The Game Crafter News

Sep 20

Maintenance Complete

Thank you for your patience. The site is back online.

Scheduled Maintenance Continued

The maintenance is going well, but it’s taking quite a bit longer than we anticipated. Since it’s a Friday night and hopefully you’re out doing more important things, we’re going to keep going rather than rolling back the changes. Another hour should give us the time we need, so the maintenance window is extended to 2am US Central time. Sleep well. 

Sep 19

Scheduled Maintenance

We’re going to be doing some routine maintenance on the site tonight, which will require us to take the site offline. The site will be offline for approximately 1 hour starting at midnight US Central time. The chat, and news will remain online during this time. Shopping, game creation, and forums will be offline. Thank you for your patience. 

We wrote a new chat system that should be a lot faster and cleaner than the old one we were using. Some of the new features are:
Supports a lot more simultaneous users.
Less lag.
Multi-user private chat rooms.
Full screen any chat room.
Compatible with all smart phones and tablets.
The /help command system.
And there’s quite a bit more that we’re not ready to talk about just yet.
Enjoy! 

We wrote a new chat system that should be a lot faster and cleaner than the old one we were using. Some of the new features are:

Enjoy! 

Sep 18

Fall 2014 Product Survey

There are a number of products in our ideas list that we can probably produce, but we just need more feedback from you before we proceed. With that in mind, please respond to this survey.

Create your free online surveys with SurveyMonkey , the world’s leading questionnaire tool.

Dear Unruly Mob,
We shall not give in to your threats! We’ve added a security detail to JT (Cog always has JT’s back, and we’ve flown Colin in from Portland). We will release the details of the 5th Street Challenge on our own terms, not terms dictated to us under duress. The Captain Is Dead, but we stand strong! 
Sincerely,
The Game Crafter

Dear Unruly Mob,

We shall not give in to your threats! We’ve added a security detail to JT (Cog always has JT’s back, and we’ve flown Colin in from Portland). We will release the details of the 5th Street Challenge on our own terms, not terms dictated to us under duress. The Captain Is Dead, but we stand strong! 

Sincerely,

The Game Crafter

Sep 17

Kickstarter Pre-Promotion

Pre-promotion is telling people about the campaign long in advance of it’s launch.

Why?

Letting people know in advance of the launch of your campaign has two primary objectives:

First, it allows you to get feedback on your campaign’s page. This helps you refine the page, the pledge levels, and your video before a ton of people have seen it. Making a great first impression is critical. 

Second, it get’s people excited for your campaign. It allows them to sign up to be notified when your campaign launches. And it starts putting the name of your campaign in your audience’s head. People are more likely to have fondness for something familiar, so if they’ve heard about your campaign before they visit the page, they are more likely to pledge.

Methods

Get yourself a Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ account for your board game design activities. Start posting to them all regularly (several times per week). Build up an audience on each one of them. They don’t have to be long posts. The occasional photo from the design process, or at a convention or game store. Show activity. Talk about why you built the game. Share videos as you create them. Make sure you get followers. These networks of people are critical to getting your initial funding going. Make sure your Tumblr page links to your Twitter, Facebook, and Google+ pages (and vice-versa).

Build out a page on Board Game Geek for your game (http://boardgamegeek.com/item/create/boardgame). Upload photos, videos, etc. Millions of people use Board Game Geek and you don’t want them to find nothing if they search for your game. Also, it takes as much as a week for your game to be approved, and then another week to get your photos and videos approved. So get started early. Link to your Tumblr page

Post your game to Kickstarter related pages on Board Game Geek. Here are a couple of such pages:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/forum/915012/kickstarter/general

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/15902504

Go to game shops that have open board game night and play your game. This not only lets you get real world feedback so you can refine your game and it’s presentation, but it helps you to start building audience. After people play your game, offer them a business card with the URL to your Tumblr and social media accounts. This is a great way to build followers. Also, if they don’t want your card, you can bet they didn’t like your game, so that’s important feedback as well.

