Skip to Content

[GDS] MAY 2014 "I Believe" - Critiques

86 replies [Last post]
mindspike
mindspike's picture
Offline
Joined: 09/06/2011

We have a winner!

The Reformers

Heavy competition and an overwhelming number of entries led to some fierce competition. Congrats to everyone who contributed this month! We've got a great community of developers who have really risen to the spirit of the challenge. Now let's give them some feedback!

Game Score Gold Medals Silver Medals Bronze Medals
The Reformers 19 5 4
Avignon 17 4 1 3
Jesus Christ! 12 2 2 2
Who is your God? 10 1 3 1
The Fickle Masses 10 3 1
Confession Booth 9 2 1 1
Dare to Defy 9 2 1 1
Suspicious Souls 8 3 2
Religious City 7 1 1 2
Theocracy 6 1 1 1
Sancti et Malum 6 2 2
Wrath 5 1 1
A Short History 4 2
On Earth As It Is In Heaven 3 1
Battle Between the Good and Evil 2 1
Druids 2 1
Trinity 2 1
Cult 2 1
The Darkness 2 1
I am God 1 1
Proper Worship 1 1
To Heaven or Hell 1 1
Fred MacKenzie
Offline
Joined: 04/19/2014
Congrats!

Congrats to everyone, but of course, especially the winner.

Everybody got at least one vote. That's awesome!

Masacroso
Masacroso's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2014
Well, finally the winners are

Well, finally the winners are here. Congrats to all, specially to the winner.

Maybe hard to critic something... from my point of view all games were fine, the difference is about taste, preference and style.

When I send the points it was really hard choose between all games, many many games deserved my attention and I liked all of them,ones more than others, but definitely all of them.

Many games, I think, cause his complexity need to be played to test and make real good critics.

Launching some random critic: by example I thought that on Confession Booth there was too much atonement cards to play (maybe) but this is cause I cant imagine too much atonements for a confession, maybe a lack of imagination from me.

richdurham
richdurham's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2009
Critique Schedule

As long time GDS'ers know, we operate on a handy critique schedule to break up the commentary and give specific feedback to each entry. What follows is the schedule along with the names of the designers for each game. Congratulations to the top three entries and to Andy Morris for claiming this month's top spot.

Remember in your critique to say what you had difficulty with along with where you think the title has some good potential.

Title Designer Points Critique Date
The Reformers andymorris 19 Sunday, 18th May
Avignon JohnduBois 17 Sunday, 18th May
Jesus Christ! andwilk 12 Sunday, 18th May
Who is your God now? DanielGarcia 10 Monday, 19th May
The Fickle Masses Corsaire 10 Monday, 19th May
Confession Booth nazcagames 9 Monday, 19th May
Dare to Defy Fred MacKenzie 9 Tuesday, 20th May
Suspicious Souls BubbleChucks 8 Tuesday, 20th May
Religious City EthosGames 7 Tuesday, 20th May
Theocracy Masacroso 6 Wednesday 21st May
Sancti et Malum Daibhre 6 Wednesday 21st May
Wrath omalleyp2883 5 Wednesday 21st May
A Short History bike 4 Thursday 22nd May
On Earth As It Is In Heaven Tahrirfirma 3 Thursday 22nd May
Battle Between the Good and
Evil
melx 2 Thursday 22nd May
Druids danieledeming 2 Friday 23rd May
Trinity Zorblag 2 Friday 23rd May
Cult Bohan 2 Friday 23rd May
The Darkness keithsink 2 Saturday 24th May
I am God Althiar 1 Saturday 24th May
Proper Worship kevnburg 1 Saturday 24th May
To Heaven or Hell Mr.S 1 Saturday 24th May

Mr.S
Offline
Joined: 01/05/2014
Top 3 Critiques

Congrats to the winners of this month’s challenge. Two of the top 2 were right at the bottom of the list of entries, so I didn’t put as much time into reviewing them as I was getting really tired.
Its interesting how these things go sometimes. Non of my medal winners placed in the top 3. And I came in right at the bottom, lol. So, take my critiques with a grain of salt.

**The reformers**
I didn’t really get how this had anything to do with religion. The game play had nothing to do with the Reformation. I couldn’t give this a medal for lack of depth. The game seems fine, but nothing Id go out to buy. Obviously, this is just one man’s opinion as this won first place.
For this month’s challenge, I was looking for entries that brought me into the theme of Religion. The gameplay should make me feel or think about an aspect of religion. I didn’t get that feeling from this game.

**Avignon**
You chose an interesting subject to analyze with this game. Much of Christianity and Catholicism were shaped by having competing theories and only one being adopted. Furthermore, these differences are still being used to divide the church into denominations. Choosing the starting player should not be from who visited church last. Presumably, this game is to be played by Christians, or family units. Likely these groups will all visit the game
Overall it was an interesting game, but failed to make the cut for me.

