Golden Game Barn

Creators of Fine Digital and Dice Based Games

Month: August 2014

August Monthly Update

G’Day All,

I’m going to write and post up the Monthly Update for August today since we’ll be moving house (and home office) tomorrow, so my chance of getting to a working computer is extremely slim.

So what’s been happening this month?

  • The most exciting news is we’re going to Boston FIG!
  • You all helped decide the new free game that I’ll be working on – BodyHuggers!  You can catch all the updates on that here.
  • My amazing brother has been helping out with graphic design for the company logo and lots of promo work for BostonFIG. I hear he’s working on a website for an exciting movie coming up.
  • After the Crash will be being playtested at Boston FIG on the 13th. And we received the latest prototype from The Game Crafters yesterday Photos will be going up soon!
  • I’ve been working hard on Regeria Hope, and should have a video of it up soon. If I’m lucky, there might be a demo up next month.
  • We’ll be moving to East Boston, so I’m looking forward to meat pies from KO Pies.

Thanks for reading along this month. If you’re interested in seeing this company grow, why not follow me to receive updates? As always, comments are welcome. Hope to hear from you soon!

Going to Boston FIG!!!

G’Day all.

Golden Game Barn is proud to be an Indie Exhibitor for the Boston Festival of Indie Gaming!

BostonFIG!

I can’t tell you how excited I am to be exhibiting at this event! I’m looking forward to meeting fellow indie developers around New England, and seeing what people think about the games I have available for them. We’ll have After The Crash available to try out and play test, and there might be some surprises in store for anyone who wants to try Regeria Hope…. But I can’t announce anything about that now. There’s still too much work to do.

To tell you the truth, After the Crash probably wouldn’t be around if it wasn’t for the Boston FIG. Last year when my wife and I went, we had a look around the Tabletop Showcase, and we were very impressed with what we saw. After we saw what other people were doing, we thought, why not try making our own games, and one year later, After the Crash was born. We narrowly missed making it into the Tabletop Showcase this year, but I’m glad that my first board game was even close to matching the other games that made it.

I really hope to see you there, and watch this space for information on both After The Crash and Regeria Hope!

Free Bodyhuggers Update

G’Day all.

Here’s this week’s update on how Bodyhuggers is going. Currently I’m moving apartments, so most of my focus is on that, and packing everything away. I’m also getting ready for Boston Festival of Indie Games, so I’ve been making a pretty prototype of After the Crash for the Tabletop sponsor section, along with a demo for Regeria Hope should be available on this website very soon too. I’m getting very excited about that.

So all of those a basically reasons why not a lot has happened on the free game front yet. I do have few ideas, and some design images set up though, so here’s an example how how Bodyhuggers could probably look when it comes out:

 

BodyHuggersBasicDesign

Since the aliens you will playing as are blind, you’re not going to be able to see what’s happening on screen. I’m currently thinking about showing when players jump, and maybe showing blocks after players walk over them. The goal in this game is for you and your blind alien friend to meet and hug. The puzzle in the game will be how you and your friend meet up. There will be teleporters on screen that move you around the level, and blocks that get in your way. Not sure about enemies on screen yet.

The game will be made in GameMaker, and I’ll be using Paint.Net and Inkscape to make the sprites. In terms of music, I’ll see if I can do something in FruityLoops. I’ll see if I can make randomly generated levels, but I think at first I’ll just make 3-4 levels.

That’s basically it for now. I’m hoping to work more on this next week, so there should be much more info then.

Thanks for reading, hope to hear what you think!

Choice in Video Games: Why playing “The Gods Will be Watching” is like playing Monopoly

This is about as much fun as it looks like it is.

Monopoly with Russian Roulette, that is.

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The New Free Game is…..

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We like you! Please leave feedback! :) Also, you get to choose a free game!

Hi there! It’s been a month, and we just want to say:

Thanks for reading!

Here at Golden Game Barn, we really want to start a dialog with readers to see what they want to see in a game, and what sort of topics they would like to see in the future? So we are throwing it out there: What posts have you liked so far? Any of the games we are making so far look interesting to you? Anything you want to know about? If you could spare a few moments today to write any feedback, that would be very much appreciated.

To sweeten the deal, we’ll even let you choose which free game we should make first on this site, out of the following:

  1. Bodyhuggers: In this 2D platforming video game, you and a friend both play as blind aliens in love, and try and guide them to each other to hug. Should be fun for couples and families!
  2. Your Grace, My Topiary is Better Than Yours: Free print and play card game, very similar to poker, but more accessible, and you get more points if you pretend to be from the 1800’s. Players will all be shown several pieces of furniture, and they will be able to play their descriptions of furniture in order to have the highest score at the end of the round. The backs of cards will be colored, so players could guess at which cards their opponents have for betting.
  3. Lockdown: Free print and play board game, where you control a country, and some aliens. The player with the most tightly enforced police state wins! This is be very satirical, so expect cards about the NSA and TSA. You have to make sure that your citizens don’t completely panic, so you have to slowly bring the police state rules in.

