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Chrysopoeia - a Steampunk-themed game of Alchemy, battles, and resourcing is up on Tabletopia

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Rick L
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Something weird is going on

Something weird is going on with my image links - the pics are hosted on BGG, but seem to be on and off broken links today...

FrankM
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Well, here is something. And it is weird.

Rick L wrote:
Something weird is going on with my image links - the pics are hosted on BGG, but seem to be on and off broken links today...

Not sure exactly what this means, but the broken-image request is due to https://cf.geekdo-images.com/images/pic3528668_md.jpg giving

Quote:
ERROR
The request could not be satisfied.
Request blocked.

Generated by cloudfront (CloudFront)
Request ID: 9k4tjRxB5VrdYmSC0GCMCGvOTozSPdoWoNc6KEbMj6lhn10Eb5UIoA==

Rick L
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And they're back?

Weird - after going to BGG to view each image in my gallery, the links started working again...

Yup, one by one as I viewed them they started showing up here again.

Rick L
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New setups

I realized the other day that I had completely left out the rules regarding the use of Steam in the game! As changes are made, and things get rearranged, other things tend to get lost in the shuffle - oh well!

The manual has now been updated on both Tabletopia and Google Drive. Also, I currently have 2 player and 3 player setups on Tabletopia, and working on doing the 4 player as well as a solo mode!

Also put together this 2-sided player aid:

FrankM
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Player aid only works if it aids player

Rick L wrote:
Also put together this 2-sided player aid:

I like it, but be aware that somewhere along the line public schools stopped teaching kids how to read and write cursive. That looks like printscript, which ought to be fine, but I'd check the font (not necessarily that exact text) on some convenient 7- or 8-year-old.

Even if you don't think your game is aimed at kids, they have this annoying tendency to get older over time.

Rick L
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Interesting thing about fonts

Good point about the fonts FrankM - while I do like this card to have the appearance of handwriting, fonts can be a love/hate thing when exposed to more people. I had that issue with my original player boards.

There are some interesting benefits to using a harder to read font, however - BHFuturist found this short video a little while ago. Check it out! https://youtu.be/i-aCSFD3xro

I still may need to reconsider the font on this card, but then it might just end up making the rules easier to remember!

Rick L
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A couple of screen shots from

A couple of screen shots from the 2 player setup on Tabletopia:

The Odd Fox
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Looks fantastic!

This is really a great looking game! It's been fun to watch you refine it over time. Excited to see where you go with it!

jfeast
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8 year old approved.

My friend's 8 year old could read the cards with no problem. It also seems to be a game that would be played with an adult present, as opposed to a game that a group of 8 year olds would play against each other. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but I think that this font would work, perhaps requiring minimal help from adult players.

Rick L
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The Odd Fox wrote:This is

The Odd Fox wrote:
This is really a great looking game! It's been fun to watch you refine it over time. Excited to see where you go with it!

Thanks! If the next couple play-tests go well (or if they ever happen lol), I can finally do a demo video. Just want to feel that the rules are solid enough before I commit them to video form!

jfeast wrote:
My friend's 8 year old could read the cards with no problem. It also seems to be a game that would be played with an adult present, as opposed to a game that a group of 8 year olds would play against each other. Maybe I'm wrong about that, but I think that this font would work, perhaps requiring minimal help from adult players.

Good to know the font wasn't an obstacle. I think FrankM was just pointing out that if kids don't learn cursive at 8 yrs of age, they might not be able to read it when they're 16 and old enough to play the game!

Not that the font is cursive, but it's close. Anyway, not too worried about it. As for the age range of my game, my 16 year old does well at playing - she gets it and has won a couple of times. She's also an honor student, so gotta factor that in somewhere I guess.

Rick L
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As the work progresses...

Hi folks, just wanted to make note of the progress on Chrysopoeia. This is still a Work-In-Progress, both in physical prototypes and on Tabletopia, so for anyone who has been trying to get familiar with the manual, feel free to PM me anytime to ask about any minor changes or updates I've been doing. I don't want to add a post here every time, since that would just be annoying, right? :) But I'd be more than happy to PM you and fill you in on any recent changes.

