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A story-to-game creator

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Fayzwel
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Hello guys,

Would like to introduce myself at this forum.
Once a fantasy author and a board game enthusiast I trained a bit in illustration art and found myself capable of creating concoctions. That is a mixture of story-telling, illustrations and a game. Recently I made a first project - Sootcraft©.

Well, I am a kind of a Prometheus who is engaged in bringing people a new breath of life: mixture of genres within a single project.
To give a notion of what it is like here is a link to a promo video: https://youtu.be/nb9ojYpH0uA

And attached there is a page from a pdf.
What can you say about this?
Seems like many publishers are very conservative and I am going to inevitably fail at a try to bring this elixir to the world. That is my opinion though.

Tim Edwards
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The writing is very clunky.

The writing is very clunky. Is this a translation from Russian? You definitely should consult a native English-user with a view to proof reading your work - if text is central to your project. That might give it more of a chance with publishers.

Best of luck.

Jay103
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It does rhyme and scan, but I

It does rhyme and scan, but I don't really know what the verse (in the video) means, and I have no real idea of what the game might be.

Not sure why you've decided you'll fail already. That said, if you went to a publisher with that video, they'd just be confused. A full prototype would be a better idea.

(and yeah, have a native English speaker go over your text)

X3M
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You know, if the game

You know, if the game explains every part of the rhyme. I think you have a great story to tell.

So what if it is translated from Russian or whatever language it is from. The broken words add mystery to the story.

The problem is, will the game catch the players and give them enough patience to see through to the end?
That means, you need to come up with a fun game. It is sad to say that these days, a lot of players don't care about the story. Only the game.

Conservative doesn't like new things? Well, I know plenty of games that where new. But since they where also a lot of fun, they broke through.

"Mistakes are to be learned from." So, make them! (Just don't invest money if you are insecure and unsure)

questccg
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To be honest

Fayzwel wrote:
...Seems like many publishers are very conservative and I am going to inevitably fail at a try to bring this elixir to the world. That is my opinion though.

Well to be honest, that video won't help... It may rhyme, but the characters and the rhyming itself ... doesn't make much sense (as someone who knows nothing about your game).

Also if you are trying to be "mysterious" — don't.

If you have a STORY to tell... Tell it. Don't do poetry. Poetry is for poems, not TableTop games. And unless it's Ameritrash, it doesn't even need a story like most modern Euros (Catan, Ticket to Ride, Carcassones, etc.) All those game are HIGHLY successful and have NO STORY.

So I would recommend figuring out the TYPE of game you want to design and then from there if it needs a story or tells a story... Well that's fine but it's not going to SELL well if it's TOO mysterious and not clear what this game of yours is all about!

Best of luck with your game!

Fayzwel
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Well, guys, thanks a lot for

Well, guys, thanks a lot for your scrutiny. I guess I need to give more explanation on what I have. The prototype of the game has already been finalized though as you see it is difficult to catch a category of the stuff.

I need a native speaker, truly. Principally, because I may miss some implicative context anywhere or may be awkward in phrase building. Unfortunately I am not going to invest to the game and proof-reading can be accepted only as a contributive help.

The poem is not intended to give a gist of the story, I need to remark. It might give a hint of entering to a tale or, as most of you noticed, a mystery. But as I see it what might confuse also might attract. To reveal the story and game mechanics there are special sections within the project.
The focus of the game is a 10—30 mins card battle.

The story itself focuses upon a collision of two worlds – of humans and of Kroppensots. Consequently, a player takes a part either of Southborn army or of Sootworld invaders. Each card represents a battle unit with special status and bonuses. Here I attach some of them to give a notion.

Back to the story. I cannot confess that is a fulcrum. I would describe it as a prelude to the game, emphasis on the atmosphere. If I wrote a true short-story fiction it would distract from the game itself. It is meant to be an aperitif before the main course.

And no, that is not a translation. The project plotted to be for English-speaking audience. I do not have it in any other languages. Yet.
If you have an interest I upload more stuff - more pics attached to the message at the top. Perhaps it would be possible to say afterwards how and where to market it. Or maybe as I suppose that is of no interest at least for the category of paid projects among publishers.

I do have a faint hope of getting published. If I fail I can always distribute it in a free mode. Nevertheless I suspect it is no better toil.

questccg
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Too many Red Flags

Fayzwel wrote:
...The poem is not intended to give a gist of the story, I need to remark. It might give a hint of entering to a tale or, as most of you noticed, a mystery. But as I see it what might confuse also might attract...

I think you are too engrossed in your project to understand (or maybe listen) to what people are saying.

Mystery = BAD. People want to know within the first few (if not Paragraph #1, well then Paragraph #2) paragraph how to WIN the game. That's the proper design of a rulebook.

Once you understand the GOAL of the game, they you can figure out if you are the least bit interested in playing that game.

I get it you did some kind of "World-Building" and have your own Races and that's all cool... but it is SECONDARY to a good game. The game needs to be clear and not have any deviance from what a typical game is.

And the name, in my opinion, is not great: Sootcraft??? Really, is this a "Starcraft" spin-off?? And I THINK you're using SOOT and probably should use the term "ASHES". Soot makes it like something dirty you sweep... Ashes on the other hand have all kinds of meaning from Heavens, Afterlife, the Reminents of war (burning houses, farms, etc.)

Again this is just my opinion.

You seem already at a point where I wonder if you had anyone else review your work with a critical eye. I'm not "bashing", I'm just saying there are things TO ME that are signalling RED FLAG.

X3M
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In short.

Clearness of the game itself first.
Fun second.

.

.

.

...

.

.

.

Story third and last.

Jay103
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Quote:The poem is not

Quote:
The poem is not intended to give a gist of the story, I need to remark. It might give a hint of entering to a tale or, as most of you noticed, a mystery. But as I see it what might confuse also might attract.

With all due respect, the video/poem gave me no idea of what kind of game it is, what I'd be doing, OR the story behind the game. It did not attract.

Jay103
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questccg wrote:Fayzwel

questccg wrote:
Fayzwel wrote:
...The poem is not intended to give a gist of the story, I need to remark. It might give a hint of entering to a tale or, as most of you noticed, a mystery. But as I see it what might confuse also might attract...

I think you are too engrossed in your project to understand (or maybe listen) to what people are saying.

Mystery = BAD. People want to know within the first few (if not Paragraph #1, well then Paragraph #2) paragraph how to WIN the game. That's the proper design of a rulebook.

Once you understand the GOAL of the game, they you can figure out if you are the least bit interested in playing that game.

I get it you did some kind of "World-Building" and have your own Races and that's all cool... but it is SECONDARY to a good game. The game needs to be clear and not have any deviance from what a typical game is.

And the name, in my opinion, is not great: Sootcraft??? Really, is this a "Starcraft" spin-off?? And I THINK you're using SOOT and probably should use the term "ASHES". Soot makes it like something dirty you sweep... Ashes on the other hand have all kinds of meaning from Heavens, Afterlife, the Reminents of war (burning houses, farms, etc.)

Again this is just my opinion.

You seem already at a point where I wonder if you had anyone else review your work with a critical eye. I'm not "bashing", I'm just saying there are things TO ME that are signalling RED FLAG.


These are good points.

Also I can't tell if the game is called Sootworld or Sootcraft, but unless you're making equipment out of ashes, I'm not sure why "Sootcraft" would be a thing.

My version of QCCG's first point would be:

I read the original post here, plus watched the video, plus looked at the JPG. After doing that, I had no idea what kind of game this was, at all. Cards, board, RPG? No idea. Also no idea of the story, other than some other race was invading somewhere. Am I that race? Humans? Other? No idea.

Figure out one good paragraph that describes your hook. You'll need it to pitch a publisher anyway, or start your kickstarter page or whatever. Here's the first paragraph from my KS page:

Quote:
Heroes & Treasure™ is a fantasy role-playing game system played on a game board. One person acts as the Quest Master, who controls the action, and the others take on the roles of characters in the world.

Fayzwel
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Point taken

I see what you mean.
Addressing a publisher I provide the description as follows:

Sootcraft© is an A4 format card wargame in a dark fantasy setting with a developed storyline and universe. Printable card deck, tutorial included. (1-8 players, 10-30 mins, targeted age 10 - 25)

Shortly. For a publisher.
Game mechanics is described step by step on the pages of pdf file.

Briefly, you take 8 random cards from one of the two 32-cards decks (one for defenders, anpther for invaders). Form a group of 4 playing cards face down. Cards are reveled, values of the cards are compared. If a card looses, it is dismissed up to the end of the game. The winning card remains in play and takes part in the next round. The playing group is replenished with cards from the deck. To win you need to "defeat" all enemy cards. Simple.

Agreed, video is optional. Can be omitted anyway. It is just a teaser. Maybe not a successful one.

kos
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First impressions

Welcome to BGDF.

My first impressions are different from some of the responses above.

I think I understand the intent of the video, which is a "teaser" advertisement. It sets a tone and evokes some images, without providing any detail. I'm certainly no expert on marketing, but I get what this is trying to do.

The black-and-white style of the artwork is both good and bad at the same time. Good, because it portrays the feeling of the world and fits well with the "ashes" theme. Bad, because without color it can start to look all the same. I have no great skill in illustration myself, so I can't offer any suggestions.

The theme is, at least, original. I appreciate that. These days I pass straight over anything with "zombies" in the title, so I'd be more likely to look at something that is orginal and lovingly crafted.

I prefer games with strong theme / back-stories, so I am interested in games that cross the boundaries between art/story/game. That said, crossing boundaries is a big risk which is generally misunderstood by the audience, as shown by some of the responses in this thread. I've tried a few times to make games that sit on the story/game boundary, and so far none of them have succeeded. That doesn't mean it can't work, just that it is more difficult to capture the audience than with a pure story or a pure game because people naturally judge it on what it is not rather than what it is.

All that said, good gameplay is paramount. No matter how good the art, or how interesting the story, if the game is not fun then I wouldn't play it. There is not enough information in your post to make a judgement about the gameplay. The forum here is populated by game designers with a lot of combined experience, so if you want to post your rules they could offer a critique from a gameplay perspective.

With regards to publishing, there is a lot of advice here and on other websites about the publishing options. I'd encourage you to read up on the options and decide which path you want to pursue for your creation. The first step though, before you even think about any of the publishing options, is playtesting. Games typically go through hundreds of playtests and dozens of revisions before they get anywhere near a publisher.

All the best,
kos

Jay103
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Fayzwel wrote:I see what you

Fayzwel wrote:
I see what you mean.
Addressing a publisher I provide the description as follows:

Sootcraft© is an A4 format card wargame in a dark fantasy setting with a developed storyline and universe. Printable card deck, tutorial included. (1-8 players, 10-30 mins, targeted age 10 - 25)

Shortly. For a publisher.
Game mechanics is described step by step on the pages of pdf file.

Briefly, you take 8 random cards from one of the two 32-cards decks (one for defenders, anpther for invaders). Form a group of 4 playing cards face down. Cards are reveled, values of the cards are compared. If a card looses, it is dismissed up to the end of the game. The winning card remains in play and takes part in the next round. The playing group is replenished with cards from the deck. To win you need to "defeat" all enemy cards. Simple.

Agreed, video is optional. Can be omitted anyway. It is just a teaser. Maybe not a successful one.


My notes:

I don't know what the relevance of "A4" is. It's... printed on regular paper? Also, the card images you provided are not the size of any normal card, which I'd think would be an issue.

A publisher doesn't care that the deck is printable, if by that you mean print-and-play, meaning that people can make the game at home (?)

10-30 minutes is a slightly odd time range. Sometimes games end in 10 minutes? I hope this has extreme replayability (I'm thinking of something like One Night Ultimate Werewolf, which has 10 minute games but you want to keep going and could easily do 15 games in a row)

What happens at age 26? Why would I lose interest? I'd suggest "ages 10+", and I hope you have some justification why age 10 is appropriate.. otherwise make it 14+ so European sales will be easier.

Quote:
Game mechanics is described step by step on the pages of pdf file.

Probably doesn't need to be said, lol.

Not sure how you play this single player, but sure, why not.

Not sure how you play with 8 players (or even 6 or 7), since you have 8 cards per player and 64 cards total, plus you need a draw pile.

Not sure how you play with 3 players, since the sides will be unbalanced. Really sounds like a 2-player game from this short description.

Jay103
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My suggested first

My suggested first sentence:

Sootcraft is a card battle between invading forces and defenders.

Oh, that reminds me.. In your intro you say "Sootcraft©". The symbol you actually want is a "TM", not a "(C)". Trademark, not copyright.

Fayzwel
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kos, Thanks

kos,

Thanks for you comprehensive comment. People’s opinion may vary. Someone definitely would consider my game a trash. Someone like you would see the message though. But doubtlessly I yield to the experience of those who published not a single game. And pieces of advice can be useful anyway. By the way, is it possible to have a look for your non-standard projects which you consider misunderstood? A concept or something? I believe it would be interesting.

Fayzwel
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Jay103 wrote:My notes:I

Jay103 wrote:

My notes:

I don't know what the relevance of "A4" is. It's... printed on regular paper? Also, the card images you provided are not the size of any normal card, which I'd think would be an issue.

A publisher doesn't care that the deck is printable, if by that you mean print-and-play, meaning that people can make the game at home (?)

- Mmm... Yes. A printed version of the project is journal-like. You read the story, you read the rules, then you cut out cards and play. Perhaps pages with cards should be carton insertions. I know this sounds pretty odd, I do not understand the basics (It is windy in my head recently, etc) but nevertheless that was the original plot.

Quote:
10-30 minutes is a slightly odd time range.
- 10 mins per battle till one of the army decks fully goes to a waste deck. 30 minutes - max time.

Quote:
otherwise make it 14+ so European sales will be easier.
= noted

Quote:
Not sure how you play this single player, but sure, why not.
= Probably that would be clumsy to perform. But still possible. I tested. If you play your imagined adversary's cards at random, you have a chance to play the game alone. Not a successful option, but it exists.

Quote:
Not sure how you play with 3 players, since the sides will be unbalanced. Really sounds like a 2-player game from this short description.
Odd quantity of players must have even quantity of cards in total. One player operates two 4-card groups while his adversaries operate one 4-card group each.

Stormyknight1976
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SootCraft Video

This is awesome.

I love this charm, suspense, mystery, artistry.

I love out side the box creativity.

If the game plays. If the game mechanic works for you and the game. Then you have done something that no one else has tried before or at least attempted in one various format or another to tell a story.

There are plenty of games I have seen that is similar to SootCraft but in digital format on game console and Pc.

Example:
Journey for PS4
Limbo for PS3
The Bridge (PS4)
The Unfinished Swan (PS4/PsVita)
There is a Japanese Cardgame where players try to put poems together.
I know of another game designer on Facebook that is putting a game together about butterflies and artwork. I don’t know the mechanic but it’s definitely different.

I played a PC game back in 1998 (AOL) where you need to put three pictures together that corresponds to move through out the game world.

These are just some life experience examples that come to mind.

Poems are great imaginative stories. Songs we hear on the radio are mostly all poems. The mechanic of songs are tones and music chords to sing a melody. Practice is play testing.

Fayzwel, keep going and charge ahead with your game, storytelling and creativity of creating awesome abstract game designs.

Think outside the box of game designs. The most complex looking game can be the most simplistic game.

Team Dymino Monsters is rooting for you and everyone who seeks and designs away from everyone else (big box companies).

I am not putting any of the big box companies down.

This is my opinion.

Creator of Dymino Monsters

Fayzwel
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Stormyknight1976, thanks

Stormyknight1976, thanks for your support. I have no other option but to cheer up and go on. Wish you luck with your own project as well.

Stormyknight1976
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To Fayzwel

Thank you and your welcome.

Bows respectively.

Stormyknight1976

Tim Edwards
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X3M wrote:So what if it is

X3M wrote:

So what if it is translated from Russian or whatever language it is from. The broken words add mystery to the story.

That could be. But I would urge caution. My first impression was not that it was mysterious. The phrase "only few holes...can barely be mended" seemed important to the story but I could not be sure exactly what it meant - and decided that if a short paragraph of exposition was hard to decipher, anything more lengthy seemed pretty uninviting.

I strongly suggest that potential publishers would view it in the same way!

Fayzwel
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To Tim Edwards

Tim Edwards,

What rephrasing would you suggest for that one?
Or your message was the language in general has unforgivable slips to be corrected only with a help of a native speaker?

Jay103
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Fayzwel wrote:Tim

Fayzwel wrote:
Tim Edwards,

What rephrasing would you suggest for that one?
Or your message was the language in general has unforgivable slips to be corrected only with a help of a native speaker?


Lol, I had the same issue with that, and I can't suggest a rephrasing since I'm not sure what the intent was. But I can take a guess.

"Barely a few holes could be mended" would mean that there were many holes, and people tried to mend as many as they could, but only managed to do a few. "Only" instead of "barely" would be a little clearer, but has slightly less connotation of failure.

edit: Oh, and "could" implies that this already happened. "Can" instead would mean that it's been evaluated, but the mending hasn't happened yet.

Tim Edwards
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Fayzwel wrote:Tim

Fayzwel wrote:
Tim Edwards,

What rephrasing would you suggest for that one?
Or your message was the language in general has unforgivable slips to be corrected only with a help of a native speaker?

Like Jay, I'm not 100% sure what the intended meaning is. My guess is that you want to say something like: "Only a few holes can be mended" combined with "Those holes that could be mended were only just mended" or even "They were mended but not very well." It's really not clear....Do you need to suggest the second detail? Is it sufficiently implied by the fact that only a few holes could be mended anyway?

In general, my advice would be this. You might be trying to compress too much information into a small text allowance and thereby overloading sentences. Consider something like "Only a few holes can be mended." :)

Cheers!

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