequence of their turn. Each player has two actions they can take during their turn during each round...1. move 2. County Plow and Special Vehicles and 3. Action Card Sequence. Each player can do any of these actions or double an action depending on their circumstance. For example, if a player is stuck, they obviously cannot move so they can move the County Plow twice to reach their location. (There are 3 County Plows in the game, one starting in each of the 3 city zones.

Action Cards change objectives on the fly and do such things as START THE TRAIN or AVALANCH. There is a different action for each player on each card. The strategy comes into play as each card has two good actions on it and actions are chosen for each player by opposing players. Deals can be reached for good actions and pretty much everything is game when it comes to dickering and dealing...just be careful of the police player!

The game ends when one player obtains 10 VP Points. In test playing with friends, this game has been a riot. I am still changing a few things to make play smooth and so there are no advantages to any specific player. After the first game, everyone was calling the game Evil-Cop! Play is getting better.

I appreciate any thoughts / critique on the way this sounds. Also any ideas on how to get this published or in front of a publisher would be appreciated. Are there steps? Is copywriting the game a must before submitting it to anyone?
Thanks in advance for your feedback!

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
Testing

polymerguy wrote:
In test playing with friends, this game has been a riot. I am still changing a few things to make play smooth and so there are no advantages to any specific player. After the first game, everyone was calling the game Evil-Cop! Play is getting better.

It sounds like you might only be testing with friends or a small group of people. Each presents a problem.

Problem 1: Friends like you and usually don't want to hurt your feelings so they might not be as critical as they should. They also might be enjoying the game because they are hanging with their buds.

Solution: Find people you don’t know to play your game. Game stores and conventions are good places for that. Or spit on your friends so they don’t like you as much.

Problem2: A small group has a limited mindset. Each player has a particular approach they tend to use. Each person that plays will stress test the game in a different way.

Solution: You need the widest cross section of your target audience to play the game. As in the previous solution go out and find new player. Spitting is not recommended in this case.

So before you look for a publisher test that game until it hurts.

polymerguy
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Joined: 10/01/2009
Excellent Advice

Thank you for your opinion on this! I have just finished the prototype a couple weeks ago and wanted to save my ego for a short time before taking that next step. I wanted to spit on my buddy who was playing the policeman as he was going over the top by taking advantage of all the rules that I negelected to put into place to keep the policeman somewhat in check! But that is also what I needed to make some adjustments. But you are right, I do need to get some strangers to play it. There is a game store not far from where I live and I am hoping to schedule a room to have people play it while I only observe and listen. They always have groups of guys playing some sort of game. From there, probably a convention will be the next step. How do you go about registering to get your new game into a convention? Also, is there a website showing the different ones around the country?

Does game sound like fun to you? Interest you? I was thinking of posting some pictures. I work as a chemist, so I have created all the cars, tokens, the mountain pass, spinner and tiles, so the appearance is pretty cool.

Jpwoo
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Joined: 03/26/2009
rules

the game sounds fun

Things to consider if you are going to do a playtest with strangers.

If you think the rules are likely to still change a whole lot, you can probably get by without a highly polished set of rules and just teach people the game. However you can learn a lot by watching people fumble through the rules as well.

Knowing when to go to blind playtesting can be tough. You don't get a lot of opportunities to do it, so you want the best game possible when you do so you don't squander the opportunity, only one first impression as they say. Ask your friends for a 'harsh' evaluation first, can try to resolve any issues they have first.

When you think the rules are a little more set you might want to take some time and write a good solid set of them and post them here for people to critique.

scifiantihero
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Joined: 07/08/2009
Hell yeah:

Post some images!

We love seeing stuff.

I imagine the game could be quite fun, even if I'd like it more if it were pirates or spaceships (I kinda like pirates and spaceships . . . ).

How much choice is there when it comes to die rolls? The speeding thing, for instance, sounds like it might be annoying if I happen to roll high rolls then am forced to speed, or something.

:)

polymerguy
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Joined: 10/01/2009
Speed

The game is set up so any roll of over an 8, has the "potential" to be speeding. The Police Player has a "Speeding Tracker" to keep track of each player. When someone rolls an eight, the Police Player, (considering the fact that they were paying attention and noticed) will roll a D6. The first time someone is discovered going over the limit, the police must roll a 6 to consider the player "wanted" and the chase will be on. The next time the player rolls over an 8, the police now can match a 5 or 6 to catch him speeding and so on. It is not automatic for a player rolling over 8. Also consider that an eight generally cannot be rolled if traveling in deep snow, as the players can't generally roll over a D8 in deep snow.

Here's kind of a run down on the movement die for one player type, lets use the Teen Driver and Policeman for example:
Teen
Clear Roads with no Weather Tile: D12
1-3 Inches Snow:D8
4-6 Inches Snow:D6
7-10 Inches Snow:D6 (Stuck on 1-2)
11+ Inches: Auto Stuck! (no other player has this)
Freezing Rain:D6 (Lose next two movement segments of turn on roll of 1-2)
Police
Clear Roads with no Weather Tile:D12 (D20 when Sirens are on!)
1-3 Inches Snow: D10 (D20 when Sirens on!-Stuck on roll of 1)
4-6 Inches Snow: D8 (D12 when Sirens on!-Stuck on 1)
7-10 Inches Snow: D6 (D8 when Sirens on! Stuck on 1)
11+inches: D6 (D8 when Sirens on! Stuck on 1-2)
Freezing Rain: D8 (D10 when Sirens on!-Lose next movement segment on roll of 1)

Remember that I have made it easy for each player to see their movement rules, as they are in each player's Player Tray. There are also all sorts of Action Card Results which can add or subtract to movements.

The real randomness comes in when the ActionCards are entered into the game.

I'll get some images posted soon!

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