Skip to Content

Krakatoa - Rule reading and play testing

18 replies [Last post]
alandor
alandor's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/23/2014

Hi!
I have this game which feels like it's pretty close to being finished. That's what I thought about two years ago though, then I gave up on it, then my sister convinced me to pick it up and finish it. This time I really feel like it's close to be finished though:)

It's called Krakatoa – the lost island. It's a family game/gateway game from about 8 years (although I play it with my five-year old, no problem as long as an adult is there to guide younger kids). Theme and mechanics are simple, you explore an island looking for valuables then the volcano erupts and you must escape.

I've updated the rules and translated them into English. I would appreciate it if someone would take the time to read through the rules (8 pages). It's not a matter of proof-reading yet, but I'd like comments on the structure and layout, is my terminology good, are things explained with too much or too little detail and any other thing you may react to.

I'm also planning to make print and play files for people to try out so I can get more feedback. I'm not sure if this game is P&P-friendly enough though. It has quite many components (126 double sided tokens, 40 hexagon shaped tiles and about 30 cards and a big game board 56x64cm). The cards and hexagons could probably just be plain paper for play testing purposes but the tokens will need to be stiffer which means printing, gluing and cutting all those tokens. Does this seem cumbersome to print&play? Perhaps I should go digital instead? I have heard of tabletopia and Tabletop Simulator but I've never used them.

Of course, anyone reading the rules may want the P&P-files as well just to look at the components, even if you don't plan on playing it. Just PM me and I'll send you a link.

More information on the game can be found on:
http://www.krakatoa.add.se/game.html (this is where you download the rules)
I have also set up a Facebook and Instagram account for anyone who wants to follow the development.

alandor
alandor's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/23/2014
How to get people to read my rules?

I made this post a while ago but didn't get any response. Did I include too many questions? My main issue is that I'd like someone with knowledge and experience in rule writing to read my rules and comment on them. Friends have read them but they have all played the game before. I'm also preparing blind play testing but I don't have anyone in my vicinity who is more experienced than I in writing rules for board games, that's why I turned to this forum.

Is the designer forum on BGG a better place to post?

Soulfinger
Soulfinger's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/06/2015
alandor wrote:I made this

alandor wrote:
I made this post a while ago but didn't get any response. Did I include too many questions?

My best guess would be that you mentioned giving up in the first paragraph. People may think that you'll drop the game for another two years after they'd spend all that time reviewing the rules for you. A shorter message with a concise overview and your needs may have helped. It could be that there's already a game by that title or that the theme felt too familiar. That's all just conjecture though. It's more likely that your post was just lost in the shuffle.

Sorry that I don't have time right now to lay into it, but I expect someone will. It looks like you put a lot of time into it.

Squinshee
Squinshee's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/17/2012
You're essentially asking us

You're essentially asking us to do one of two things:

1) Read your rules

2) Play your game (which requires us to read the rules)

I have found that these two things are what members here like to do least because of how time intensive they are. You're essentially asking for free proof-reading which is a lot different from asking for theoretical or specific design questions and then taking the time to print and play what could be a complete mess of a game.

Members here like to help others solve specific problems. If you have one, describe it with all pertinent information as concisely as possible.

alandor
alandor's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/23/2014
Thanks for your responses,

Thanks for your responses, both of you. I guess I should have kept my post shorter and more to the point. The reason I even mentioned print and play is because I wanted to know if anyone would take the time to do that with a game that has as many components as mine does, or if I should look for other ways to play test it outside of my local area. It's a lot easier to print a card game than this type of game.

With regards to the rules, I will try to make specific questions instead about things that are not so general and don't require so much effort to answer. I'll be back when I've put some thought into it.

For my own part I would probably not take the time to print and play someone's board game if there were many components in it. But I would be willing to read through rules for games in development and give feedback on them. Especially if that designer did the same for me.

Tedthebug
Tedthebug's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/17/2016
I had a quick read

Up front I will say that this isn't the type of game I play so I have nothing to reference. Also, my grammar is deteriorating as I stop caring so I can't comment on much of that (& I'm guessing English is your 2nd language but it still appears better than mine as a first language). The main thing on that topic though would be to suggest you check everywhere that you used 'chose' as I think you mean 'choose'. Choose is what you want them to do, chose is what they have done.

Visually the design of the pages & items looks fantastic.

I was confused with the tokens, & this may just be because I don't play these games. In the components you show all the different colours but then in tokens you show rare vp etc. Are these on the flip side of the tokens?

I also didn't understand about putting relics at the bottom. Do you mix the tokens & then place piles onto the coloured squares on the board? How do you decide how many to place on each space or are they evenly distributed?

These are my impressions. If I ever did play this type of game it would be because someone is teaching me so maybe they would've understood the rules & I could ask questions as we played.

But again, it looks nice & the way you did the web pages like old parchment was a nice touch.

Rick L
Rick L's picture
Offline
Joined: 08/22/2016
I'm new to this forum but I

I'm new to this forum but I was intrigued by your game title and theme, so I checked out your info page and was further intrigued by the artwork and basic elements of gameplay, so I read the rules!

