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Board Game Design Lab Challenge 2019

So I entered the BGDL challenge at the last minute whilst preparing for the UKGE.

I just got word today that Jolt! made it through the first round as one of the top 30 games from an original entry of 143 games.

The list of games that made it through are here:

Im very grateful to the help in the early iterations of the game that you guys gave me.

The community vote lasts until Friday so fingers crossed the general public enjoy it too :)

Comments

Not to be "critical" ...

I'm just wondering HOW "The General Public" will be VOTING?! This is based on WHAT??? I haven't played ANY of these games! How am I supposed to select two (2) in each Category if I have never played any of them???

There MUST be something that I have misunderstood...?!

Pitches

Quest: The first rounds are based on pitches, not actually playing them.

Congratulations!

Well done! It's good to get that feeling of progress, and the feedback that people like the look of your game. Best of luck for the next round.

They have like 30 judges..

They have like 30 judges.. not sure why they need the public's input on video pitches. Seems a little weird. And dividing them up into groups like that makes no real sense to me either :/

But best of luck to YOU! :) Your design looks pretty good.

Thanks for all the nice

Thanks for all the nice comments! It does feel good.

It does seem to be a wierd old contest but it is what it is. Not getting hopes up but would be a good feeling to get to the final :)

So I narrowly missed the

So I narrowly missed the final... I was 2nd in my group and got some really useful feedback but I do have to consider that it was based on a 2 minute video.

Some folk suggested having a limping player mechanic rather than an elimination mechanic (which I think is key in a Battle Royale game) but i can't ever see a situation where having a limping player would ever be enjoyable just for the sake of keeping everyone involved.

I had already made attempts to mitigate this by increasing the game speed once players were eliminated which reduced down time.

Some other interesting suggestions were to introduce faction assymmetry, which I had already looked at but have cut out for now as I don't want further permutations as it is already deep enough as is!

browwnrob wrote:So I narrowly

browwnrob wrote:
So I narrowly missed the final... I was 2nd in my group and got some really useful feedback but I do have to consider that it was based on a 2 minute video.

Some folk suggested having a limping player mechanic rather than an elimination mechanic (which I think is key in a Battle Royale game) but i can't ever see a situation where having a limping player would ever be enjoyable just for the sake of keeping everyone involved.

I had already made attempts to mitigate this by increasing the game speed once players were eliminated which reduced down time.

Some other interesting suggestions were to introduce faction assymmetry, which I had already looked at but have cut out for now as I don't want further permutations as it is already deep enough as is!

Well done on getting your game out there into the wider world. That's more than thousands of casual game designers ever do.

I agree with your philosophy regarding player elimination. And also your instinct to avoid those unnecessary complications regarding factions.

Don't look a gift horse in the mouth

browwnrob wrote:
...Some folk suggested having a limping player mechanic rather than an elimination mechanic (which I think is key in a Battle Royale game) but i can't ever see a situation where having a limping player would ever be enjoyable just for the sake of keeping everyone involved...

A suggestion: don't make it about "eliminating" a player, implement a "scoring" mechanic WITHOUT any "penalties". I am working this into a couple of my current game designs ... and I find it's less "restrictive".

For example if you have three (3) Mechs and one get's removed from the play area, you could score 10 points. First player to 50 points wins. This means that all players are in the game until someone scores the last kill. When you lose all three (3) of your mechs, you just get three (3) new ones and the game continues as normal.

With the scoring, you'll see that it will be HARD to make a "come-back" but not impossible ... This would altogether remove the "Player Elimination" which people's opinions seemed to be a bit "negative"!

browwnrob wrote:
Some other interesting suggestions were to introduce faction asymmetry, which I had already looked at but have cut out for now as I don't want further permutations as it is already deep enough as is!

Asymmetry is not for "depth" of strategy. It's for RE-PLAYABILITY. So you can experience the game for more than ONE (1) playthru. If all factions are identical, you play the game ONCE... And you know how the game plays.

With asymmetry, it could probably take three (3) or four (4) plays to understand each Faction and then maybe an additional game to better learn how that Faction is different and how to best use the abilities to better your odds of victory.

It's a SMART suggestion IMHO. Cheers!

All good points :)

All good points :) Ill have another think about them.

To "console" myself after not making the final, I finished the game in Tabletopia so if anyone is interested in taking a look then have a look at the link :)

Tabletopia Link

You did a very good job with TT

browwnrob wrote:
...To "console" myself after not making the final, I finished the game in Tabletopia so if anyone is interested in taking a look then have a look at the link...

Congratulations on creating the game on TableTopia (TT)... I know how difficult and frustrating it can be to play test on TT. I spent the better part of one (1) month, uploading a ton of reversible cards (about 380 cards) and fighting with the Test screen (because it used to lock-up often). I don't know if you've had "technical issues" with TT. If not, lucky you as I had to "reload" three to five times a screen just to be able to "test" properly.

I also notice you also "magnetized" all you tiles (which probably only needed a few to be created and then copy & pasting the others makes for whatever quantity you need).

The standies are cool too. They also LOCK to the middle of a tile which I also found neat ... And perhaps LESS "game-related" by more TT-related you can move a tile around and it's mech can move along with it.