**Jesus Christ!**
I don’t know if people will fault you for adding a pen and paper beyond the limits of this challenge (apparently not), but for me, I felt they were not intrinsic for the actual game, so I let it slide. So miracles are combinations? It has the feel of an archade game were you hit a combo for a finishing move. I’m not sure that has the feeling of a miracle to me. The use of the yahtzee mechanic was also employed by others in this challenge. And really that is what this game is… yahtzee. The only difference the choices are randomized instead of a standard tally sheet. The dice rolls have nothing to do with the theme of this game. And since the required theme is religion, I couldn’t give this one a medal. The Judas die was a nice addition and added a little canonized history.

Zorblag
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2013
Medal Winners.

#22 The Reformers - Bronze Medal

My bronze medal this month. This game looks like it has a lot of potential, though I wonder if the black die isn’t a bit too static and easy to hide form. In order to move the black die, player have to give up the chance to get closer to winning the game. Is there any chance that taking two different actions each turn might make sense? It’s not fully clear from the description how valuable first player is, though there are a couple ways to get that, so one assumes that it is something players would want. I wonder if starting with a fully constructed board with either a fixed or random setup might improve tactical play?

#21 Avignon

The pushing and pulling aspect seems like it could lead to a tight enough game. Keeping track of the initial positions of the cards seems like it might be an issue. It looks like there will be a set of cards that each player can never win that they don’t have much need to fight over (though replacing them with other cards might stop this from being the case?) It would be handy to see types of petitions the creator has in mind as that would have a huge impact on how playable the game was. I’m assuming that when cards move they displace other cards if the other cards are still there. This is less and less the case as the game goes on and cards are claimed. That seems to make it a hard game to balance, but maybe the creator has something particularly clever in mind to exploit that.

#17 Jesus Christ!

For some reason this one seemed a bit too luck based for my taste (which is a bit confusing as Druids has a lot of dice rolling luck as well, but didn’t bother me.) Reading through, my initial reaction is that the Judas element seems too hard to get into play/out of play throughout the game as I do like that having the card which you don't want does give you some extra power while you have it. I if wonder possibly getting the Judas card without using the power die might work better. I also worry that those who are doing well (have completed a miracle and have access to it) won’t tend to do better in the future, though I suppose that rolling the power die does have a potential negative consequence.

Corsaire
Corsaire's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/27/2013
Sunday reviews

#22 Reformers
I wasn't able to visualize this game. Maybe too little structure in the presentation or the walls of text on the internet. Even on reread, I'm not clear on what the components all are.

#21 Avignon
This got my gold as it clearly fit the parameters. The push/pull mechanic suggests a pretty visual and engaging game. With some of the discard mechanics and the active board, I have a slight concern that the limited deck could make it awkward to play. But I definitely see the potential. The presentation is well formatted and the clarity of the game helped a ton.Echoing back to the challenge, I see depth of play potential.

#17 Jesus Christ!
With 22 entries, I was a real hard head about the challenge constraints. This game has 8 dice, but allows for a two player game. That violates the maximum of two dice per player. I see some potential with the dice rolls and the Yahtzee lock-in to get a decent balance of a game through playtesting. I'm skeptical that the theme would appeal well as it could alienate christians as easily as not appealing to non-christians.

Masacroso
Masacroso's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2014
#The reformers:I could not

#The reformers:
I cant see too much ahead on this game and I was unable to see the consequences of his structure so I preferred vote other games. The point of this is the lack of examples on actions so I dont know how the game can evolve.

#Avignon:
Seems ok but the way you track the position of cards. In some moment a position must be confused and you could not see clearly if a card is 2 or 3 card-spaces away. And in some way, as on the The reformers I need one or more examples of petitions to imagine a bit the evolve of the game or the potential timelife, amount of randomness or strategy. So I voted other games that I liked more.

#Jesus Christ!:
It seems that you can create a funny game here with miracle themes taking examples of economy, policy, personal relationships, social relationships, scientist development, etc..., maybe not the history time for Jesus but... :p (and instead of number on the dice you can try use some symbols or images e.g. emoticons :p). The game seems to need a lot of work on fine tunning on probability, degree of freedom and risk management to be a good game and dont just fall in pure or high randomness. I didnt vote this game because I liked more others.

P.S.: Im not english-speaker so feel free to correct me if you want, I really will appreciate it. I feel sorry for you if Im hard to understand! My apologies.

EthosGames
EthosGames's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2014
1st, 2nd, 3rd Reviews

The Reformers:
What caught my eye about this game was its potential for historical depth. Playing a Reformer firebrand with unique strengths and weaknesses traveling through sixteenth century Europe to spread an earth-shattering idea, Sola Fide, with the Inquisitor on your heals could be both enlightening and entertaining. The quality of game play would all depend on how well the designer wove the various action spaces together to form a tight knit and balanced array of choices and chances for the players. I could see some potential for this game to work well as a co-op game with more severe consequences coming from the inquisitor to give you that knot in your gut when he gets you and sweet victory when "Faith Alone" wins out.

