Here I will try and keep up to date the my progress on the design of this board game.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Move to the back burner

Clearly I have not blogged in a long time. I also have not worked on this game in a long time either for the same reasons. Life has been busy.

But lately I have started working on board games a bit and not this one. I have decided to try and "Finish" Noblemen and then send it to Hippodice this fall.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Play Test with real people!

A couple nights ago I got the chance to play test V 0.04 with my BGDW friends.

I thought it went pretty well for that group. I mean they / we are a bunch of highly critical, well meaning, strong opinionated group. Once we got past a couple of the colors are hard to discern most of the game played reasonably well.

From the testing I have decided to change the theme from stocks to sales contracts which is a good idea. It fits pretty good because you are always looking to buy contracts when you find them cheap and then you can sell them its finding a buyer that is willing to pay you more. You are still a broker of sorts.

I am going to end the game after two halves instead of 4 quarters. I will adjust how many cubes seed the bag before each half. 12 was too much for a quarter so maybe I make it 16 for the half.

Another idea is to loose the quarter cubes and just make each round a quarter and end the game after 4 rounds / quarters.

Also I am going to tighten up how many stocks and gizmos are in the game to start. Maybe they should flex on a per player basis.

The only thing I am not sure about is Tim's problem of where should the turn order markers go at the beginning of a Market phase. I still feel this was something that you guys may have been too critical about.

It a was very valuable session. I will make adjustments and start playing it more soon.

The rules are getting too long to put here easily so I need a better solution for this.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Made some progress

I have been working hard on this game. It has been coming along pretty good. Each time I play it I change small parts of the rules almost with every turn I take. Mostly just tightening up the quantities of stuff.

While I am excited about the game on some levels I am not sure the world will like it. I mean its not about Space Pirates or anything cool.

The following are the rules after the first play test.

The biggest difference was players were aloud to move between the three action areas at will fundamentally changing a couple parts. For example there is no longer a simultaneous build and reveal phase. This might mean I do not need screens.

I have not had time to blog and just kept working on the game. The current set of rules are V0.04 which I will post later.

I only post this here for me to refer to if needed later.
By Dwight Sullivan

· Production board – Here the players produce and collect raw materials.
· 6 Truck chits – These indicate which factories are currently producing something.
· 30 orange timer counters (small wooden cubes) – These are placed on the truck chits to show how much time is left before the factory will deliver their Raw Materials to the dock.
· 200 Raw Materials counters; 50 brown, 50 black, 50 white, and 50 tan (small wooden cubes) – These are used to produce Gizmos.
· 180 Gizmos; 30 blue, 30 green, 30 purple, 30 yellow, 30 red, and 30 orange (larger wooden cubes) – Building these increases the supply of them and eventually increases the potential for the demand.
· Values board – Here we keep track of the value of all the stocks and their potential values.
· 12 sliders; 6 black and 6 white – Sliders go on the value board to indicate what the current values are.
· Money; several denominations – Use money to buy stocks.
· 150 stocks; 25 blue, 25 green, 25 purple, 25 yellow, 25 red, and 25 orange – Buy stocks to be the highest board member.
· 5 screens; 1 of each blue, green, purple, yellow, and red – hide your holdings.
· 6 Board member markers; 1 of each blue, green, purple, yellow, red, and orange – These show who is the current board member for each company.
· 4 Quarter cube indicators – These go in to the bag at the start of each Quarter. When they come back out the quarter ends.
· Current turn indicator – This points at the turn marker of the current player. When that player is done with their turn this moves to point at the next player.

Place boards in the middle.

One player should take all the money and be the banker. Another person should take all the stocks and distribute them as needed.

Give all players:
- 1 Screen
- 1 stock of the screen color (Should this be 3?)
- Board Member marker of screen color
- $50
- 1 Raw Material of each type
- 1 turn order marker

Put 1 Raw Material per player of white, black, and tan in the bag. No brown. Each player draws out 3 randomly to start with. The bag should now be empty.

Place all white sliders on the STOCK PRICES tracks on the Value board. Place the black on the POTENTIAL tracks. All sliders should mark values $8 to $17.

Place all player order markers randomly in the 1st turn area

Add to the bag 3 of each color gizmo (larger cube). If there are not enough then add all that are remaining. It is ok if the bag was not empty before adding them.

Add to the bag the next quarter cube indicator.

They game is played in quarters. After the fourth quarter, the player with the most money wins.

There are 3 main areas of the game Raw Materials, Production and Market. Players are allowed to bounce around between them taking actions until the quarter ends.

On your turn you may move your turn order marker to the PRODUCTION turn area instead of taking a RAW MATERIALS turn.

If not all four raw Material types have trucks you must start one that doesn’t have a truck.

Otherwise you must do one of the two:
Start a truck
Advance a truck

Then if there are any you may take any one raw material from any dock.

Start a truck – Choose a raw material type. Place one of that type on a factory. Place a truck on the road leading from that factory. Place 3 to 5 time counters on the truck. You may not start a truck where there already is one.

Advance a Truck – Remove one time counter from any truck. You cannot choose this action if there are no trucks.

If you remove the last counter then remove the truck and place 8 cubes of the correct type on the dock.

You immediately get one of the 8 and if there is a board member of the color of that factory he gets one of the 8 too.

On your turn you may move your turn order marker to the MARKET turn area instead of taking a PRUDUCTION turn.

Otherwise you may do one of these two actions:
1. Build Gizmos
2. Buy Stock

Build Gizmos – On your turn using the conversion chart you convert Raw Materials into Gizmos of the specific companies. You may only build one company at a time.

The potential value of company you built goes down one.

Then you may keep 0 to 1 and place the rest of those you bought in to the ready to ship pile.

Buy Stock – You may buy up to 3 of one color stock.

Then adjust the Board Member marker if needed.

At the start of Market if there are 10 or more Gizmos in the ready to ship pile the first player will ship them.

Shipping – Count the cubes in the read-to-ship pile. Place these in the Market bag.

Add 5 to the count. Draw out this amount from the bag to show the demand.
The most and all tied for most move up 3
The 2nd highest amount and all tied move up 2
The 3rd highest amount and all tied move up 1

All colors represented will move up at least one.

If there is no shipping or after shipping players in turn can sell Stock.

Sell stock – You may sell as much stock as you want of one color.

Move the Board Member Marker as needed.

Monday, March 10, 2008

First Playtest

There is nothing like play testing to burst my bubbles.

As I build up a prototype and think up or choose mechanics to fill in the holes I often get giddy about how I imagine the final game will play. Since this game has a lot going on it has been impossible for me to get the whole game in my head at once. So it wasn't until I tried playing a four player game did I see the game for what it is.

While some parts of the game work well the short of it is the game is too random. It is too hard build a plan and then execute it.

I have to give more thought to the order of events. I think I will double or tripple certain parts of the events before you move on to the next part.

Produce raw materials
Produce Gizmos - creating supply of some lowering their potential values
buy stocks

Produce raw materials
Produce Gizmos - creating supply of some lowering their potential values
buy stocks

Produce raw materials
Produce Gizmos - creating supply of some lowering their potential values
buy stocks

Choose and ship products - and learn what the new demand is

Sell stocks

This way players can spend some time predicting what will be in high demand.

Since I am probably going to use something like the above I will probably call one cycle a quarter and end the game after four.

But before I thought of that had another idea for ending the game. I had an idea about putting a specially marked cube in the market bag and when its drawn the quarter ends. I like this idea but its probably not enough structure for deciding how fast a game proceeds.

Maybe I will still use the special cube idea for some other aspect.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Changing the working name to PRODUCTION

I looked up "Production" in BGG and there weren't previous games called that. Its not that sexy but it works for now.

I have been working on the other half of the game, the Production phase. This is how I see the production phase working:

Production Phase -

Board Member benefits: If you are on a board you may take up to 3 raw materials from your dock.

Production Round - Players continue to take turns doing these rounds untill all have opted to end the round.

During your turn you must do one of these three actions:
- Change what a factory is producing. Change the raw material that a factory will deliver. This automatically starts a truck too so that you are guaranteed the factory will produce at least one batch goods for you. You can not do this if there is a truck en route.

- Start a truck. Place a truck chit en route to the dock with 4 time cubes placed on it.

- Advance a truck. Remove a time cube from the truck. If you remove the last cube then remove the truck and place 8 raw material cubes on the dock. The type of material is indicated by the factory.

Then, take up to three resources from any dock or combination from docks.
Now you may remove yourself from the turn order list taking a new place
for the rest of the round. If there are no resources you have to remove yourself.

After the first person removes themselves the remaining people can no longer do the first three actions.

Once all players are done -

Players simultaneously and secretly build gizmos from their raw materieals:

When all are done building gizmos they reveal what they have built. Then they will modify the Potential values of the companies on the values board.

At this point players have to return all unusesd materials keeping at most four for next turn.

Players may now buy stock in the new turn order. Players take turns buying up to 3 stocks of one company or passing. As you buy stocks you must display them in front of you.

Board member - If a player has more stocks of a company than anyone they become the new board member and recieve the indicator of the correct color. If somone else already is the board member you must beat them in number of stocks to take the indicator from them.

I need to work out what happens when you sell stock and you were a board member? If no one else has it you keep the status untill you drop to zero stock.

I still need an end to the game

Wednesday, March 5, 2008


I made the production board and truck chits:

Production board


I have decided that players will play with the stocks they own in plain view. Also if you have the most of a company you then sit on the board of that company. You will have to beat the current board member to take the board seat from him.

During production board members will get an extra turn at their factories and docks before the normal production round starts.

The name of the game is no longer appropriate so I thought about changing it to "Speculation" which I like alot. BGG proved that there have been many other games with that name. So I don't like that name either.

I have no mechanism for ending the game yet. My only thought is ripping off Noblemen and having something where the players have to choose to move toward the end.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

I have begun to hobble together some parts

I currently like the idea that there are 6 compaines and 3 different High tech gizmos. Two compaines per gizmo.

So I asked Mike K. to come up with some other high tech gizmos that people could build during that game and this is what he came up with:


Some cool ideas there especialy since he doesnt know a whole lot about the game.

I took a few passes at the Market Board:

I have the cubes for the gizmos and the "Market bag"

I still need a Production board and some screens. I also need to finish
painting small cubes for the raw materials.

I also glued together some cubes to make the sliders.

After playing aroud a bit with these pieces (half the game) the flow of the game has changed a bit:

Before round 1 turn order is determined. The deeper you are in the turn order you will need to be a bit compensated.

Produciton -
Raw materials -> Gizmos (this is the other half of the game and will be fleshed out soon. Players will change the turn order here.)

Players convert in secret and do a simultaneous reveal. Then they figure out which companies potential value will move.

The company with the most produced moves down 5 levels; 2nd most 3 levels; 3rd most 1 level; all other companies move up 2 levels.

Buy Stock -
Players buy stock in turn order. Going first gets you cheaper stock but going last lets you see where the stock is going.

Value sliders move toward potential. They move 1 per stock bought after each player is done.

Market -
Players ship gizmos (put some from behind their screen into the market bag) Since this is secret turn order is not important.

Someone pulls out X (10??) cubes from the bag to see what the current "Demand" is. These cubes then go out of play changing the ratio in the bag.

The potential sliders move again. The company of the highest demand move up 5; 2nd most up 3; 3rd up 1; all others down 2.

Sell Stock -
Players sell stock in turn order. Going first gets you better stock prices but going last lets you see where the stock is going.

Value sliders move toward potential. They move 1 per stock sold after each player is done.