Blight Chronicles Kickstarter

Agent Decker, Blight Chronicles, boardgame, crowdfunding

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When the Kickstarter campaign for Blight Chronicles launched, Agent Decker had been downloaded over 10.000 times. On the download page there is the suggestion to donate 2 USD. Of those 10.000, about 40 people did so.

I am very thankful for those donations as they’re a serious boost to my motivation and the proceeds always go towards buying material to continue developing my games – so far, two sets of ink cartridges.

My fingers were crossed. Hopefully those people would see how much more content went into this version of the game – and they did! Blight Chronicles’ Campaign was a success, our goal was achieved and doubled, to a total of 264%.

Thank you, all 1253 of you!

Blight Chronicles Designer Diary 2 – Your Mission

Agent Decker, Blight Chronicles, boardgame, boardgame prototype, crowdfunding, designer tips, game design, Superhot

Missions are a key part of Agent Decker.

The original game had a fixed sequence of five missions:

Agent Decker (full art version) by Sara Mena

For added variability SUPERHOT: The Card Game ditched the fixed sequence and instead had a deck of goals to draw from. The further you are in the levels, the more goals you draw.

SUPERHOT: The Card Game by Paweł Niziołek

Due to its heavier focus on story and progression, Blight Chronicles needed a new system.

First let’s clarify the terms: in this game “Mission” refers to the whole campaign, which is divided into “Stages”. Stages define the goals you’ll have to complete in order to progress through the Mission.

One of the challenges of letting the players customize their own deck throughout the game is that, depending on the player’s choices, some goals might become too easy and there’s even a risk of them being solved instantly once the setup is done. This, combined with our motivation to make the goals more challenging and engrossing, lead to the current system:

Multi-goal stage cards!

Blight Chronicles (work in progress), artwork by Ramses Bosque and graphic layout by Paweł Niziołek.

As you can see, the goal is “Discard 6 Mixed resources to jump over the fence”, but did you notice the 1-star requirement before it? That means you can’t complete it right away.

You see, before the start of the stage a briefing will inform you that you’ll need a pair of Night Vision Binoculars in order to keep a low profile when infiltrating the enemy complex.

Blight Chronicles (work in progress), artwork by Ramses Bosque and graphic layout by Paweł Niziołek.

As part of the setup for the stage the binoculars are in the Obstacle Deck and will eventually make their way to the line. When you manage to eliminate the Guard House you get two things:

  • The Night Vision Binoculars, an item that you can use from now on.
  • A star token (currently named Event), which is placed on the Stage Card.

Now that the requirement is met you can finally complete the goal!

I won’t spoil the other goals but I hope you can see the potential of this system! We’re having a lot of fun coming up with different ways to use it.

“Special Setup”? “Visibility”? What could those other icons mean? Stay tuned for the next Designer Diary!

Blight Chronicles Designer Diary 1 – Expanding Agent Decker

Agent Decker, Blight Chronicles, boardgame, boardgame prototype, crowdfunding, designer tips, game design, Superhot

Welcome to a series of posts about the design and development of Blight Chronicles: Agent Decker, the expanded official release of Agent Decker, published by Board & Dice.

Agent Decker’s campaign is designed around a sequence of five missions.

The good part is that they give the players new objectives along the way, forcing them to adapt as they’re gradually forced outside their comfort zone. The bad part is that this only works once. Once you know the missions and how to beat them the mystery is gone and you can prepare for them in advance.

– From “SUPERHOT: The Card Game – Designer Diary 3

The design for Blight Chronicles started from that very problem and arrived at different solutions, for three reasons:

  • Story: While it seems subtle on the surface level it is an important part of the process because it informs the design of every card.
  • Progression: The feeling of progression where you’re gradually facing stronger obstacles as your gear (hopefully) improves.
  • Relevance: The original Agent Decker files are still available online and Superhot: The Card Game is in stores, so why would you play this one instead?

The obvious solution to increase replayability was to leave the obstacles deck untouched and simply increase the amount of goals you need to complete. Instead of a fixed sequence of 5 missions you would have multiple goals for each mission. During setup you shuffle their pile and draw one for each – face down so you can’t fine tune your deck in advance.

Simple!

The thing is, this time I am not designing alone.

This is a co-design with Matt Dembek, who was so inspired by the original game that he wanted to expand it in pretty much every aspect. I can’t wait to tell you what we’re working on, starting with how we changed the missions.

Blight Chronicles: Agent Decker is coming to Kickstarter soon!

Game News!

Agent Decker, Blight Chronicles, boardgame, boardgame prototype, crowdfunding, Multiuniversum, Superhot

Hello everyone! You won’t believe how much has happened since my last post. Here are the highlights, one project at a time:

Multiuniversum

sealofapproval.pngZee Garcia from The Dice Tower reviewed Multiuniversum and gave it a Seal of Approval. What an honor! I’ve been watching their reviews for years and this was a definitely a career milestone.

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As if that wasn’t enough, it also got the Silver Medal at Gamelympics’ “Best Hobbies of the Future” category in Boardgame Blender (39:20)!

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Thanks to Grey Fox Games Multiuniversum is making its way to the USA, featuring a new cover and these cool new scientist meeples. I want one!

BGG user canglingy wrote this fun thematic interpretation of Multiuniversum.

