Meeple Digest July 2018July 2, 2018 0 By Ryan Sanders
Welcome to the first edition of Meeple Digest, which is a variety feature article here at The Inquisitive Meeple. In this edition, we highlight some games published, on Kickstarter, upcoming and even print-and-play. We also cover some ongoing design contests and ask some industry folks what their Top 5 Roll and Writes are. Oh and don’t miss our Meeple of the Month!
First up, is our very first Meeple of the Month… Emma Larkins! This Seattle based game designer has two published games under her belt, Heartcatchers & Confabula Rasa and is active in her board game designer community. So why did we choose, Emma as the first Meeple of the Month? Well, it’s not just because of her awesome pink hair, though that doesn’t hurt!
Emma’s constantly posting game prototype pictures, pictures of her game notebook, and awesome little pieces of advice on her Twitter account and that has earned her the title of Meeple of the Month. If you are not following her on Twitter, we strongly recommend you do at @emmalarkins. Also as a final little note, Emma has a card game called Abandon All Artichokes that we here at The Inquisitive Meeple thinks looks intriguing and is on our radar if there are any publishers out there reading this.
There are two game designing contests going on (and ending) this month we thought we point out to readers.
The first is The Game Crafter’s Solo Game Design Challenge. Designers are asked to submit their best new solo only game. This one is being judged by our sister site The Indie Game Report’s Mike Wokasch (aka @fairway3games). The contest rules can be found by clicking here. Entries have to be submitted no later than Noon UTC (6 am US Central) on July 23, 2018.
Last year’s GenCan’t Roll and Write design contest was a huge hit, and they’re back this year teaming up with Button Shy Games, to create a new Wallet Game Design Contest. Designers are to submit their best 12-18 card game by Thursday, July 12, 2018, at 23:59 PT. If you like to learn more about the rules or submission, you can the info by clicking here.
We asked both the 2017 and 2016 winners of Button Shy Wallet Game Contest, to weigh in with their advice for any would-be participants of the GenCan’t Wallet Game Contest. We ask them“What advice do you have for anyone out there wanting to design an 18 card wallet game?” Here is their advice:
First up is Steven Aramini co-designer of 2016’s winner Circle the Wagons.
Steven: I guess I would say to try not to cram a big box game into an 18-card package. If you are forcing players to use cards in fiddly ways just to make it work within the restraints, or if you are trying to cram too much iconography or information onto each card, you may be better off exploring that idea as a bigger game. I have fallen victim to this myself and the results have always felt like an overstuffed jumble of ideas rather than a simple yet elegant experience. Hope that helps! Good luck to all the entrants!
Next up is Michael Brown, winner of the 2017 contest with his time-traveling 18 Wallet Card game, The Perfect Moment, will be coming to Kickstarter later this year.
Michael: I have three ideas that spring to the top of my mind:
- Get to know Button Shy’s line of games. They are really strategic and deep for such small games. You would be amazed at how much strategy they can get into an 18 card game. Try out Sprawlopolis, Avignon, Pentaquark, or Circle the Wagons. They are all excellent examples of good 18 card games. Make something like that.
- Multi-use cards. Button Shy loves multi-use cards, and in 18 cards to make something strategically interesting you almost have to have it be multi-use.
- Edit your rulebook. This is actually general purpose advice, but if they can’t understand your rulebook you will lose even if your game is awesome. Get a second or third set of eyes on it. Add images, make sure that the rules are so clear that they can’t possibly be missed.
This month’s Game Spotlight is Dream Home. For 2-4 players, designed by Klemens Kalicki and published by Asmodee and Rebel, Dream Home is a “gateway” game that lets you channel your favorite HGTV home makeover designer. Players mix set collection and market drafting to build their ultimate dream homes. This uniquely themed game has some really great art from Bartłomiej Kordowski and I found myself surprised (in a good way) by the gameplay, the first time I played Dream Home, it was a lot more fun than I expected it would be just from the rules. We should note there is a new expansion out that is supposed to step up the gameplay from family/gateway to a little more gamer-y, by adding things like plans that have specific construction requirements for homes which give you bonus points (it also beefs up the player count to 6) though I haven’t had a chance to play it. While the base game doesn’t get to our table as often as I would like, every time it has, it’s been a blast to play. Check out the rules at BGG, and see if this is one you would like. You can get Dream Home on Amazon by clicking here: Dream Home on Amazon.com.