Avignon:
The strength of Avignon is its tug-of-war mechanic between the two Popes. Other commenters have pointed out that it might be hard to keep track of the locations of the cards but in my mind anyone who has ever played solitaire aught to be able to handle it. In some ways this reminds me of the game Guillotine which makes me think that action cards would be a more engaging way to handle moving the cards around. This would allow you to take more turn-the-tables type actions like switching two cards on the the table with each other or an action that effects a whole classes of cards within the congregation. Obviously this would break the 18 card rule but it never hurts to brain-storm a little. :-)

Jesus Christ!:
Despite the irreverence of the title I kind of like the premise of trying to roll combinations in order to complete or claim a miracle card. Incorporating thematic elements like faith, scripture, or fasting in the roll requirements for a given miracle could make it feel more like a miracle and less like Yahtzee. Instead of "Jesus Christ!" this game could easily be thematically presented as when Jesus sent out the Seventy-Two disciples to perform miracles (Luke 10). While I do respect the artistic and philosophical decisions of the author I think "The Seventy-Two" or some other title might make the game more approachable to people of faith.

Well done to one and all. If any of you turn these into a print-and-play sign me up to play test.

bike
bike's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/08/2012
Sunday reviews

Reformers

I got the impression that the game was forced onto the components that were allowed. If the game was developed with free choice of components, it might have a (modular) board, score-trackers etc. Even though using the cards and the dice for the game is smart use of limited resources, I discared the game for the GDS.

Avignon - Bronze

Easy rules, decent depth on the theme. What I am curious about is some examples of the petition on the cards. The make or break the game. Bronze in anticipation.

Jesus Christ! - Silver

I struggled this GDS with combining dice with the theme religion (and as well with as much depth as possible with limited material). This is an excellent example how dice can work with religion. Perform miracles. Very good on the theme.

BubbleChucks
Offline
Joined: 06/07/2012
ReformersI really couldn’t

Reformers

I really couldn’t get to grips or understand how this game played out, which is probably as much to do with my lack of perception and condensing things down to abide by the word limit as it is anything. The basic idea of the design came through, but without imposing my “idea” of how the game might play I didn’t have a lot to go on regarding its merits.

Some things that did catch my attention where:

The black dice for opposition to the reform decreases in value as a result of player actions, and I suspect it would decrease very rapidly, but the design doesn’t seem to include a mechanic to increase its value. In contrast the white dice increases in value and the potential to decrease it doesn’t appear to be a part of the game.

All told it seems like the black dice would rapidly decrease to 1 and the white dice would soar to 6. In a game about reformation and two conflicting values a pre-ordained mechanic that favors one side of the struggle seems a little off.

Linking the conflict resolution between the numbers on the black dice and a players dice might be something to consider. The value of the black dice could rise and the white dice fall in respect to the difference between them and the players dice or something. As it stands the reformers seem destined to come out and top and in such a game it might be more interesting if the final result was more susceptible to the actions of the players in the game.

I really didn’t understand the action association part of the game and unfortunately that was a very big part of it.

My best guess is that the 4 spaces on the card, 2 on either side, had values of 1-4. The players can perform any one of the four action categories and the space their counter is occupying determines how many of the actions in that category they can perform. Or, each action in a category has a value attributed to it and the value of the space featuring the counter determines which of those actions are accessible to the player. Or, they can perform any of those actions up to a combined value of less than or equal to the value of the space they are on.

A simplification might be to accord actions to the value of the spaces on one side of a card 1-2 and have each card feature a black side and a white side. The available actions could then be different for each faction. In response the players could decide which side they favor and mark it with a token, giving them access to different actions depending on the side they are currently associated with. The black dice could only move onto black cards and the white dice could only move onto white cards. When a player is on a card adjacent to a dice that opposes their token conflict ensues.

The starting player mechanics also niggled me a bit. One player could gain the “first player” position as a result of a “write” action and another player could gain it from a move with a travel action. So you would have to players with an equal claim. In addition, as I understand it the white card doesn’t have action space, but player color spaces. So when a player moves onto the white card they are taken out of the action loop because the card doesn’t pertain to actions.

Giving each region card a unique number might be something to consider. The player on the highest value region goes first or something.

As I said, I really couldn’t grasp what was going on and it seemed very over complicated for the style of the game. Without being able to grasp how the design worked I couldn’t vote on it.

Avignon

This game received my bronze award. A really liked how the idea of religious conflict was distilled down to a tug of war mechanic. The idea was simple, easy to grasp and very thematic. I could well imagine the push and pull as the players vied for control.