Go to Protospiel and Unpub events. They happen all over the country. Get to at least one of them in the year prior to your launch. Just like going to game shops, you it’s a great way to get feedback and build audience. However, unlike going to game shops you’ll be playing your game with seasoned game designers. This means you’ll be more likely to get brutally honest feedback. 

Take your game to a local game convention. Get your game added to the list of games people can sign up to be played. And if you tell me there isn’t a game convention in your area, then you haven’t tried looking. Here’s a few sites to look for game conventions:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_gaming_conventions

http://www.upcomingcons.com/gaming-conventions

http://gameconventioncentral.com

http://www.sjgames.com/con/

http://www.gamesradar.com/gaming-conventions/

http://lmgtfy.com/?q=Game+conventions+in+my+area

Build yourself a name in The Game Crafter community. There are more than 50,000 game designers and players in The Game Crafter community. Make friends with some on the forums and in the chat. They’ll likely become your first backers.

Build a name for yourself in various other online game design communities. Two important ones are these:

http://www.bgdf.com

http://www.reddit.com/r/tabletopgamedesign/

The bottom line is you can’t be a wallflower if you want to run a successful crowd funding campaign. You’ve got to get yourself and your game out there.

Stay tuned for more articles on how to run a kickstarter.

Airline the Card Game is now on Kickstarter!

Airline the Card Game is the new pocket sized Route matching game. Assume the role of a CEO trying to grow a fledgling Airline into a mammoth, business juggernaut.  Aggressively expand your Airline’s Routes to "Control the skies!"

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Back this project today at http://kck.st/1t0fYXq

Note: This article is being promoted on TGC News because the designer is participating in The Game Crafter’s Crowd Funding Promotion. If you would like to be promoted by The Game Crafter then read the details here.

Sep 16

Rune Crafter is now on Kickstarter!

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Rune Crafter is a fast paced combative dice game where players take the role of Rune Crafters, powerful mages who use Runestones to wield magic! Up to six players take turns and press their luck by rolling the dice to deal damage, heal their wounds, or to gain Rune Points. The last mage standing is the winner!

Players start their turn by rolling 5 green dice, keep the rolled results they like, and have one chance to re-roll. Once the re-roll phase is complete, they then resolve all the results.

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Players can use Rune Points to craft special Runestones, giving them more abilities during the game. Runestones can be crafted at the beginning of a player’s turn, but are only rolled once during the re-roll phase. Players will have to choose wisely, as Runestones can also cause a penalty.

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Rune Crafter also has a special deck of cards called the Event Deck. The Event Deck changes the rules of the game every round to keep players on their toes!

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If a player is knocked down to 0 HP, they are defeated, but the fun isn’t over for them just yet! Their angry spirits join the Aether Stream as players use Runstones to perform magic. Defeated players roll a destruction die during their turn. If the results matches a Runestone, their presence causes it to explode, dealing damage to the player who possesses it.

Be sure to check out our Kickstarter page to view more artwork, and to learn more about the unique features of Rune Crafter. We’ll see you on game night!

Note: This article is being promoted on TGC News because the designer is participating in The Game Crafter’s Crowd Funding Promotion. If you would like to be promoted by The Game Crafter then read the details here.

Only 15 tickets remaining for Protospiel Madison 2014

There are only 15 tickets left for Protospiel Madison 2014, which runs October 24-26th. Also the special rate we got for the hotel evaporates in just over a week. If you’ve been thinking you want to join designers from all over the country as we get together and play test each other’s games, then now is the time to register. Buy your ticket online.

Sep 15

Mark “Shmitz” Major to Judge the Time Challenge

Mark Major, known on the site as Shmitz, owner of Whirling Derby Games, and creator of amazing titles such as Zerpang!, Jupiter Rescue, and Sinister will be the official guest judge for the Time Challenge. The contest has just begun, so enter today.

