Saturday, 1 December 2012

Bad Timing

So NaGa DeMon ends and my prototype game, whilst much further forwards than it might have been, is still a long way from finished, or even in a state where it's playable.

Frankly, November is a bad month for me as a teacher - encompassing assessments for all, reports for most and tutor reports too. Nonetheless I'm glad I signed up. It did exactly what I'd hoped - carrying me over the long slog producing a lot of custom dice. It makes it far more likely I'll produce a finished game.

Sunday, 25 November 2012

The Commodity Price at Port Dice

Still not doing enough building - it's reports season - classes last week, form group this week :/

Nonetheless, I did another chunk of the art work, along with thinking about how the dice-tipping mechanism would work. Here's a the page from my journal where I finally decided.

Due to the design of the dice with the commodity title at the top, I've located the negative tip direction as "down" (you actually have to tip the dice up!) and the positive direction as either left or right depending on the face. This avoids having to use the top and the tip icons (shown here as the top row, rather in situ) interfering with the dice face title.

All the dice faces are actually the same size (19mm).

All that's left now is the crew dice and the ninjas. Then I can start trying to balance the upgrades costs to make for an interesting game.

Sunday, 18 November 2012

The remaining commodity dice designs.

Again, I only had a couple of hours to give to this over the weekend (and none at all during the week). Rather than complete making a single set of dice, I went for doing the art for all three of the remaining "cloth" cargo dice.

It also means I'm in a position to do all 6 types of commodity price dice for the ports on the map, although figuring out the number positions so that the "tipping" mechanism works needs doing (I can't use the standard 7s or even a version of it because you can't tip between 3 and 4). I'll need 21 of these, but for simplicity I'll put one of each type on a single sheet and make it 4 times giving 24, then remove 1 of each of the 3 non-cloth dice.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Wine Barrels

Slow progress now term has re-started, but here's the next set of Cargo Dice - Wine. I'm quite pleased with the barrels, although they took me the whole evening to get right. I'm less happy with the readability of the '4' numeral.

Friday, 2 November 2012

Component detail images

Here are some detail images of the individual components:

The Board

The Ship Dice

 The Eponymous Zombie Pirates

The Fortune Dice

Two of the six types of Cargo Dice

Trading in the Mediterranean - Ninjas vs Zombie Pirates - The Solo Deck Building Dice Game

So here's what I've got so far:
A picture of the board and the components (dice) I have designed and constructed so far.
This, incidentally, was not part of a game, just a "dummy" set up. For a start the "Spices" dice would be in reverse order.

I also have a design document, which is also a rules draft; here's a snapshot (of the Simplenote file):

Trading in the Mediterranean - Ninjas vs Zombie Pirates - The Solo Deck Building Dice Game.

A game designed by Simon* jf Hunt, specifically to cause Tom Vasel and Donald Dennis to simultaneously explode.

Rough Cut Rules
*Notes to self
- these need to be a good deal sillier in terms of chrome…
- I need a picture of some grumpy guy on the box.

1 Game Board
1 Flagship Die?Marker?
1 Fleet Die?Marker?
21 Commodity Price Dice
- 4 Wool - Worsted - String ?
- 4 Cotton - Linen - Wimpoles?
- 4 Silk - Negliges?
- 3 Wine  - Holy grails?
- 3 Spices - Holy Moley?
- 3 Glass - Holy Hand Grenades?
36  = 6 x 6 Commodity Cargo Dice
6? Ship Dice
Price Dice/Markers for Ninjas & Crew
?Do I want ships and fortune to work the same way?
6? ninja Dice
6 Crew Dice
1 - Bosun +1:+1:+1:+2:+2:+3 ev 1.67 modifies cargo capacity of ship he's on.
2 - Navigator +1:+1:+2:+2:+3:+3 ev 2.0 modifies speed.
3 - Merchant Taylor +1:+2:+2:+3:+4:1@ ev 2.4 @ev 0.20 modifies selling price of textiles.
4 - Trader Veteran +2:+2:+3:+3:+4:2@ ev 2.8 @ev 0.40 modifies selling price of non-textiles.
5 - Ninja Master x2:x3:x4:x4:1@:1@ ev 3.25 @ev0.50 modifies effectiveness of Ninjas on his ship.
6 - Captain +3:+3:+4:+5:1@:2@ ev 3.75 @ev0.75 modifies any one attribute on his ship. This can be allocated dynamically (i.e. you don't need to decide beforehand and at the end you can always use his modifier to improve your selling prices).
6 Fortune Dice
Lots and lots of Zombie dice
Fortune Counters

