A podcast and an interview!

Agent Decker, boardgame, boardgame prototype, competition, media

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The Print ‘n Play Cast took a look at two games from the BGG Solo Contest: Austerity and Agent Decker! The whole podcast is well worth listening, but if you want to skip straight to the rules for Decker jump to 14:20 and if you want to listen to the review go to 24:22. They really liked it!

You can listen to it here.

 

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Earlier in the year I was interviewed by David Wolinsky for “No don’t die”.

You can read it here.

It’s a long form interview about my experience with videogame design, the industry and the media that surrounds it. It was a very enjoyable conversation and I’m pleased that it wasn’t cut down for publishing.

There are so many great interviews on the site already, but if you want to keep them coming I suggest you to support it via Patreon.

At ease, agent

Agent Decker, boardgame, boardgame prototype, competition

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The results for the 2015 Solitaire Print and Play Contest have been revealed, and it seems they really liked Agent Decker:

2nd Best Overall Game

1st – Best Medium Game
1st – Best New Designer
1st – Best Game with No Board
2nd – Best Greyscale Game
2nd – Best Written Rules
3rd – Best Hotel Game
4th – Most Innovative Mechanic
4th – Most Thematic Game
5th – Best Artwork

You can check the full list here. There are really good games and cool new concepts submitted to the competition, well worth playing.

As always, you can download the game for free here.

What a crazy year it has been so far! The design for Agent Decker started in January and since that time I’ve worked with three different videogame studios, gave my first lecture to game design students (which feels odd since I never got to be one), went to GDC for the first time and had the prototype with me while I met so many of my heroes. Recently I helped to start a local meetup where boardgame designers can bring their prototypes and get useful feedback.

Now i can finally correct that last typo in the rules that escaped every check before the submission.

And then, my first Essen Spiel! Can’t wait to pitch my games to publishers. My dream of publishing a board game feels closer now.

Wish me luck!

My first official review!

Agent Decker, boardgame, boardgame prototype, competition, media

Geekdad

During the development of Agent Decker there were a lot of personal achievements:

  • first time participating in a game design competition
  • first time releasing a game this early in development, and iterating based on that feedback
  • first time releasing a game as a print and play
  • first time having fan made digital versions of a game

Today I got my first official review! Will James from Geekdad printed his own and had really nice things to say about it. You can read it here.

It made my day!

Agent Decker video tutorial

Agent Decker, boardgame, boardgame prototype, competition

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One of the toughest parts of board game development is writing the rulebook. You know the game so well, it’s hard to put yourself in the shoes of someone who’s never seen it before.

I have done this a couple times before, but the rulebooks were more a personal reminder for me than a learning aid for a new player. My games haven’t traveled that much without me, so I’m usually there to teach the players and answer any questions they might have.

This time I wanted to release the game online during the contest so the other contestants could give feedback on it, but I was faced with a problem: I’m not there to teach them the game!

I wrote the rules as clear as I could. I answer every question I get and update the rules document where it’s unclear. Still, the setup can be tricky and there are a lot of moving parts.

…so now you can learn Agent Decker using this handy tutorial video!

Have fun!

Agent Decker: One week later

Agent Decker, boardgame, boardgame prototype, event, playtest

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A very important thing happened one week ago. International Tabletop day was a worldwide celebration of boardgames that is celebrated in the best possible way: by playing!

It was also the day I published Agent Decker online.

First I thought of simply sharing a dropbox link but ended up hosting it on itch.io because it’s quick to put together, gives me a nice landing page and allows me to track views, downloads, and where they come from. Behold!

AD_week1Views

First I spread the link on Twitter, Facebook and BGG, and got a moderate response. The next day I was out so I just let it spread naturally. See that massive spike on the next day? That’s Reddit.

Given the fact it’s a game for one player only, I wondered how many people would care to download it. It’s been downloaded 496 times so far!

AD_week1Downloads

It was fun to take part in a mini-interview, which you can read here. BGG user Morten Pedersen is interviewing all the designers in the competition who have released the components online, and the posts are well worth reading!

What’s next? Now I’m gathering feedback about the game, especially about the rulebook! This is the first time I’m really doing a blind playtest, which means I can’t be there to teach the players how to play and answer any questions they might have. I’ve made some quick sneaky changes to make it more clear, but it can be hard to reach the people who have already downloaded it.

There’s still a lot to do, but the motivation that came from seeing the player’s reactions and suggestions can’t be overstated.

Releasing games for free is a lot of fun!

“Don’t Say!” at Global Gamecraft 5

boardgame, boardgame prototype, competition, Don't Say, Game Jam

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I went to Global Gamecraft 5 with a few mechanics I wanted to try. I just had to fit them to the theme, right? Wrong. When the theme was revealed (“Party Game”, or a game you could play at a party) I couldn’t use them, so I started from scratch.

It needed to cater to a big number of players (infinite, if possible!), and ideallly it would also be fun to watch. First, I played around with this idea of a game about cupids, and people trying to find their match by asking questions to the group. I liked the concept, but it sounded a bit too easy and fast to play.

I wanted the game to be different from the other games I had made so far, and I wanted people to interact with each other in a genuine way – not because the rules say so. In all the party games I know, the ones that involve drawing are always a special kind of fun. Everyone interprets the drawings in a different way, and often be hilariously wrong.

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So this is what I came up with: a player gets a card with a surreal image and must describe it to the others, who must draw it as best they can before the time runs out. There are two words the player can’t use while describing them, (and they’re pretty obvious!), or he’ll lose points. After the timer ends, players hand their custom notebooks to other players and everyone’s drawings will be rated for accuracy. The one describing is rated too! In the next round, another player will be describing, and everyone else draws.

The best thing is: you don’t need to know how to draw! You get points by having the right elements in the right place, now how they look.

I couldn’t play it myself because I had made the illustrations which were being described, but these playtests were a lot of fun to watch.

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I won’t be developing this one further because it draws a lot from two other games: Identik and Taboo. Still, it was a great experience and the players loved it too.

Thank you all who played it! I look forward to the next 8 hour jam.