Last weekend myself and the rest of Tinkerbot Towers were lucky enough to attend a board and card game design event known as Chaos Unpub (check here for more details). We got the chance to meet many great designers and play-testers, show off a few of our own designs and check out the amazing work happening amongst the UK game design community.
Needless to say, I loved every minute of it; talking shop and giving/receiving feedback, playing games that may see the publisher’s desk in the near future, even munching our way through the buffet set up by Dave and Miles (co-organisers) made for a flowing of creative juices and much hand-shaking camaraderie.
But enough gushing! What did we get to play?
- Gunslingers: Tricks & Bullets by Konrad Borowiecki. A card game set in the era of spaghetti westerns, each card served the dual function of having an ability/equipment and a suit running from Ace to King. Each player could then play cards and attack and defend, based on the suits their individual Gunslinger could use. The abilities and equipment allowed the players to add suits to attack and defence, remove them from opponents, increase damage, and generally cause mayhem. This is all in an effort to either become the most popular fighter in the west or take out all other players. You could tell how many times this game had been play tested and revised as the game was extremely close and ran beautifully.
- Wyrm Farm: One of our own! We have a mini-intro here, if you want to catch up. Generally well received, we got some cracking feedback on the weaker areas of WF which we’ll look to implement in the future; watch this space for updates!
- Secret ‘tourism on an island’ game. Due to this game being super close to a publication deal, I won’t delve too deep into mechanics and pictures on this one. Suffice it to say it involves tourism management on an island in a Eurogame. This one needed a few more plays to figure out, as not all possible strategies became apparent in the first go.
- The Cow Game by Paul Bremner. Just managed to squeeze this one in at the end of the day. A tongue-in-cheek worker dice placement game to earn magic beans by managing your herd of cattle, breeding, slaughtering, trading and milking your way to victory. A little math-sey, but once we got rolling (lol!) the moo was flying as this tidy little card and dice game came to a conclusion.
Couple of honourable mentions on the day. Our weird goats and rocks prototype, Cabrasa Mesa got an airing with a family including two young children. Result? Another game played immediately after! So hopefully a little more development to go, but promising so far.
Also spotted Treasure Hunters, a finalist of the UK Games EXPO Redesign competition. Very sad not to have had a go at this as it looked amazing, with little baskets and cheeky gnomes but definitely going to check this out at the EXPO in May.
As you can see, a long, tiring and very successful day! A big thank you to Miles and Dave for organising this event and very much looking forward to the next one guys! Also a thanks to all the designers and play-testers on the day who helped to make it such a cracker. Cheers all!
What. A. BLAST! Oh guys this was so much fun! Tony and I could only stay for half of the day but I did my best to cram in as much as I could in those few hours! Bevan has already summed up the day brilliantly but I got a chance to play two games and here they are!
- A Cousin’s War by David Mortimer. Set in the period of British history know as the War of the Roses, this game beautifully gamifies the delicate balancing act of winning a war through politics, logistics, betrayal, luck, bluffing and battles! Played by 2 players over 5 rounds, this microgames packs a lot of punch for so few components. Don’t let the size of this game fool you, it’s a deep, engaging game with a lot to offer. The next day I woke up wanting to play again, which says it all really!
- Space-Sheep by Tom Burmeister. A comedy sci-fi game which pitches players against each other in a free-for-all space battle. Controlling space ships piloted by sheep, players manage a hand of cards to fly their ship and man the cannons. A lot of fun, bright and colourful. Something I’ll keep an eye out for in future.
All in all, a great day that was well organised and a lot of fun. Well done Chaos Publishing! We’ll definitely be back!
What can I say that hasn’t already been covered! The day was a great success and the best bit had to be the people, it was great to sit down and talk about the games from a creative perspective alongside the fun of playing. I ended up playing the same two games that Bevan has already discussed above, but here are my thoughts!
- Gunslingers: Tricks & Bullets by Konrad Borowiecki – This is clearly a well thought out and balanced game which combines elements of luck and strategy. I loved the tension in this game, both Bevan and I came exceptionally closing to winning and neither of us did in the end. a few of the components were a bit clunky due to the quickly changing aspects of the game, but these can be streamlined. A really enjoyable game.
- Wyrm Farm: This is one of Bevans designs, and I enjoyed it previously but hadn’t played it for quite some time. I love this game, if i could take up dragon breeding as a profession I would and the improvements Bevan has made since my last play through have made this game much smoother. The mechanics work really well, we just need to give it a better end point!
Good times, Good food, Good Friends! Thanks to everyone at Chaos Unpub for welcoming us and providing this great opportunity!
For more information on Chaos Unpub, visit their website.