The State of Ragnaroll, August 2015

Hail friends and followers,

Today I’d like to catch you up on what’s been happening at End Game Games with Ragnaroll over the past 6 months or so. I’d like to start with a little apology to anyone who’s had tell them a date in the past. Development with Ragnaroll has been ongoing but real life has thrown in an unexpected interruption over the past couple months. I’m back on track now and can commit to staying on that track through the upcoming Kickstarter and beyond. Continue reading

The State of Ragnarol, March 2015

Hail friend!

Ragnarol has been in development for a long time now. It’s possible you heard of it a couple of years ago, when it was bouncing around in my head, or you’ve played it with me sometime over the past 18 months. It’s getting towards completion, but this last, long march through the snow is proving longer and harder than I had planned for. I just wanted to give you a quick update of what’s been happening with Ragnarol lately and where we’re heading in the very near future! Continue reading

Hedron Designer Diary 9

Hedron is launching on Kickstarter today, and I’m happy to say there’s been no changes since the last designer diary. Hedron’s stable and ready for some public scrutiny. This is going to be the first in a series of diaries that I’ll post throughout the campaign, looking back at Hedron’s development and focusing on my 5 design goals, but first… Continue reading

Hedron Designer Diary 8

Hedron’s been almost finished for quite a long time now. I’m in that final 5% that seems to be taking twice as long as the last 10%. The last few iterations have seen no major design changes, the system is working really well and I’m finally getting the climatic end game that I’ve always aimed for.

The Final Finish

I arrived at the final end game and scoring mechanic after being pretty happy with the current state of the game. Everything was working well, the game felt balanced and even, rewarding strategic play but with enough of a risk element to make catch-up viable. After being happy that the game played well with normal people, we decided to push it a little further and give the game an extra good shove to see if anything fell out, and one thing did. With the Flux mechanic, players were open to a variety of viable strategies but we discovered one strategy shut the others down and led to a slightly miserable end game. Continue reading

Hedron Designer Diary 7

Since diary no. 6, I’ve been able to spend a couple of weeks holiday tweaking the game and got even more tweaking done after a day of demoing at TAGE. Thanks to the involvement of many people, the game is progressing well and I believe is very closed to being finished. Hedron seems to be engaging new players and providing a reasonably unique gaming experience. There’s been almost 2 diary entries worth of changes, so let’s get down to business (we’ll do design goals next time). Continue reading

Hedron Designer Diary 6

Just when you think you’re out, they drag you right back in. The latest playtests have been growing pretty well, the game feels tight and is proving to be engaging to pretty much anyone I can convince to sit down and play with multi-sided dice, but it doesn’t feel quite finished yet. I was hoping (and trying very hard) to get the game done and dusted before the Toy and Game Expo in July, but it doesn’t look like I’m going to make it. Anyway, let’s get back to those design goals.
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Hedron Designer Diary 5

There’s been a fair amount of happening under the hood with Hedron in the past month or so. The latest iteration brings a pretty dynamic change, as well as a complete overhaul of the rule book, some player aids and some online prototyping. I’m trying to get as many minds on Hedron as possible right now, to help make the game the best it can be and bring it to a final stage. Continue reading

Hedron Designer Diary 4

Okay, let’s race out the gate with some design goals!

Design Goals

  • Hedron’s key concept is the chain, creating the right chain to meet a specific outcome feels like puzzle-solving and solving puzzles is rewarding
  • Hedron is a brain-burner, you need to think about what you’re going to do
  • Hedron has entropy, the game inevitably heads towards an end game state
  • Hedron rewards skill and offers enough depth for repeat players but is still accessible for new players
  • Hedron is print and play

Test Results

I’ve got the latest version on the table with new players as 3 player game and with my superstar playtester as a 2 player game, in addition to a lot of solo testing. It went a lot better in the 3 player game, but its hard to say whether that was a general impression of a new concept or an actual appraisal of the refined system (I’m guessing the former). It felt a little diminished in 2 player form. The points system creates a drive to the middle and eliminates much of the blow-for-blow tension of piece elimination. There was also a tendency to just take little hits at one another in the 3 player game. The puzzle of the chain didn’t really grasp the new players. There may also be a 1st player advantage and 3rd player disadvantage but I need more tests to be sure. Continue reading

Ragnarol Designer Diary 5

This designer diary is bit shorter than normal. I’ve really only made one change worth mentioned since the last diary, but I have now revised and updated all the rules and the components (see the main playtest page). Everything is now brought together in one document. Paths and Glory has become part of the main game, as has the concept of the hero, just not the assymetry.

The change I’ve made is actually a regression. I’ve changed the dog back into a d4 (with a d6 backup for print playtest version) and re-introduced the lootbag symbol. A lootbag lets a raider steal a store when raiding, win or lose. I took this (and a thief character) out of an early version Ragnarol because it wasn’t super useful; experienced players tended to prefer to take stores over killing warriors so it tended to more or less equate to an axe. However, the recent revisions, notably glory and the Fortify path, have made launching a raid to lose a viable tactic, so I’m putting the dog’s retreive ability back in for now. I’ve added in an extra lootbag in the d6 version so you should see this popping up fairly regularly in play.

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