Fall update for subQuark games

posted in: games, Mint Tin Games | 0

An informal, blah, blah, blah about the State of the Game.

We’ve been quiet on the social media front and that’s fine—we all get tons of social stuff—but some peeps have been wondering what’s going on.

We’ve had some challenges, just like most anyone, that shifted our focus for the last year and a half. It’s all turning out good, but you know how life can get in the way at times. =)

So—what about any new games?!?

We have two that are solid, they still have tweaking to undergo, but their play is strong.

Both are heavier than our other games.

Mint Tin Mini Apocalypse is fast-to-play and when you look at the dice as event timers, and not luck, then the game is strategic IF you have the discipline to keep from derailing yourself with tactical chaos during the game. Kate routinely beats me because she sticks to her strategy whereas I get off of mine with tactical mayhem (i.e, I’m a spaz!) =D

Mint Tin Pirates is fast and light but does have strategy such as “get as much crew as possible”, “do lots of small attacks”, or “hold out for cannon attacks”.

Mint Tin Aliens may have the most strategy because it’s somewhat statistically patterned off of Ticket to Ride. Pair of Dice Paradise enjoyed that mechanic with an extra nod to it (both Mint Tin Pirates and Mint Tin Aliens won their wings from Chaz – his video below).

Ugh already, so what are the new games!?!

Mint Tin LunaSyr and Mint Tin Odyssey. We’re also working on another, Mint Tin Mineshaft, but the endgame needs more oomph.

Mint Tin Odyssey’s been in development longer and Mint Tin LunaSyr came about as a “break” from working on Odyssey. LunaSyr will probably Kickstart before Odyssey.

eat less, design more? click to zoom

Final play testing by peeps outside of our local group, followed by final art is what’s left for LunaSyr. Heck, I’m already wearing LunaSyr tees! Get yours from Teespring.

Mint Tin LunaSyr also needs to find a good tin. There are too many components for our normal-sized tins—I’m looking into American-made round tins. Round makes sense, thematically, because this game’s about mining on the moon.

You’re the chief of a roughneck mining crew fighting to be the best crew at the LunaSyr Corporation. So far, it’s about a 45 minute game—our longest yet!

We’ve selected most of the final game components, all sourced in the US, of course.

We have small square hardened glass tokens for resources (2 colours), 6 meeples, a pair of d12s, a d4, 2 small round hardened glass markers, 64 linen-finish casino-quality mini cards, and a minted nickel-plated brass first-player token.

The d12s are resource counters and not rolled, and the d4 is a robot sentinel. If you’re familiar with Targi, some of this game play will be familiar.

Mint Tin LunaSyr is a 2-player deterministic set collection game.

Okay, Mint Tin Odyssey.

This is a solo game and may have a 2-player variant, but I’ve wanted to have a solo game for times when you’re hanging out alone. It could be at lunch by yourself, up late and unable to sleep, or anytime where a game might be a nice alternative to having your face buried in a screen.

This game’s inspired by memories of playing The Legend of Zelda in 1986! Wow, how can that be over 30 years ago?!?!

The Legend of Zelda, I believe, was the first video game that did not have a linear progression. You could go fight the final boss without grabbing your wooden sword or anything else! *shakes fists in the air—yells “Ganon”*

Looking back at that game, it was really simple and very easy, but it was so much fun.

That simpleness is something I want to keep so that this game could be played on a sleepless night and not get you too wound up. However, I think you’ll find the combat mechanism interesting and similar to Zelda—fast and simultaneous—and there’s also permadeath in this game (making it a bit roguelike – wiki).

The combat system is homegrown and called the Delta d10 system. This is something I’ve fussed with for two years—a dice system that isn’t RPG (GURPS, d20, ORE, etc.)—technically, it’s a simultaneous single-toss-opposed-roll mechanic. Dang, that’s a mouthful but sounds schmancy. =p

The idea is that it only needs two dice (keeps it small too) and there’s no need to write anything down. You can read 3 different values from one dice toss. You resolve combat in one roll with values for you and your opponent plus a value that can be used in varying ways (like mêlée vs. ranged).

Mint Tin Odyssey’s also a game that can be saved at any point of your game play.

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There’s a simple way to take down the game that allows you to set it right back to the point where you stopped. This is ideal for lunch breaks or when you really only have 10 or 15 minutes to play (this game’s over an hour).

There are three types of minted metal coins and even skulls carved from the mineral magnesite.

There may be a slight wrinkle in Odyssey‘s planning, mainly that it’s getting too big for our standard tins. We may use muslin bags for it and, thus, may need to rethink the name—Mint Tin-LESS Odyssey? hmm . . . =p

While this game’s about as far along as LunaSyr, the Kickstarter project is bigger. This game has original art commissioned from Stephanie B. that is wonderful. I love her art style and she had carte blanche for her treatment of it. My original thought was that it should be top-down, just like The Legend of Zelda.

Fortunately, letting Stephanie be her own art director has resulted in a far more immersive and beautiful experience than I imagined. My original top-down idea works when your dealing with the computer tech of the 80’s and cathode ray TVs, but a board game is a tangible thing that you can touch.

Leigh Woodwyn
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Rather than looking down on many similar cards, the end result is around 50 pieces of beautiful and unique art.

At first, I was only going to ask her to create 5 pieces. But . . . it was so worth exploding the budget—the end result is stunning.

Not only did Stephanie create wonderful vignettes of the world as you would see it, she also created a hero that’s a thousand times better than anything I could have done.

The hero of the game is fabulous – Leigh Woodwyn. The meaning of her name: Leigh – path/place and Woodwyn – friend of the wood/forest. Leigh is the reluctant hero who steps up to save the forest from a malevolent being (with banshees too!).

While the budget’s more than anything we’ve ever done, Stephanie doesn’t have to wait on Kickstarter funding (project creators: don’t make a professional’s livelihood contingent on your campaign). And she’s gracious enough to help us leverage the cost by providing the final colour art AND also line art that we’ll use in the adult colouring book for the deluxe reward. That book will be an ISBN-listed book (all our games are physically archived in the US Library of Congress as part of their US copyright).

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The colouring book will also hold robustly written rules with setup and game play drawings, plus the story of our intrepid hero’s adventure, and should be 100 or more pages (probably 8″x10″ to help with portability).

And that’s the reason this will Kickstart later—laying out the book for the printer is a big job. It’s one I have some familiarity with but it’s all on me, no third-party. I work directly with Ingram who prints over 18 million books per month and if I have any errors, no one will catch them—they are printers, not publishers.

Why do we do this?

We want control over as much of the games as we can have and that’s also why we source from US vendors and suppliers.

It means we assemble them ourselves and, while some experts in the game publishing business think this is a dumb approach, it hasn’t kept us from shipping out over 7,000 games to 49 countries.  =)

Mint Tin World Map – https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1i3PSRDFJltIOfGOY9rmG_XPrQRI&usp=sharing

So that’s the state of the game for us:

  • Mint Tin LunaSyr – spring 2018 *fingers crossed*
  • Mint Tin Odyssey – dependent on above, maybe fall 2018
  • Mint Tin Mindshaft – spring 2019

On another tangent, we also hope to get our ChuChu Chicken & Pedro the Goat chapter books out in 2018. =)

Happy gaming and win often!