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SpellMasters — What's New???

I've started re-working on this design, now that I have "unblocked" a few of the problems with the original design. I was stuck... but now have a NEW direction to explore with more ideas that could work with this design...

I've since corrected the image because it had some pixelation... This was done by improving the DPI resolution and then resizing the various letter tiles using PSP and not PhotoShop/Illustrator.

But overall I like the "direction" of this Box Cover. Makes me want to figure out how to best design this game... even though I have some more ideas to explore.

Comments

I like to have something to "inspire" me...

Generally speaking... Having an illustration, logo, box cover or just maybe a "teaser" helps me invest time and thought into a design. When it's all a jumble or "ideas" without a prototype, it's difficult to judge how good an idea really is...

Which is why I like to have something to "remind" me about what I'm planning to design and some of the cool things that can happen when you design a game that actually "works" (mechanics, theme, game ideas) together as a whole.

Sometime this happens to work and other times, you struggle to get the design to work in the right fashion... It's usually those tough battles where the design just isn't coming together or that I am blocked by a series of topics which aren't working "together", etc.

It's not the best looking "teaser" out-there... But it's still not bad IMHO. Cheers!

Just FYI... logos usually

Just FYI... logos usually work a lot better without a bunch of flames... for one thing, if you’re putting this logo on something, where do the flames end? Will it just be cut off in a square?

For another thing, you need to make sure that that background image is extremely high res (300 dpi x whatever the largest size is that you ever want to use, and CMYK). There’s a reason people do logos in illustrator and not ps...). I gather you know this already if you’re messing around with vectors, but I think the flames mean it bears repeating :)

(Though I have to say, my own game logo is a bitmap, but a high res one :))

(oh, also, are there rules for this up somewhere? Sounds cool)

I agree about the flames.

I agree about the flames. Also, the image and the text part of the logo don't match up with Arcane or spell masters to me. What is the full concept, if you don't mind me asking?

This is just a 500x500 (300dpi) "teaser"

Whomever decides to "publish" the game can use his as a "model" for their box cover if they like what they see. For my own personal usage, it's to serve as inspiration to continue forward with the design...

As far as SpellMasters the "game concept" is concerned, you play one of five (5) Wizards in a co-operative adventure/campaign (which can be random or serialized). The goal is to complete the campaign before any one Wizard is defeated.

You have to spell words to earn Mana and then use Mana combined with other arcane words to cast various schools of magic (there are five types of magic) in order to defeat your opponent on each level of the campaign.

There are no rules as of yet... The design is in a conceptual stage.

But I do have a bunch of ideas that I'd like to try to see if they can work together or not. But again I wanted something "cool" to help me visualize what it is that I want to accomplish with this particular design.

Cheers!

Note #1: The game uses "Game Tiles" which are similar to Scrabbles' Letter Tiles. The tiles are all different in terms of values and quantity and each player has his OWN set of "Game Tiles".

I wanted to design something "cool" that was more "innovative" than the "Lord of the Rings" Scrabble. Have you seen this??? It's ridiculously stupid. At least that is my opinion... And no this is not a Scrabble rip, there is no game board, the tiles have different values and vary in quantity, each player has his/her own tiles, etc. Many differences... The actual spelling part, aside from Combat, is more like "Crosswords" than Scrabble (to be honest).

So I plan to define something NEW in the saturated market of "boring word games" such that I create something innovative which is FUN to play and offers a different challenge than simple Crosswords or Scrabble.

That's why it's the "Arcane" (Mysterious) Word Game... LOL

Update: Right now I am considering that the Spells be in Latin... Just one of the ideas. The levels will be in English because I don't think I want to "translate" all of those. The Latin translation is probably a crazy idea though...

Note #2: Don't worry the image of the flames is VERY "High-resolution" (4000+px). It can be scaled, cropped, resized, etc. All to fit the actual box, which is right now a "Small Pro Box". And right now this is more of a "teaser".

And no, you don't need to know "Latin" to play. The cards come with the Spells and words in "whatever" language will be chosen. Right now I think it would be best to stick to "English" since it is the most common "Global" language.

But down the road, who knows... It could be translated into other languages — maybe. The "Latin" is cool because some words sound better than in English! LOL

Played with the image a bit more

I uploaded the "Stout Box Cover" from The Game Crafter... I will be working on some of the components to the game such as "stickers" for the custom dice. And the next step will be to review all of the OLD ideas that were used for this design ... and update the document to reflect the NEW ones.