I was concerned that a player could simply opt to perform the opposite actions to the partner on their subsequent turn and by doing so lock up the game. I think the petitions would or could alleviate this and I think the overall success of the game is down to them and what they allow the players to do.
Like Bike before me, without some form of information about what the petitions do and how they impact on the game play I couldn’t go any higher than bronze – even though I really wanted too because the core idea was great.

Jesus Christ!

I’ll be honest and say that the Yahtzee mechanic supporting the card gains didn’t grab me at all. However, the miracle dice was very interesting and the Judas dice was inspired. I really think that these inclusions captured the spirit of the theme.

I would have liked to see the captured cards offer fixed miracles that could influence the dice probabilities. The more difficult the target result the better the miracle a player wins. Alternatively the miracle cards could be worth points and carry with them detriments to the rolling.

Performing a miracle gains a reward from the followers, but it attracts the attention of the pesky Romans – making it more difficult to perform another miracle immediately after it. So a miracle could limit the dice a player rolls until they win another miracle to supplant their current one. This could be a simple catch up mechanic.

Associating the miracle powers with a random dice result that only happens once during the rolling phase didn’t seem like it would have a great overall bearing on the strategy in the game.

The same was partially true for the Judas dice, I prefer strategy to randomness. I think this design has a lot going for it, but in its current form it was a little to random for my own tastes.

andymorris
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2014
Thanks and Critiques

Firstly, wow I can hardly believe I won. When I read the results I was so overwhelmed that my heart was pounded and my hand was shaking as held my phone. Thank you so much to everyone for making the GDS so much fun. Thank you to those who saw enough in my idea to vote for it. Thank you also for all the thoughtful and helpful feedback so far. The GDS is always full of great ideas, I'm blown away that I came out on top this month.

Avignon: I voted this one for Gold. I really like the back and forth dynamic. This felt like something my wife could enjoy. I think this game did a great job. However, I'm not sure why you would want to push a card towards your opponent or why you would want need to discard all of your cards. Are there are some cards you don't want? If not, that might be a good idea. Trying to keep some cards away while also trying to claim the others would be an interesting counter-balance. I also wished there was a more clear example of what the petitions look like. This is the main part of the game. There is lots of potential for what could be happening there, so it didn't stop me from voting. It might make sense that each turn you can push or pull one card and then do one petition rather than picking two actions.

Jesus Christ: I liked the idea of adding a die the helps and a die that hurts to the Yahtzee mechanic. I think that has good potential. I had some reservations about the title and winning conditions. Someone else used the term irreverence, I think that describes my reservation. I know there was no intent to be irreverent, but claiming to be Jesus is not something to be coy about. I like the suggestion of making the game about sending out the 72, I think that fits much better.

JohnduBois
Offline
Joined: 12/22/2011
Feedback on The Reformsrs:

Feedback on The Reformsrs: This looked like a really interesting game. The dice advancing/moving mechanic was innovative, and the game offered interesting choices. However, I wasn't really sold on the integration of the theme into the mechanics - The actions didn't feel like a good translation of the corresponding flavor, and it felt more like an army-building civ game than a religious reformation game.

No feedback on Avignon, as it was my game. I've appreciated the feedback so far and will try to have a full PnP up in the forums this week - I already have most of the cards designed.

Feedback on Jesus Christ!: This game is a fairly simple push-your-luck dice game with a twist, and I enjoy the way it looks. I've seen the feedback comparing it to Yahtzee, but aren't all push-your-luck dice games, including the insanely popular Zombie Dice and king of Tokyo, variations on Yahtzee? My difficulty with the game, again, is the integration of the theme - it's really weird to have players compete to be Jesus. It would have worked better for me if each player was an apostle performing miracles, and the goal was to become declared a saint or the like by gaining the most awe from the population.

Mr.S
Offline
Joined: 01/05/2014
Monday Reviews

**Who is your God now?**
An interesting theory placed within a game. I have also explored putting theories in games. It’s a great way to get some discussions going. In this game, the theory really comes second to the game. The game was more about having the ability to pledge allegiance to a god. It really comes down to luck. What cards did you draw? Too be honest, I don’t completely get this game. I think the instructions on each god card will really determine how the gameplay goes. This games doesn’t draw me into religion. I guess it could be a way to learn a little bit about ancient gods, but I think I can learn more by playing God of War. I feel like there is a decent game there that a certain population will enjoy, but it just doesn’t interest me.

**The Fickle Masses**
So in this game you are a salesman with a following? I didn’t spend too much time on this game as its basically the same game as a lot of the entries, and it was entry #20. A lot of people went this route: dice is the populations. You can move populations between religions (not sure how this makes sense). The cards are the related to different theologies and modify gameplay. It is another lucky dice game.