I've done a lot of writing (novels & short stories), have a degree in Linguistics, and have written a few rule books in my day.

That said, great job on the rule book! I was only questioning a couple of points - one was stated above in token placement, and the other was about how many tokens you can reveal when exploring a tile on your turn. Can you only explore one token? Or, if you turn it over and your character can't use it, can you turn over the next one, and so on until you find one that your character can take?

I really like the gameplay concept! It appears ready to market and I'd put it on my list of games to buy! The only thing I'd suggest is trying something different with the fight against wild beasts. Instead of picking a hand, why not give some basic "danger" value for each wild animal - a 1, 2, (or maybe even a 3)? Players automatically defeat a level 1, but need a weapon or such to defeat a more dangerous animal. It would still be a 50/50 chance, or 1 in 3, but it's a bit more sophisticated than "guess which hand".

Maybe the escape could also be done without another player - simply retreat to the previous tile you occupied. Just a couple thoughts that appealed to me.

Otherwise, the only typo I caught was a misspelling of "waste" at the end of the last page. You've got an awesome game in my opinion - you could easily upload your graphics to Game Crafter and have them print copies on demand for any of us who are interested in playing it.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
I'm very impressed

I really like your website. The island illustration, the scroll for your game title... All look real cool. The water seems pretty nice effect also!

The game looks pretty interesting also...

Keep up the great work!

MarkJindra
MarkJindra's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/24/2014
Before I Read Your Rules...

Before I Read Your Rules... please tell me you have seen the following game and read the rules/played the game so that yours is different enough that they cvould both exist in the board game market.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/88594/eruption

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zefe1IFGu6s

=MJ=

alandor
alandor's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/23/2014
Tedthebug wrote: I was

Tedthebug wrote:

I was confused with the tokens, & this may just be because I don't play these games. In the components you show all the different colours but then in tokens you show rare vp etc. Are these on the flip side of the tokens?

Yes, the side shown in the components section is only the back side. The side that shows what terrain the token would appear in. The flip side is the side that matters, it shows what type of token it is, how many victory points it is worth etc.
Tedthebug wrote:

I also didn't understand about putting relics at the bottom. Do you mix the tokens & then place piles onto the coloured squares on the board? How do you decide how many to place on each space or are they evenly distributed?

There are squares on the map that show what tokens to place there during setup. I'd attach an image for you but I don't know how to do that. These questions would probably have been solved if you had the components at hand when reading the rules. But then it would of course be even better if I could rewrite the rules so that they could be understood without having the components at hand.

Thanks for taking the time to read through the rules, and for the feedback provided!

alandor
alandor's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/23/2014
Mokheshur wrote:I'm new to

Mokheshur wrote:
I'm new to this forum but I was intrigued by your game title and theme, so I checked out your info page and was further intrigued by the artwork and basic elements of gameplay, so I read the rules!

First of all, thanks for reading through the rules! Im happy you found the concept intriguing, that's always encouraging to hear.

Mokheshur wrote:

That said, great job on the rule book! I was only questioning a couple of points - one was stated above in token placement, and the other was about how many tokens you can reveal when exploring a tile on your turn. Can you only explore one token? Or, if you turn it over and your character can't use it, can you turn over the next one, and so on until you find one that your character can take?

I'll look through this section again. When exploring you reveal all tokens of the same color (including yellow tokens if there are any). They are all revealed at the same time and after that you chose one to keep. What it actually means is that relic tokens (brown) are harder to explore since they are always placed below the area's terrain tokens.
Mokheshur wrote:

The only thing I'd suggest is trying something different with the fight against wild beasts. Instead of picking a hand, why not give some basic "danger" value for each wild animal - a 1, 2, (or maybe even a 3)? Players automatically defeat a level 1, but need a weapon or such to defeat a more dangerous animal. It would still be a 50/50 chance, or 1 in 3, but it's a bit more sophisticated than "guess which hand".
Maybe the escape could also be done without another player - simply retreat to the previous tile you occupied. Just a couple thoughts that appealed to me.

I agree that for adults the combat system can seem a bit childish. You're not the first to comment on this so I have given other mechanics consideration. The kids love it though. Your idea on escaping sounds more intuitive but perhaps more clunky for players to remember where they move from. Worth thinking about at any rate.
Mokheshur wrote:

Otherwise, the only typo I caught was a misspelling of "waste" at the end of the last page. You've got an awesome game in my opinion - you could easily upload your graphics to Game Crafter and have them print copies on demand for any of us who are interested in playing it.

Living in Sweden I only looked briefly at game crafter before deciding that shipping would be too expensive. I'm not sure how to publish it though so perhaps I'll look at the costs involved again. That's for the future though. I've still got some work to do.

Again, thanks for your feedback and encouragement:)

alandor
alandor's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/23/2014
MarkJindra wrote:Before I

MarkJindra wrote:
Before I Read Your Rules... please tell me you have seen the following game and read the rules/played the game so that yours is different enough that they cvould both exist in the board game market.

https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/88594/eruption

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zefe1IFGu6s

=MJ=


Yes, I have seen that game a year ago or so. Haven't played it or read the rules but I had a brief look at how it was played. The lava mechanism is very similar in my game, but I had that designed before I knew of this game. It wouldn't surprise me if there are more games that use that mechanism, it's quite intuitive once you place a volcano on the middle of an island and use hexagonal territories to decide the flow of the lava by placing hexagonal tiles.