I know that a 22 page manual is pretty involved, so I don't expect that too many people are ready to invest the time into it, although as a prototype it is fully functional on Tabletopia. But hey, at least it's 10 pages shorter than the Scythe manual, right?? Lol

Anyway, my latest play-test helped to cement in place some of the recent changes, but also helped me to cut out some overly-complex rules with the Alchemy Lord character cards. While the replacement graphics are done, I may still play around with the graphic design a bit. But at least they're ready for the next test!

So that's basically about the last thing I need to iron out! But if the next test or two goes better with those, I'll be happy. I was also finally able to send off a lot of updated cards and tokens to a friend out of state so he and his group can start play-testing too!

tikey
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I truly thought tha I had

I truly thought tha I had posted here.
I've tried the tabletopia version to try the manual.
Just following the rulebook is a bit complicated. I guess that the main problem I'm facing is that I need context to the actions. I feel it needs a small description of what each part of the board does and perhaps briefly mentioning what the resources are used for (like in page 13) before going into the turn flow.

But that's a minor gripe. Even without much testing I think I have the gist of it. It seems that even with lots of stuff happening it's pretty easy to keep track of everything so that's great.

The game on tabletopia looks great, but the protoype photos you posted earlier look georgeous.

Hope this helps!

Rick L
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Thanks!

Thanks for checking it out @tikey! Page 3 has a description of the player boards and the layout, but I changed some of the text to make sure it's all explained. I'll work on rearranging the page better though since it's a little messy.

And I found room on page 4 to briefly describe the resources as part of the setup instructions. Thanks for the feedback!

I never did a title page or a table of contents - I should probably get those in there soon tho & see if that helps navigate a little.

The main thing I need to settle on is the right unique character abilities. Trying to make them interesting but simple - the character cards are not a big part of the game, but instead serve to give different "flavors" to the way you play the game.

Getting close!

tikey
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It looks much better now. If

It looks much better now.
If you find the space I would add an explanation simply stating that the boiler is used in the production of apparatus and strategy cards. And in page 3 you could add that the time machine allows you to reroll some throws and that the Harnessed Chaos is used mainly for combat.
That info is good enough to understand the purpose of each component of the board and why you'd want to pursue any given resource.

Rick L
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Done!Thanks again for the

Done!

Thanks again for the feedback tikey! And it looks like you have a good understanding of how a lot of things work in the game, so that's helpful to know. Especially as English is your second language, right? But I must say you have an excellent command of English!

I will also freely admit that Chrysopoeia seems to be kind of tedious to play on Tabletopia compared to the actual physical version. It's like that for most games that I've tried on there too, of course. It's not as fun as the real thing by far. Picking up a handful of Alchemy dice to chuck and sort through the "experimental reaction results" is fun, and it even adds a unique player interaction as everyone wants to see if they can find matches with you, even though they are "opponents".

But in Tabletopia it's tedious to move the dice, draw a selection around them, or select them one at a time, roll, then move them again to place them - it's much easier on a real table! Although the moving gauge needles are pretty cool in Tabletopia...

Anyway, it has still helped a lot with play testing. Thanks again to anyone who has tried it out!

tikey
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I agree that the physicality

I agree that the physicality of a boardgame is one of its appeals. But virtual environments are more convenient. I have found working on tabletopia allows me to iterate faster as I can update assets quite quickly, and try different things in a way that mirrors a product that's closer to the final thing.
Yes, English is not my native tongue but I've studied it for years and I try to read and write as much as I can. It's fortunate that this is a written medium as I have terrible pronunciation since I rarely get the chance to talk in English to someone :P
Regarding your game I was delighted that it seems to have a lot of stuff going on but it not a complicated game to learn.
I'd love to play a whole game but it's very difficult for me to get my friends to play something (I can't even arrange for a playtest of my own game).

Rick L
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Great for updating prototypes

Yes that's the real strong point for Tabletopia - so much faster to upload new images to create a new virtual iteration, instead of ordering new cards & such from a printer!

Well I learned my Spanish after spending a couple years living in Ecuador, but that was a long time ago, so my pronunciation is much worse than it once was! But I'll send you a PM tikey, and maybe we can try both your Galactic Battlecruiser game and Chrysopoeia on Tabletopia.

Hey, that rhymes.

So I'm working now on balancing the special ability ideas for my 6 Alchemy Lord character cards. They will each have a basic ability, and an advancement track to unlock a greater ability.

Other than that, I'm going to have only the Apprentice able to get the "Research" resource. A golem can gather your other resources (Iron, Copper, Brass, Rare Earths), It doesn't make sense​ though for golems to gather research! I'll try to get some examples up soon.

Rick L
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Here's a closeup of the

Here's a closeup of the section with the Mine and Research:

and the back of one of the character cards with the regular special ability and the track to unlock the "big" special ability.

Rick L
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The main thing I'm working on

The main thing I'm working on now is solidifying the Character card abilities. Instead of the above idea, My wife and I were brainstorming and thought it would be cool to have a special "golem mascot/pet" for each character that comes with an ability.

So once you've unlocked the golem, you can trigger its special ability if its symbol shows up in your unused Production dice roll.

This next character doesn't get a pet, but gains control over the Chaos that seems to haunt him:

there are two more but my daughter is working on some sketches for steampunk wolf and fox golems!

tikey
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I like that you're

I like that you're associating the creatures with elements, it really goes with the theme of the game.

Rick L
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Glad you like that too! I

Glad you like that too! I have 6 total, and only 5 symbols to work with, so I used quintessence (my connection to pure essence of Air element) twice.

The others will be reduction (Earth) and aqua vitae (Water).

Fulmination represents Fire, as the flame symbols represent Chaos/destruction. Hope that all makes sense overall.

I've put my own twist on some things because I didn't want to try to copy "medieval alchemy" but to create a "Steampunk Alchemy" that's more unique.

Also, nothing here is "final art" yet, but since the newer prototype is pretty well fleshed out, I want to have everything fit consistently, ad much as possible.

The images for these cards are public domain - I double checked everything, since I'll be uploading them to Tabletopia soon. I was just overlaying gears & such to get the concept across, but there are a lot of other cool concepts out there - I look forward to seeing what a real artist can do with my ideas!

Rick L
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My wife came up with a cool

My wife came up with a cool idea for our prototype, as we've been using metal pointer needles and gears - she put some together and got this:

After 32 overall play-tests, so far, we're running out of things to fix, finally! Although it has felt that way before at other points during development, I've tried a lot of things that DIDN'T work, and that helps me to feel better about all the things that are really working great!

Tabletopia is in need of another good revision, as is the manual, but I will post again as soon as those are ready.

Rick L
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In our most recent play

In our most recent play tests, I have been able to finally incorporate the looming threat of Chaos that erodes the world, and now Chrysopoeia is a very competitive game - a race against each other - but also a race against Time!

Each Alchemy Lord blames the others for unleashing the Chaos, and each believes that he or she is the only one capable of banishing the Chaos at the Well, whence it seeps into the world. As an Alchemy Lord, you believe that the others will only make things worse - and they can!

Players now use the Prima Materia Alchemy cards they collect throughout the game to construct their Final Experiment to perform at the Well of Chaos. But if they are not properly prepared, and their Alchemy goes awry, they will push the Chaos Track forward, ever closer to allowing it to break free and consume all of Reality!

There are other events in the game that trigger the advancing of the Chaos Track, adding more intensity to the game! But players also have ways to push back the Track, to buy a little extra time here and there. You can select the difficulty by adjusting which space will be the "final" space on the Chaos Track above, as well as adjusting the length for the number of players.

More to come, and I've been "practicing" my video presentations a bit, so hopefully I'll soon be uploading some short clips to demonstrate different parts of the game!

Rick L
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Competitive game, where the game can win

I've been discussing the way cooperative games can "beat" the players, and what makes it a good game even when the players lose. I want to preserve that balance of game elements that good co-op games have, however my game is very, very competitive! I know there are a few competitive games out there that can "beat" the players. I believe Archipelago is one?

Anyway, the Chaos Track above really worked well in the last couple of games, and it really gave some cool moments of tension throughout the game, as well as revving up the intensity toward the end! Still needs more testing to see what needs fine tuning, but so far it has been very encouraging.

Who knows, I've scrapped some changes before that I was pretty attached to, but I feel like this just fits the story line and the attitudes of the Alchemy Lord characters. Even though most of that story/characterization is in flavor text, having the threat of Chaos breaking free and collapsing all of Reality as an actual part of the game mechanics feels like it NEEDS to be there!

Still working on a re-do of the manual, so only the components have been updated in Tabletopia.

Rick L
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Updated intro

As far as I'm aware, I'm not able to go back and edit any of my previous posts on this forum, other than the most recent post, right?

So I'm going to go ahead and put the updated Intro page to the game here, which reflects the changed end goal of the game. The earlier versions of the game were about the final goal of creating the Philosopher's Stone, but I had always intended to find a more unique end goal.

Since February, that goal was replaced with the end goal of banishing the Chaos that is seeping into the world, and all playtests since have used that successfully! So here's the revised intro!

LORDS OF ALCHEMY -- CHRYSOPIA & CHAOS

The Domains of Chrysopia abound with ores and the mystical elements of the Cosmos, a prime location for the wise Alchemy Lords to thrive as they delve into the mysteries of their science.

Once united in purpose, the Alchemy Lords built a great Harness to subdue the Essence of Chaos, and from it create order and perfection in the world.

But then, with their insatiable desire for the deepest of mysteries, they each began to cast aside too many laws of the Cosmos. The unforeseen and unintended workings of Alchemy opened a void in the Aether itself. The great Harness became instead a Well of Chaos, threatening all of reality.

The formless tides of Chaos have begun to manifest throughout the lands of Chrysopia, and now strange werebeasts and vampiric horrors roam free. Chaotic vortices sweep the Domains with their twisting, malevolent winds, and have left many structures of men in ruins.

Bitter rivalries have arisen between the Alchemy Lords, as each blames the others for the unleashing of this unpredictable Chaos. Fearing that the inept works of their rivals will only hasten the utter destruction of the Cosmos, each of these Lords isolated themselves, creating their own small legions of loyal soldiers, apprentices, and worker golems to sustain them, thus buying themselves time to restore Order to the world.

LORDS OF ALCHEMY -- CHRYSOPIA & CHAOS is a game for 2-4 players, where each person controls a domain of resource-generating facilities and is seeking the elusive substances of Prima Materia and the Philosopher's Stone. With these mystical elements, the portals of Chaos could be sealed again, and Order would be restored to Chrysopia once more.

In a world of steam-powered contraptions and anachronistic Aether science, players must manage their resource production by animating worker golems and placing them in their resource facilities. Players spend resources to build Transport and Aether Science upgrades. Use gauges and needles to track your Steam power, your fortifications, and uses of your Time Machine. Build up a supply of Rare Earth chemicals, which are the essential ingredients for your Alchemy experiments. These experiments will lead players to claim the title of Prime Alchemist when the Well of Chaos is at last sealed, restoring Order to the world!

Rick L
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another manual update!

I was taking my time on the manual updates because I still hadn't settled on some of the minor changes, but after a publisher expressed some interest, I jumped on the task and finished up all the rule changes and tried to get in some better illustrations.

Here's the new title page:

I'm still undecided on the final title - I may just drop the "Chrysopoeia" and use Lords of Alchemy. My daughter has been pronouncing the title just fine since she was 4 years old, but she never had to read it and sound it out Lol!

Title issues aside, I have updated the Tabletopia setup as well, so it matches the current manual. Currently, there's only a 3 player setup, but it can be played with 2 just fine.

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