**Confession Booth**
I gave this game gold for being one of the few that actually felt like I was in a religiously motivated game. Even though it takes the solemness out of confession, it feels like I am participating in an aspect of Catholicism. I thought the atonement cards were over simplified. I would have liked to see cards like, “A confession relating to someone in the room”, “A confession involving the opposite sex”, "A conffession about something unlawful" etc. Let the priest/priestess decide what their criterion is. One of the best parts about apples to apples; trying to guess what the player will choose. 18 cards are also not enough for this type of party game. After you start repeating cards, the game will get boring very fast.
As far as gameplay goes, this game doesn’t need dice. The dice actually make this game worse. As soon as the dice are rolled, pick up a 6 (or any dice and pretend it was a 6), by the time you have to confess, you should have been able to come up with something. This game may also be interesting with a Truth/Dare element or a mechanic where the priest can earn/lose points by guess if the confession is real or not.

Mr.S
Offline
Joined: 01/05/2014
Monday Reviews

**Who is your God now?**
An interesting theory placed within a game. I have also explored putting theories in games. It’s a great way to get some discussions going. In this game, the theory really comes second to the game. The game was more about having the ability to pledge allegiance to a god. It really comes down to luck. What cards did you draw? Too be honest, I don’t completely get this game. I think the instructions on each god card will really determine how the gameplay goes. This games doesn’t draw me into religion. I guess it could be a way to learn a little bit about ancient gods, but I think I can learn more by playing God of War. I feel like there is a decent game there that a certain population will enjoy, but it just doesn’t interest me.

**The Fickle Masses**
So in this game you are a salesman with a following? I didn’t spend too much time on this game as its basically the same game as a lot of the entries, and it was entry #20. A lot of people went this route: dice is the populations. You can move populations between religions (not sure how this makes sense). The cards are the related to different theologies and modify gameplay. It is another lucky dice game.

**Confession Booth**
I gave this game gold for being one of the few that actually felt like I was in a religiously motivated game. Even though it takes the solemness out of confession, it feels like I am participating in an aspect of Catholicism. I thought the atonement cards were over simplified. I would have liked to see cards like, “A confession relating to someone in the room”, “A confession involving the opposite sex”, "A conffession about something unlawful" etc. Let the priest/priestess decide what their criterion is. One of the best parts about apples to apples; trying to guess what the player will choose. 18 cards are also not enough for this type of party game. After you start repeating cards, the game will get boring very fast.
As far as gameplay goes, this game doesn’t need dice. The dice actually make this game worse. As soon as the dice are rolled, pick up a 6 (or any dice and pretend it was a 6), by the time you have to confess, you should have been able to come up with something. This game may also be interesting with a Truth/Dare element or a mechanic where the priest can earn/lose points by guess if the confession is real or not.

Tahrirfirma
Tahrirfirma's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/19/2014
Comments on Avignon, Reformers & Jesus Christ

Avignon
The subject matter was well chosen and the quite literal representation of the push and pull of ideological conflict is so evocative. My only practical concern with this mechanic is that without a board or player sheet it could be difficult to keep track of how many spaces a card has moved. It would also have been helpful to know what sort of actions petitioning entails as this seemed to be a key element of the game.

The Reformers
This was my top pick. I think this design managed to make the most optimal use of the limited components. (And also avoided the temptation to load the cards up with text!) I also really like the idea of a game which combines the simplicity of area control with the complexity and unpredictability of political and ideological conflict. (Something I also tried to explore in my entry into last months bluffing challenge - Agents & Agitators).

Jesus Christ
I really liked the sound of this game. The push your luck dice rolling and screw you mechanics really fits the competitive miracle making anyhow.
However, it did not quite sit right for me with the the biblical setting though. It struck me as more suited to a game about turn of the 20th century travelling con-men trying to build up followers (and thereby dollars) through performing "miracles".

Masacroso
Masacroso's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2014
critics for 4, 5 and 6th game on medal list

#Who is your god?:
I cant critic this game properly without playtest so I will criticize mainly from my intuition. It seems that the game relies too much on luck or random, something similar to poker but without bluffing mechanic, so from my personal taste I preferred other games before to this.

#The Fickle Masses:
A main critic here that come from my taste about theme representation: my understanding about religion crash completely with this representation, because this is a market very fluent mechanic game and imo religions are just the opposite: strongly static things. So, for me, to make this game better I will tried to put some hard irony about conduct of people that change of faith too often (if this conduct really exist), this for make sense without changing the theme. I must try the mechanic to understand his potentials, anyway I voted others games that I liked more.

