Sunday, May 31, 2009

Temple Builders

Many different kinds of "resources" are needed in order for a temple to be built. There are the obvious things, like a spot of ground, the building materials, and the construction workers. But there many other things that are needed that are more important.

For example, righteous members of the church are needed. They need to pay tithing, attend church meetings, pray, keep the commandments, and study the scriptures, just to name a few.

Temple Builders is a cooperative game, for children ages 4 and up. where players work together to build the temple. They begin by collecting these other important resources which they can then trade in for the "physical building blocks" of the temple. Once they have collected all the blocks that make up the physical build of the temple they can put it together however they wish.

The game is played by rolling dice, looking to roll doubles, triples, etc. all the while watching out for the dreaded X that might show up. Too many Xs and you will have to give up the valuable resources without which you will never be able to finish building the temple.

This is the first of what I hope to make a line of games aimed at children 4 years old and up. I'm currently working on making a variation of my Armor of God game for kids.

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Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pre-Order Hagoth!!!

10:42 AM by Mike · 2 comments
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Update (5/27/09)
Already there are a couple other websites that have posted about Hagoth, that it is up for pre-order from Mayday. Here's what I've found so far:

Purple Pawn
Ludricus Games Festival

Mayday Games has put Hagoth up on their website (Pre-order Hagoth!!!) for pre-order!! You get the game for $4 off, making it $18.95, plus you get plastic sleeves for the cards (or for any cards that fit the normal euro dimensions)!

Needless to say, I'm am very excited and getting even more excited as Scott moves along with the artwork. He's shown us the mock sketch ups and is moving ahead from there on the artwork. Hagoth is going to look sweet!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


This is very exciting news (at least for me anyway)! Hagoth: Builder of Ships will be published by Mayday Games (updated 5/27/09: Pre-order Hagoth!!)sometime this summer!!! Sweet!

On May 9th the Guild had put together a meeting with Seth from Mayday Games, where we could come and show Seth our games. Four of us showed up to show him what we had. All together we spent 4 hours or so playing each game. Seth said that he liked the games and that he might look into doing a couple of them.

Later he told me that he wanted to do Hagoth. I was very excited (and still am)! I really had no idea that anyone out there would be interested in publishing a Mormon themed game. I always hoped that there would be someone or that somehow we could convince someone that they wanted to. But now it is actually going to happen!!

Anyway, Seth emailed me a contract on the 11th. I looked it over; asked about a couple of changes (like getting my name placed on the cover of the box); signed it and email it back on the 13th. Then yesterday Seth came up here to Logan with his signature now attached to the contract as well. So, it's official!!!

While he was up here we met with Scott Wakefield (an artist I know; here's his website). Scott is going to do the artwork for Hagoth!! I'll post some updates as Scott moves along with the artwork. Very exciting!!!

Well, that's how it's all happened. I can't wait to see the final, finish, published version of Hagoth. Seth is hoping that we can get the whole thing put together and take a couple of copies to A Gathering of Strangers in July. I don't know if that is feasible, but it would definitely be extremely cool!

Monday, May 18, 2009

New Game & the Satisfaction that's Come from It

I have been working on a children's game, aimed at 5 year olds and up. It's a cooperative game where the players are working toward completely building a temple. It's turned out to be pretty basic, but I think that's important because younger children will be playing it. Anyway, they roll dice and collect "resources" that are then used to "build" parts of a temple. Once they have all the parts they can put them all together and voila! a TEMPLE!!

I got a good prototype put together and Sunday morning before church (we go at 11:00 am) my kids played through it once. My three oldest played (a 7 year old, 5 year old, and 4 year old). The four year old had a hard time understanding that the three of them were playing together on a team. He liked collecting the pennies (which represent tithing) and always commented about how he had more than his sisters. The older two grasped the whole idea and could play through quite easily. They, in fact, helped the four year old several times with his rolls and whatnot.

The best part of the whole thing was that they were totally enjoying themselves! They played for about 30 minutes and were loving their time together. They were working toward a common goal and no one (well our four year old got a little distracted a few times) complained about playing or got tired of it and moved on to something else. It was very satisfying to hear them working together and having a good time playing a game that they could play together without much supervision from my wife and I (we were working on getting the other two ready). All I can say is that it was very satisfying. I was very happy, and still am.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Warriors of the Promised Land: A Review

I wasn't sure if I would enjoy this game too much. I guess I was expecting something similar to Book of Mormon Battles, but I was pleasantly surprised!

The game starts by dealing each deck (the Warriors deck and the Armory deck) out to the players, like war. Then each player draws 3 cards from each of their decks. They choose 1 warrior and place it face down in front of them. Gameplay proceeds as each player takes turns placing other cards from their hand (and subsequently drawing, from either their Warrior deck or their Armory deck to fill back to 6 cards) face down next to their warrior card. This continues until one player decides to end the round. Everyone gets a final turn and then the player who ended the round chooses an opponent to challenge. This is done by revealing each card and counting up the points. The player with the highest total wins the opponents cards and gets to challenge another player, until all players have been challenged. Then play starts over again. The first player to collect all cards from everyone is the winner!!

Each card contains a number of small icons. These icons provide the way of "connecting" warriors and armor, thereby gaining points. As players place cards face down next to their initial warrior card, at least one icon must match an icon from the warrior. All kinds of combinations can be achieved (sidenote: righteous warriors cannot be played with wicked warriors and vice versa, even if the icons match), for example, your warrior might be Moroni, adding the Plates gives you 5 extra points. Or you might have Amalikiah, adding Dissentions gives you an additional 5 points. There are also cards that block points from other players, like the Fortress card. It will block any points your challenger has from swords, javelins, or arrows (among other weapons). One of the most powerful cards is the Righteous Women card. It will double all the points you have for that round!!!

One strategy that I locked onto was that of not putting those kinds of powerful cards out unless I was pretty sure I was going to win. So, if I started the round with 2 wicked warriors and a couple of wicked type weapons and the Righteous Women card, then I would probably play a wicked warrior and save the Righteous Women card for the next time it got into my hand (at the end of the round you put your hand cards into your discard pile, so you'll get back to them eventually).

It's funny how just a couple of slight changes to the game of war makes things quite interesting and fun! This was leaps and bounds above Book of Mormon Battles in terms of gameplay and fun. It was nice to have more choice in what went on.

The artwork is pretty awesome! It adds a lot to the gameplay and immersion factors.

Probably the only downside would be that if I had children old enough to play this I would hesitate to have them excited and happy that they could take Amalikiah and beat Captain Moroni. But that's about my only qualm, even though that's the nature of games and competition and good versus evil, etc., etc., etc.... (Just more reason why we need a great LDS/Mormon themed cooperative game where players join forces and fight against the Lamanites.) I'm not trying to take away from this game. As I said, I thoroughly enjoyed it and will play it in the future as well.

My rating: 4 out of 5

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Thursday, May 7, 2009

Zion Game Designers International

We are moving forward on this idea: Zion Game Designers Internationl (ZGDI). Thanks to Chester we've got a nice looking shield logo and a nice introduction to who we are and what we hope to accomplish. Brian, who has some web designing experience, has put this all together here. So far there are 6 of us who are serious about carrying this thing forward (hopefully soon we'll have a members page there at zionboardgames. We hope to use the website to showcase the games we have as well (this will be added in the near future as well).

We hope that this will provide a great resource for publishers and distributors to be able to contact us and see what we have to offer. We're still working on figuring out how to become members of the LDS Booksellers Association and get to their annual convention. Hopefully ZGDI will be able to grow and give us that opportunity. In order to become members of their association we need to have 3 references that will verify that we have "active accounts" with them. We also need a business license. So, the ZGDI will have to become a business.

Some have talked about getting the LDSBA to open up a sort of third category for us (currently they work with retailers and wholesalers). That seems like a something that would be a little more difficult, but I guess we never know.

Anyway, we've got some hurdles to overcome but we're working at it and hopefully we'll see some success.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Keystone Games!!

Well, I've decided to give my little chunk of game designing/publishing a name: Keystone Games, with the following logo:

It's a play on the Book of Mormon being the keystone of our religion. Anyway, to start things off, I've decided to put the Armor of God out as a Print n Play (PnP) game. It will be my first official offering to the world. As soon as it's all ready I'll be providing a link to the pdf that can be downloaded, printed, and played!!

I've also decided to submit my little company to boardgamegeek along with my game (I've also got to add myself as a designer!). Anyway, I'm in the process of doing that right now, so we'll see how it goes.

Once it's all worked out and up and running I'll shout it to the world a little bit more. Yippee!!
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