Friday, June 25, 2010

Inspiration strikes

I have been working frantically on FMB to get it to a portable, presentable state.  I find that sometimes several days will go by where I think nothing about the game at all and then I will suddenly be seized by the desperate need to create and go on a spree.  I think my life would be drastically different if I didn't have a child (and hence responsibilities) to regulate my time.  I am sure I would end up working halfway through the night when inspiration grabbed me and only putting down my tools when dawn began to light to sky.  As it is I need to get up and get breakfast for my family, take Elli to school and do the various chores that are part of my day so I need to get to sleep at a normal hour.  Doing this breaks up my spurts of insight and activity and ensures that everything takes drastically longer because that intensity simply does not come back as soon as my chores are complete.

My latest innovation is building a game board.  I am using a hex grid in the shape of a hexagon with each side having 10 hexes along it.  I wanted the board to be randomizable, somewhat like a Settlers board is, but I certainly wasn't going to make each hex separately.  I ended up going with a smaller hexagon in the middle with sides 4 hexes long and 6 trapezoidal shapes for the sides, just like you can see in the images on the side.

The colours on the squares represent rivers(blue), hills(green) and mountains(orange) and the letters are for Fortresses and Mines.  I have 8 different side pieces built so the total number of different gameboards is 8 choose 6 * (6*5*4*3*2) = 20160.  While many of the gameboards that would be generated are fairly similar to one another each game should be slightly different, even if the cards and artifacts that are drawn weren't a factor, and they are.

My next step is to get all of these pictures printed out and made into usable game pieces somehow.  Perhaps I will laminate them, perhaps I will glue them to bristol board to give them some stiffness, it isn't entirely clear.  Eventually they will be made of the same sort of cardstock that is used in other board game boards, even if I have to buy cheap board games and chop them up to generate the materials.

The units are going to be wooden bricks with stickers on them in the end, but for now they will also be printed out bits of paper finished in the same way as the board itself is.  Hopefully I can even replace "Wizard" with an actual picture of a wizard, but my limited artistic skills prevent that being an option for now.  The numbers represent Power/Speed and the black triangles in the corner designate a ranged unit.


  1. Using NcR instead of NpR irrationally annoys me here.

    I think the new pieces have real potential, very similar to Titan. You may want to consider putting symbols by the numbers to indicate what they mean. Instead of 2/3 at the top, maybe 2 {fist} in the lower left and 3 {boot} in the lower right, for example.

  2. Also, when you have things in a presentable state, let me know. I do a decent amount of business with a few injection-molding fab shops which turn stuff like this out for pennies (and I'm a director at the world's largest custom print business... *cough*), I'm sure we could get a large enough run stamped to get anyone we know reviewing. :)

  3. Welcome to the world of honeybees!
    Mike Z.

  4. How about making the beginning of the game a carcassonne-style create the board? This gives the players a bit of control over how the board is created and adds a bit more strategy.

  5. My math is a bit rusty but shouldn't the number of game boards be 8*7*6*5*4*3 divided by 6! making it 1680 (this accounts for the shape being a circle rather than a line). Regardless I like your idea for randomizing the game board.

  6. Incorrect. The centre piece is not uniform but has its own terrain so rotated the side pieces one around the circle actually produces a different board. As such it is 8 choose 6 different sets of side pieces and 6! distinct arrangements.

  7. Or you could leave out the factorial entirely and stop using choose! Rawr!

    Fix the middle.
    Choose a tile for the 1 o'clock position. (8 options)
    Choose a tile for the 3 o'clock position. (7 options)
    Choose a tile for the 5 o'clock position. (6 options)
    Choose a tile for the 7 o'clock position. (5 options)
    Choose a tile for the 9 o'clock position. (4 options)
    Choose a tile for the 11 o'clock position. (3 options)

    8*7*6*5*4*3 = 20160

    When the order you choose the items in matters you can use the pick function instead of the choose function.

  8. It really bothers you that I did (8!/(2!*6!))*6! instead of 8!/2! doesn't it?