#Confession Booth:
This game seems very very good, I dont have any "real" critic for it, just as I said before (my first comment in this thread, out of schedule system) maybe too much 18 atonements. The mechanic, for a party game, is really near to perfect in the way the game manage time and judge subjectivity (subjectivity judged by other subjectivity). But as I had only 3 votes and many games I dont put any vote here because I find others games more interesting for my personal taste: god bless subjectivity!!!

andwilk
Offline
Joined: 03/27/2014
Critiques on 1-2-3

The Reformers (my Gold medal)

I really liked the design of this game with the cards as a modular board and dice as game pieces. In my opinion, this was more innovative than forced and it made this submission stand out to me. I also thought it had a good theme with ties to religious history, being set in the Reformation.

Avignon

The main drawback for me for this submission was it really seemed like the theme was pasted on. The rules read like a simple game of tug-of-war with a religious theme thrown on top of it.

Jesus Christ! (my submission)

This was my submission and I am very thankful for all of the feedback so far. The first thing I thought of for this game was having differnet miracles of Jesus that have to be performed on each card (i.e. Raising of Lazarus, Water into Wine). I tend to agree that having each player be a different apostle makes a little more sense than competing to be Jesus but in terms of the mechanics and theme (Jesus' miracles, Judas follows Jesus) I opted for Jesus as the main focal point here. The Judas die was a late add as I felt the game needed to be spiced up and I am glad I added it to my submission.

bike
bike's picture
Offline
Joined: 03/08/2012
Monday reviews

Who is your God now?

The idea of collecting four cards of a Pantheon is good, as is declaring faith. The gameplay offered no important decisions to made, players more rely on luck. For me it fell short on that aspect.

The fickle masses

I almost stopped at the words "mass marketer". Not at all my idea of depth of theme with religion. The quick moving of people from one religion to another, to yet another, moved to far away from the real world where most people do not switch at all, or maybe once. (I think the game is actually ok.)

Confession booth

A party game with confessions... did not work for me. In games of this type, people should write down their confessions, so the priest will select the confession, not the player. As said by someone else, game can use less dice, and more cards.

danieledeming
danieledeming's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2014
A day late on the first three...

The Reformers - This one didn't get a vote from me because the goal was to try and ingrain the theme into the game and I felt the mechanics were separate from the theme of the game. It was a tough challenge. Also, I feel like there may be some explanation missing in balancing the mechanics - as someone else did mention - because it sounds even on a re-read that if an action is that you can increase your die and the win condition is get your die to 6, I doubt anyone will take the other actions. Just wanted a better explanation on that.

I did, however, really like the usage of the cards as the play area and the use of the d6 as playing pieces. I thought it was innovative and could really make for an interesting game.

Avignon - I really liked the theme on this one and I thought it played into the mechanic well. My only issue with this entry - why it didn't get my vote - was I felt that without petitioning, there was no substance to the game, and no example was given to what the petition cards might say/do. It was tough to evaluate the game with that deficiency.

Jesus Christ! - This was actually a pretty well developed game, but I had two issues with it that put it out of the running for me. First, the game is about the performed actions of a prophet, not so much the religion itself, and the goal was to develop a deep theme centered around religion specifically. Second, I felt like this was largely a game of luck, with very little decision making that would affect the outcome.

danieledeming
danieledeming's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/21/2014
Monday Critiques...

Who Is Your God Now? - I really liked the Neil Gaiman-esque idea that all the gods are real, it's just who has the belief. I gave this game my bronze because it a) dealt specifically with religion as the theme and developed it into the mechanic, and b) I could see this game playing out. I like the actions of the different God cards and I could see them factoring into play. My only criticism is that I think despite replay value in the cards, the game could get a little formulaic after a while. But I would love to see it tried out and see what happens!

The Fickle Masses - This was my silver medal. It was straightforward, had a unique set of mechanics, and was easy to understand the game play. I liked that the theme was based on a different aspect of religion than most of the other designs, and while it's hyperbolic, there are definitely people out there that religion hop or subscribe to fad institutions. Definitely could be a fun game.

Confession Booth - I honestly didn't think this game really fit with a depth of theme goal for the contest. Also, while it might be a fun party game (might need a few drinks before I start confessing,) I feel like it's a mechanic that has been overused.

omalleyp2883
omalleyp2883's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/30/2014
Reformers, Avignon, Jesus Christ!

The Reformers - I like it, though it didn't get my vote since there were so many other great ones. I think there's certainly a solid strategy of moving the black die towards your opponent while taking risks to avoid it yourself. Generally, I think Tiles would be used instead of cards, but obviously those were the restraints of this challenge, so kudos to the creative solution.

Avignon - The story behind it is neat, but without particular details of what the cards might say or do, it seemed a bit too abstract to me. You could easily change the theme to political parties or anything else with any tug of war element. As for the game mechanics, I can't say how well they'd work without playtesting, but maybe seems intriguing. Wouldn't mind checking it out.

Jesus Christ! - Loved it. It definitely made my short list. Nailed the theme. Great use of the competition's components. I could see myself playing it. I may have missed it, but is there a way to force Judas to other players? Or is it just luck of the roll? Some people may not like the irreverence of the title, but I do. Maybe something called Messiah would be less offensive to others? Great game.

