Saturday, June 23, 2012

In Which The Warlock Reveals His Coming Project!

Sorry about the delay, but real life has taken its toll once more.  However, this time around, it's in a good way:  the PlatinumChick and I just bought our first ever new vehicle.  As in, not used...brand new!  Our new Kia Soul(+) had just 11 miles on it when we drove it off the lot earlier tonight!  Exciting, to say the least!

But, that's not what you want to hear about.  Rather, you want to hear about my latest project!

As I mentioned in my last entry, I've been retooling the mechanics and concepts behind my first attempts at a board game, Dungeon Slam!, into a new genre with some streamlined mechanics.  While I don't yet have a name for my concept, here's the elevator pitch:

As a budding super-scientist, you've been putting in 80+ hours at the top-secret Twin Valley Research Facility for the past month and a half.  It's Friday, and you've scheduled Monday off:  three days of nothing but sweet, sweet sleep.  That was before your superiors rang down, saying that you have to finish up that big project you've been tinkering with.  No one gets to go home until their project is done.
That was before the rift opened in the main reactor room, leaking in otherworldly energies and strange monsters.  Surely the security team can lock down that leak, right?  All you've got to do is find your three Prototypes and make your way to the time clock before the lab gets locked down entirely!

Much of the essence is the same:  avoid or kill monsters, kill or steal from other scientists, and assemble your "MacGuffins" before the others to win the game.  While I've eliminated much of the complicated advancement mechanics of Dungeon Slam!, I've kept elements of item upgrading, which is now framed as "mad science" advances:  your crowbar can now be Tesla-powered or Irradiated! 

Dungeon Slam's character sheets were originally incredibly complex, with six stats on slider scales, Health and Mana pools, and at least 4 abilities for each archetype.  As you can see below, I've trimmed that down massively!

Preview for my yet-as-unnamed Lab Tech board game!

Each scientist is down to four stats--Speed, Combat, Science! (yes, with an exclamation point!) and Health.  Rather than 4 laborious special abilities, each scientist gains one, focusing on their expertise. 

While I have yet to run a playtest--any takers out there, by the way?--I think this game really has some promise.  Idiomatically, it appeals to that mad-science/steampunk/Portal-loving crowd, with homages to games like Half-Life, Portal, and Bioshock.  I have yet to see a real board game cover this idiom/genre well, so it's untold territory that's waiting to be taken up!

Here's for hoping that it'll go over well!

Oh, one more thing, friends and neighbors!  The PlatinumChick and I are heading out to go camping in Ohio's glorious Hocking Hills this weekend.  So, with no internet out there, there's no weekend entry this week!  I'll catch up with you guys on Wednesday!  Cheers!

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