by Skyway Library and Playtest Northwest
Saturday, May 19 Skyway Library and Playtest NorthWest held a Dice Games Mini Game Day! It was another great intergenerational program, that brought neighbors together for some quality face time. We were thrilled to bring back 3 of our favorite games, and host a new one! We hope you will check all of these games out, they were a blast to play!
Game name: Fantastic Factories
Designer: Joseph Z Chen
Recommended ages: 13+
Game length: 45 to 60 minutes
Fantastic Factories is a manufacturing industry race! In Fantastic Factories you must build factories, train your workers, and manufacture as many products as possible. Discover the best combination of factories and use your dice as workers. Training facilities allow you to manipulate your dice rolls and each turn is a puzzle to figure out the optimal placement of all your workers. Be the most efficient and out-produce all the other players. The most victory points wins!
Your game was featured at a Skyway event last year. What progress have you made on your game in the past year? We’ve been putting final polish on the graphic design and wording on the cards. Also been working on the rulebook and just preparing for the Kickstarter at the end of the month on May 29th! Preparing review copies, figuring out manufacturing costs, and shipping logistics is a whole different challenge from game design.
This month is all about dice games! How does your game use dice? In Fantastic Factories, the dice represent factory workers! During each work phase, you roll the dice and decide which factory each worker will go to work at. Different factories will require different kinds of workers like a matching pair or a specific value, so figuring out the best place to send all your workers is a puzzle you need to solve in order to manufacture as many goods as possible!
Review from the librarian: Fantastic Factories is one of my favorite games we’ve been able to host at the Library! It’s graphically beautiful, complex enough to be a fun challenge, but easy enough to pick up and enjoy playing right away! I was heartbroken I didn’t get to play it this time, but relieved I can back their kickstarter and get my own copy soon!
You can like Fantastic Factories Facebook page. You can also visit the website and sign up for the mailing list. You can also follow Joseph on Twitter. Not to mention, the Kickstarter to order your own copy of Fantastic Factories just launched, check it out!
Game name: Affectionate: Cats and Cuddles
Designer: Trevor Curtis Harron
Publisher: Blue Heron Entertainment
Recommended ages: 6+
Game length: 5-20 minutes
Affectionate: Cats and Cuddles is a cute, quick dice game that is best for families with kids 6+, even families that don’t regularly play games. Players will take turns rolling dice to see what they will do as a cat and how their human companions will react. The randomized dice rolls symbolize the different moods of a cat: sometimes playful, mischievous, or sweet. Players are trying to be the cat with the most cuddles by the end of the game.
Your game was featured at a Skyway event last year. What progress have you made on your game in the past year? Since the last year, Affectionate: Cats and Cuddles has officially been released and is on sale since November 2017! Also, we are working on an expansion to Affectionate adding some strategy to the basic gameplay.
This month is all about dice games! How does your game use dice? Dice are the core mechanic for Affectionate Cats and Cuddles Players actions are determined every turn by the dice that they have rolled, each pair of symbols rolled in Affectionate corresponds with a unique action that players take.
Review from the librarian: I was excited to bring Affectionate Cats & Cuddles back, it’s such a great game for younger kids, a rare find in Seattle Indie Board Game Design scene. And I was really impressed by the expanded gameplay! Now the game can be simple enough for a 6-year-old to enjoy, and with creative additions, the same game can be challenging enough for older kids and adults too!
If you want a copy of Affectionate Cats & Cuddles, you’re in luck! The game is currently on sale at their site www.bluherongames.com. You can also follow Blue Heron on Twitter and Instagram at @BlueHeronGames.
Game name: Tabriz
Designer: Randy Flynn
recommended ages: 10+
Game length: 45 – 90 minutes
Tabriz is a number-crunchy worker movement and material gathering game. You play the role of a carpet crafter working in the Grand Bazaar in the Persian city of Tabriz. You have two workers that move about the bazaar buying and trading five different materials – wool, plant-based dye, cotton, carmine (insect-based dye), and silk. You will take commissions from commoners, merchants, and royals. You will then use the gathered materials to make carpets to fulfill these commissions. Completing commissions will earn you Prestige, increase your Skill, and occasionally provide you with regular income. Earn more Prestige than your opponents to win the game and be the master carpet crafter.
Your game was featured at a Skyway event last year. What progress have you made on your game in the past year? Tabriz has always had dice, but at the start of the year, the dice based tiles were integrated with a common dice pool which has three different levels of dice. This concept has been refined a few times through playtesting local conventions and events. I also experimented with the market tile layout and number of workers at the different player counts. This has led to a new set of layouts and move a balanced number of workers.
This month is all about dice games! How does your game use dice? Tabriz uses a set of custom six-sided dice where the five different carpet materials appear. And there are three different levels of the dice with varying sets of materials. These dice are mostly played on certain market giles and rolled at the start of each round to give a new set of available materials. In addition when a player uses one of these tiles they have the option of re-rolling one or more dice. When they do this they may swap the dice they are going to roll with any in the pool to change the likelihood of rolling certain materials.
Review from the librarian: I was so excited to finally get to play this game! It’s one of those games that seems really complicated during set up, but once you actually start playing is easy and fun to grasp. It’s a fun strategy game, with just enough moving parts to make it really interesting, but clear and concise design making it easy to figure out how to reach each goal.
To keep up with Randy Flynn he can be found tweeting about games and other topics here: https://twitter.com/rf_seattle
Game name: Scorched Earth
Designer: Chad Martinell
Recommended Ages? 12+
Game Length? About 45 minutes
Tell us about your new game: Scorched Earth is a roll and write 4X game in which you are vying to control the most territory. You have to balance expanding your settlements with your landscapes to maximize your points and position your tiles to protect your land. Roll the dice to get the best possible outcome, but press your luck too far and you could scorch the earth!
What inspired you to make this game? The recent upsurge in the popularity of roll and write games inspired me to make a roll and write game, but I wanted to make something different that had a tactical strategic component to it as well.
This month is all about dice games! How does your game use dice? You roll dice at the start of your turn to determine the symbols that you write on your tile before you place it. You can reroll up to two times, but if you roll scorched earth you have to keep it. If you roll three scorched earth you end your turn and your entire tile is scorched.
Review from the librarian: I loved how this game used so many different parts of my brain, strategy for where to put each of the symbols, risk analysis for how many re-rolls I should take, and spatial reasoning for where I should place my piece! I wish I had the time to play it a few more times, because once I actually got all the parts of my brain working in this game it was so much fun!
Keep track of Chad and his exciting games on Twitter or on his website.
We hope you will join us for our next Mini Game Day, on Saturday, June 16, 12-5pm. It will be a Pride Celebration Mini Game Day, hosting LGBTQIA+ game designers, and gaming events that celebrate the queer community!
Please stay up to date on the amazing gaming events PlaytestNW does throughout the PNW on our website.
And to know what’s happening at Skyway Library please check out our events calendar.
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