Zorblag
Offline
Joined: 12/26/2013
#19 Who is your God now? My

#19 Who is your God now?

My gold medal this month. I like the balance between seeking information and committing to a pantheon in this game (especially with the Faith in a pantheon ability that is presumably hard to manage.) I like the first second and third place options. It’s not quite clear to me what the priest card does if you have it, but I assume there would be some ability there to compensate for having a card that you can’t use for the win condition. A fuller list of the powers and the potential interactions would be nice, but this one seemed to have good playability potential as is.

#20 The Fickle Masses

I’m not quite sure what the one of two colors for the arrows of the cards means, and it seems like the blocking mechanism might be hard to implement, but I like the overall idea. Matching attributes to increase worshipers is good thematically. I don’t see a lot of reason to ever move a worshiper in a way that decreases the numbers, but perhaps hand size isn’t quite making sense to me here. There seems to be a potentially fun game in this idea.

#14 Confession Booth

It’s certainly light-hearted (as well as light) and could be a lot of fun, though I worry that it’s too easy to game the points given that the players making the confessions are public information. The anonymity of the cards in Apples to Apples and the like makes it much harder to play favorites, though the 18 card limit here makes that harder to work around.

-Zorblag R`Lyeh

omalleyp2883
omalleyp2883's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/30/2014
Who is your God now, The Fickle Masses, Confession Booth

Who Is Your God Now? - I was really mad when I read this one, because I thought it was a cooler version of my game (Wrath).
I liked the memory game aspect of it, and could really see how it would all work out. It'd be cool game to see made.

The Fickle Masses - I couldn't figure out how the scoring was done. Put my die on a religion. Got it. But how do I increase that number? Maybe I missed something or maybe the card text would help me figure it out. Either way, it didn't really hold my attention. But I'm only one person.

Confession Booth - My gold medal game. Obviously, it'd need more than 18 cards, and it doesn't really need the dice element, but as far as party games go, it's a fun one that would surely lead to lot of laughs. I could immediately see this game played out among my more casual game friends.

Corsaire
Corsaire's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/27/2013
The Fickle Masses

Thanks for the feedback so far on The Fickle Masses. A few clarifications:

  • There is no rolling of dice.

  • People I've talked with about religion have explored many religions over their life. People with one tried and true religion tend not to end up in conversations about religion with me.

  • Originally I had wanted this to be civilizations over time, but the play is too snappy for that. Mass marketers is a bit of a snarky placeholder, not likely to stay because I think the comparative aspect of the game is more valuable long term than parody effect (sorry, Mr. Flying Spaghetti Monster, we'll find you a game one day.)

  • The die is increased as it is moved to a new religion which has similarities in common.

  • The colors determine whether a set of connections are compatible (different colors=incompatible) So in my playtest Orange and Blue were contrasting and meant a loss to cross, but there could also be a similiar pair for a net zero.

Discovered with my family that the connection colors need to be more varied and I need a mechanism to discourage flocking around the best connected cards. I think it is solvable, and initial play-feel was really nice with definite discoverable tactics (we were mean and isolating each other by removing cards a lot.) And my son learned about a dozen different belief systems while we played.

I'll be posting reviews for the other two later.

nazcagames
nazcagames's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/01/2014
Sunday's Critique

Apologies, it appears I'm a day late (and a dice short). Congrats to the podium finishers!

The Reformers

This was one of my medal winners. It was the game that strongly adhered to the letter and spirit of the contest in my opinion. The use of the die to track each aspect of your progress sounded like it would lead to an interesting tug of war style play. I could see this being a similar game to some of the euro-style microgames that have been cropping up as of late. Excellent job!

Avignon

I had this on my list of contenders. I really liked how it was different and innovative among the other entrants (Put my entry to shame). The rules were clear, simple, and easy to understand. This entry would have gotten a medal from me.. if there weren't so many great entries this month. Great Job!

Jesus Christ!

I had this on my list as well, just under Avignon. The use of the dice is great, but I'm also a fan of dice. It was somewhat well integrated with the theme. But it seemed like it was lacking more ways to mitigate bad rolls. I could be wrong though. This was also a great entry, and it was certainly tough not to give this one a medal too. Great job!

Masacroso
Masacroso's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/05/2014
Dare to suspicious city :D

#7 Dare to defy:
I cant critic/comment too much this game, I liked more than others but unfortunately I cant leave a medal here, I liked more others games. Seems a very funny PYL game, similar to blackjack with some tweaks with a smoother curve to press and wider range of strategies to play.