But you did a real "in-depth" job using the magnetism, locking, standies, etc. I'm sure you put in quite a few hours to ensure everything came together "just right".

Cheers!

questccg wrote:browwnrob

questccg wrote:
browwnrob wrote:
...Some folk suggested having a limping player mechanic rather than an elimination mechanic (which I think is key in a Battle Royale game) but i can't ever see a situation where having a limping player would ever be enjoyable just for the sake of keeping everyone involved...

A suggestion: don't make it about "eliminating" a player, implement a "scoring" mechanic WITHOUT any "penalties". I am working this into a couple of my current game designs ... and I find it's less "restrictive".

For example if you have three (3) Mechs and one get's removed from the play area, you could score 10 points. First player to 50 points wins. This means that all players are in the game until someone scores the last kill. When you lose all three (3) of your mechs, you just get three (3) new ones and the game continues as normal.

With the scoring, you'll see that it will be HARD to make a "come-back" but not impossible ... This would altogether remove the "Player Elimination" which people's opinions seemed to be a bit "negative"!

browwnrob wrote:
Some other interesting suggestions were to introduce faction asymmetry, which I had already looked at but have cut out for now as I don't want further permutations as it is already deep enough as is!

Asymmetry is not for "depth" of strategy. It's for RE-PLAYABILITY. So you can experience the game for more than ONE (1) playthru. If all factions are identical, you play the game ONCE... And you know how the game plays.

With asymmetry, it could probably take three (3) or four (4) plays to understand each Faction and then maybe an additional game to better learn how that Faction is different and how to best use the abilities to better your odds of victory.

It's a SMART suggestion IMHO. Cheers!

A designer friend of mine has been making some great suggestions for the game and I've adapted one that I think could be a great variant or maybe have the potential to replace the original mechanic... strong words indeed...

Normally, the arena shrinks, the number of mechs decrease and then mechs get eliminated. BUT...

One idea I adapted and really like is that the arena still shrinks but if you push a mech into a void zone, you score 2 points and the pushed mech loses 1 point but the hexes adjacent to the pushed mech all reset, opening up the arena round it. First player to 5 points wins. Player elimination is eliminated :) The arena changes shape much more dynamically.

The only downside is that there is a lot more board upkeep.

Hmm... Not sure about that!?

browwnrob wrote:
One idea I adapted and really like is that the arena still shrinks but if you push a mech into a void zone, you score 2 points and the pushed mech loses 1 point but the hexes adjacent to the pushed mech all reset, opening up the arena round it. First player to 5 points wins. Player elimination is eliminated :)

I am curious how much you have playtested this "idea"?! Seems rather HARSH:

A> Lose a Mech.
B> Lose an additional 1 Point.
C> The opponent gains 2 Points.

I find this very unbalanced. But it's your design. Maybe more playtesting will determine what the best course of action is. I'm not saying it's a bad idea... Only that it seems rather HARSH (-1 and +2?!)...

Let us know if this idea works out for you after more playtesting!

Cheers.

questccg wrote:browwnrob

questccg wrote:
browwnrob wrote:
One idea I adapted and really like is that the arena still shrinks but if you push a mech into a void zone, you score 2 points and the pushed mech loses 1 point but the hexes adjacent to the pushed mech all reset, opening up the arena round it. First player to 5 points wins. Player elimination is eliminated :)

I am curious how much you have playtested this "idea"?! Seems rather HARSH:

A> Lose a Mech.
B> Lose an additional 1 Point.
C> The opponent gains 2 Points.

I find this very unbalanced. But it's your design. Maybe more playtesting will determine what the best course of action is. I'm not saying it's a bad idea... Only that it seems rather HARSH (-1 and +2?!)...

Let us know if this idea works out for you after more playtesting!

Cheers.

Nowhere near enough playtesting so it's still at the raw idea stage. :) thanks for the honest feedback.

I'm not going to make huge changes to the game as in general almost everyone who has played it has enjoyed it as is.

Just one clarification. You wouldn't lose any mechs and the arena still shrinks but it will expand dynamically. When you get pushed onto a void zone all the zones round you reset so gives you room to manoeuvre.

I have the -1 in initially to allow the players to peg back the leader but its something to see how it plays out in playtesting.

A couple of additional thoughts

browwnrob wrote:
...I have the -1 in initially to allow the players to peg back the leader but its something to see how it plays out in playtesting.

Yes that's exactly what I thought: a catch-up mechanic to penalize a leader.

Since it's still an aspect which is not 100% firm (in design)... My suggestion for you is to playtest this:

A> -1 Battle Loser and +1 Battle Winner (to catch-up)

...OR...

B> +2 Battle Winner

Maybe IF you gave players a choice, this could add some more depth to the scoring mechanic. IDK this is just an "idea" since you're not firm on the other ideas in-hand. TBH 5 points seems like it is too little to win, especially if you are scoring +2 points a Battle. Maybe 8 points might be a more enjoyable goal. Not sure... just a suggestion.

In any case, it seems like you have some FINE-TUNING to do. Nothing major just in terms of scoring, winning and points.

Best of luck with your design!?

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