iDIG Music Festival

Agent Decker, boardgame prototype, competition, Contactics, event, Pizza-go-round, Sinking


I spent the end of last week at the iDIG Music Festival showing my games to the visitors! I was surrounded by irish game developers showing their awesome games, and my boardgames stood out due to how different they were.

A lot of people wanted to know more about them, and some even sat down to play after asking how they worked! Agent Decker was the one that got played the most, mainly because nobody had heard about solo games and I could help them rather than compete against them.

I quickly put together a digital version for the show, and two players managed to complete it!


The main goal was to have a version which looked a bit better than my scribbles on paper, and figure out how much room there will be for proper art later on. It worked pretty well!

It was my first time showing games at an event, so I didn’t know what to expect. A word of advice: if you’re presenting at an event bring some eucalyptus drops! If you’re lucky people will check your games out and ask about them, so you’ll be talking constantly and the voice will start to go away.

Time to write the Agent Decker manual so I can publish it online!


Eliminating player elimination

boardgame prototype, Sinking

I was asked why I chose to include player elimination in “Sinking”. The question intrigued me. It made sense with the sinking ships theme so I didn’t really think twice. Everyone is sinking and the winner is the one that managed to stay afloat.

They explained to me it’s considered an old-fashioned mechanic which is frowned upon nowadays, so now I can see why and I’ll tell you so you won’t make the same mistake. It’s suited to some games, but not all.

In my quest to try and publish my game I had to further define who my target player is. I reached the conclusion that it’s suited for family play due to the light complexity of the mechanics and rules. Well, let’s imagine you’re playing this game with your kids and one of them loses. You don’t want to tell him “Now go and find something to do while we finish this game”, do you?

I don’t.

That’s why I changed my game.

Now when the first player sinks to the bottom the game ends, and the player’s positions on the water board define who’s second, third and so on. This simple change made it a lot more family-friendly.

House of Brass, Sinking and the newcomer Carousel

boardgame prototype, Carousel, competition, House of Brass, Sinking

“Fantastic Creations: House of Brass Collector’s Edition”, the game I’ve been working on for a year and eight months is now out! It is a light steampunk Hidden Object Adventure for Bigfish Games. The reviews are great and everyone seems to enjoy the fresh ideas we brought into it. It’s currently in second place of BigFish’s Top 10 PC downloads and you can check it out here.

I just closed the box with the “Sinking” prototype for testing in the Ludopolis contest. I really enjoyed the process of creating it so far. The players enjoyed it as well so I’m pitching the game to publishing companies that seem appropriate.

While I was translating its rules I had started taking notes of another idea, this time for a card game. I played around with some ideas for a couple of days until I got to something I believe to be original, accessible and fun. If it’s anything like “Sinking” I should to a playtest right away so can I take the broken parts out and focus on the good stuff. I quickly made the prototype you see in the photo above so I can test it this week. I’m calling it “Carousel” for now.

Arcádia Lusitana de Criadores de Boardgames

Arcádia, boardgame prototype, competition, Sinking

Recently, the “Arcádia Lusitana de Criadores de Boardgames” was created. The main goal is to share information, resources, provide playtesting and feedback for portuguese boardgame projects. Currently the main discussion platform is facebook, along with regular meetings. Seems there are quite a few more Lisbon-based designers than I thought!

In the first meeting Vital Lacerda tried out my game. He seemed to like it and suggested I switch the placement of the minimum bid silhouettes with the action effects to make it more intuitive. I don’t know how I didn’t think of that before. I laughed and wrote it down right away. This weekend I had the chance to test it and he was absolutely right – it does make it easier to teach and play.

The second meeting is coming up! It will be on the 20th of February and you can find all the details here.

Also, Last week I read Raph Koster’s “Theory of Fun”. If you’re interested in making games I advise you to check it out. The first half is about the human brain and how we define what’s fun for us. The second half points a possible path games should take for them to be seriously respected as an art form.

New boards and new Ludum Dare!

boardgame prototype, competition, Sinking

Here’s a sneak peek of the new player boards! The action effect texts have been resumed into icons, the minimum action costs are clearer now and the colors are more colorblind-friendly. I can’t wait to test these out.

Ludum Dare Jam 22 starts in 6 hours! I’ll be part of Make A Game team once again, we’ll be making a computer game in the next 72 hours. There are more and more submissions every time, and we’ll do our best to stand out.

You can check out “Eggscape”, our game for the previous Ludum Dare Jam here.