Fate of the Norns

The Complete Viking Experience!
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 Post subject: Re: New FOTNR Boardgame
PostPosted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:26 pm 
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My baby is coming back to life! www.chronicleofkings.com

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 Post subject: Re: New FOTNR Boardgame
PostPosted: Wed Sep 27, 2017 10:47 am 
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Had a great 4-player test play session last night. What I'm really liking is that players with different likes and dislikes can find a path to victory that they truly enjoy. Some players love military conquest, and there's enough here to allow them to sink their teeth into it. But one player truly dislikes military games, and can avoid it completely in Chronicle of Kings. As a bonus, their chosen paths do have them cross paths with other players regularly, so their path to victory didn't feel like solitaire.

The major conundrum right now is how long should a challenge last, especially when more than 2 players are involved. If everyone's involved, that's not an issue, but for those not involved, I need to find that sweet spot.


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 Post subject: Re: New FOTNR Boardgame
PostPosted: Wed Oct 11, 2017 9:36 am 
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I have a massive fire lit under my butt, Metatopia is fast approaching and Chronicle of Kings will be the project that I share with my peers. I have been invited to attend Metatopia by the organizers for a few years now (since 2012), but haven't attended since my favourite convention (Carnage Con) was always on the same weekend. Well this boardgame has been a slow but steady evolution for many years, but it has been a struggle. Because it has been such a challenge, I think it will benefit most from critique by my fellow game designers. My biggest challenge has been to create a unified engine that drives memorable and thematic game-play... after all, the victory condition is that your bloodline is the most memorable and legendary.

This thread has been like a designer's diary. Looking back at how many restarts I've had... whelp, I've had a massive lightbulb moment last night after a day of designer's block. This may mean a significant overhaul with just 3 weeks to go. Argh, but I know its worth exploring.

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 Post subject: Re: New FOTNR Boardgame
PostPosted: Sat Oct 21, 2017 8:34 am 
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The part I've struggled with this week was the conflict resolution mechanic. Taking the simple route makes single-player mode viable and its quick (two of my goals), giving it depth (another goal) makes it more strategic and thematic... a double edged sword. Right now I'm looking how to add the more complex version as an add-on and to stick with quick resolution.

The crazy thing is, I have about 4 fleshed out mechanics, but I cannot choose 1 that I am truly happy with. The ones I like the most require more than 1 player to work and take a much longer time to resolve. What I want to try is how I can pull other players into the conflict resolution so they remain engaged with a challenge that takes longer.

Metatopia, the game designer's conference, is only 2 weeks away and I will presenting Heimskringla to my fellow developers. Panic yet? Not yet, but getting there!

Another playtest tonight.

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 Post subject: Re: New FOTNR Boardgame
PostPosted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 6:22 am 
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Location: Waterloo, ON
A FotN boardgame would be snagged/ backed in a heartbeat by my gaming group! Waiting with anticipation...
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 Post subject: Re: New FOTNR Boardgame
PostPosted: Tue Oct 24, 2017 11:52 pm 
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OK took the plunge and bought TableTop Simulator from Steam. Got the board and a deck of cards working. Who also has this and would be interested in jumping in when I'm done setting it up?

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 Post subject: Re: New FOTNR Boardgame
PostPosted: Wed Nov 01, 2017 12:00 pm 
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This will be run all weekend at the Metatopia game-designers convention. I hope to get a lot of constructive criticisms. :)

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 Post subject: Re: New FOTNR Boardgame
PostPosted: Mon Dec 04, 2017 8:02 pm 
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Metatopia was a great experience. I ran the game for dozens of game designers who returned some amazing critiques of the design. They helped me overcome one of the biggest blockers that I was facing. The feedback loop was well organized and enabled each test play to focus on core aspects of the game design... they also had good written forms that I can refer to a month later.

What astounded me was one couple who played and kept quiet throughout. At the end of the feedback loop they remained very quiet and left. About 5 hours later they returned with their thoughts put down on paper. They said that they loved the game, and want to see it produced one day, so they took their time digesting the experience and came back to me with a thought out list of critiques and ideas.

Tomorrow we resume the weekly test plays and I can't wait to have some of the new ideas implemented for play.

:)


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 Post subject: Re: New FOTNR Boardgame
PostPosted: Mon Oct 29, 2018 10:04 am 
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I suppose this thread needs a 2018 update... hard to believe this has been in the works since 2015. As I've always stated, we'll never rush a game out the door simply to have another game out there. Our games will only be released when they're truly ready. Don't get me started on Vigrid LOL!

The Chronicle of Kings URL now links to the BGG website game entry. I was initially thinking of putting all info on the ChronicleofKings.com website, but I'm now considering using the BGG entry as the central repository for the game related content and pics.

Last year's Metatopia event was priceless, giving me the design feedback I required to get past my design challenges. From peer feedback, I was in a good position, having to prune the fat, rather than change or add mechanics. Despite that statement, it hasn't been an easy road to cut features and unify mechanics. After many months of sporadic work, I've cleaned up the system to run quick and easy; my goal was for actions to run similarly to "Ticket to Ride" for speed and simplicity. That said, it's still a "big box" game like Descent.

The game still shines the spotlight on your nobles and their lineage, but the board has been redesigned. Instead of the 72 location board, we're down to 25 regions (one-third of the old map) and the map scales based on the number of players. This keep things "too small" like in Small World, forcing player interactions. This is not a game of solitaire! Each game turn is called a generation and players resolve many actions and scenes during that time. This was the focus of Q1 and Q2 of this past year.

Then the came the task of refining the heart of the game- scenes! These are your actions on steroids that allow many players to jump in on the action using complications. If the game slows down, I always want all players to be involved during those times, this way player downtime is mitigated, keeping engagement high.

Single player mode is also working really well with events that make the game board feel alive and dynamic. The events also no longer have their own game phase, but rather trigger on certain rune-die rolls keeping the excitement and unpredictability high.

Another one of my ambitions was a campaign mode that gives the game a Twilight Imperium grandeur. This has started by having 2 ages defined: The Dark Age, and then the Age of Gods. The dark age is the Viking period of 700-850 AD. A period governed by larger than life heroes fighting monsters in a world filled with monsters and the unknown. Monsters drop trophies and those are used to forge unique relics of power. These magical items are hard to get and when you get them, you alter the game in very interesting ways. To combat the darkness, you build shrines to the gods, and this limits monster spawn and movement. When monsters can no longer affect the world, the Age of Darkness ends, and with it, the ability to forge relics. Whatever the players managed to create is what they carry forth into the next age. Now the shrines become the focus of the Age of Gods. This opens the box of god decks that dedicates families to different gods and their agendas. But the threat lies in the spread of the missionaries and monasteries. They threaten to wipe out the old faith and convert your nobles to the White God. Once the gods have been forgotten, that age end and you enter the third phase of the game, the Age of Kings (not yet fully defined). This is the campaign mode that can take 12 hours to play through and could be a Legacy style mechanic.

We've got a wood carver that has been commissioned to create highly stylized figurines for the game. The game will have "minis" but these are not your standard fare, I'll post some pics up soon. They have a style along the lines of the Isle of Lewis chess set.

I have the new game boards shipping to my house this week. I ordered a few since the beta will have other player groups start testing the game on their own. I will setup a print and play along with a game board I will ship to those groups. This will test how robust the rulebook is and gather a wider feedback loop. Then I'll be shipping game kits to youtube game reviewers before we get to the Kickstarter.

Now that we're in BETA I may just make a whole sub-forum for this game.

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 Post subject: Re: New FOTNR Boardgame
PostPosted: Wed Oct 31, 2018 11:11 am 
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Brand new board came in today. I ordered a few copies and will be sending them out to various groups who applied for early beta testing. I still have a few extras left, so if you're serious about taking the game for many test drives with several game groups, PM me.

The way it will work, I will send you the board, and a PDF with print and play cards. You'll need to scrounge up the rest of the components from the dollar store or cannibalize from other boardgames. As the beta progresses I will have more and more components acquired and can ship them out with the board. I will also have the decks uploaded to DriveThruCards for you to buy at cost, this way you don't spend your printer toner and valuable time cutting up the cards and sleeving them.

By agreeing to become an early test player, you're agreeing to sending monthly play reports back, and scheduling a few skype calls to discuss the experience.

Note: the board is on neoprene and measures 24"x48" so you will need a massive table to play this big box game. Each player also gets a kingdom play-mat 8"x11".


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