Friday, October 30, 2015

Publishers Answer: Would You Reject a "Good" Game?

After my last post about not being a publisher, I got a surprising number of comments disagreeing with the statement that if a game is good, a publisher will be interested, and if no publisher is interested, then the game isn't very good. JR and I asked a ton of publishers (probably literally) and they answered! Below, in alphabetical order by the publishers' last names, are their responses to these questions:

"Are there any reasons that you might reject a game that you think is both 'good' and finished? What, if anything, would you tell the designer in your rejection?"

Editor's Note: We've left responses in their original format. 

Monday, October 19, 2015

Back It! with Diane Sauer of Looting Atlantis

Looting Atlantis on Kickstarter

Back It! with Orhan Ertughrul of Creature College

Creature College on Kickstarter

ACE talks about Tabletop Simulator on Steam

Editor's Note: When asked on Facebook to provide tips, tricks, and a general explanation of the benefits and drawbacks of Tabletop Simulator, Andrew Christopher Enriquez (ACE) provided this response. I think it's great, and worth posting for the world to see. I've made only minor edits. Enjoy! - JR 

Tips, tricks and best practices, this is going to be a long response so bear with me. In order for me to talk about tips and tricks I think it's important to first talk about the strengths and weaknesses of the system.

I should probably start with the bad. There are only a few downfalls of the system but they're important. First and probably most debilitating is the lack of user base. The system requirements and cost are currently prohibitively expensive for any sort of real mass play-testing. This could and probably should be fixed by allowing for a 'Developer' tier where we, the module creators, pay a higher cost, but anyone can use that specific module for free without having to buy TTS, this would have to have some real limitations but I'd use the crap out of it!

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Scythe, by Jamey Stegmaier

A masterstroke in game design
I've struggled for more than a week to write this review. I'm still struggling. Usually when I enjoy a game enough to want to review it the words flow from my fingertips, pointed and descriptive. Scythe is so good as to almost defy description.

Let me explain. Scythe is a 4x game (kind of, more on that later) about gaining wealth in an alternate-universe, post-Great War Eastern Europe shattered by previous events. Players take on the role of faction leaders, competing to earn wealth, popularity, and a mandate to lead in this world. It's a hex-based area control and resource management game that makes use of restricted action selection and the threat of combat to maintain a constant pressure for you to be efficient, careful, and vigilant.

That's an accurate description of Scythe that places it somewhere between Kemet, Memoir '44, and Agricola, games I like, love, and detest (respectfully), and yet the sum of its parts provide something unique in my experience. Scythe feels a little like puzzle-solving, provides a little of the quasi-negotiation you get from a good game of Kemet, and a lot of the pressure to keep up that you feel in Terra Mystica.

See what I mean? In describing it, I've referenced four of the most popular games in our hobby without scratching the surface of what Scythe really is. That's the mark of something new - even in my most ambitious comparisons, I can only approximate its qualities. Read on, and I'll convince you to play it as quickly as you can.

(Full disclosure: I was provided a review copy of Scythe by Jamey Stegmaier, owner of Stonemaier Games. Scythe is live on Kickstarter now.)