Railroad Tycoon at Abnercon. I’m Yellow. No, I didn’t win.
Abnercon was, as always, a fantastic time. Over the weekend we played 7 Wonders w/expansions (x2), World Cup, Spartacus, Mare Nostrum w/expansion (x2), Railroad Tycoon (US East map), Cosmic Encounter, and Tomorrow (in development). I pulled out victories in World Cup (with Ireland, no less!), Spartacus, and Cosmic Encounter (total fluke). I finished strictly middle of the pack in Railroad Tycoon and was fortunate to do that after I completely biffed my opening turn. I am ashamed. As to the other high and lowlights, let’s dig in…
The gang is all here for Jumping the Shark #154, which makes two episodes in a row with a full house. Don’t look now, but it could be a trend. This week Mr. Abner brings you more details on Tomorrow, including the launch of its already successful Kickstarter campaign. The group takes a stroll with The Walking Dead, what with Mr. Binky having completed the final chapter of TellTale’s incredible episodic adventure. Brandon also spends some time with the new Borderlands 2 DLC, Torgue’s Badass Crater of Badassitude. Seriously, that’s the title. I decide to put my time with Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition on hold in order to wait for the iOS version (unbeknownst to me, it would arrive the very next night), but in the meantime I’m very excited about my new Windows Phone 8 and forthcoming Pathfinder campaign (it’s a D&D like pen-and-paper RPG). Finally, our apologies for the quality of Bill’s audio this week. His mic has been spotty for awhile, we know, but a quick plug and unplug has always done the trick… until this week that is. Be sure to send him some hate mail for it as encouragement to pick up a new headset for this week’s show! (No, really, you should absolutely do that. Be as vulgar as you want to be. He likes that!)
After the break, an Honest Trailer for Dark Knight Rises, just because it’s awesome…
Having emerged from our respective turkey comas, the mad trio are all back together for Jumping the Shark #153. Bill gives us the lowdown on The New Science’s success at BGG Con, the latest developments in Tomorrow, and a few other cardboard bits and pieces that have been on his carving plate, including Spartacus, and the first deck-building game in a long while to grab his attention, Legendary. I spend a few hours with Baldur’s Gate Enhanced Edition (PC version) and find that, yep, it’s pretty much Baldur’s Gate, only it runs better on modern hardware. I’m also reminded just what it was like to play a so-called hardcore RPG in the 90s era of game design. Things really have changed and, it turns out, some of those changes were for the better. Finally, Brandon wraps up his time with Dishonored and finds a few more shiny spots behind the blemishes of Halo 4.
I spent the week before Thanksgiving in Dallas, Texas at Board Game Geek Con. It was my first trip to this con and also my first trip to Dallas — not that I saw any of the city. I did go to dinner at a place called Love & War in Texas. A lot of large hats. People in Texas really do seem to love them some Texas. I’m from Ohio. We just like the Buckeyes and various forms of awful chili.
Anyway, the convention was a great time (and an extremely well organized show) and the first chance many of the unclean masses got to sit down and play The New Science. I have grown accustomed to demoing our games to people but this was a continuous stream of patrons. I demoed the game so much that I could recite my 5 minute demo in my sleep. By the end of the show I could literally say it word for word every single time. My voice was gone.
It’s easy when people show a genuine interest in what you are selling/demoing, though. I ended up playing several full games of TNS at the show and didn’t get a chance to play much else. Such is life of a developer. But I was really in the zone demoing the game with a crowd of people around.
Those who know me seem shocked that I’d enjoy being the center if attention. (Straw time.)
Based on the reaction of gamers both at BGG Con and Buckeye Game Fest I am confident that the reaction to The New Science will be positive. I have no way of knowing how well it well sell, but I’ll be shocked if people who play it dismiss it. It’s a tight game and I’m proud of the work we did on it from the graphic design to the mechanics.
But while I am genuinely excited about The New Science, our next game, a game I am in the middle of developing as we speak, is something I can’t wait to share with everyone.
Our next game is called Tomorrow.
I have waited to share info on this one until it was deep into development but I’m confident in how things are shaping up at this point to start talking about it. In Tomorrow the setting is “the near future” and the world is on the brink — well not so much the world but the people living on it. Mankind has reached the tipping point where due to massive population, life is approaching the point of being unsustainable. Scientists, those who both believe in global warming and those that don’t have all agreed on this — we’re in serious trouble.
Rather than trying to solve the problem, the leaders of the major political powers have decided the surest way to save humanity is by massive global depopulation.
Biological Warfare? Check
Terror Attacks? Check
Military Invasions? Check
Cyberspace Control? Check
In the game, you play one of the major powers: USA, Russia, European Union, the Arab Caliphate, India, or China. Each nation will select a secret objective at the start of the game and will earn “Political Capital” for both saving and annihilating specific population locations. China, for example, may earn more points for saving people in the South China Sea, Japan, and Central Asia and earn bonus points for every USA, Indian, and Russian population pawn it kills and it’ll kill people mostly via nuclear and biological warfare.
The kicker in all of this is that everyone MUST work together to lower what we call the Global Threat Level and if it doesn’t drop far enough then mankind is doomed everyone loses. However, if the players work together to save humanity, only one player will end up winning.
We have a deck of random events that pop up every turn (earthquakes, U.N. Interventions, Sleeper Cells, Loose Nukes, etc. ), every nation has a specific set of resource tokens that are played each turn (Military, Diplomacy, Bio Attacks, Terror, Nukes, and so on) so every nation will play differently. The USA is filled with abundant resources but the US Global Impact is so high that they are a big target when the game starts — as is China. There are fewer USA population pawns on the board (5 in all) but each is worth a lot of points because we do so love our technology and big screen TVs. India has a ton of pawns on the board (17) but their impact is lower and are thus worth fewer points. Of course the USA and Russia, if angered to the point of exhaustion, have the option to press the Big Red Button. It does what you think it does.
Tomorrow is a game of negotiation, deals, alliances, backstabs, nuclear and biological war, diplomacy, and saving humanity by committing unspeakable atrocities.
And I can’t wait to show it to people. It’s light on rules but filled with tough choices and hopefully when the game’s over everyone at the table is mad at one another.
Good times had by all.
Look for a Kickstarter campaign soon.
In the meantime, since our website is still a work in progress (working to get this fixed this week) if you’d like a copy of The New Science shoot me an email at billATcqgames.com