Well, the gaming world was rocked by another bomb dropped by the Arizona-based publisher Gamelyn Games, as they announced an expansion to last year’s smash hit Tiny Epic Kingdoms. Joining us today are Michael Coe, founder and big cheese of Gamelyn, and Scott Almes, designer extraordinaire, to chat with us about the new expansion, and all things Gamelyn and Tiny… and epic…Read More
Well, we know we were missing in action last week and neglected to bring you our usual volume of quality content--including an installment of Kickstarter Weekly. But never fear: We're back at it this week and bringing you tons of exciting news from our favorite crowd-funding site. So without any further delays let's dig in as we bring you a king-sized version of Kickstarter Weekly!
Viticulture, the game that nearly won my (Jeremiah's) Game of the Year, is getting an expansion! This is an interesting take on tackling an expansion, where players will unlock smaller expansions one-by-one within the box until the full expansion is included into the game. It seems a clever device to slowly introduce smaller elements of the expansion instead of completely overwhelming players with a TON of new mechanics, components, and strategies. Because of these smaller modules of the expansion, players get to pick and choose their experience each time, as well.
The campaign has already blown past its funding goal and is over $150,000, which has unlocked tons of cool stretch goals, and they're pushing closer to the final goals with each passing minute! Stonemaier has carved themselves a solid place in the market with their superbly run Kickstarter campaigns and great games; this should be a no-brainer to fans of Viticulture!
The campaign ends April 9. and it will cost a pledge of $45 for a copy. You can see all the details right here!
Gone Viking is a trick-taking game wrapped neatly around a viking theme--which apparently is a thing now. We wrote a full review of the game and think it's a lot of fun. It adds a lot of great decision-making tension to your typical trick-taking game, and plays off of the theme really well! The campaign page features all the info, including images of cards and a full pdf rulebook. They're over half way to the funding goal--which is set pretty low--and shouldn't have any problem bringing this fun little game to your table!
The campaign ends on April 1 and a pledge of $30 Canadian will score you your very own copy. For all the info you could ever hope for, click right here!
So imagine that the Terminator films are ancient history, and the robots have ruled the world for some time now, and there are different factions of those robots now battling for complete world domination. Now you have an idea of Kingdom Bots. The game relies on some resource-management and area-control while being mostly "command card" driven. It's a game for 3-4 players that sports some pretty awesome artwork! The campaign has a long way to go as they are trying to hit $60,000 Canadian, but the game looks worth giving a spin!
The campaign ends April 4. And it will cost you $70 Canadian, for a copy of the game. Full details, pledge levels and sweet artwork can be found here!
The makers of Dungeon Dice have designed a simple, single-deck game for all ages: Kaboom. Kaboom is essentially a hot-potato type card game in which players are passing around a very cartoonish bomb and trying to get rid of it by any means available before it blows! The game looks fun and creative with cards that interact with the players' actions, making it much more than a game of straight strategy and playing the best possible combination of cards to win.
The campaign ends March 27. And it only takes a pledge of $19 to score a copy of the game! Full details and such can be found right here!
Worker Placement, is...well...a worker-placement game. It's a light-weight worker-placement game that even my 5-year-old did well with. We'll be reviewing the game soon, but the quick overview goes something like this: Players are the operators of different temp agencies in town trying to score jobs for their clients. They place them throughout the town to gain skills or make a quick buck. Once they have the right skills to land a job they can get the job and score you points. In a genre that has a lot of depth and weighty games, Worker Placement has streamlined the mechanics and makes for a great family or gateway game into a very in-depth genre of gaming.
The campaign ends April 10. And it takes a pledge of $40 for a copy. You can get all of the details right here!
Thanks, as always, for stopping by our little Web site; we'd love to hear about any other KS campaigns you think we should check out!
You can subscribe to TOG by filling in your email over on the right, we'd also love to connect with you on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and of course there's more TOG where this came from on our Podcast!
Fantasy Flight has just announced a huge expansion to their epic board game iteration of Battlestar Galactica. Daybreak seemingly brings the game full circle and concludes the series as the gameplay focuses on the twilight of Galactica, and the growing plight of both Humans and Cylons. From Fantasy Flight:
The Daybreak expansion for Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game brings humanity’s plight to its gripping climax! With two supplemental game boards and hundreds of cards and tokens, Daybreak invites players to undertake desperate missions, struggle under the constant threat of mutiny, and bargain with Cylon Leaders driven by motives of their own.
- 1 Demetrius Game Board, 1 Rebel Basestar Game Board, 2 overlays, and 1 rulebook
- 12 Character Sheets and plastic Character Stands
- 27 new tokens and markers
- 129 new cards
- 8 plastic figures
You can find all the info here.