So what idea from the three above sounds the best to you? Vote below, and we’ll make it, and make blog posts about the construction and design of the game, so you can follow along! Please share this with friends and get them to vote as well! Be quick! Voting ends on the 15th of August!

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and we hope to hear from you in the comments below! Have a great day!

Meaningful Choices In Board Games: Examples

In this post we describe some exciting examples of meaningful choices in board games, and what makes them so meaningful, both to the player making the choice, and the other player’s playing.

As stated before, We hope the following isn’t considered as a know it all expert blathering about how to make the best game ever. We hope it provides insight into why we make our games the way we do,  and provides a starting point for discussion on discussion on this topic.

Choice in games is extremely important. a game is basically a series of meaningful choices. In order to look at what makes a good meaningful choice, today we will look at examples of games that feature excellent choices, and what makes them so exciting.

We’ll start with a choice very similar to the prisoners dilemma. In Cosmic Encounter, a game about taking control out outer space, the way you handle battles is through a card system. These cards determine the attack value of your ships, and range in power from 4 to 40. So far, so normal. BUT, there are negotiate cards, which will only work when the other player wants to negotiate as well.

This means if the other player attacks, no matter the strength of that attack, they win. You can see how this can get interesting. Players can convince each other to play the negotiate card, then attack them, or be attacked when they bring their own negotiate card out. This leads to interesting discussions between players, lots of mind games between players, and hey! Now just choosing a card to put down has become a game in itself.

EDIT: As it turns out, there’s more to the Negotiate cards than I previously stated, IF a player plays a Negotiate card, and the other player plays an Attack card, the Attack player wins, BUT, and this is a big BUT the Negotiate player is then able to random select one of the attacker’s cards for each ship that is sent to the void. As Pete Olotka says “This leads to many a pyrrhic victory on the Attack side as the Negotiator fishes for key cards.”  You can see how this can influence the game! You might give up a fight to collect your opponents powerful cards (or all of them if your opponent has very little cards) and this rule encourages players that have many strong cards to also Negotiate if their opponent is playing the Negotiate card. Thanks to Pete Olotka for clearing this up.

On the co operative side of things, Pandemic is an extremely exciting board game to analyze for meaningful choices. You and your friends work together to save humanity by ridding the world of four extremely dangerous diseases, and lose when the diseases take over enough cities to cause outbreaks. Every turn you take you’ll have to decide which city to move to, and how you’ll do it. At the end of your turn, you have to pick up infection cards to determine which city gets infected again, and has an extra infection cube placed on it. If a city gets three infection cubes on it, and gets infected again, then an outbreak occurs and the cities around it get infected as well, and this can cause more outbreaks to occur.

So ideally you’d use your cards to go to the most infected cities, right? But here’s the thing, to cure a disease, you need 5 cards of the same color, and then be on a research station, and then cash them all in. So do you keep that “New York” card, so that you can cure the disease in the US, or do you use it to get there, since it has 3 cubes on it and you don’t know if it could be infected again? What do you and your team mates think? You don’t want to let them down do you? Then you’ll always be that guy that kept his “New York” card while the whole world burned…

One of the problems about co operative games is the quarterback player. This is basically someone who knows the game inside out, tells everyone what to do, and makes the game less fun for everyone else. One game that has an amazing series of mechanics to combat this is The Dead of Winter. The game is about surviving the zombie apocalypse in winter, and gives every player their own goal, along with the goal of keeping everyone alive. The thing is that their goal could be to hoard all the food, make a robot using lots of  tools, or just plain burn the survival camp to the ground.

This means that anyone trying to railroad players into doing certain things is immediately suspected of doing something that benefits their goal. And here’s the other amazing part. Players can be voted out of the group, which means all their goals change, and they aren’t playing on the same team as everyone else anymore, so if a player seems like a traitor, they can be voted out, and their entire game changes. That’s some amazing meaningful choice that involves everyone playing.

Thanks for reading, and we’d love to read some of your own most interesting choices you’ve had to make in a game. Maybe there’s a choice you’ve made during family game night that your whole family will never let you live down? Or one which saved the whole game for everyone? I’d like to hear any stories from anyone that’s finished Ghost Stories, and what kind of dark god you had to pray to in order to win that.

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