Sep 14

Staff Pick: Table Golf

Sep 13

Primordial Chess is now on Kickstarter!

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In 1994 Steve Jackson Games published a new way to play chess, with cards. At the time, as is the current thought from what I’ve experienced today, chess is a game to be played for both recreational and professional players.

When I was a kid, I used to play chess with my brother. We used to sit down and try to come up with new ways to make chess more fun. As I have heard before, chess is a smart persons game. In the end, you want to be a better player than when you started. Casual play was almost seen strictly as a way to get better, and by playing against a wider variety of people, skill would almost certainly increase. I was 8 in 1994. I barely registered what I was doing on a conception level, but I was playing chess. My mother taught me. We used to sit down on a regular basis and play for hours on end. It was then I learned more about that game than anything else from anyone else at the time. She taught me how to be sly, look for opportunities, take risk, look for traps and bait, and how to win, and lose, gracefully. I had a problem though.

As much as I loved chess, and learning what my mom taught me about life in general while on the board, the fun factor didn’t feel the same as playing with my year younger brother. When we played, we would set up the pawns in an alternating pattern on black squares to try something different and see who would win. Sometimes we played with no pawns…or just pawns and a king. We did this because, for as awesome as Nintendo was when I was a child, my mother limited our playing time to just an hour a day. And when it was time to come inside from playing with the other kids, my brother and I would crouch around a chess board and come up with new ways to play chess.

I got older, and lost that practice. In high school, I was on a chess team (I was that dorky, no lie), and speech and debate team. I took opportunities in both clubs, looked for traps and bait, and took risks. I was sly, calculating, and alone. I played Magic: The Gathering back then too. I played more with a close group of friends and my brother than anyone else I knew. It was about then, that I learned of Knightmare Chess. But that year was 2000. The decks, these cards of wonder, were already getting hard to find. But acquiring them, I wasn’t interested in, playing however, was the spice of life.

I spent hours playing Knightmare chess with other kids in the chess club. Our instructor, didn’t condone the idea of using cards to enhance a game, especially chess, but he often reminded us that at tournaments, this game wouldn’t be there. Chess would. But the cards were just a pastime. I would see others play the game for a few years off and on later in life, but I really would never get the opportunity to get my own set, or play as much as I wanted to. Even today, finding a mint condition set of cards is almost impossible. So I decided to do something different. Insert Primordial Chess.

It’s a card game, that integrates with chess, in a manner like Knightmare chess, but aimed to be more. There are cards called Legends that put in powerful pieces that act differently on their own, and often bring elements to the game that change how a piece like that acts (each Legend has a rank, which makes it initially mimic a standard piece of chess, King, Queen, Rook, etc.).

There are also Incantations, one time effect cards that make a change to the game, and move one. There are also Relics and Enchantments, which provide a static effect, or give players an opportunity to do something every turn.

Every card of this game is aimed not just at pieces and how they behave, but board spaces, other player’s hands, their decks, and even discard piles. Some cards even target captured pieces and can bring them back.

I think a Kickstarter that brings back that element of fun for chess using cards is worth running a campaign for. The art is done in pure charcoal by a single artist, and it gives it a great feel to the card overall.

Anyway, here is a link for the Kickstarter, and a sample card from the game.
http://kck.st/1pTbZIX

Thanks for taking the time to look at this and I hope it helps bring back the memory of playing chess for fun like I did when I was a kid.

-John Killaly

Note: This article is being promoted on TGC News because the designer is participating in The Game Crafter’s Crowd Funding Promotion. If you would like to be promoted by The Game Crafter then read the details here.

Why Are You Rolling Dice?

Sep 12

Scheduled Maintenance

We’re doing some scheduled maintenance on the site tonight. This will take the site down for as much as 3 hours starting at 11pm Pacific Time. During this maintenance period, the site, forums, and chat will all be down. This blog, and our social media channels will be up. We’ll post a follow up here when we are done (or if we need to provide any updates along the way). Thank you for your patience.