14 Nov 2009
Ik heb je nieuwe spel "Battl Khaos" al een paar keer gespeeld. Inclusief een paar solo-partijtjes.
Om eerlijk te zijn...
Ik vind het erg goed.
Het simpele idee en de duidelijke setting geven dit spel veel charme.
"Saboteur" is waarschijnlijk je grootste hit maar niet mijn favoriet.
Dan heb ik dit liever.
Het is ook één van de weinige spelen waaraan mijn vriendin wil meedoen. Dat is al een verdienste op zich.
En ik moest ook zeggen dat ze al twee keer gewonnen heeft.
Ik apprecieer de combinatie van het puzzelsysteem (à la Carcassonne) en de strategische dimensie van de power tokens.
De variabele mogelijkheid van power tokens en de extra tegels maken het spel gevarieerd genoeg om het te blijven spelen.
Je kan het moeilijk een zwaar spel noemen. Het is licht van regels en beperkt in tijd. Een halfuurtje volstaat.
Een gouden tip voor de casual gamer en een leuke hebbedingetje voor de hard-core fan. Er zit een snuifje geluk in (welke tegels trek ik en welke power tokens heb ik?), maar je moet toch het hoofd erbij houden als je wil winnen (als ik die tegel zo zet dan heb ik nu drie man voor mij, maar dan staan er ook 2 groepjes van 2 voor hem klaar en als hij dan een nieuwe toren aanlegt, dan heb ik wel die eerste, maar niet die nieuwe van 3 punten en hij.....)
In mijn verzameling van 300+ board- en cardgames heeft dit pareltje zijn plaats verdiend. Het past perfekt in de lijn "Spiele für Zwei" van Kosmos, ooit een verdienstelijke poging om speelbare en boeiende spellen te publiceren voor koppels.
Translation (abbreviated) : this game is great!
1 Nov 2009
To promote the Chinese version of the game "Saboteur", I've made a video "how to play?".
The video is exclusively Chinese spoken (it was hard) with English subtitles (if you do not understand Chinese, but still want to know more about the game).
Please note that I've been assisted by Swea Tea, which helped me for script writing, camerawork, sound recording, lighting, dressing, schmink, coffee, moral support and last but not least pronunciation tips. Although she is a lovely pretty girl, she was too shy to stand in front of the camera. Therefore, we had to switch roles at the very last moment.
Maybe next time...
25 Oct 2009
27 Sept 2009
16 Sept 2009
As Batt'l Kha'os requires some tactical insight, it can be a little outbalanced between an experienced and novice player. The balance can be readjusted by allowing the experienced player to start with only 3 or 4 power tokens instead of 5.
Tactical advice :
- Once you control the first 2 corners of one tower, you have a great advantage. When your opponent tries to capture the third corner, you can easily take the 4th corner and the majority.
- Thus, when your opponent controls 2 corners of a tower, it is better to give it temporarily up and distract his attention by placing a new tower at another spot of the battlefield.
- Placing new towers is an excellent way to open the game. If you fight tower per tower, the outcome depends much more of the tiles that you keep in your hand. If there are several towers to capture, you force your opponent to make choices as he can not attack on all places at the same time. Thus, if you think having a weak hand of tiles, place a new tower.
- Use your power tokens to take control of towers and not of corners. If you use a power token to get a corner and you do not manage to capture the tower, your power token has been wasted.
- Use your power tokens before the end of the game. Frequently, the game accelerates towards the end, giving you not enough opportunities to use your power tokens in an efficient way.
- Towards the end of the game, you can count how many turns each player needs to win the game. The player who has the advantage at that moment, is very difficult to beat.
Good luck with these few tips.
11 Sept 2009
You will recognize my son as an orc (the smallest one). Enjoy.
Il a également réalisé une version française.
6 Aug 2009
- The players form 2 teams of 2 players. Each player gets 3 tiles in his hand and 3 power tokens (instead of 5).
- Players alternate turns. First, one orc player plays his turn, then one knight player. After this, the other orc player plays his turn and the other knight player last. Then, a new turn begins, always in the same order. Power tokens can only be used by the controlling player.
With 3 players, the special rules are quite similar.
- Now, there is one team of 2 players and one of one player. The single player gets 6 power tokens instead of 3.
- The single player plays twice per turn while his opponents only once per turn.
30 Jun 2009
25 May 2009
5 May 2009
9 Apr 2009
Here is a step-to-step plan how to proceed :
1. Go to your local pub and tell everyone that you are looking for some smart guys. Skip the first volunteer. He is drunk and useless for playtesting purposes.
2. Offer all your victims a drink. It is important that they start the test with a positive attitude.
3. Important : do not begin explaining the rules of the game right now. The folks are not paying attention anyway, they can't memorize all the details and they don't care a sh**t. Instead just start playing the game and explain what players must do when it is their turn to play.
4. During the game, interfere as much as possible. Give suggestions how to play, give strategical hints and explain why you love your own game so much.
5. Do not to forget telling some good jokes in order to create a happy feeling and relieve the tension (if someone gets upset from your ticks).
6. When you are hobbling behind, do not hesitate to suddenly change the rules in your favour. However, do it in a clever way. Tell the other players that you are just reminding an important rule. If they start complaining, just tell them that you are not playing, but playtesting a game and that changes are very common during a testing session.
7. When you have won the game (which should be evident, as you alone know the dirty little tricks how to win), offer everyone a new drink and ask in general how they have liked your concept. However, now you must be very talented. If they want to express a certain reservation, it is important to explain why the playtest has been a little outbalanced and is not representative : they had bad luck with the die rolls, they did not follow your advise in turn 1 or they simply do not have understood the key elements of the game. Do not tell them that you have expected to play with some smarter guys and that you are the one who is disappointed most. At this moment, you must use all your diplomatic skills.
8. Don't take notes. As you seldsom gets a usefull suggestion, it is not worthwile to spoil ink and time writing down some silly comments. Remember that you are the designer, not them.
9. Next, thank everybody for the nice evening and express the hope that they will buy your game once it will be published, which will occur soon. Do not tell that you will never ever want to play with those losers again. They just participated at your playtest for the free drink.
10. Finally, go the girl at the bar who was smiling at you during the whole evening and ask her : "Do you like playing games?". She might answer : "Depends which game...". Now, you can reply : "Follow me, sweetheart". When you hear the tickling of her high heals behind you, you can say to yourself "mission accomplished!".
Conclusion : for a successful playtest, check first if there are some nice girls at the bar, waiting upon a handsome man with brilliant ideas. If not, go to another pub.
22 Mar 2009
While my opponents are joking, I'm wondering if I will call or raise. Ace-King. Let them laugh, I take the next pot.
My son (the youngest participant among the 70 competitors) had bad luck. He is sitting next to a pro, who has already taken most of his chips.
My son is out of the game due to his neighbour. Time for revenge.
I've just managed to kick off the pro from the table, which costs him 50 € for losing a bet with another pro. With a big stack in front of me, I'm ready to join the final table.
There, my luck ran out and I stranded at the 6th place. Nevertheless, I won 2 positions compared to last year (where I finished 8th with 50 competitors).
It's 3 o' clock in the morning and time to drive home to my lovely wife who is chilling in bed, waiting upon me.
27 Feb 2009
24 Feb 2009
Here are some suggestions how to improve the game fun (chaos) when playing with "big" kids :
- Play the game with the most players as possible : even 7 players work fine.
- Select the most "wolfish" player to start playing as the wolf.
- Place the finger-puppet on your little finger as your forefinger will be too large. Use the puppet in any case. It adds an extra "fun" dimension to the game.
- The wolf may count faster from 1 till 10 or counts only from 1 till 5.
- When he has finished counting, the wolf must quickly turn his head back towards the table.
- He must growl like a wolf when sniffing against the hide-outs (use your imagination).
- Play the game in rounds to allow each one to become the wolf once.
- The goats require only 6 stones instead of 7 to win the game (especially suggested with 5 to 6 players).
19 Feb 2009
It is not as difficult as you might think.
Here, for the first time, I explain how you must proceed. It works well, as I can testify. Even better, it works always if you follow exactly the following steps.
Step 1 : Identify a publisher which might be interested in your concept.
Step 2 : Send a brief description of the game to the big boss. Do not waste your time with employees. You go for the quick hit.
Wait a week.
Step 3 : As you got no answer, call the boss to check if he got your description. He will say "no" (which means that he has thrown away your description) and you tell him that you will send your brilliant idea right away. Hang up the phone before he can say "no" again.
Step 4 : Send your game and wait 3 months.
Step 5 : Call the boss again and ask him when he is going to publish your game. He will answer : "I'm very sorry, but I passed your game to the "chief game concept acquisition manager" and I got no feedback yet. He will contact you as soon as he has some info." In fact, his wife (who is also his secretary) has intercepted your game and she has tried to put your box on top of the shelf, which resulted in an avalanche of not-evaluated gameboxes. Several components were mixed, but she managed to fill up the boxes again as "equal" as possible.
Six months later...
Step 6 : You get your game (at least some components) back with the message "Unfortunately, the game does not fit into our collection. We wish you luck...".
Step 7 : On a game fair where your publisher has a booth, you decide to launch your secret weapon : your attractive girlfriend will force a breakthrough. The meeting lasts long. You start to panic and see her (in your mind) performing a lap-dance in front of the boss. Of course, you must accept some sacrifice and you wait the outcome of the meeting. At your surprise, the guy who is smiling at your girlfriend when she is leaving the meeting box, is not the boss, but his son. The whippersnapper.
Step 8 : Next year, you change your tactics. Seduction has not worked. Therefore, you invest in strong-arm methods. Flanked by 2 friends (recruited among the doorkeepers of your local dancing), you arrive in force at the booth of your favourite publisher. You ask with a calm and self-assured voice to the pretty lady at the reception desk : "How do you like my game?". She answers : "I don't know. I will ask the boss." When the boss arrives, he answers to your question (after looking in the eyes of your 2 fellows) : "Very interesting, I will have a second look."
Step 9 : Next year, you still have no news of your game. By despair, you participate at a game designer's contest. By chance, you get the first price among 200 competitors.
Step 10 : A week later, you get a phone call from your friend (the boss) : "Your game is brilliant and I take it. Why did you never showed it to me before?". You are too astonished to find the right answer and stammer : "Thank you very much, mister. I do no know what to say, mister".
Conclusion : To sell your game idea, you just need to have one publisher who finds that your game is brilliant. It might take a few years, but who cares...
This simple test gives you the answer.
Question 2 : You have lost a game. What do you think?
a) I made more mistakes than the others.
b) The winner had a lot of luck.
c) This game sucks. Never again.
Question 3 : You won a game. What do you think?
a) Who cares? Let's play another game.
b) I had a lot of luck.
c) I'm so brilliant. Excellent game.
Question 4 : What is your favourite dish?
a) worst met rode kool (sausage with red cabbage)
b) steak nature
c) grilled lobster
Question 5 : You go on holiday. What don't you want to forget at home?
a) Your laptop
b) Paper and pencil
c) Your sexy bikini suit
Question 7 : What's your age?
a) Older than 35
b) Between 25 and 35
c) Younger than 25
Question 8 : What are your sizes (bust, waist, hips)?
a) 120 - 101 - 125
b) 100 - 85 - 110
c) 85 - 59 - 81
Question 9 : What is your dream?
a) To become rich
b) To design games
c) To meet you as quickly as possible
You have the most A's : Go playing darts, game designing is not your thing.
You have the most B's :
Go playing with the other pal. He doesn't like to play alone.
You have the most C's : Please contact me on Facebook. We need to talk, sweetheart.
17 Feb 2009
12 Feb 2009
9 Feb 2009
This time, I was very proud to attend the fair as two new games were presented : one being published by Zoch Spiele with an excellent reputation for quality games and the other being published by IQ Ideas a smart publisher of New Zealand starting to conquer the world from an unexpected direction (from a European point of view).
The feedback on both games appeared to be very positive, which confirmed the enthusiastic response of the people who got the opportunity to play-test the games.
So, you will soon hear more about it.
The Toy Fair is also an opportunity to present new game ideas and to check how far existing projects are progressing. Despite the crisis and the difficult economic situation, which is also affecting the game business, I got very encouraging feedback and I can inform you now that new games are coming to the market in the near future. Unfortunately, it is not my task to communicate about it and you will have to be a little patient until the concerning publishers start promoting their future releases.