I also made the image a bit "grey-er" since The Game Crafter has a color filter that gets applied to images uploaded and it's like about +15 to the saturation.

So I applied a -30 to the saturation and with The Game Crafter the net result is about -15 to the saturation. Which is okay because I don't want the flames to be too overbearing. I prefer a more neutral version than one that is too flamboyant! LOL (Talking about Flames and what appears to be a flood of them)

I went to the "Stout Box" because it's 2 inches in depth. This means it can accommodate the 50 cards for the "Game Tiles" and then add the 60 cards for the custom "Spell Decks" and then left over is the "Lore Cards" and modifiers which account for 30 more cards. So about 140 cards... The box has an allowance of 266 Poker cards. So 140 should be okay and still have room for the rulebook and the custom d6s (7 of them).

So it should be okay... But it might require a larger box to mail the prototypes to the various publishers (but only once I am done with the design).

https://i.imgur.com/NUOOMYe.j

https://i.imgur.com/NUOOMYe.jpg

Here's my rendition of your cover. No charge.

Let it not be said that I disappear for months then come and add my 2 cents.

cool concept. i just wanted

cool concept. i just wanted to advise against latin (unless you speak it anyway). i guess your a native english speaker and latin is not like english. it is really hard to translate word for word and if you get it wrong you get that horrible half latin you find in harry potter (expelliamus?). i would go with the same language throuout (that way its "educational" like scrabble)
but saying that most people wont care if your latin is wrong. unless they are a pedant like me.

Evil ColSanders

Evil ColSanders wrote:
https://i.imgur.com/NUOOMYe.jpg

Here's my rendition of your cover. No charge.

Let it not be said that I disappear for months then come and add my 2 cents.


Nicely done! (even though you disappeared for months)

wob wrote:cool concept. i

wob wrote:
cool concept. i just wanted to advise against latin (unless you speak it anyway). i guess your a native english speaker and latin is not like english. it is really hard to translate word for word and if you get it wrong you get that horrible half latin you find in harry potter (expelliamus?). i would go with the same language throuout (that way its "educational" like scrabble)
but saying that most people wont care if your latin is wrong. unless they are a pedant like me.

Well, Rowling DID put some thought into those spells, silly though the concept is (you just shout in Latin and wave for some things, but Harry can do much cooler stuff by accident before he's even started school..)

Expelliarmus is two latin words smooshed together: "expell arms"

Yeah it was just an "idea" (use of Latin)

But the problem is that I might look "strange" some parts in English, other parts in Latin, etc. Just figured some words are shorter in Latin or easier to use more "abstract concepts"...

For example: If one of the "Sorcery" spells is Word of Power: "Kill", it's probably more acceptable to use "Neco" (in Latin) instead. It seems LESS violent by use of translated words even though they have the same meaning. Or "Nex" (which is translated as "Blood of the Slain")... See how cool the Latin language can be! Or "Nox" (which is translated as "Darkness") ... make for interesting WORDS to spell which all have "N" but are rather SHORT in terms of words.

But I agree having half-and-half is not a possibility. Would just be very STRANGE.

So I think I'm going to follow your advice and stick to English as opposed to using Latin. But some of the words seem cool... As I mentioned above.

Note: I think I should really think about it more. Those examples of "Words" are real cool (In my mind)... I mean "Nex" = "Blood of the Slain"... Come on that sounds fantastic like a Word of Power (Sorcery). Plus it's worth 12 points in terms of damage.

You've got to realize that "smaller" words to spell means higher frequency of "casting". And if there are optional letters like the "e", a player could simply play "Nx" and do 10 points of damage!

And if a Monster is "armored" (which means ignore the first letter), that same spell would be "ex" (10 points) or just "x" (8 points) if the "e" is optional.

After some thinking... I have MADE my decision

So hear me out... What I am thinking is to use a "Latin-based" language which is MY OWN. But the "Lore" cards will be English... But the "Spell" cards will be in BOTH English (A> To understand what the card means...) and a bastardized Latin (B> To inject shorter and varied grammar words).

Why am I doing this???

Because I feel like my own "language" matches well with the "Arcane" portion of the game... It's "Mysterious" and should be cool too!

I'm not going to refer to it as "Latin". But instead say it is "Latin-inspired" but that it is not always a direct match to the real language. Sort of what they did with the "Serpent's Tongue" card game... It features words that may be part Hebrew and part "imaginary". In my case, it'll be similar to Latin but not 100% exact.

So I think this will be the best since the "Spell" cards will TELL you what spell it is in "English" and then have the "Spell Language" in the action area of the card which corresponds to the "letters" (or Game Tiles) used to form/cast Spells.

Example #1: The Spell "Hold Monster" is a Conjuring spell that allows you to hold a Monster in submission (trying to control it's willpower). What this does is effectively "stops" one attack that round (that the Monster would have done).

The Spell Name is "Dominus Spiritus" (Master of the Spirit). I'm thinking this is a "lesser" spell but can have a BIG impact. So the following Letters are part of the incantation: "DoMuSPi". "DMSP" are the required letters and each VOWEL "o-u-i" are the number of times the spell can affect the Monster. Three (3) vowels means you can counter/stop up to THREE (3) Attacks by the Monster.

Example #2: The Spell "Counter-Strike" is a Thaumaturge spell that allows you to transform a Monster attack into a player attack. What this does is turn the tables on the Monster.

The Spell Name is "Gladius Contra" (Counter the Sword). This can also be a "lesser" spell but can be used to great success too. So the following Letters are part of the incantation: "GLaDiuCo". "GLDC" are the required letters and each VOWEL "a-i-o-u" is a battle modifier which does Additional Damage for EACH vowel used. So if you use three (3) vowels, that means you do 1+2+3 = +6 Additional Damage when you attack the Monster.

This means that the second spell can do +10 Additional Damage IF you have all four (4) vowels used in the spell...

Example #3: The Spell "Kiss of Death" is a Sorcery spell that allows you to steal Health Points (HP) from the opposing Monster and converting them to Mana. What this does is help restore Mana to yourself by absorbing energy from the Monster.

The Spell Name is "Savium Decessus" (Kiss of the Deceased). This can also be a "lesser" spell but can be used to regenerate during combat. So the following Letters are part of the incantation: "SaViDeC". "SVDC" are the required letters and each VOWEL "a-i-e-u" is the amount of Health the player may drain. You start with a gain of +2 Mana and for each vowel you get +2 Mana (and reduce the opponent Monster by -2 HPs). So this means between +2 to +10 Mana (and reduced the negative amount from the Monster's Health).

Example #4: The Spell "Inferno" is a Elemental spell that allows you to deal Fire Damage to the opposing Monster. It works well again Earth-based Monsters who are susceptible to Fire attacks.

The Spell Name is "Magna Flamma" (Great Flame). This can also be a "lesser" spell but can be use to inflict direct damage during combat. So the following Letters are part of the incantation: "MaGaFa". "MGF" are the required letters and each "a" (Vowel) is the level of the spell. The higher the level, the more the damage inflicted. Each "a" does +2 Damage in addition to a 6 Fire Damage done by the spell itself (Half if attacking a Water-based Monster).

Example #5: The Spell "Burning Touch" is an Enchantment spell that allows you to enchant your weapon to do Fire Damage to the opposing Monster. It works well again Earth-based Monsters who are susceptible to Fire attacks (as Spell #4).

The Spell Name is "Vas Incendium" (Burning Instrument). This can also be a "lesser" spell but can be use to boost direct damage during combat. So the following Letters are part of the incantation: "VaSie". "VS" are the required letters and each VOWEL is the duration of the spell. The higher the level, the more rounds that the damage may be inflicted. The spell adds +6 Fire Damage to all forms of basic attack.

Things like this are making more and more sense... As I strive to make words that work for the GAME not for proper grammar! Since it's CO-OP, I believe I will need to "fine tune" HOW players combine letters and work together to defeat the enemy Monster.

Note: In Example #5 ("Vas Incendium") the duration of the Spell varies according the number of vowels. Keeping the actual "Game Tiles" in front of you shows how many turns are remaining (you can discard a vowel after each round that the spell is active in).

So this means that there is no need for "tracking", it can be handled DIRECTLY by using the "Game Tiles"! Cool beans...

Why I think this is the better road...

Clearly you don't want players to have to "Memorize" another "Language". No one is going to be interested in learning "Latin" just to play a game. But if the language is directly referenced on the cards and just some letters are actually used to play the game...

Well then I see two avenues:

1. Hard-core fans are going to want to know letter counts for spells and to know which is the better move (in terms of a spell for any given round).

2. Casual gamers are just going to use the cards directly and play spells as they see fit given the availability of whatever letters and spells the players may have in their possession (hand cards or Game Tiles).

Of course this makes the "Learning" aspect found in other "spelling" games less attractive. Wow, so you know words from an imaginary language used in a game and how to apply them while plying the game... It's not very educational — even if it may be VERY entertaining.

The GOAL is to design a "FUN" game to play where you work with your fellow Wizards (CO-OP) and team-up against level Monsters (Combat) using fierce Spells and Incantations to defeat your opposition.

Tell me... How can that not be FUN???

Some more thinking

Although the initial idea was to have "Tiles" and crawl Dungeon Levels to gather Mana before battling an opponent... This whole process of requiring an "extra" step which seems very "extraneous" at this time.

I'm still in a thoughts phase... But what I am thinking is to REMOVE the whole "dungeon crawling" aspect of the game. Because I think it just DELAYS the "REAL" experience of the game... And that's to use Spells and Incantation to BATTLE the opponent's of each battle.

I may need to think up a NEW and better "win" condition too...

The whole "Crosswords" and "Scrabble"-like Mana collecting is maybe unnecessary ... I still have to think some more.

I will get back to you all, once I have clearer focus. Cheers!

Focusing on the Mastery of spelling

It's odd that I find myself rethinking the whole battle element of the game. I think it's because I've found a compromise with what I want to do. I'll post more tomorrow. Cheers!

Ok so here are some of my "thoughts" on the game

"Crossword" Puzzles are boring if you know the answers. Sure there are video games out there in which you need to place the correct words in the right position... But that is relatively BORING!

"Scrabble" is a game of it's own and allows you to play the game open-ended without any restriction. Whatever words you think up and play affect the score you are going to have and who will win the game. It is more of a "challenge".

Now comes MY game "SpellMasters". With a game name like this, it sets the ground works for an EPIC "Word Game"... Yes I call it the "Arcane Word Game" but... it's got to be more of a challenge in SPELLING words...

So here is MY thinking:

1. Remove the whole Battling/Custom Deck/Magic element from the game. Because this is a DISTRACTION. Yes it sounds so very "cool"... But it takes away from the "core" game... Which is???

2. The NEW version now! Two words will be on the "Lore" cards: A> A starting word and B> An ending word. Somewhere in the middle of the board is a KEY. Your GOAL is to CONNECT the "Start" and the "Finish" PLUS get the KEY...!

Now I KNOW this sound EASY! But it's NOT! That's why the game is called SpellMasters... Not Spell Casters or Spell Juniors... This is a game all about finding the RIGHT words and playing them to create the MAP from start of the level to the lair. Again you need the KEY also to unlock the door to the END of the level...

So VIRTUALLY it's a MIX between "Crosswords" AND "Scrabble". Of course I cannot pitch it like that... But that's what it is...

What does this mean?

Of course it means LESS cards. And it could mean more LEVEL cards (I am currently thinking 50 levels). It's a lot of levels to design but they require NO ARTWORK. Basically the game requires NO ARTWORK. Only Graphic Design to make the "Lore" cards look pretty and that's about it.

I am thinking this will be a CHALLENGING game for Adults to play. Because of the NATURE of the game. You see: "Scrabble" is too EASY, you can spell whatever you like and win. "Crosswords" are too EASY, if you know the answers to them. BUT "SpellMasters" being combination of BOTH is JUST enough DIFFICULTY. Maybe you connect the MAP ... but forget the KEY! You LOSE! Maybe you get the KEY but can't connect the lair... You LOSE!

Some cards will force you to do "Side-Quests" and those will be marked with a POTION. Not only do you need the KEY, you've got to accomplish all those annoying side-quests to BEAT the level.

If there are 50 levels... That's a HUGE amount of "replayability". But will it be "FUN". Knowing what I know ALREADY from previous playtests... It should prove to be at the very least "INTERESTING"!

The thing that I am unsure about is "GAME LENGTH". So it can accommodate from 2 to 5 players... The more players the "easier" the game is ... but still has the fundamental challenge. You play "CO-OPERATLY" and "COMPETITIVELY" too... So it's a mix of BOTH! So CO-OPETIVELY... (LOL)

Transitioning between "Dungeon Crawl" and "Boss Fights"

So while I think the "Game Tiles" and pouches are great for the first phase of the game where players are trying to spell words and earn as much MANA as they possibly can; they are a bit of an obstacle in the second phase "Boss Fights".

This is because that the tiles are USEFUL for the 2nd phase in performing SPELLS and word attacks. But just having the TILES "physically" there on the table is... well cumbersome (at best).

So I was going to create a Tile Board a bit like a "Ouija board" (Well it seems like something "mysterious" like that). Basically to help SCORE and speed up the end of the 1st Phase, I figure this kind of "board" can customize and simplify the calculation of the total MANA... And then be used in the 2nd Phase (Boss Fights).

Still needs some more "thought". But it seems like a good idea!

Here is a SAMPLE "Letter Board"

Of course this is only a sample... I have added the bonus points which vary per character class chosen. This gives a clear idea what I was planning to do with my "Letter Board". This particular class of Wizards is the "Enchanter".

I am using the space below for computations/calculations. Or generally when you are trying to put together a spell you can do some "Letter Math" with the values and the "Letters" themselves (like "A" + "B" + "C" = 13)...

Is that like.. a notepad of

Is that like.. a notepad of sheets you'd use one by one? Or a whiteboard..?

They are going to be Jumbo Cards

I am making Jumbo sized cards with a special "varnish" on the top to allow people to use those cards as a "Whiteboard". Since the act of using Game Tiles in the 2nd Phase is rather simple:

1. "A" + "B" + "C" = Some spell for example

2. "3" + "5" + "5" = 13 points for another spell

I have an "Action" which is when a "1" is rolled, you can choose to ADD to your collection of letters ANY letter of your CHOICE.

And that's where the "Letter Board" becomes very useful. All you do is ADD a letter to your collection ("1" if there was none previously or "2" if there was already such a letter, etc.)

It's just because choosing a Game Tile from the Pouch isn't what the 2nd Phase is about... It's a fast and furious battle to defeat the Monster in question. You don't want to flimsily search a Pouch for a specific letter. No instead you just ADD it to your "Letter Board" and it's done.

Sample HP Cardback

        

This is the Grimoire's backside of a Spell card. As I mentioned most of the time a simple rule will be followed:

A> The stronger, more powerful spells with have generally less HEALTH POINTS than their weaker counterparts. Although this is a rule, there are exceptions...

I had a lot of Game Assets

Just as a quick notice, I had worked extensively on this design PREVIOUSLY.

But I got stuck with "Combat Resolution" and at that time I was using a FATE system to "somehow" manage the battles. It was an idea that I was not 100% certain where I was going with the design.

So a lot of the textures, fonts and stuff like that were either already a part of the design OR part of another design I also worked on (Wizardry TCG — again a game about Magic, Spells and Wizards).

It's not like I am searching the Internet for Game Assets, I already had acquire several of them during the working on the other two (2) games!

Some other ideas that I have

To go along with this "Combat System", I have the idea that ONCE you cast a Spell, that spell dictates your likeliness of being able to be hit (TO-HIT).

Combat will follow simple rules of rolling 1d20. If it is a successful roll, the player takes damage (as defined by the Monster they are battling). If it is unsuccessful, no damage is taken and the game continues forwards.

BUT casting spells will have a "side-effect" of making the Wizard "weak" or "open" to being attacked with a lower TO-HIT value.

The idea is something like this: because you have used up a certain amount of mana (Game Tiles) and it may be a very powerful spell, it may leave you drained or weakened by using your mana to cast the spell. As such your TO-HIT value will be affected making it easier to attack you.

Something along those lines...

If you use the law of averages

That means with five (5) cards having values from 1 to 5, the average Health of a Wizard is 15 HPs. I know this is TRUE... But I can't understand why "5 x 5 = 25" and yet my middle is 15 HPs?!?!

How does that make any sense? IDK. My common sense is telling me it should be 12.5 (50% x 25). But it's not, it's actually 15 HPs.

Go figure! (LOL)

Note: A more balanced approach to building your HP + Grimoire is: 1 + 2 + 3 + 4 + 5 = 15 HP and you have a BALANCE of Cards (Spells and items).

Fresh new ideas — Just off the boat!

At first, I was going to sit down and design 50 unique and different spells for my Wizards. Sounded like the MOST logical direction I could go in... Of course my spells would restricted to what could be done in the game and I got the "impression" that I would be trying to achieve something ala Magic: the Gathering (Magic).

While all of that sounded COOL ... I came to the conclusion that this is NOT the RIGHT direction. Why? Quite simple, the game is mostly a WORD game. And so out of blind "chance", I ordered a game set from The Game Crafter (TGC) and figured that I'd PRINT out the fifty (50) spell cards and just either use an insert or dry-erase markers to "finish" off the design.

And that's when the TRUE magic happened!

Instead of DESIGNING all the spells... I will leave the Spell Side of the cards BLANK! The reason is simple: I want the players to DESIGN their OWN spells!!! WOW! That's CRAZY but COOL!!! It's a collaborative game ... so if you design the spell "Marshmallow", nobody is going to bitch about it... It's your SPELL!

So the game comes with 50 BLANK cards (Face-side) with Health (on the back-side).

These are all very experimental ideas... But instead of using PRESETS, why not allow players to design and customize their OWN spells and ideas!

And yes I have the basic ideas of a SYSTEM that will work with rules to allow players to customize and follow crafting rules for their spells. To me it sounds so COOL because players are now like REAL Wizards. They have to now CRAFT their spells from their real life experiences (or fantasy fiction if they are into that too) and create something unique each time you PLAY the game...!

More on these ideas soon...

For the time being

I am waiting for the TGC prototype to arrive. It's going to have most of the content that I need... And I already have some components here at my home from a previous iteration of the game.

TGC says the item will ship on 10 October... Plus the time to travel from the US to Canada (Ontario) and then well into Quebec (and Montreal) is going to probably take another 2 weeks or so.

I've got something VERY "special" when it comes to the board. I am working with a Subject Matter Expert (SME) who is refining the process in respect to the board. That too will be something unique to the game.

More on the CRAFTING "System" soon. I will be focusing my efforts this month on generating the system. It will occupy most of my evenings, but I already have some ideas... It's just a matter of seeing how they go... This is really "unchartered" waters! I don't think I've seen a Spell Casting, Language Mastering game such as "SpellMasters".

Keep you all informed!

Well it looks like the prototype has ARRIVED.

I am going to open the box over the weekend... When I have time to "survey" the contents more easily.

So one of the design "aspects" of the game was supposed to be this compact dice drafting card with different purposes according to the dice rolls (all d6s).

That has changed now. Instead of being ACTIONS, it now refers to WIZARDS.

1: Elementalist
2: Enchanter
3: Conjuror
4: Sorcerer
5: Thaumaturge
6: Players choice

So rolling three (3) "1" means that the Elementalist can cast a spell using three (3) of their Fragments to compose an entirely Elemental spell.

Also depending on the number of players (3 to 5), if there are "3" players, players will roll five (5) white dice but only ONE (1) "Black" die which indicates which Wizard will be attacked by the monster.

If there are "4" or "5" players, players will roll five (5) white dice and TWO (2) "Black" dice as the monster will strike TWICE (2x).

Of course a WIZARD may opt "draft" one letter per die. If there are three (3) "1" then the Elementalist can "draft" three (3) letters during that round!

Similarly all WIZARDS in "battle" will earn +1 letter during the drafting step.

More news to come as we continue to un-box the early prototype.

Some changes for the better...

I'm making some changes in terms of the game's "structure". I am trying to improve the gameplay to make the game seem more *fluid*. So let me explain and if you have questions, feel free to ask away.

1. Dynamic Wizard Selection using the Party Chart

What this means is that instead of like in the previous comment #1 was an Elementalist, #2 was a Enchanter, etc. Players CHOOSE their Wizard Class according to their "Grimoire". The Grimoire can currently have one of five (5) classes as defined above.

But because of the game's format, I may only "release" one class at a time. I know this is a bit of an issue... Still needs more thought. For now what is important to remember, is that the Party Chart allows for dynamic configuration of each of the Wizard class.

2. No more "Lore" cards

I've decided to STREAMLINE the process of delving and spelling words to simplify how players switch rounds. Before you needed to be clever and choose words to match off the existing words to LINK a "Key" and BRIDGE a "Monster". That is no longer the case.

Instead all you have to do is SPELL the "Monster" and continue to add more words to earn more *Mana*. Once the party is ready to engage the Monster, the team must spell the word "KEY" and combat phase begins.

This was partly what Eric (@Larienna) suggested ... that he would be interested in a Dungeon Crawling experience with related words. And of course your Grimoire will have a section on Spell Casting as well as a pad to write down all the cool spells you cast with other players. So the more you PLAY, the more SPELLS you design and the more EXPERIENCE you have playing the game...!

The game is more of a *gradual* experience instead of a "let's play this game once ... and now we know all there is."

Monsters will be part of "Encounter Packs" made up of fifteen (15) Monsters ... and it makes each play-thru different.

So far that is the NEWS for today... Still continuing to work on the game to ensure it is FUN, challenging and most importantly highly "replayable".

Well I have received the board prototypes...

And I must say that I am very "dissatisfied" with the quality of the prototype material board. So much so, that it has me thinking that having a board might not be at all necessary. Especially if it will not be a "quality" component...

Since some changes in the design have occurred ... It may no longer be necessary to have a board since I have omitted "Lore" cards and replaced them with an "Encounter" Deck.

Early thoughts are to have a word "count" as being the maximum number of words permissible in the play area. This would force players to rely on their linguistic abilities and form words that would score the most possible points. In effect "Mastery" as suggested by the game's title.

So I'm going to ponder some more on this *new* aspect while I said "Goodbye" to the cost and complication of the material board.

Note: I guess this entry has "let the cat out of the bag" so to say... The board was supposed to be a high quality sublimated material board. This way it could be folded without any creasing and placed within one of the "Grimoires".

However from what I have as samples... I am very concerned with the quality since no one sample seems to have the result that would look sufficiently "nice" looking to go along with the remainder of the game.

Board Material

That's a shame to hear about the lack of quality on the board you were investigating.

Maybe you can include a neoprene mat as an extra for the game, or a stretch goal. Have you looked into this at all?

I didn't know anything could

I didn't know anything could really fold without creasing. I assume "sublimated material board" is some sort of code for "dry-erase whiteboard".

That said, if you can streamline the design AND eliminate the need for an expensive component, that's pretty sweet.

Some answers...

The sublimated material board was supposed to be made of a material used to make those kind cloths used for wiping eye glasses but larger. I've got a location who can supply a 12" x 12" cloth of the same type of material with a "pinking" finish. That like a zig-zag scissors cut which ensures that the material will not fray.

Anyway I got the board samples that were done using other materials and processes. The one done on a scarf is totally not "straight" the lines are not even parallel and the material is very subject to creasing. Not good.

And then I got some other samples using a cut material in which the board and its lines are okay (parallel and straight) but the printout is NOT centered on the material... Not at all what I was looking for in terms of a finished product.

"Sublimation" is a process that uses wet inks and heats them to a gas consistency while coming in contact with the material. It's used in making things like Sport Jerseys... Very vibrant colors and usually very precise graphics are the result of this process.

When I say "material" I mean some kind of CLOTH and/or fabric.

The ultimate goal was to have a board that you could fold and put into one of the "Grimoires" because the material doesn't crease and isn't too large and is resilient to being washed in cold water... I thought it was going to be perfect.

But I realized that having gone through all that *trouble*... And with the results, I feel as if I can do WITHOUT any board, especially since I have removed the "Lore" cards from the game.

No worries, I am moving forward with the design!

Oh, that would've been cool.

Oh, that would've been cool. I asked about the whiteboard thing because I think that's also the process they use to print on whiteboard material, but maybe not :)

Cool yes... but

It didn't turn out too *fantastic* with the samples. I'm actually very disappointed. And the swatch that I was provided gave me a link to another website ... and I searched and found that SAMPLES are "available" but cost $60 USD each since the site produces corporate marketing material for companies in bulk quantities. They don't do one-off production.

The pricing is reasonable (<$3 USD) but for a minimum of 100 cloths. So we are talking about a minimum of $300 USD + extra charges. They have all kinds of fees.

The bottom line is this: if I was assured that the board was 100% necessary, I would explore further. But since some of the changes I have ALREADY implemented make the board pretty much *obsolete*, it's probably not worth $60+ USD to invest in more samples especially when I no longer need it...

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