PERSONAL DIARY (Aug 2018): More ‘August’ Gaming… see what I did there?

Ayup, what’s all this, then?  Another August blog entry?  And august gaming, too, maybe? Well… sort of…

Y’see, I managed to get some time off work and use it for family-related things early August, but one of the other advantages of having no work to worry about, is having all those extra hours free (I do work a lot of hours), so I managed to get myself along to various gaming meets that I’d normally have to miss out on…

A midweek event I went along to was one of those all-too-rear ‘playtest evenings’ that BM York have just started promoting, and I felt privileged to be invited. We did of course, get to play a couple of new prototypes, one of which we managed to play extensively and more importantly, hopefully help to iron out a few of the wrinkles for as well… And while I don’t wish to give too much away, it’s a relatively simple embezzling game which works really well with a limited card count.

The other prototype I managed to get to the table (and receive some excellent feedback on) is my own Aliens Ate My Planet! deckbuilding game… Ooohh…

Now Aliens is all about building fleets, colonising planets and kicking alien butt (not necessarily in that order), and I’m pleased with the fast-track progress of this, especially given the core of the game appeared out of nowhere over an intensive week of scribblings and note-taking… You can read more about it on BGG (and even download an early rulebook) here: Aliens Ate My Planet! [WIP]

The game already has a distinctive retro look and feel, but the addition of a couple of clever mechanics with the Qudos monetary system has streamlined the whole deckbuilding process, and it looks like this is now going to be adopted for the colony and combat ships as well to speed up that aspect of the game, too: you basically auto-upgrade your ships as you play, and can still buy fancy Tech upgrades and extras for your fleets, too.

Looks like a few planets are gonna get eaten… Run away, run away… Arrggghhh!

What has come out through vigorous playtesting, is the need for yet more balance with the alien drafting system, and the currently random order that the planets appear… talks of a potential co-op mode in which players can add cards from their deck to other player’s decks when attacking aliens or colonising the planets they’re invading have also sent me down a few different paths with it.  I’ve also been playing with the concept of introducing a couple of heroes and heroines to the Tech deck to help lead your fleets to victory in combat or colonisation, and this has started me down the route of having each player start with a different ‘Fleet Captain’…

I’ve managed to make it to a couple of other BM York meets this month, and these have seen us get Century: Eastern Wonders, Rise of Tribes, and Bunny Kingdom all to the table several times over.  And I finally got to play The Mind at last, which is a ‘game’ I’ve always been a little sceptical about in terms of its gaming ‘chops’, although I’m pleased to say it was a great experience all the same, so no further complaints from me on that front, and it’ll certainly serve as good ‘filler-fuel’ as and when.

Now, some of you may have been wondering if anything is happening on the Agents in Time front (you can find and follow my Designer Diary for this game here: DESIGNER DIARY: AGENTS IN TIME — An Introduction – it stalled around Part 5 which coincided with our showing at UKGE — I will be picking this up again, shortly, I assure you).

Okay, so what of Agents?  Well, we’ve actually been working on a sequel/second instalment of this game, called Tsuxnet Strikes Back (temporary title), and work is finally progressing on making this fun and competitive co-operative a reality.  What?  Yeh, it’s clever and it works: basically, having finally busted Tsuxnet (TimeSucksNet) in Agents in Time, now you get a chance to have an upgraded Time Lord and fix all those pesky paradoxes as a team, but have to deal with periodic viral strikes from Tsuxnet which are hidden in the Event Deck… Oh yes, this one is coming along very nicely…

We’ll leave things there, for now… 😉

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