++Set Up++
1. Roll the 21 Commodity Price Dice on the map. Working from one end, use proximity to assign each of them to a unique port.
2. Put the 6? Basic (Red?) Ship Dice in your dice bag
3. Decide the difficulty you want which determines your basic income:
0: Ultimate
1: Master
2: Professional
3: Standard
4: Journey Man
5: Apprentice
6: Beginner
?Negative maybe?
4. Choose a starting port.

++Turn Overview++
1. Receive Income
2. Draw/Buy, Roll & Assemble Fleet
3. Sail & Combat Zombie Pirates
4. Sell Cargo & discard.
5. Repeat 3&4 until you have reached your furthest destination.
6. Check victory conditions.

1. Receive Income
Depending on your difficulty level, draw your income from the bank.

2. Draw/Buy, Roll & Assemble
You can draw a die from your dice bag by either:
= Spending one Florin
= Spending one Fortune token
= Adding a Zombie die to the Zombie Pool.

If at any time your dice bag is empty, then add the entire discard pile to your bag. If your discard pile is empty then you have all the dice available to you this turn unless you buy more from the markets. 

WHen you draw a die from your dice bag, roll it. If you get @1, draw another dice from the bag and roll it. Also re-roll the dice showing @1. If you get @2, draw two dice from the bag and roll them. Also re-roll the dice showing @2. Repeat these actions as appropriate if any newly rolled dice show @1 or @2 until no more dice show the @ symbol or no more dice remain in the bag, even after the bag has been replenished from the discard pile. Any dice showing @1 or @2 that remain are re-rolled as before, but you gain Fortune tokens in place of drawing dice.

If you have drawn a fortune die and rolled a certain amount of fortune, you may either:
+Pay to re-roll the die
+Move the die to your discard pile and take that number of fortune tokens and add them to your Fortune pile.

You can re-roll any dice at any time during this phase by either:
= Spending one Fortune token
= Adding a Zombie Pirate die to the Zombie Pirate Dice Pool
Any die can be re-rolled multiple times as long as the appropriate price is paid for each re-roll.

To buy a particular type of die, gather the unbought dice of that type and roll them. Note that unless you actually want to buy a particular type of die, it is un-necessary to set up the market for it, although you may wish to do so, to help you make purchase decisions.

For all except the Commodity Cargo Dice, arrange them on the appropriate Market Spaces, in order of ascending value first, then dice quality second (dice with re-roll symbols on the sides are of higher quality). Dice with the re-roll symbol upper-most are put aside and are not available for purchase at this port. Pay the price on the market square occupied by the die to buy it. In contrast to other deck building games, it is used immediately, not placed in the discard pile. Do not, as a matter of course, re-roll a purchased dice before you first use it (you use it as the value you bought it initially), but you may re-roll a newly purchased die as long as the re-roll price is paid to do so.

Commodity Cargo Dice are placed on the market spaces in descending order of size, as it is cheaper to buy in bulk, but still in ascending order of quality. The purchase price is the base price determined by the port die plus the position modifier, all multiplied by the cargo size value.

Assemble your merchant fleet, re-rolling and purchasing dice as necessary, by paying the appropriate price in Florins or Zombies. Just to be really clear - you can't buy stuff from the markets by adding zombies. The only way of acquiring dice using zombies is drawing them from your dice bag. Once these are exhausted (including after the dice bag has been replenished from the dicard pile) then you need hard cash.

Each ship in your fleet must have a bow, which shows the ship's maximum movement value (speed), and a stern, which shows the ship's the cargo capacity. The ship can contain as many Ninja dice and cargo dice as its capacity. Ninja dice take up one cargo space each, regardless of their value. Cargo dice take up as many spaces as their size.

Crew dice are placed on top of the ship dice and cargo dice, they do not take up any cargo space on a ship.

Any dice you cannot use (remember this normally means you are unwilling to pay the price to re-roll them to make them useable) are placed in your discard pile.

You can pay one Fortune token per distance to check the market at any port before you sail. See the market check instructions in step 4.

Finally choose one ship in your fleet as your flag ship. Place the flagship die on top of this ship. This represents the player, and if this ship is lost, the game is over.

3. Sail & Combat Zombies
The Zombie dice pool represents the level of interest you have generated amongst the Zombie Pirate fraternity during your voyage preparations.

The instruction "Remove" means:
- In the case of Zombie Pirate dice, put them back in the Zombie Pirate Dice Pool Bag/Pile.
- In the case of any other dice, put them into the discard pile.

Roll all the Zombie DIce in the Zombie Dice Pool Bag/Pile.
Put the dice that do not show a Zombie Pirate on the upper face back into the Zombie Dice Pool Bag/Pile. All remaining dice should have a Zombie Pirate showing on the upper face.

If at any time there are no zombie dice left in this pile because they have been removed then you have successfully repelled the Zombie Pirate attack. Proceed to step 4.

+ Remove Zombie Pirates equal to the current Ninja value(s), remembering to multiply the Ninja's value by the Ninja Master's Value if you have one and they are on his ship.
+ Remove a number equal to the Captain's value (if you have one). This "uses" the Captain's ability this turn and is not available if you have already used him to boost a ship's Speed or Cargo Capacity.
+ Spend fortune tokens to remove as many more Zombies as you like, up to the number of Fortune tokens you have available.

If there are still zombie pirates left, here are your options:
-Remove a cargo die. It removes as many zombie pirates as its size value, but the whole die is removed to the discard pile.
-Remove a crew die. They take as many Zombies with them as their value and their die is removed to the discard pile. Increase (+1) the base value marker for crew on the market track. New crew becomes more expensive to hire if you have a reputation for killing them.
-Tip down a Ninja dice. Remove as many Zombie Pirates as their new value. When tipped below their lowest value, remove one more zombie pirate die and move the Ninja die to the discard pile. Increase (+1) the base value marker for Ninjas on the market track. New ninjas become more expensive to hire if you have a reputation for killing them.
- Tip down the Bow or Stern die. Remove one zombie pirate per tip. If you no longer have sufficient cargo space for cargo or Ninjas then these must be removed so that the remaining cargo space is not exceeded. Please then go and lie down in a darkened room and consider why those diece were still there at that juncture. When either Bow or Stern is tipped below their lowest value, remove Zombie Pirate Dice equal to the total remaining speed and cargo values and move both the Ship dice and any other dice to the discard pile (although there really shouldn't be anything left on the ship at this point, duh!).

If your fleet has been entirely discarded, the game is over. Any remaining money is your final score.

4.Sell & discard
On reaching an intermediate port the bow and stern dice making up ships that have moved their maximum movement and their crew dice (including Ninjas) are moved to the discard pile. 

Cargo is sold on the local market. Firstly, unless you checked before you sailed, check for recent price fluctuations. Perhaps another captain has arrived ahead if you, fulfilling the need and crashing the market. Perhaps the demand had increased?

Roll the requisite number of dice (either 1 or 2 d6) and tip the Commodity Price Dice at the post accordingly. If the instruction is to "Reset" then set the Commodity Price Dice to its lowest value.

Wool: Roll 2d6. Down both under or either equal to 3, up both over, reset both equal 8/36:9/36:1/36
Wine: Roll 1d6 .Down under 3, up over, reset equal 12/36:18/36:6/36
Cotton: Roll 2d6. Up either over 4, reset either equal 20/36:11/36
Spices: Roll 1d6. Down under  2, up over, reset equal 6/36:24/36:6/36
Silk: Roll 2d6. Down both under or either equal to 2, up both over, reset both equal 3/36:16/36:1/36
Glass: Roll 2d6. Up either over 3, reset either equal 27/36:11/36

If there is no official demand for a particular cargo at this port, it may be sold for 1 Florin per size unit, otherwise it is sold as follows:

The largest value cargo die is sold for the current market price per unit. The price then drops one level by tipping the demand die on your current port and the next largest die is sold and so on until all the dice are sold (causing the price to drop one last time) or the price has sunk to the commodity base price per unit.

5. Repeat 3&4 until you have reached your furthest destination.

At your furthest destination, sell the cargo as before but do NOT discard the ships or crew, unless you want to.

Repair/Upgrade Ships
For each ship die, pay 1f/its current value in florins? to tip up the die.

Crew Experience
For each surviving crew member, check to see if they have improved through experience by rolling the requisite number of dice (either 1 or 2 d6). If they make their roll, tip up their die. Obviously, a crew die showing its maximum face cannot be improved, so a success here will add a fortune token.

Captain: Roll 2d6. Up both over or equal to Value+1 (4 9/36)
A Captain failing his experience roll by rolling both under his value can improve any one crew member except Ninjas.
Ninja Master: Roll 2d6. Up both over or equal to Value+1 (3 16/36)
A Ninja Master failing his experience roll by rolling both under his value can improve any one Ninja on his ship.
Veteran Trader: Roll 1d6. Up over or equal to Value+1 (4 18/36) +2?
Merchant Taylor: Roll 2d6. Up either over or equal to Value+2 (5 20/36) +4?
Navigator: Roll 1d6. Up over or equal to Value+2 (3 24/36)
Bosun: Roll 2d6. Up either over or equal to Value+3 (4 27/36)
Ninjas: Roll 2d6. Up either over or equal to Value (4 27/36)

Retaining Crew
You must pay the value of each crew member as a wage to retain them for the next voyage, or they are added to the discard pile. You may pay them before you check for experience if you wish to do so.

6. Check victory conditions.
Whatever they might be.
Count your current wealth. Add the number of Fortune counters. Add all the current die values in your fleet. This is your current score.
Quit while you're ahead? If you decide to quit now, this will be your final score. If not, return to step 1.

Software Credits
Design Scratchpad by Simple Note
Portrait Images by Zombie Booth, Face Goo and PS Express
Image Processing by GIMP
Dice Layout by Inkscape


My Main Worry?
That the game will be difficult to begin with and get easier. I want quite the opposite

Board Or Not? 
/Yes, for routes and commodities/prices?
/Price varies, but once the specialist commodity for each port is established, the commodity doesn't change - a waste of dice! 
/Fix the number of each commodity dice initially?

VP Track? 
XYes, unless I can think of a way of end scoring, but that's boring. I'm trying to think of an end condition that works... i.e. I'm not even sure how you might win or lose is game! Still no inspiration here. Now just thinking of going for hard cash!

Fleet board? 
/yes, but not really necessary, because you can make ships anywhere
/Could incorporate the VP track and the ninjas price track, although the purchase values might need all their own tracks.
/One track for the base price of each thing. One track for the actual selection and position modifiers. Fills from the high end.
/Currently everything is on a single piece of A4. This works well. However, the fleet board is dead space, as its completely unnecessary, and possibly too small.

/Each turn is one fleet to one destination. Consecutive turns must follow trade routes! 
X Do you have to discard all dice at the end of a turn or do ships and crew persist? 
/Persistence seems more thematic.
X Long routes suffer 2 pirate attacks before arriving. I've now solved this by altering some routes.
/Bow sections control movement value for the turn? Ships that have to be left behind at other ports because they move less than the fastest are moved to the discard pile after they make their delivery (all dice - ship, ninjas, cargo, crew)

/If your income is negative, you must pay the bank that amount by the end of the turn or add that number of Zombie Pirate Dice
/You can always sell goods for value 1 per size value even if there's no demand marker for that good on a port. 
XTo buy a good, roll a Goods die from your bag to get the price?
/You can buy a good from the market or use your own?
XOr does each die cost the same but the values vary?
Better quality dice cost more. Base price is modified by price dice?
Initially all dice range linearly from 1 to 6 florins. Max price = 6 + 6 = 12 florins? Or = 6 x 6 = 36 florins (you'd be crazy to buy at that price but would make a killing selling!). Game balance may require adjusting of base and modifiers.
Different commodities have different base prices? And different progressions?
Separate Goods Dice and Price Dice.

Wool 2-7, 2:3:4:5:6:7
Cotton 3-8? Or 3 to 15 in 2s, 3:5:7:9:11:13:15
Implies Glass 7 to 37 in 6s, 7:13:19:25:31:37
Or steps of base price?
Wool 2-12 in 2s, 2:4:6:8:10:12
Cotton 3 to 18 in 2s, 3:6:9:12:15:18
Implies Glass 7 to 42 in 7s, 7:14:21:28:35:42
I like this second scale better.

Dice Bag
/Goods dice are in your bag. Represent your own contacts in the business? 
XBonus good if you buy that good? But only if you buy!
Costs 1f to draw a die.
Also goods dice in the market.
You pay to draw and roll dice? Either in Florins or in Zombies!

Price dice remain on the map. 

(Now swap pairs of Commodity Price Dice so that no two dice of the same type are joined by a single trade route - why? I'm not sure this needs to be true)

Goods dice determine how much of the commodity is available. If a ship is not big enough you can down step a die but the extra is lost?. Purchase of the next die is at the next higher price. Dice in order of size descending (it's cheaper to buy in bulk!). This also allows the purchase of bargains if a good quality die rolls low. 
Price is size+position?
Price is (base+position)xsize?

/Port/commodities Dice - define commodity values
Define a single key commodity base value for that port.

X that then decay with time. Then re-roll. Allow early re-roll or advancement?
/ Demand starts low and increases - encourages forward planning! Perhaps die advances by rolling higher or equal to the current value or the demand reduces to 1?  Or perhaps each commodity has a fixed roll level? Different commodities need different #s of dice to reset? For common goods roll lower on 1 of n dice, for rarer goods roll lower on all of n dice. I'm leaning towards automatic advance? No, if I go to static demand + check on arrival, it could go up or down. Resets on equals?

5 commodities?
X 3 dice all under
2 dice all under
1 dice under
2 dice either under
X 3 dice either under
Leaning towards fixed roll levels for different commodities.
This gives potentially 15 commodities, so I could reject the extremes?

2 dice both under 2:1/36 3:4/36 4:9/36 5:16/36 6:25/36
2 dice both under or equal to 1:1/36 2:4/36 3:9/36 4:16/36 5:25/36
2 dice both under or either equal to 2:3/36 3:8/36 4:15/36 5:24/36 6:35/36
2 dice both equal (reset) 1/36
2 dice both over 1:25/36 2:16/36 3:9/36 4:4/36 5:1/36
2 dice both over or equal to 2:25/36 3:16/36 4:9/36 5:4/36 6:1/36
2 dice both over or either equal to 1:35/36 2:24/36 3:15/36 4:8/36 5:3/36

1 dice under 2:6/36 3:12/36 4:18/36 5:24/36 6:30/36
1 dice under or equal to 1:6/36 2:12/36 3:18/36 4:24/36 5:30/36
1 dice equal (reset) 6/36
1 dice over 1:30/36 2:24/36 3:18/36 4:12/36 5:6/36
1 dice over or equal to 2:30/36 3:24/36 4:18/36 5:12/36 6:6/36

2 dice either under 2:11/36 3:20/36 4:27/36 5:32/36  6:35/36
2 dice either under or equal to 1:11/36 2:20/36 3:27/36 4:32/36 5:35/36
(2 dice either under or either equal to 1:10/36 2:19/36 3:26/36 4:31/36 5:34/36)
2 dice either equal (reset) 11/36
2 dice either over 1:35/36 2:32/36 3:27/36 4:20/36 5:11/36
2 dice either over or equal to 2:35/36 3:32/36 4:27/36 5:20/36 6:11/36
(2 dice either over or either equal to 2:34/36 3:31/36 4:26/36 5:19/36 6:10/36)

