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TradeWorlds Update

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questccg
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I figured I might give a brief update concerning "TradeWorlds" design-wise.

This week I have been plugging away at "TableTopia" and configuring the game, objects and setup/play areas.

This Trial version of the game will feature a two (2) player "core" experience in which the focus of the game will be the "Tradewars" scenario: reaching 100 credits (or destroying your opponent).

A few days ago I spent time setting up the game (Box shot, Background, description and the likes) and then selecting the Objects (Cubes and Dice).

Today I have worked on designing the Score Pads with their "magnetic maps" which allow game pieces to "lock-in-place". Not complicated, just took some reading and a lot of patience with PaintShop Pro...

Once this was done, I imported the Score Pads into the play areas (for two players only) and tested the "locking" mechanism which seems to work good for the Cubes.

I also spent a huge chunk of time working on the Player Mat. This mat is 30" wide ... and there was concerns that it MIGHT not fit onto the default table... But working on the "magnetic map" and then uploading the 30mb PNG file with some "invisible areas" worked out pretty good. The Player Mats JUST fit into the play area.

I have not yet tested the "magnetic" mechanism — because I have yet to begin uploading ALL the necessary cards. There will be 126 cards that need to be imported (and all of them dual-sided). YUP! That will take a while but it should be not too bad.

I already have an understanding how the game will work ... so it will be a process.

The GREAT NEWS is that we are already in-process!

That's good because it means we are sticking to our promise to deliver a Trial Version of the game on the TableTopia platform. I must admit, I am a bit "HESITANT". It's not that I don't feel like TableTopia is a cool and interesting platform... My concerns is all the ZOOMING and SCROLLING around to pickup cards or see what's next available to buy (game-wise).

To me I would prefer a PHYSICAL version where I can play Head-To-Head versus and opponent. While this is EXACTLY what the TableTopia version is for... I find it lacks some of the "magic" of real cards... IDK — maybe it's just me, and I'm old fashioned.

It definitely is a COOL platform! But I hope it doesn't discourage players from the real deal... Because of all that zooming and scrolling players will have to do.

I mean the Player Mats are 30" wide. They ALMOST span the entire table... Almost! LOL

I'll update this thread with "card" import updates... And see if maybe I can find someone who can give it a TRY first (perhaps one of the designers... IDK) We shall see.

Cheers!

X3M
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You are still working on the

You are still working on the game itself?
I though you where preparing to get the game distributed.

If by any chance you are still looking for some other ways to play the game. My cousin and I played your game a bit different if you can recall.

If you are interested in trying the little changes in rules. I'll pm you about it.

questccg
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Multiple things going on...

X3M wrote:
You are still working on the game itself? I though you where preparing to get the game distributed.

Actually it's true that we did a campaign all across Canada for canvasing online retailers and FLGSs in Canada. That was a 60 business effort and took a couple weeks to complete. While I have another LIST to work for in the USA... I have not had the chance to start working on that effort.

And yes, we've been "talking" about Distribution... But it's low priority since we have other streams of revenue that are possible ... which are more lucrative too. So yes we've talked about it, but it's not a priority at the moment.

What IS a priority is "TableTopia" because we've committed on having it up and running this SUMMER (probably in the next month). There are MANY cards to upload too! Over 120 cards, dual-sided.

Next the other priority is Blind Playtesting which to my understanding is already "in progress". What's being tested is the Stretch Goal content, like the "Battle Front" scenario, the Planetary Expansion, etc.

So there are multiple things going on at this present time. Which is good because we don't want ADDITIONAL "delays" in delivering the product.

Cheers.

questccg
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Configured Acolyte Starship Deck

Well playing around with TableTopia, I managed to take a couple of hours to configure ONE (1) "Acolyte Starship" deck... It uses the Randomizer and will ensure that at the start of each game, the various decks will be setup (think randomized) as if they had been shuffled for the game.

It's probably going to take me about one (1) week to configure 50% of the cards used by the Trial Version... And then another week once I get all the corrected card templates (Print & Play sheets), so I can extract all the cards and do all the image editing that is required in order to get the proper finished cards for TableTopia.

Two (2) weeks of effort, I hope our Backers will at least TRY our TableTopia Trial version of the game. It's an impressive Platform to say the least!

Cheers!

questccg
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Also uploaded and configured the Acolyte Tactic Deck

With those two (2) decks being configured, about 25% of the TableTopia configuration is done... That still mean 75% to go... (Sigh)

Anyway I need to download a BIG "ZIP" archive with the cards ... I don't even know IF I will be able to READ those files or not. I'll download the ZIP and see if I can read them...

If not, then I will need to wait until the P&P files (Sheets) are uploaded to our Dropbox so that I can grab a copy of the update files.

I'm a bit tired of tweaking image files, resizing, etc. Saving them and uploading to TableTopia takes a bit of time too, since you need to publish the uploaded additions. Could take 10 seconds to a minute to publish...

Enough playing around with files for today!

questccg
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Uploaded and configured the Brethren Starship Deck

That adds another one to the decks required by the game. So I'm at 37.5% (3/8)! Still over 50% to go... But tomorrow I plan to do the Brethren Tactic Deck and that should put me at 50%!

It's extremely annoying work of copying and pasting images, resizing the canvas, aligning just perfectly each card and then repeating it for all the cards... is SOOOOOOOOOO long.

Way worst than editing a spreadsheet and visiting each website to determine if they are a legitimate potential customer (re-seller) or if they are a deep discounter (we want to avoid such businesses).

So I've got to persist some more on a few more cards. And I've got another BIG day tomorrow with all the edits and uploading, etc.

Cheers!

questccg
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Finally uploaded and configured Brethren Tactic Deck

Yes! This means I am at 50% (4/8) of the decks that need to be configured for the two (2) Player Trial version...

It took HOURS to extract the cards and then the backs, then to resize each one and the lastly to upload one-at-a-time ... was very repetitive and hard to focus on just doing that one task for more than an hour.

Tomorrow I will take a break... I already did both the Scenario and Faction cards for BOTH sides (Acolytes and Brethren Factions). That in total is FOUR (4) cards (two-sided — of course!)

Had some free quiet time and figured I'd just finish those off and take a breather tomorrow.

But that's tomorrow... enough of the editing for tonight/today.

Cheers!

questccg
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Spent a hour reviewing version 4.1 of the "core"

So it inevitably needed to be done: a review of the latest rulebook (v4.1).

We send out e-mails to each other and we comment, give our opinion, discuss variations, and usually manage to agree upon card rules and game rules.

But it's a bit hard to "collect" all those e-mail threads and bring them together... there are always things that are not 100% clear yet — even if we agree to changes/modifications.

Take for example the Solo "The Derelict" scenario. It has a reference card of which states that three (3) values ("2", "3" and "4") INCREASE the Critical Mass. And the rulebook said it was dice values "1 to 4". Well "1" doesn't increase, it's actually the opposite, it DECREASES by -2.

And then we had a Faction card that is "out-of-date". The rulebook (v4.1) is correct and has the NEW power — but the actual card itself is the OLD power...

So just small things like that, removing 1d6 and adding 1 smoke cube, etc. Adding the Critical Mass card to the card count, correcting the scenario card count to nine (9) instead of ten (10), etc.

But we want to make sure we've covered everything that needs "fixing".

Cheers!

questccg
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Working towards the FINAL prototype

Basically we're make the last of the "batch of corrections"... There will be one last EDIT, pending the playtest currently underway and a general review of the FINAL prototype (Physical).

It's just too difficult sorting the cards in the correct order to ensure all of the story lines are correct and do not have typos or the wrong blurb. I've already made one pass "electronically" for the prototypes sent to playtesters, but we still need to physically review the cards to ensure quality control.

I just sent out an e-mail to @The Professor (our Developer) and waiting to get a response back from him. Does he have any "early feedback"??? Are playtesters enjoying the latest version (having played the "early access version"), etc.

And of course I've designed as much of the TableTopia version ... I'm waiting for more card corrections (there was a numbering error — due to a change in order of two decks of cards per player)... So a bunch of editing that needs to get done.

We're working on all of this to ensure that the FINAL product will be without any errors.

Cheers!

questccg
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75% completed... Only 25% left to go!

Sigh! I am at 75% (6/8) of the decks that need to be configured for the two (2) Player Trial version...

I actually kept track of my time and now I know it take about 4 hours per "Draw Pile" (The cards for each player's market — play area). So a total of 8 hours in two (2) days.

Only 2 piles remaining, plus the Role Reference Cards for each side and the randomized Starter Deck (which have 8 cards per deck).

Cheers!

questccg
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Finished the Acolytes side of the table!

Only one (1) Deck remaining for tomorrow... No way I'm going to bust my ass and do 4 more hours of editing tonight! LOL

I've already spent like about 1 hour doing some miscellaneous cards such as Faction card "edit" (more readable) and the "Role Reference" cards for both sides of the table too.

We are in the home-stretch (so-to-speak).

Cheers!

Note: The various piles that are "Random" means that when you start or restart a new game, those piles will be AUTOMATICALLY randomized and you don't need to do anything, just begin playing the game.

Both the Deck and Discard will automatically FLIP your cards to the proper side when they go in either of those piles.

Just added some convenience features to keep things as "tidy" as possible.

questccg
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In case you might be wondering(???)

Why all the "empty space" on the right-side of the playmats? Well this is for the "Planetary Expansion" which adds two (2) additional Decks: The Mission Deck which allows players to score bonus points performing risky missions and the Colonies Deck which gives players the ability to earn bonus credits from Trade Agreements.

In the bottom portion of that same play area and two (2) slots for expansions... Meaning you can ADD up to TWO (2) additional expansions and play with those cards too. It's a real "beefy" game when you get to that stage... Only for Hard-core Gamers — because the management of all of the various parts is quite the challenge.

The "Planetary Expansion" is it's own "Expansion" while the slots can be played with the "core" product which also feature the "Roles Compendium" Expansion too... So when you BUY the game, you can play with both of the two (2) expansion slots straight from the get-go!

questccg
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Finally finished the TableTopia configuration — 100% DONE!

Here's what the final layout looks like:

It's been a long and complexe process, even though TableTopia is relatively EASY and WELL DESIGNED to use. You just need to watch the video and the read articles about more advanced topic like magnetic snapping and card rotation and flipping. But overall it was pretty straight-forward.

What was the most complicated was "extracting" cards from sheets and then resizing them to remove the bleed and lowest possible size JPGs with the least amount of loss-ness to quality (about 20).

Now I've decided to WRITE a "TableTopia Player's Guide" to help simplify the learning curve of using and playing our game. It took me about 2 hours of "fooling around" to figure out how to best use what and how to control the moving of cards, zooming for details and how to take cards, etc. Anyway a GUIDE will help reduce the learning curve from 2 hours to about 5 minutes reading the guide and looking at the screenshots.

Should be very intuitive by the time the guide is ready.

Cheers!

MAR
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Quest, I was going to comment

Quest,

I was going to comment a good job of sorts on the digital game, saying it looked good and that you did a nice job. But then I realised, being ignorant, that I didn't know that tabletopia was and looked into it. I think it looks great and I am now considering using it for our game Headhunter. Your user guide and experience will be appreciated greatly, I may message you in regards to it sometime.

Thanks,

Austin

questccg
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The guide is for "TradeWorlds" only

Austin,

I don't think the Player Guide will help you much. It is for people who want to understand HOW to play "TradeWorlds" on TableTopia. What it basically does is walk you through five (5) turns and what to do (what keys to press or what mouse button to use, etc.)

It's really because some things are not too "obvious". And explaining them in a GUIDE would be good — because this way nobody will become frustrated like I was the first time I took the game for a "test drive". I wasted like 2 hours trying to figure out HOW to play the game.

TableTopia is pretty straight forward. But some manipulations are NOT obvious. Like moving a Deck (pile of cards). To do so, you must PRESS "Shift" and drag your mouse to form a rectangle around the deck. The you can DRAG the selected deck anywhere on the table...

Things like that. Or faster way of "drawing" cards as opposed to one (1) card at a time. TableTopia has a "Draw" feature and it will allow you to select an amount of cards which instantly appear in your Hand.

All good stuff like that will be in the GUIDE.

So you can read about 5 pages in 5 minutes or fool around for 2 Hours by trying to figure out things for yourself. In my opinion, I would rather read the GUIDE and save time & frustration — because TableTopia doesn't always work like you might want it to...

Cheers!

questccg
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Player Guide Finished

I took 2 hours tonight to finish up the TableTopia Player Guide which spans all of 14 pages with a bunch of screen captures to help along with the directions/instructions. It basically leads you through five (5) turns for Player #1... What keys to use, how to use the mouse with multiple cards and general stuff like that for someone who is NEW to TableTopia might get a bit frustrated with...

And we don't want that to reflect upon the game itself. By having that Guide, means that players can read it or consult it to see how they can PLAY the game without any nasty surprises. Or have to try and figure out how to perform a specific move like move cards under one another (for example).

I've also been having a bitching time TESTING... I keep getting "Bad Connection. Reconnecting." ERROR messages and then I can't get into the game itself to test if my modifications are okay or not.

I had to contact SUPPORT and we'll see if they can locate the source of the problem. Right now that is a ROYAL pain in the @ss. I tried for 1 hour to test/connect without any success.

We'll see what the support agent has to say about "the problem"...

Cheers!

P.S.: If anyone feels like reviewing the Player Guide, I've provided a LINK/URL to the PDF file.

TableTopia Player Guide — TradeWorlds: Exterra Edition, 2 Player Trial

questccg
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Update to the update (LOL)

Our game's Developer had the chance to review and edit our Player Guide... I have incorporated all his changes in the latest version of the Guide. The link above now points to the most recent copy of the Guide (including our Developer's comments and editing).

Feel free to consult the NEW guide and if you have any questions in terms of clarity feel free to add a comment or send me a Private Message.

Many thanks!

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