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BGG user Thorin2001 created a Microbadge on BoardGameGeek!

 

SUPERHOT: The Card Game

I demoed Superhot tirelessly at Essen 2017. It has been getting a lot of reviews both in video and in text but this is my favorite so far.

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BGG user jorl created a Microbadge on BoardGameGeek!

 

Agent Decker

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Board & Dice released a version of Agent Decker with brand new art by Paweł Niziołek. You might recall it was one of the stretch goals from SUPERHOT: The Card Game’s Kickstarter campaign and the fans are loving it online! It’s at 768 downloads at the moment. The number went up as I wrote this post.

Meanwhile the original version of Agent Decker has been downloaded 10.103 times from the itch.io page! What’s your favorite version?

 

Blight Chronicles: Agent Decker

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My next project was announced and its name is Blight Chronicles: Agent Decker. It’s my first co-design, along with Matt Dembek from Board & Dice. I’ll be revealing more information about this one soon and you can get the latest news by subscribing to its BoardGameGeek page.

Now let’s get back to work!

Superhot is out!

Agent Decker, boardgame, crowdfunding, event, Superhot

UK Games Expo was a lot of fun! Thank you everyone who came over, especially those who had also been there in previous game events. It’s always rewarding to see people interested in my games, and it feels even sweeter when they come back for more.

For four days I demoed SUPERHOT: The Card Game pretty much nonstop, until my voice was gone.

In my playtests I had focused on teaching just the game mode I was testing that time, but here I wanted to showcase the whole game. With practice I got better at teaching and unfolding the game, refining it in response to questions that had appeared in previous demos. In a way, I was playtesting the explanation, and at the end it was really good.

I was surprised to find myself adding jokes here and there, seeing the reactions and keeping the ones that worked, like I imagine a stand up comedian would do. It’s a good way to break the repetitive nature of demoing, and you bet I’ll do it again in the future.

It’s great to see all the backers getting their copies and posting about it from all over the world. As they start to play some questions are popping up on BGG, and I’m answering them as fast as my day job will allow.

Thank you everyone! But especially:

Up next, expanding Agent Decker!

Superhot Kickstarter

boardgame, crowdfunding, event, Superhot

Superhot’s campaign was a big success! We asked for $8000 but our 5177 backers contributed close to $117,345. 1466% funded!

New stretch goals kept appearing and the backers didn’t rest until every single one was reached. All the 14 (!) stretch goals were unlocked, adding plenty to the game: additional cards, a poster game mat, stickers, plastic tokens, a Steam key for the original videogame, a plastic insert, a second (smaller) box and even a special edition Agent Decker print and play with new art!

So when is the game coming out?

Very soon! Superhot: The Card Game’s premiere is at UK Games Expo on 2 – 4th June.

If you’re around come say hi! I’ll be demoing and signing at the Board & Dice booth. The booth ID is H2, right on Board & Dice Street.

That’s right, Board & Dice Street!

SUPERHOT: THE CARD GAME – DESIGNER DIARY 3

boardgame, boardgame prototype, crowdfunding, designer tips, game design, Superhot

superhot_setup

Agent Decker’s campaign is designed around a sequence of five missions.

The good part is that they give the players new objectives along the way, forcing them to adapt as they’re gradually forced outside their comfort zone. The bad part is that this only works once. Once you know the missions and how to beat them the mystery is gone and you can prepare for them in advance.

Being a print-and-play game the players would have to assemble it before playing, so I wanted to keep the card amount fairly low. Instead of adding more goals I added a high score system. The first goal is to beat the campaign and the second, if the players want to, would be to beat their previous high score.

This lack of replayability was one of the first things I wanted to address in SUPERHOT: The Card Game.

In the original videogame the main objective is to kill every enemy in the level. That’s where my design started, but I quickly ran into three problems. First, it’s easy to lose track of how many enemies are left in the deck, and I didn’t want the players to stop playing to flip the deck over and count.  Second, being a deckbuilding game there was the risk of a player simply adding all the enemy cards in his/her deck in a previous level, preventing the completion of the next one! Third, having a single objective got very repetitive, even if the enemy total would increase throughout. It nudged the players towards building one specific type of deck, ignoring everything else you could do in the game.

To fix this I had to steer a bit away from the original game. Varied goals were added, aimed at exploring the game’s mechanics and obstacles while keeping within the focus of the game: manipulating the level, the enemies and the flow of time. The goals can now be shuffled to give the players a different sequence every time, keeping players on their toes.

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This meant I had to rethink each goal’s difficulty. Agent Decker’s fixed sequence let me control the pace at which the difficulty increases. This system doesn’t. The goals have to work whether they show up at the start of the game or further along, when the challenge is meant to have ramped up.

The solution was simple: more goals!

  • Draw 1 goal for Level 1
  • Draw 2 goals for Level 2
  • Draw 3 goals for Level 3

The difficulty comes from the time flow mechanic and the bullets.

The core structure of the game had to change as well. Once a planned sequence of goals where from time to time new cards are added to the deck, now the obstacle card had to be designed for versatility.

To extend the replayability that ramp had to be replaced by a more open design. The cards became a series of dots which the goals ask you to connect into different shapes.

SUPERHOT: The Card Game is on Kickstarter right now! It was funded in the first three hours and is currently at 703% of its goal.