April 2021 Update

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By Scott Allen Czysz

Published Apr 6, 2021

  • Monthly Update

Hi all,
Much like last month, unfortunately, I don't have a lot of progress to report on my two games that should be getting published this year: "Count of the Nine Estates" by ButtonShy Games, and a second printing of "Pocket Landship" by Word Forge Games. They are both relatively small operations, there is still a pandemic going on, plus Brexit for Word Forge Games, successful Kickstarter campaigns they are dealing with, etc. Whenever I hear definite dates for either of these games, I will send out an e-mail (if you are signed up to my e-mail list).

So, for this month, I thought I would share a summary of what I did as a game player and game designer.

As a game player, I played 11 different games, solo, with my wife, and with a small group. My wife hadn't really been into games...until the pandemic hit. But, we now play boardgames probably 5 nights a week. Here is what and how many we played in March:

  • The Isle of Cats - 23 plays
  • PARKS - 7 plays
  • Tapestry - 3 plays
  • Expedition: Northwest Passage - 2 plays
  • Fort - 2 plays
  • Pocket Mars - 2 plays
  • Shipwrights of the North Sea - 1 play

I can happily recommend all of these games as very good 2 player games.

In addition, we played Photosynthesis and Babylonia with another couple - both very good games.

And solo, I played The Ugly Gryphon Inn and Hunted: Mining Colony 415.

As a game designer, I worked on my game "depleted", and I playtested a solo mode of a to be published game, playing it 8 times so far in March. Obviously, I can't share details, but I will say that I enjoy playtesting for a publisher for a few reasons:
1) It is a good exercise as a game designer to experience and think about what went well, what didn't, what's confusing, is the game fun, etc.
2) It makes playing a solo game feel more valuable, since I am contributing to something more than just my own entertainment.
3) It let's me experience how other designers and publishers work - an opportunity to learn from them.
4) and, hopefully, it sort of "gets my name out there" in front of a publisher or two.

As for "depleted", I am fortunate to have a game designers meet-up group here in town that meets once a month. I brought the game to March's meeting, and it was just me and the meet-up organizer, which ended up being perfect because then he could playtest my solo game (there are usually 3 or 4 of us there so we usually play multiplayer games as one group.

And, probably like most game designers, I have 5 or 10 game ideas floating around in my head and in notebooks.

I will leave you with a picture of "depleted" on my table:

depleted game
depleted - game end

The above photo reminds me of something. I was looking for a game mat for our dining room table, just so it's easier to pick cards up from the table. Custom made ones with rounded corners to match the table are expensive and have a long leadtime. So, what I ended up doing, and am very happy with, is going to the local fabric/craft store and buying 2 yards of fleece for a gaming table tablecloth. It works great, it is a nice neutral background, and most importantly, it makes it so much easier to pick cards off the table. So, if you are wanting something similar, please try it.

That's all for now. You get more info at my blog on BoardGameGeek: https://boardgamegeek.com/blog/10545/narrow-gate-games-scott-allen-czyszs-game-design-bI [object Object]
I hope what I am doing with my blog, website, and this news update is entertaining and/or valuable to you. If you have any feedback, please let me know.

Take care,