29 May 2012

Phoenix Comicon

Comicon Day 2 Friday May 25th
Comicon Day 2 was pretty great.  For one, I didn't have to spend it alone all day without eating, for fear I would then have to go to the bathroom and leave all my stuff, because Rosie and Jordan, a girl from our church, attended with me.  While they spent a bit of time at the convention center seeing all the goings on they were there to spell me from just sitting all day and they brought me food.
First thing, almost immediately after setting up, Ken St. Andre stopped by to play the game and find out more about it.  I first saw Ken at Randomcon a couple of years ago.  He is the inventor of Tunnels & Trolls and he had some criticism for the game and much of it was quite constructive.  I didn't agree with some of it and likley won't do anything with what I disagreed wtih because some of it was influenced by his RPG background and that for the most part doesn't transfer to wargaming.  Like his argument that defense doesn't give you a strategic advantage.  I agree that it doesn't in hand to hand combat but in war I tend to think it very much does.  Look at the Alamo where a small number of men were able to hold off Santa Ana and his thousands.  Anyway, I digress.  He also commented that he doesn't like balanced games and that Generals of the Revolution was too balanced.  We will talk more about this in a bit.  With the negative were some constructive items.  He also had some input on how to make the game more accessible to the masses and reduce cost by making the game a battle of only infantry.  This really got me thinking and it opens up a lot of possibilities.  I opined making it a game of the past (ie. Generals of the Revolution 1800) and he said, "Absolutely not.  It's a game of the future."  Then he proceeded to take the introduction/story of the game, which I had told him earlier and expounded that 'after or due to that war the land had become a wasteland with resources very difficult to come by and on and on (I can't remember all of it and wished I had taped him going on.  He's a good storyteller), therefore building armies has become difficult.'  It will take elaboration on my part but I liked where he was headed and it makes possible the option of having a game with the same board components but with only the caltrops at a cheaper price and then people who have that game and want the full original version would merely need to purchase the expansion later and players who just want the original could by it that way.
Second, 2 more players came a little while after Ken left and they had some input as well.  One of the players, Jake, said that he liked balanced games and thought it played well.  When I told him about Ken's suggestion he simply stated, " Ken is unbalanced."  Apparently he knows who he is and suggested I take that input with a grain of salt.
There were many more people who stopped by to check out the game and we got to talk and polish my game description a bit more.  My enthusiasm for the game and my purpose for attending the Con started to brighten as well.
That night, four friends (Aaron, Michael, Ben, and Zach) stopped by and inquired about the game.  After hearing about it, they all decided to sit down and have a go.  It was a good time and even after I suggested they play a few rounds and then if they needed to move on to other things, one of them, Aaron, said, "No, we'll got until someone wins it."
They played for a while and then when Michael made a strategic move that went against an alliance that had previously been in place..  After that the game was on.  Ben made some rapid moves to shore up his defenses and then Michael made a move that pretty much was the writing on the wall and 4 hours into the game they all agreed that this game was going to take a lot longer and the only person that didn't appear to have a chance to win it was Zach.  They determined at that point (almost 11pm) that it was time for the nuclear option.  All four players rolled a d4 for the win and the high roller, Aaron if I remember correctly, was declared winner.
For documentation sake, it was the first time in all the playtestings I have viewed that a Level III Fight Kite lost to a Level I Caltrop.  Poor Zach little luck going his way up to this point and roled a 1 for his Fight Kite a d4 roll of 3 doomed his highly armed Fight Kite.
Jordan took a picture of the Crew and I need to get a copy to post here.
The Crew (Zach, Ben, Michael, and Aaron)
Afterward they all stuck around to provide their input abotu the game and volunteered their home for future playtesting if was ever down in Tucson.
Because Rosie and Jordan were there, I had the chance to go over and visit Michael of Crash Games over at their booth on Industry Row.  He is where I want to be by end of year and that is with one game on its way to market with a few others to follow.  He has a lot of knowledge that I would like to leverage going forward and he used to manage a game store, Game Daze, that a lot of people here in the valley would be aware of.  Later in the day he came by and took a look at Generals.  Immmediately he could tell cost was going to be a concern.  We discussed several options and he offered to meet with me in the future to enlighten my path goind forward.  And something as simple as a value meal would open the vault.  His words summarized.  I got a chuckle when he said it.
Michael from Crash Games and I discussing Game Designing
THANKS AGAIN to all who stopped in to play and inquire about the game. And Michael (the one from Crash Games) you can plan on a value meal some time after you get back from Origins.  We look forward to future correspondence with many of our visitors this day.
Thank you Jordan for the pictures

1 comment:

  1. I'm glad you were able to make it! Sounds like it was definitely worth the time! I look forward to hearing more!!