Its finally here folks – head on over to kickstarter to get in on the initial print run of Sarah’s Singularity:
Yay! Its official – Sarah’s Singularity is part of the PAX Indie Megabooth lineup – that means we will be at PAX all four days alongside the other amazing indie tabletop games. in the ACT theatre, and at the main exhibition hall on Sunday.
Super excited to share this – come visit us at PAX West if you are attending this year and play our game!
We are demoing the latest rev of our boardgame Sarah’s Singularity at Emerald City Comiccon in March. We’ll also be testing out a slew of features, like Alternate Future Sarah Powers, Hero Cards, and random Objectives. Sarah will be at the PlaytestNW tables most of Saturday – if you are at the convention come down to level 2 and play games with us – we are right underneath the escalators!
Game design goes better when you don’t work in a vacuum – and I love our design group that meets at Uncles Games. NPR came out to do an interview with some of our locals and get a first hand peek at a design session. I got to hang out with Natalie Gross! They teased us about our facial hair! Much fun was had!
I took time off from design to run the NW LUCI awards at the Evergreen Tabletop Expo. The experience was AMAZING – we narrowed down 8 semi-finalists to a final three over the course of weekend, and they got to go up against a panel of pro-designers, streamed live on Twitch. Now you can watch the interviews with the semi finalists and finalists thanks to Hyper RPG.
- Semi-Final Eye of Newt and Word Domination interview
- Semi-Final Dog Poop interview
- Semi-Final Yukon Saloon interview
- Semi-Final Collectors and Capers interview
- Semi-Final Countervirus interview
- Semi-Final Pizza Pronto Interview
- Judges Panel on the Final Three
- The Final Award!
Sarah’s Singularity is a finalist for the ION awards this year.
Announcement From the site (which you can check out here):
It’s time to announce the Ion Award Finalists for 2016!
In alphabetical order:
Strategy Category Finalists:
1.) Polynesia – Michael Brown
2.) Sarah’s Singularity – Thomas Gutschmidt
3.) Scarlet Pimpernel – Brian Kelly
4.) Sorcery, Inc – Michael Brown
Light Category Finalists:
1.) 1984: Hope Lies with the Proles – Mike Holyoke
2.) Acre-foot – Charles Allen
3.) Cypher – Adam Wyse
4.) Insider Trading – Jeremy Commandeur
Congratulations to all the finalists!
There were some great entries this year, and some close scores. It’s great to see two finalists from 2015 coming back with new designs, Michael Brown and 2015 Light Category winner Mike Holyoak!
Its gratifying to be nominated with past competitors being greats like Yardmaster and Xenon Profiteer. Looking forward to showing off the game. The best benefit though, I think, is that Sarah’s Singularity will be getting comments and feedback back from a large variety of publishers. Certainly worth the price of admission.
Randomness and Entropy
Singularity’s paradox mechanic has always been a playtest favorite (at least according to survey results and comments) but the constant changing up of player powers and turn order really messed with players who are strategy dominant. Instead of a sweeping change, there have been a handful of smaller changes made to the game over the last 6 months to balance out it’s tactical versus strategic parts:
- Sarah Prime – Originally part of just a 2 player experience – Sarah Prime is like an AI player or NPC – she’s a version of Sarah whose moves are always known, and is always available to paradox with. She also doubles as a turn tracker
- Extra Zone – There is now always one Zone more than the number of players, which lowers paradox frequency somewhat
- Goals – Missions give extra bonuses now if they are collected in sets. This lets strategic players plot a more meaningful long term strategy and also serves as an additional clue to what opponents are doing
- Turn Order – This was one of the major causes of chaos in the game. Now turn order goes in order of time Zones, and is a choice the player makes, with conflicts being resolved by a Time Lord who rotates
Currently the game is playtesting really well (and stronger than ever). Conversations with new players has slowly turned more and more away from mechanics that bugged them to theme, art and story, which is a great sign. I still have balancing work to do (especially with Missions and Goals), but at this point I feel I’m tweaking, as opposed to making major revisions. It’s a great place to be.
I’ll be running a (hopefully largish sized) Playtest event at Mox Boarding House again in November (Saturday the 21st – weekend before thanksgiving). I’m partnering with the humanities department at Bellevue College, who have students running game testing as part of their curriculum – to make that event awesome
Dec I’ll be mostly AWOL, spending time with family and doing some volunteer work at local schools (Hour of Code)
I’ll be at some smaller playtest events January through March, but my focus is on the nest phase of testing: rules and blind-playtesting
April and May are ECC at ETX – My plan is to be showing off the game in mostly a finished form at these two events
Singularity requires hand management (collecting and using Companion Cards) but players also need to select Zones. Originally each player managed two hands of cards – one for Companions and one for Zones, but this proved hard for players to manage. I tried combining the two decks and having players use Companions to also choose zones. This seemed like a great idea because it slimmed down the number of components, but ultimately it really limited play + player choices. I also tried small “tickets” and pog like components which looked neat but ultimately were fiddly. I finally wizened up and got a wheel prototype, and, although the prototypes themselves didn’t score well as far as manufacturing quality, using them to choose zones has gone over really well in the last wave of playtests – so I think I’ve found a keeper. Wish I had thought of using a wheel sooner.