#9 Suspicious souls:
My bronze medal was for this game. I really liked the fixed bluffing mechanic and others mechanics that serves for deductive purposes and risk management. I liked too the thematic concepts that manage but I think they maybe used in a deeper philosophical representation for heaven, hell, limbo and soul types. I have wanted some conceptual emergence that put more beauty in the game, anyway all seems fine as it is.

My main critic is that I think (maybe wrong) the game need, at least, 4 players to be really interesting. Just 3 players (may) leave the game on too easy deductions and too random-based endings.

Another important critic is that when you ask to a player about what he think about the gate of other player you cant obtain valuable information because the state of truth or lie depends on the deduction ability of the asked player, i.e., the value of truth/lie is too relative and hide randomness. Maybe completely useless mechanic after all.

#3 Religious city:
Seems a very interesting game but hard to design if you want to avoid luck as a strong and decisive factor. The theme is very very interesting and have big potential to me but the mechanic to represent it, as I said before, may fall too much in the luck side. I preferred put my votes on others games that I liked more.

Corsaire
Corsaire's picture
Offline
Joined: 06/27/2013
Monday reviews

Who is your God now?

I like the hidden mindplay and the rewinding of the scoring. I see a lot potential here, it was well written and clear, and fits the constraints at an appropriate scale with cool complexity. This was my silver. Honestly the design is solid enough that I don't have a suggestion other than playtest it and post a more robust version here.

Confessions Booth
I eliminated this as a "fake fit" to the challenge. There is a reason Apples to Apples and that ilk have hundreds of cards. Eighteen cards is nrot enough interest or value for this to be anything but a print and play and throwaway, maybe at a party. As amusing as saying them out loud can be, gamesmanship undermines that mechanic. Retool it and there may be a good game theme. Maybe additional constraint cards that define something that must be included in a confession. Throw a paper priest collar in the game.

andymorris
Offline
Joined: 03/05/2014
Critique Who's Your God Now

The four pantheons was a nice creative use of the cards. I like the potential. What held it back from the medals for me was round end/scoring. The main idea was to deduce which pantheon the hidden card was from. I think there ought to be some repercussion for guessing this wrong. If I was playing this I would guess right away to make sure I guessed first and then just try and collect a set. Also, once two people have put down a guess there would be no incentive to be the third person to guess as your best case on that is 1 point versus trying to get a set for 2 points. I think once you think you know the hidden pantheon it might be better if you got to look and see if your right. If so, everyone can throw in their guess if they want, points are awarded and then round ends. Any incorrect guesses would score -1. If you are wrong, you are out for the round and the round continues until someone gets a set or guesses correct. Just an idea.

nazcagames
nazcagames's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/01/2014
Monday's Critique

Who's your God Now?

I really liked the deduction element in this game. The rules were mostly clear and didn't leave many questions. The additional card powers sounded like it would add more depth to the play. I did feel that the number of cards were very limiting and needs more cards to really bring out the game. Other than that, I didn't have any other criticisms for this entry. Great job!

The Fickle Masses

This entry started out very interesting. Place card with different arrows that show which direction followers, represented by dice, move. Presumably each card will have tenets. And depending what tenets are on adjacent cards would determine what movement is allowed. But I did get confused on how the scoring worked and how the value of the your dice were affected by moving from one card to another (e.g. what would increase the value and what would decrease it, and would you ever make a move to decrease it?). I tried to fill in the blanks (no entry can give comprehensive rules in 500 words), but I just couldn't fully put the pieces together. I think this is a fine entry with a great premise. Good job!

Confession Booth

This was my entry and I very much appreciate all of the feedback. The criticisms were spot on too. 18 cards are just too few for a party game. And it would work much better if each player can write down their answer instead. Thanks to those who gave this entry a medal! :)

DanielGarcia
Offline
Joined: 04/08/2014
Sunday and monday

Very appropriate that this month proved that “the last shall be first”.

The Reformers: Now after it won, i read it in more detail and i can see the appeal, i probably would even have voted for it, but the first time it wasn’t easy to get, in particular the block of text after gameplay could work better as a list.
It doesn’t say how many cards are in the starting grid, and that could change the flow of the game, also, the black die effects doesn’t feel that connected thematically.

Avignon: I was considering this to be my bronze as i liked the idea, but i couldn’t see how the game would prevent both players from pulling the same card each turn. An example of a Petition instructions or why you would choose some of the actions would have been nice.

Jesus Christ!: Performing a miracle seems too luck based, i liked the Judas die but the main mechanic didn’t feel that fun.

The Fickle Masses: My gold. It was the best of the games that tried to do something similar, the flow of the game and the rules were easy to understand, and that’s a big plus for me.

Confession Booth: My bronze. As the only party game it stood out, i wouldn’t see myself playing it more than a few games but it seemed fun and original.

Who is your God now?: My entry. I really appreciate that someone said that it was well written and clear, as i put extra effort in that because my last month game's rules were a mess.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut