Skip to Content

Chess Variant with Cards

13 replies [Last post]
Guest1
Guest1's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/26/2018

I'm back. College student now. My life is kind of not what I'd like it to be on multiple fronts, but hey, I made another game, this time with complete creative freedom. The basic premise is that it's like chess, but you can choose your own pieces and there's resource management.

Also, there's monster girls because that's what I'm into. That's the theme. I'd appreciate hearing any thoughts, suggestions and criticisms about what I've created. It's rough, but I'm kind of proud of it and would like to improve it if I can.

Linked is the manual.
https://luciferspastime.neocities.org/Lucifers%20Pastime%20Manual.pdf

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Cool beans!

I saw quickly you were using HEXES as your "squares"... But if you are into Fantasy Chess... You might like "Loka":

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/138799/loka-game-elemental-strategy

I'd recommend checking it out... Just because the pieces are so COOL! And you must LIKE chess if you designed a "chess-variant" or something close to.

It's a unique game too... Where you choose WHAT pieces you want to play with also (so there are some similarities with your game).

As far as Monster Girls are concerned, who doesn't love risque Manga! Off the top and also drawn by girls too. I met an artist at a convention that was selling $0.05 stickers for $5.00 (for 3). Total profit margins but low volume. But she had cool looking art (Manga style). I may work with her one day (as an artist).

I READ your manual... Although I really hate reading manuals. Even my own... Urghhh! The worst thing ever is a Manual Drop! I'm not sure the Monster Girl cards are well explained. Like there are Hexes and Green, Gray or Red ones, sometimes BOTH Red and Gray, etc. You should at least explain the first card and then when there is something NEW to a card, also explain what's new to that card. Like two (2) color hexes, etc.

I'll re-read it a 2nd time... Just in the event that things are clearer on a 2nd pass.

Cheers...

Note #1: The FORMAT of the rulebook could be "improved" with better more habitual sections to make it just a bit clearer when reading it. There are things that are not obvious to me (as I have explained above). I'll take another look and comment again with improved formatting.

Guest1
Guest1's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/26/2018
Thanks for taking a look at

Thanks for taking a look at it. I thought the text highlighting in the zones section would sufficiently explain the cards' information too. After a 2nd pass though your perception of that might change as you said.

Loka has a seemingly novel idea(apart from the standard, 4 element theme). It's out of stock on amazon, ebay, and its own website, although you can buy it from geekmarket if you live in Europe. The manual also isn't publicly available, so I can't picture how an actual game would look.

Off topic, but 5$ for stickers sounds kind of criminal to me. Conventions here are sadly more about companies advertising their stuff than fans gathering and sharing with each other, so what they do sell tends to just be knickknacks and individual drawings to advertise their art commission. In Japanese conventions like comiket, the main focus is doujin groups selling original manga, music and games, without content restrictions like conventions tend to have here for non-corporate attendees.

Most of the placeholder art in my manual was drawn by kenkou cross in case you were curious.

FrankM
Offline
Joined: 01/27/2017
Was able to puzzle it out

Hi, I took a look at the rulebook, and though I was able to puzzle everything out in a single pass, the information can definitely be presented a little more clearly.

First, it wasn't obvious what orange hexes were in the movement diagrams. Do they need to be vacant to move through them toward a valid destination, or do pieces leap like a chess knight? Since there are no paths traced out, my initial guess would be leaping.

Second, I suggest putting the ritual requirement in the upper right corner to make it clear it's part of a card's cost.

Third, the artwork is just placeholder stuff and doesn't bother me, but there's currently a Thing going on with the cover art for Tiny Epic's latest game.

Fourth, is the asymmetry in the Red Oni's movement intentional?

Fifth, for pieces that only move forward or only move backward, there doesn't seem to be any notion of "pawn promotion" to get any further use out of them. The Ittan-Momen in particular can never move more than twice in an entire game.

Sixth, does a Slime Queen count as a "queen" for victory conditions?

Looks like an interesting game, best of luck with it!

Guest1
Guest1's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/26/2018
Thank you for the comments

Thank you for the comments and suggestions. The beige hexes on the cards(same color as the board) do indicate leaping. One of my assumptions when making the game was that the player already knew the basics of chess(or some variant).

I guess it's better not to make that assumption and clarify movement more. Maybe I can add an extra explanation at the end with diagrams for people who have never played chess. People don't seem to like reading manuals, so lengthening it would be a trade off.

I'm not aware of what's going on with Tiny Epic. I didn't have any plans to publish this game for profit and I kind of doubt anybody would even be willing to publish it just based on the theme. I have thought about commissioning an artist to make original art.

The asymmetry of the red oni is a consequence of the onis being inspired by the gold and silver generals in shogi and my game using hexagons. The clunkiness also fits personality wise I think. After play testing I might change that.

I didn't want to put pawn promotion in because one of the main aspects of the game is that you can put pieces anywhere onto the board after your first turn. Ittan-Momen would be useless if you put it on the board during your first turn, but it might come in handy later on. Also, you can use soul swap to force your opponent to use a seemingly bad card like Ittan-Momen for the rest of the game instead of something obviously useful like apprentice.

Queen Slime is just a name(which I also borrowed from kenkou cross). I can see why that may cause confusion. I'll probably change it to something else.

FrankM
Offline
Joined: 01/27/2017
One other question

It didn't hit me on the first read, but I also wasn't sure if something that can move multiple spaces in the same direction (slime queen again!) need unobstructed spaces, or leaps to its destination.

If you aren't worried about publishing the game, then don't worry about Tiny Epic. They got called out for using stuff one step removed from bikini armor, but no one is going to care what you commission for private use.

Guest1
Guest1's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/26/2018
That's a really good point. I

That's a really good point. I should look at how chess manuals explain movement since I intend that part to be same.

I'd like my game to be freely available to anyone interested in it, so I don't know if that can be called private use. Google didn't offer much information on the Tiny Epic thing, but people being bothered doesn't surprise me. Tiny Epic's demographic is on the younger side though, isn't it?

Guest1
Guest1's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/26/2018
I've updated the link in the

I've updated the link in the op to an updated manual with a section on how movement works. I hope the use of examples will make things unambiguous.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
I'm supposed to take a 2nd look at the rulebook... so

I'll take a look at the NEW version. Please remember, that when I make suggestions it is because RULEBOOKs have a SPECIFIC FORMAT and yours doesn't follow that format. And the reason I mention this is... Because even games like "Clue" or "The Game of Life" follow a very STRICT format which almost everyone in the business uses.

How do I know this to be TRUE???

Well I learnt the HARD WAY with my 2nd rulebook for "Tradewars" (now called TradeWorlds). I used "The Game Crafter" Sanity Check for my rulebook and the reviewer made many suggestions on how to STANDARDIZE my FORMAT into a version which is the GENERAL format for Table Top Games.

I used their services three (3) times, so $90 USD just spent on FIXING the format and ensuring everything looked RIGHT.

The reality is ONCE you design your FIRST rulebook using the correct format, the next ones will follow. At first it's hard to accept CHANGE, but if you realize that it is FOR THE BETTER, you get over your own format and realize that there is a bit of a "science" to how to WRITE your rulebook.

I had the time TODAY... We're all in lockdown anyways so I'm staying at home. I just was in the MOOD to read and review a rulebook. So I did it already (Yay!!!)

So please review the constructive critique at your own speed. Just give me some time to review and hopefully the "clouds" will part and you too will become "familiar" with the correct FORMAT.

Cheers!

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
The FORMAT

Section #0: Table of Content

This can be omitted if there are not too many pages. But I would always include it because it helps direct people to different sections when they are looking for specific details about an aspect of the game.

Section #1: Introduction (The Game)

Briefly describe some kind of World-Building, Storyline or Introduction about the game itself.

Section #2: Game Components

Describe the nature of each component in the game. This covers your Game Board section and Player Materials. You should also list if there are any additional pieces like Miniatures, Pieces, Tokens, Dice, etc. Describe each and explain the exact quantity of each. This is to ensure that the players have all the pieces/parts required to play the game.

Section #3: Game Overview

Describe who is this game made for (Audience), the number of players, the minimum age, the time to play (per player to total), the genre and theme, and lastly the primary mechanic. You don't have this section and it is very important because it better explains WHO would like this game BEST!

Section #4: Game Layout

This is the visual of the Game Board and explanation of the Indices "A-K" and "1-11" ... I would RECOMMEND moving PART of the NOTATION section HERE (with the various Examples of TURNS).

Section #5: Card Anatomy

This is pushed before because it should have ONE (1) SAMPLE Card and describe all the aspects of the card. You could also explain the SPELL cards (sample too) and explain the card itself. This will go a great deal in understanding better the various cards LATER (in detail)...

Section #6: Pre-Game Setup

This section may not be required. But I think you mentioned at some point that you could CUSTOMIZE your pieces/tokens per game and maybe stating some examples would be good here. For example: Pieces A,B,C and Cards X, Y, Z and Spell K.

Section #7: Setup

How a game is to be prepared... What cards need to be shuffled (if any), are there any decks to shuffle too... What do you NEED to do BEFORE a game begins.

Section #8: Victory Conditions

This is where you TELL people HOW to WIN the game. This is usually one of the FIRST sections in a game rulebook. But you've seen all the content that your game will need BEFORE it. How do you win needs to be concisely explained and if there are multiple paths to victory, those too need to be listed in some shape or form. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT SECTION.

Section #9: Sequence of Play

Explain HOW to PLAY the game. What is a TURN, how many turns in a ROUND. What are the steps to a TURN. Your MOVEMENT section should be in this section. And also your PLAYING THE GAME section should also be here. THIS IS A VERY IMPORTANT SECTION TOO.

Section #10: Further explanation (some details)

Explain your ZONES and COLORS here...

Section #11: Your cards (more details)

Put your THE CARDS section here. And follow with SPELL CARDS next.

Section #12: Other rules (last section)

Put the OTHER RULES content here...

Section #13: Credits

Add a section describing the nature of WHO made the game (Game Designer), did the artwork (Artist/Illustrator), did the card design (Graphic Designer), your Developer (if present), your rulebook, your playtesters, etc.

Section #14: Index

Using KEYWORDS, create an index for all of the various terms in the rulebook such that players can more easily LOOK-UP information such as details about a specific KEYWORD which may appear on multiple pages. This section is OPTIONAL ... But I find it always makes for a more PROFESSIONAL rulebook.

So that's PER YOUR GAME. I reviewed YOUR RULEBOOK and gave you ALL 15 Sections that I recommend you have to having a more CLEAR and STANDARD rulebook.

Please note, that usually in many GAMES, VICTORY CONDITION and onwards are usually the FIRST SECTION AFTER the Game Components. But we've added a few sections BEFORE just to clarify the game ... And this is per my own document review... So don't worry if Victory Section is #8... It's all in the RIGHT ORDER.

Cheers!

Note #1 (To ALL Designers): Please take a look at this format and verify if I have made any errors. I'm pretty sure I covered everything ... But some sections may be misplaced (I'm like 90% this is a good fit for his rulebook) ... That last 10% is open to DEBATE and will require other Designer opinions! Many Thanks.

Note #2: Of course you NEED a COVER PAGE and BACK PAGE just to keep everything together... I omitted these because they are just good practices for writing manuals and books... So it goes without saying you definitely should ADD BOTH of these!

Guest1
Guest1's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/26/2018
Thank you very much for this

Thank you very much for this guideline. I can see the logic behind it. I'll definitely take this advice into account when revising things again.

I don't know who my audience is actually. My assumption was that the audience would know who they are. Obviously that's not professional, but I don't expect or really intend to make money from this. I would like some people to play it though.

As for physical pieces, both players would need 123 figurines in total for every combination of piece types possible. Kind of a lot. My plan was to eventually make this into a computer game and for people to primarily play it like that. Improving the presentation is definitely something I want, but right now the gameplay is more of my focus.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
No problemo

You can see that it starts with more BROAD information (General info) and goes into more SPECIFIC information (Detailed info) as you go on further into the rulebook. That was a format TAILORED to YOUR "rulebook" (but based on the STANDARD FORMAT).

Again some of the choices like putting "Card Anatomy" in Section #5 ... Is just because there may be Pre-Game or Setup related to CARDS ... And presenting the CARD FORMAT will ensure more clarity when reading the later sections.

Cheers!

Note #1: I firmly believe "Card Anatomy" in Section #5 is correct. Because all you are presenting is A SAMPLE of EACH TYPE of card in your game. And if your "Pre-Game Setup" involves choosing CARDS, the earlier section lends well in understand WHAT it is that you are "customizing". You'll be presented with all the CARD TYPES and therefore more familiar with HOW to customize in the pre-game setup...

I know to some it may seem ODD ... That it is before the "Victory Conditions" and it could be potentially placed AFTER Section #9: Sequence of Play"... But again because there is an ELEMENT of "Customization", understanding the nature of the customization and components attached to this means that I stick by it being in Position #5...

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
You're answering your own questions

Guest1 wrote:
...I don't know who my audience is actually...

Audience could be "Casual Chess Players" and the theme is "Monster Girls"... Cool!!! Nothing too complicated to be worried about. You explained it TO US. It was just a matter of finding the right place to SHARE that information with the world.

And another point was... You mentioned LOKA not having a Rulebook on their BGG page. That SUCKS! Because it doesn't allow you to have a look at how the game is played to determine if the game is FOR YOU or not...!

The "Game Overview" explains things like NUMBER OF PLAYERS (2), TIME TO PLAY, MINIMUM AGE (12+), GENRE (Chess Variant), THEME (Monster Girls), GAME MECHANICS (Hexagon Grid/Static Capture/Pattern Movement/Variable Setup), AUDIENCE (Casual Chess Players). Important things about the makeup of an audience. That section is before "Victory Conditions" because it HELPS people understand... Is this the GAME for ME???

X3M
X3M's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/28/2013
I needed this

questccg wrote:

Note #1 (To ALL Designers): Please take a look at this format and verify if I have made any errors. I'm pretty sure I covered everything ... But some sections may be misplaced (I'm like 90% this is a good fit for his rulebook) ... That last 10% is open to DEBATE and will require other Designer opinions! Many Thanks.

If I were to use this list. Some sections would remain empty for sure.
Also, my goal is to have a 1 page for rules kind of game this time. More of that later. But I will surely attempt with this little guideline.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut