Engine Damage Lite: Part 1

One of the things I have wanted to do was to cover the development of a game from start to finish.  Specifically, I wanted to cover discovering the initial kernel, fleshing it out, creating the prototype, swallowing your pride as you scrap your favorite mechanic, and lots and lots of playtesting.  Luckily for me, I had an idea for a new game just after creating my website, so I am going to start a development journal for Engine Damage Lite.

Engine Damage is a game of steampunk, train on train combat.  I have been working on versions of the game for about 12 years.  It was the second game I ever created, and it will always be my special project… Mostly because it is completely unpublishable.  A massive miniatures combat game requiring special arenas and hundreds of pieces?  It will never happen.  I should probably talk about the history a little, before I get to the current version.  Feel free to skip to the line break if you don’t want to hear how Engine Damage has evolved. Continue reading

Kublacon Postmortem

Kublacon LobbyThe best four days of gaming in the bay area are over and done.  Kublacon 2015 was a blast.  Good dealers, games, and seminars.  It was great hearing tips from the proverbial horse’s mouth:  James Earnest.  I managed to make it to two lectures, one on how to sell to publishers and one on how to publish yourself (Hint:  Don’t do it!).  But that’s not why you are here, is it.  How did the games go?

After some initial problems with my game being scheduled at the wrong time, Gladiatron got a table and was set up.  Gladiatron is a gladitorial combat game I have been working on, specifically for convention play.  Every year, the lobby of Kublacon is filled with big, flashy games.  I wanted Gladiatron to be one of them.  More specifically, however, I designed it with drop-in, drop-out gameplay.  Each player plays a gladiator trying to score as many points as possible.  Points are scored by attacking other gladiators, standing on Podiums of Power, or grabbing the trophy in the middle of the arena.  If you escape, your score is put on the leaderboard, and at the end of the game, the highest score wins.  If you are killed?  Well, you gave it your best shot, right?  The leaderboard allows players to play a run or two and leave, or show up late, and still have a chance at winning.

So how did the playtest go? Continue reading