I'm not worried that the games are too similar. The focus of my game is to explore tokens that are on the island. The volcano is the game timer and the eruption is the climax of the game. But do you think people will think of this as copying an existing mechanic – should I worry about that? I wouldn't want to remove this mechanic, it works well and gives the game some tension which suits the theme.

MarkJindra
MarkJindra's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/24/2014
I wouldn't worry too much

I wouldn't worry too much. As long as it isn't just a copy of that game and you have something to make the game unique in a different way I suspect it will be fine. I will try and read your rules this week but World of Warcraft has an expansion out Tuesday and Pax west is this weekend so I may not get a chance any time soon.

MarkJindra
MarkJindra's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/24/2014
First Thought

My first thought just looking at the website is that the Volcano tiles should be numbered in the opposite order with the eruption being 0 so that you could vary the games difficulty by adding a 7 or 8 tile to the top of the volcano or taking away a tile or two for a shorter game. That makes it a countdown instead of a count up. But I need to read the rules to see if that number is used in some way besides a reminder of the round.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
I was thinking about "Survive!"

There is an old game called "Survive!" (circa 1982):

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2653/survive-escape-atlantis

Anyways I remember playing that game in High School during lunch break. We would eat fast - and then go to the game room...

Anyways I LIKED this game - and it is similar (hex tiles, volcano, etc.) except without the lava flow tiles. The premise is simple the island is slowly sinking into the water and the volcano's explosion is the last trigger to the island's destruction...

You job is to rescue you "people" (who are stranded on the island) while avoiding whales who can flip your boat, sharks who can eat your people, etc.

It's very different - but back in 1982, we really enjoyed playing this game.

I always wanted to do a "re-make" of something similar. But Krakatoa island looks to be pretty much a variant of that original game. So you've stopped my "itch" (so to speak) of producing an "island" game like this.

Congrats - I think the game has a lot of potential.

Cheers.

MarkJindra
MarkJindra's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/24/2014
I have survive

I have survive sitting in my game collection right now. It is quite fun.

alandor
alandor's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/23/2014
MarkJindra wrote:My first

MarkJindra wrote:
My first thought just looking at the website is that the Volcano tiles should be numbered in the opposite order with the eruption being 0 so that you could vary the games difficulty by adding a 7 or 8 tile to the top of the volcano or taking away a tile or two for a shorter game. That makes it a countdown instead of a count up. But I need to read the rules to see if that number is used in some way besides a reminder of the round.

Changing the order wouldn't be a problem. But I want to point out that adding more volcano tiles does not increase difficulty but only game time. The tile numbered '1', has a flip-side titled '*'. There's an optional rule for longer game time that says to just flip tile '1' instead of discarding it the first time a catastrophe token is revealed. That increases game time by one iteration. One reason I prefer this to just adding more tiles is that all components are used in all versions of the game so beginners don't have to figure out which components to use, (blind play tests will tell me if this is as intuitive as I think it is). The other reason is graphical – as the numbers on these tiles increase the amount of smoke increases. Tile '1' has no smoke and adding more tiles beyond that would result in several tiles without smoke. However, changing the order so that it counts down instead of up sounds like a good idea.

alandor
alandor's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/23/2014
questccg wrote:There is an

questccg wrote:
There is an old game called "Survive!" (circa 1982):

https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/2653/survive-escape-atlantis

Anyways I remember playing that game in High School during lunch break. We would eat fast - and then go to the game room...

Anyways I LIKED this game - and it is similar (hex tiles, volcano, etc.) except without the lava flow tiles. The premise is simple the island is slowly sinking into the water and the volcano's explosion is the last trigger to the island's destruction...

You job is to rescue you "people" (who are stranded on the island) while avoiding whales who can flip your boat, sharks who can eat your people, etc.

It's very different - but back in 1982, we really enjoyed playing this game.

I always wanted to do a "re-make" of something similar. But Krakatoa island looks to be pretty much a variant of that original game. So you've stopped my "itch" (so to speak) of producing an "island" game like this.

Congrats - I think the game has a lot of potential.

Cheers.


I actually remember playing this game just once as a kid. My memories are fuzzy but it must be the same game, although I remember there being sharks who ate swimmers, giant squids who flipped over boats, and sea monsters who could both flip boats and eat swimmers. The posted images on BGG show whales instead of squids so perhaps I played a different version or perhaps I'm just remembering it wrong.

Anyway, I'm looking for the same adventurous theme in Krakatoa so I'm glad you made the connection. My game is not as ominous, players usually don't die unless they're greedy and play with high risk. But there is resemblance.

alandor
alandor's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/23/2014
PM me if you need help reading rules

I just wanted to make a general post and say that I have appreciated all of your comments. And if either of you have rules in development that you'd want someone to read through, now or in the future, I'll be happy to help. Just send me a PM and I'll read and comment given the time I have at hand.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut