Twas the Night before GenCon...
3 August 2016
Greetings, From GenCon 2016!
I’ve got my GM badge, my schedule, and my comfortable shoes. Let the chaos begin! If you don’t know, I traveled by car this year – yes, that’s right, I’ve already driven over 4,300 miles! I’m on a Road Trip for Roadtrip!, visiting 20 parks in 20 days, seeing a lot of our beautiful treasures and talking up the game along the way. To learn more about that journey, I’ve a series of posts From the Road that you should check out. I’ll pick that back up when I leave town on Monday. In the meantime, I thought I’d update you about the status of Roadtrip!’s design and detail my schedule here at GenCon. If you are here at the meca for tabletop games, please give me a shout out or stop by at any of the events I’ve scheduled. Don’t forget, I’ll be tweeting, facebooking and instagramming my experience as I go!
I mentioned that Roadtrip! has undergone one final design modification. The change was a result of two factors. First, you have consistently wanted a bit more flexibility in playing Highway cards and visiting Destinations. To address these desires, I have changed the vehicle speed system away from an indicator of pure movement to that of an action point system. In other words, you can now spend your ‘speed’ doing things, like playing a Highway card, moving one space, or visiting a Destination. The single limitation here is that you can only visit one Destination on a turn and it must be the last thing you do. The great thing is that the system lends itself to more strategic play and it eliminates forced negative play. Plus, it has the added bonus of providing a good way to add options into variant play, like trading cars or picking up passengers.
Second, one of my design goals was to fit Roadtrip! into a USPS small flat rate box. All the components and the expansions pieces I'd tested fit into this space, except for the game board. No matter how I manipulated the board, it just wouldn’t work. If you fixed the size of the Moodometer, in order to keep its richness and usability, then the map had to shrink. However, if you shrunk the map, the hex grid became overly dominant. So, I decided to just pull out the hex grid. Remember my motto, "When in doubt, rip it out!" Movement is now by state. And, this means there are less mechanics/rules, which is always better.
While I’m here at GenCon I’ll be playtesting the new speed system and game board. As well, I’ll be talking to the manufacturers in person here. In fact, I ended up waiting in the badge line next to Brent from Panda Games and we struck up a conversation. He told me that they can do cloth boards, one of material options I’ve been interested in since it is reminiscent of the National Park bandannas. I can’t wait to fill you in on more of the details after the show!
Friday Platesting – First Exposure Playtest Hall (right next to badging) at 4pm & 6pm with my friends at Double Exposure. I’m back with the new Roadtrip! I just can’t say enough about how easy they make playtesting here at GenCon. I’m not well known (yet!) and I’m a company of one. They really make it easy.
Friday Fun – The Game Crafter Community Game Night with my friends at The Game Crafter. I am totally excited to get in to this event and mix it up with other designers and the staff. With the expansion of their capabilities over the past year, it’ll be nice to hear just what their future plans are and whether or not The Game Crafter could soon be a viable option for on-demand or small batch Roadtrip! orders.
Saturday Seminar – Crash Course in Game Manufacturing 201 with my friends at Panda. I’m just dangerous enough to know the basics, so I thought I’d learn a bit more as I work to get quotes from the various companies. Also, last year’s introductory seminar was super informative.
Saturday Seminar – Realm Works 101 with my friends at Lone Wolf! I have been intrigued by this system to help with campaign management. I’m always looking for ways to decrease game logistics while simultaneously increasing presented content. Any of you GMs out there know how hard it can get!
Sunday Playtesting - First Exposure Playtest Hall (right next to badging) at 8am & 10am with my friends at Double Exposure. Please stop by!
Sunday Seminar – Music & Ambiance in Gaming with my friends at Syrinscape! I have just loved their system and I cannot emphasize enough how much of a difference sound makes in creating mood.
So, if you are here in Indy, stop by one of my events! The playtesting is absolutely FREE to playtesters and you can always drop in without a ticket. If you don’t have time to play, swing by and say hi. Also, the seminars rarely sell out, unless they involve a famous person, which mine do not. They too are absolutely FREE. Come join me for a lecture. Truly the seminars at GenCon are my special budget finds.
With the rest of my time, I’ll likely be wandering the show floor playing games, shopping, and talking to other designers. If you can track me down, I'll have a sweet reward for you!