Editors Note: As of Feb 2019, The Inquisitive Meeple awards Dream Home their Family Time Award.
We previously mentioned last years GenCan’t contest was a roll and write design contest, whose winner was Welcome to Dino World by James O’Connor (which can be downloaded from this page). We thought we ask rule editor and logophile Dustin Schwartz (@dustinbschwartz), game designer Benny Sperling (@benny275), and Ken Grazier (@demo_ken) of Geek-Craft, what their current Top 5 Roll and Writes were and here are the results:
To throw in my 2 cents, Ryan Sanders of The Inquisitive Meeple current (I have a stack of Roll and Writes I have yet to play in my game shelf) Top 5 Roll and Writes are Noch Mal!, Harvest Dice, Octodice, Knister, and Boomerang.
Here are some games that are currently not out (except maybe overseas in one case) that will be coming soon, that we thought readers may want to look into more.
With July 4th around the corner in the United States, I thought it only appropriate to make mention of Fireworks, coming from Renegade Game Studios. Designed by Aza Chen and for 2-4 players, gamers are pyrotechnic cats that are trying to make the best fireworks display. This is done by launching a dice via a “fireworks barrel” (cardboard tube) into a pile of face-down tiles, depending on what tiles turnover and what the number on the die depends on what firework tiles you can take to place on your personal board. As Corey Young (@C_M_Young) so purr-fectly put it on Twitter: “Now here is a game with explosions and kittens that I can get behind.” For more info on Fireworks, you can check out Renegade Game Studios official announcement on the game, which includes a Game Boy Geek rules video.
Iello is hoping to release 8bit Box later this year. Which is their board game “console.” The console will come with all the bits you need to play with the games in the series, the “console” itself will come with three base games (see picture below).
Gamewright has finally put up an official page for Matt Leacock’s newest co-op in the Forbidden Series, Forbidden Sky. In this tile-laying game, players will be laying out a real electrical circuit that will run on batteries. Also note the personal player cards, that have you tracking various things. Forbidden Sky will be coming up later this year.
Our final game that you may want on your radar, is the newest version of co-op card game, The Game, coming from Pandasaurus Games. What’s so special about this version is it’s a reskin, ditching the creepy dark skull illustrations and replacing it with new Kwanchai Moriya art. As of right now, we don’t have much more to go on outside of this tweet:
Wreck Raiders being published by Kids Table Board Gaming and designed by Joshua Cappel (Wasabi) and Tim W.K. Brown (Gridstones) is a dice-drafting worker placement about treasure hunters diving for treasures on sunken shipwrecks. The Inquisitive Meeple has an in-depth preview last month on the game (click here if you want to read that), in which we say of Wreck Raiders, “… [it] is definitely a game you should consider adding to your game collection, it stuffs a lot of great gameplay in the box. Everything from the theme to the art, to the twists this game adds to worker placement genre, is fantastic.“
We also have an in-depth interview (written) with co-designer Tim W.K. Brown recently published and a Go Forth and Game podcast interview coming soon with Kids Table publisher Helaina Cappel and co-designer Joshua Cappel. Readers can check out the Kickstarter here if they haven’t already done so:
As we come to a close on our first edition of Meeple Digest. We hope you enjoyed it, please let us know your thoughts in the comments section below. Later this month (July 2018) we will have a few new things coming up including interviews with Jason Glover on Desolate, Derik Duley on Ancient Artifacts and an article on games that can fit in your blue jean pockets, for those of you looking for some truly on the go games.
About The Author
Ryan Sanders has done hundreds of tabletop game interviews, getting the story behind the games, since he started as The Inquisitive Meeple in 2014.