I'm (Jeremiah) hoping to get my hands on this expansion soon. I've been a big fan of the base game for some time now (read my review of it here). Have you kept up with the other 2 expansions for the game? Have a favorite? Share it here! Have a favorite Battlestar memory or moment? Share it here! We all miss the series too!
We here at TOG have certainly been anticipating the first expansion of Smash Up! (one of our top 10 games of 2012). And to say we’re more than a little excited about today’s interview would be completely accurate. Today we’re chatting with Paul Peterson, designer of Smash Up! and its first expansion Awesome Level 9000—and much, much more. Paul, we’re so glad you’ve given us some time in your busy schedule. Thanks for chatting with us today!
First, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
I’ve been a professional game designer for almost 20 years (and an amateur before that.) I started out at Wizards of the Coast working on Magic: the Gathering, Pokemon, and pretty much every other CCG the company put out while I was there.
Since then I’ve worked on a truly staggering variety of game types from MMOs to games for girls to games for mobile devices to social games.
No matter what area I’m working in, though, my heart always goes back to board games. I couldn’t be happier about the success that Smash Up is having.
Let’s go back to last year and the release of Smash Up. How did Smash Up come to be? And how did you land on the shuffle-building concept?
One of my favorite things about CCGs is building your deck from all of the cards available, but that can be a daunting task. So I started thinking about ways to capture that same feeling of customizing your deck without getting overwhelmed. Shuffle-building was what I came up with. The theme of different factions working together was a natural fit, although the game itself was much different when I initially started designing it.
It was originally much closer to my CCG roots in games like Magic: the Gathering, and players putting minions in front of them and attacking each other. The hook was that you could play one of your minions on top of another one to make a combo minion that was both a Ninja and a Robot, for example. But it really wasn’t coming together very well so I kept changing it.
The game went through a couple of other incarnations, but it wasn’t until I decided to make the game revolve around fighting for control of bases that things really fell into place, and Smash Up as it is today took shape.
Can you tell us the story of getting the game to market and your experience working with AEG?
Once I had the basic game done, I polished and playtested it a lot. I eventually had a version that I thought really showed the potential of the game, I decided to take it to the GAMA Trade Show and show it around to the all the game manufacturers. The show takes place around March and that is when they are usually starting to think about what games they want to make in the next year, so there are a lot of meetings between the companies and designers with games to show.
I met with several companies there and showed them Smash Up (although at the time it was named “Pirate, Ninja, Zombie, Robot.”) Everyone liked the idea of building decks by shuffling them together, but my meeting with AEG was different. John Zinser instantly liked the game. It seemed to strike a chord with him. After the demo he wanted to play again immediately, and after that game he got very excited and started talking about all the things we could do with the game. He started contacting his staff and setting up meetings with me to show them the game as well. It was very gratifying to see . I knew instantly that this was the company that I wanted to make this game and luckily it all came together.
AEG has been amazing to work with through the entire process. They have a tremendous amount of respect for the designers they work with, and want us as involved as we’re willing to be. I’ve had a lot of control over the vision of the game and input into areas that I might not have gotten with other companies. So, as the release of Awesome Level 9000 (which is probably my favorite expansion name ever) draws near, we’ve seen LOTS of search terms in our metrics regarding “When is the Smash Up expansion release date?” So can you tell us and the world: What is the Smash Up expansion release date?
It is printed and on its way. You should see it on store shelves at the end of March or early April at the latest. I can't wait! We know the expansion will feature 4 new factions and some new bases; does it add any other rules, or changes to the game itself?
Each of the four new factions adds new mechanics and strategies to the game, but they all do so within the same rule set as the base game. We wanted to expand the universe a bit before we started changing all of the rules on the players. The second expansion, though...
What is your favorite faction in the Smash Up world?
That’s a tough one. I am very partial to the Plants in the expansion, but overall I think the Zombies are my favorite. They have so many interesting cards like Tenacious Z and Mall Crawl. Here’s a suggestion for a future faction: Bloggers!—the pen is mightier than the sword! (That’s a freebie...) Anyway...your design credits include games such as Guillotine, The Harry Potter CCG, and others; are there any games you’ve designed in the past that you would love to reboot or do a new edition of?
That is a great question because James Ernest and I just did exactly that for Unexploded Cow. We originally designed the game in 2001 for his company, Cheapass Games. When he decided to relaunch Cheapass Games this year he choose Unexploded Cow to be the flagship game for the company, so we pulled the game out and took a hard look at it. We’ve both gained a lot of experience in the last 12 years and we found some areas of the game that we thought could use a little “sprucing up.” So we tweaked a bunch of the cards and changed the way the city deck worked and I think the game plays much better now, even though I loved the way it played back in 2001.
As for my other games, there is one small change I’d LOVE to make to Guillotine. There is a card in the game called Callous Guards. Currently it lasts until the person who played it wants it to end. This was a huge mistake. If I could go back, I’d make it last one turn. I urge everyone to take my advice and play it as such. Looking at the inside tray of the core set of Smash Up, it’s apparent that the game was designed to be expanded. How soon can players expect yet another expansion?
Well, we aren't ready to announce a title or anything, but I can say that we are planning on having another expansion out for Gen Con this year. We are just wrapping up the play testing on it and players are in for a few surprises. What are you top 5 games, and what do you love about those games?
At the moment my favorite games are:
Lords of Waterdeep - I’ve been a big fan of worker placement games since the first time I played Agricola, and I think that this is the best of them. It plays fast, but the mechanics are elegant and all work very well together.
Magic: the Gathering - I don’t really have the time to keep up with the current deck technology in the ever changing world of professional play (which was a big inspiration for making Smash Up,) but I’m always willing to break out some preconstructed decks or do a draft or even a league.
Dominon - There have been many deckbuilding games that have added to the genre since Dominion came out, but this is still the best overall. Some of the expansions are hit or miss, but overall the game still shines and continues to innovate.
Robo-Rally - Brain bending, robot destroying, factory racing fun. Plus people do little dances in their seats to try to figure out what the program they are making will do.
Cosmic Encounter - I am talking here about the original version of the game. The last several editions are just fine, but it’s the original version of the game that really taught me about how crazy a game can be and still be fun.
Are there any other non-Smash Up games on the horizon you can tell us about?
Well, a lot of my design efforts have been spent on Smash Up and Awesome Level 9000. I have managed to squeeze in a few other projects:
As mentioned above, James Ernest and I reworked Unexploded Cow which should be available right about the time that your readers see this.
My friend Mike Selinker designed the Pathfinder Adventure Card Game for Paizo, and asked me to come do some design and development on it. It is a huge project and we just finished the playtesting for that. It should be out later this year.
I do have a couple of games in the works at a few companies, but they are all in early stages and won’t be announced or on shelves any time soon.
And, of course, I’ll be at the GAMA Trade Show this year with a couple of new board game designs that I’m pretty excited about. I hope you like rolling dice... Now it’s time for our 1-Word Answers section! (Short phrases are also allowed.)
Favorite burger topping?
Favorite Hitchcock movie?
Favorite board game designer who’s not you...?
A tie between James Ernest and Richard Garfield.
Favorite ship in the Star Wars universe?
Favorite Doctor? (And I don’t mean your urologist...)
Thanks so much for taking some time to chat with us! We are looking forward to Awesome Level 9000 and more!
You can follow Paul on Twitter right here! And you can follow us on Twitter right here! And like us on FaceBook over here! And you can find out more about Awesome Level 9000 on the AEG website right here!
As always thanks for reading!
Last week Fantasy Flight Games gave the world a pretty good look at the latest expansion for their Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures game. The long-awaited Millennium Falcon ship is on its way. And I just have to say: Wow, it looks cool! The Falcon will have a few extra modifications (true to the ship's history in the films), as well as 3 different pilot options: Han, Chewie, and the often under-appreciated Nien Nunb.
You can check out the full preview on Fantasy Flights Web site right here.
Thanks for reading, and we'll see you tomorrow!
Alderac Enterainment group has just announced through social media that they're releasing their first expansion to Smash Up: Awesome Level 9000. Looks like players will have 4 more factions to choose from in this shuffle builder. The new factions will be Killer Plants, Ghosts, Steampunks and the Bear Cavalry. Aside from the 80 faction cards, there will be 8 new bases, and a rule book in the expansion, although from first glance it doesn't look like there will be much more added to the game rules themselves, just more combos, and maybe the ability to add another player?
Thanks for reading and have a great day!
The super-long-awaited fourth expansion for Race for the Galaxy is nearly here! Rio Grande has announced a December 2012 release for Alien Artifacts. The expansion will change the trajectory of the game and will not be compatible with the three previous expansions of the title.Rio Grande has also scheduled Roll for the Galaxy—the obligatory dice version of the successful title, that's been rumored for years.You can check out the official Rio Grande page for Alien Artifacts right here. Thanks for reading!
Fantasy Flight also announced this week that The Battle of Lake Town adventure pack for their living card game The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game, is now available as a print-on-demand title. The Battle of Lake Town was Fantasy Flight's Gencon exclusive this year, and promises to be an exciting addition to the LOTR adventure. Players will have to work together to save Lake Town from the Hobbit's main baddie, Smaug himself! If it's anything like last year's Gencon exclusive, it will be a brutal slugfest, with lots of action and not much questing! (My kind of adventure!) You can order a print-on-demand copy of The Battle of Lake Town RIGHT HERE! And you can read Fantasy Flight's full description of the adventure RIGHT HERE! As always, thanks for reading!