Connections Online – Practical Game Design presentation on Youtube

Just a quick one… here is the link to the event on Youtube.

Civil Power: making your own scenarios

Untitled-1

Copies of Civil Power are starting to thud and rattle into mailboxes across the land.

https://www.consimsltd.com/products/civil-power in case you haven’t had a chance to order your copy yet!

I’ve mentioned this before, but from the beginning I purposely designed this to be a “sandbox” type of game, for people to experiment with new and revised scenarios, optional rules and so forth – there is also a points purchase system and force-package system so you can easily assemble opposing forces.
The game comes with two geomorphic squared maps of an imaginary urban area. Keeping in mind that each square is 20 metres across (~25 yards) or about the width of a street, you could take an image from Google Maps or something and make a squared map to suit your favourite location, with terrain interpretations informed by your knowledge of the area.
As an example, I made one such for the Legislative Assembly buildings in my capital city… took me a couple of minutes to do. (Yeah, it shows.) Though I hasten to add that while the front lawn has seen many demonstrations, they have all been fairly well mannered except one time in 1993 where protesters forced their way into the building, and broke a window (and a staff member was shoved to the ground and hurt their hip). A collection was taken up by the organizers to have the window fixed.
VicLeg 1

Chile ’73: The Most Dangerous (War)game

 

c73 tbp cover

Tiny Battles sends out a short piece on their experience of playing Chile ’73 after I handed it in… one of their playtesters was felled by a heart attack during play! He recovered, though.

In an interesting aside, the design of the game’s cover is based on the layout of El Mercurio, Santiago’s main daily newspaper. I like little arty touches like that.

(Web version at link below)

https://gem.godaddy.com/p/add90c?fe=1&pact=38341-144918937-10719805120-f5de019cec6b1b6615b5feaefcd657b3d7d67b13

Europa font symbols

europa font symbols

(Copyright whatever copyright Europa magazine has or had.)

Just for general interest, here is a scan of a page from an old issue of Europa magazine (don’t know which one, but mid-90s I guess) showing the extent of unit type symbols the game system used at the time. I’m sure they are using more now.

I do not know if the Europa symbol font is still available from GR/D; I doubt it as I can find no references to it via Google. But this is the Internet, so I am sure someone will be along to correct me on the point soon.

Now It Can Be Seen: Box art for Colonial Twilight

Rodger MacGowan has finished the box art for Colonial Twilight!

And boy it looks good. The collage-of-images is a staple for many wargame covers, but it’s particularly interesting how Rodger has arranged these and used colours to imitate and fuse the structures of both the French and Algerian flags. And the green-and-black scheme really makes it pop.

I’m very pleased with this, another great cover by Rodger!

And now, this is the very last thing there is for me to look at and approve… so that’s it.

I think we’re done here, after more than two and a half years.

*sigh*

Look for this to appear in June or July!

Evolution of a Cover

uacrlwcover

Fourth time was the charm.

Over at the Hollandspiele blog, Tom Russell talks about the progression of images and ideas used before arriving at the present newspaper-page style cover for Ukrainian Crisis/ The Little War.

https://hollandspiele.com/blogs/hollandazed-thoughts-ideas-and-miscellany/cover-story-ukrainian-crisis-the-little-war-by-tom-russell

I appreciate that Tom involves me in these kinds of decisions, and entertains my thoughts and suggestions. I also appreciate his willingness to experiment, and let us in on what was on his mind.

A commenter to the post suggests that the cover art for a wargame really doesn’t have much to do with how well it might eventually sell. I feel the cover art is probably considered about the same level as the game’s map: it’s expected to be tasteful and informative, but unobtrusive and really, just a background to what’s going on elsewhere. Certainly a bad map will get you remembered faster and denounced the more deeply, and it’s the same with a bad cover… there are a few notably cartoonish examples listed on Boardgamegeek:

https://boardgamegeek.com/geeklist/55843/why-you-dont-let-your-little-brother-be-graphic-ar

Ukrainian Crisis and The Little War coming soon!

Friends,

The release of the two-pack Ukrainian Crisis and The Little War from Hollandspiele is imminent! In the next five or six weeks, that is….

Just created a Boardgamegeek entry for The Little Warhttps://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/220357/little-war

Here are samples of the final map and counter art. I think you’ll be pleased!

uacr-ctrsmpl

Ukrainian Crisis counters by Tom Russell.

uacr-mapsmpl

Ukrainian Crisis map by Tim Allen.

lilwar-ctrsmpl

lilwar-mapsmpl

Little War map by Jose Faura.

John Kula 1947 – 2016

chop

The old masthead for John’s magazine Simulacrum, featuring his chop.

John’s wife Fresca called me this morning to tell me that John died at 0525 today. He had a major brain bleed during the night and was taken to hospital, but he did not recover consciousness and died peacefully and painlessly.

John was a good man, smart and funny. He was a good friend, a talented artist and a conscientious ludographer. He dedicated almost an entire issue of Simulacrum (#30) to my games, which was one of the most touching gifts anyone has ever given me. No one could ask for a better gesture of friendship and esteem.

We will all miss him.

3amigos

Kerry Anderson, John and me, taken during one of Kerry’s infrequent business visits to Victoria. The crutches date this at anywhere between 1999 and 2002.

The Other 9/11

cl73mapsample

43 years ago today, the government of Chile was overthrown by its own armed forces in a coup d’etat.

cl73ctrsample

Coming soon, perhaps, to a small/ very small/ ludicrously tiny publisher, a mini-game by me on that topic, designed late last year. Samples shown.

Hollandspiele: making the counters for Scheldt Campaign.

Sample counters for special units in the game, by Tom Russell.

Tom Russell made the counters for The Scheldt Campaign. He describes his process on the Hollandspiele blog:

https://hollandspiele.com/blogs/hollandazed-thoughts-ideas-and-miscellany/counterfactual-the-scheldt-campaign-by-tom-russell

$1100 for an outside artist to do counters? (Not for this game, for an unnamed magazine game.) I’m in the wrong line of work, obviously! Perhaps I should design games for the counters, not the other way round, since remuneration for the design part comes cheaper.

I guess it’s like in the movie business: they’ll spend $115 million working on the CGI so the heroine’s hair floats convincingly in zero-gee, and the writer get $43.29 and a box of doughnuts.