Wool: Roll 2d6. Down both under or either equal to 3, up both over, reset both equal 8/36:9/36:1/36
Wine: Roll 1d6 .Down under 3, up over, reset equal 12/36:18/36:6/36
Cotton: Roll 2d6. Up either over 4, reset either equal 20/36:11/36
Spices: Roll 1d6. Down under  2, up over, reset equal 6/36:24/36:6/36
Silk: Roll 2d6. Down both under or either equal to 2, up both over, reset both equal 3/36:16/36:1/36
Glass: Roll 2d6. Up either over 3, reset either equal 27/36:11/36

6 commodities based on 4 and 3? I need the base chance of increase to be larger than decrease so that demand grows mainly.

6 commodities and 21 ports means
Wool 3+1
Cotton 3+1
Silk 3 + 1
Spices? 3
Wine 3 
Glass 3

Type1: down both under or either equal to 4, up both over, reset both equal 16/36:19/36:1/36
Type2: down both under or either equal to 3, up both over, reset both equal 9/36:26/36:1/36
Type3: down under  2, up over, reset equal 6/36:24/36:6/36
Type4: down under 3, up over, reset equal 12/36:18/36:6/36

What am I trying to achieve here? The possibilities are:
Price increases
Price stays the same
Price decreases
Price resets
The roll n on either dice doesn't lend itself to this number of outcomes!
How about up or reset? Or up and down but no reset?
One of these must be fixed at 11/36. From a pattern point of view this really should be reset.

2 dice either over but not equal to  1:25/36 2:24/36 3:21/36 4:16/36 5:9/36

Type5: up either over 1, reset either equal 25/36:11/36
Type6: up either over 4, reset either equal 16/36:11/36

XHave a further outer sheath to convert a generalised commodity die to a particular type, removing the need to have huge numbers of dice that are rarely used?
XBuy generic dice and sheaths separately? This gives _much_ more control. Not sure I like this. I want players to specialise in particular areas - like buy lots of ninjas, or more expensive ninjas.

Allow luck? 
XPoints that can be bought and spent to decide the roll of a dice (one point per die).
/Points that can be bought and spent to re-roll a dice.

I'm now thinking of luck dice as one of the available purchase items - a "Fortune Dice".
cheapest fortune die - -:-:-:1f:2f:3f or 1f:1f:1f:2f:3f as other dice!
Most expensive fortune: 2f:2f:3f:4f:1@:2@
Some more expensive dice have "draw n dice and re-roll them including this one" sides marked by @.
Rolling fortune adds that number of fortune tokens to the fortune pile.
Do I need fortune, or could I rely entirely on Florins? No, there are some things you can only do with florins and specifically you can't buy dice from the market with fortune or zombies.

Allow crew dice that give drms?
Captains +n to all rolls
ninja Sergeants +n to all hand to hand rolls? Combat rolls? Second round combat rolls?
Navigators? +n to movement
Bosuns? +n to ship function, perhaps even cargo capacity?
The master, the swabber, the bosun and I, the gunner and his mate.
Merchant Taylors? +n to sell value of textiles
Gunners? +n to first combat round.
Leaning away from a cannon round. Would merchant vessels have cannon anyway? Do I really need to worry about this level of realism? Would cannon dice add to the game?
I'm tempted to go ahead with a single combat round right now.

Each delivered goods die reduces the sell value by one. Requires statted goods dice. Makes selling in bulk an advantage! Player chooses order of sale? As this is obvious, why bother allowing the choice? Dice sold in descending order of value.

Zombie Dice. Different #s of sides that have zombies? Might be too complex. Same for each die? zzzz--?

Ninja Dice. These were originally marines, but hey - Pirates vs Ninjas. Different strengths. 
XDice can be cashed in for VP? VP no longer intended
Cheapest ninja Dice - m1:m1:m1:m2:m2:m3 expected m 1.67
Most expensive - m2:m2:m3:m4:1@:2@ expected m 2.75 : @0.75
 Or m3:m3:m4:m5:1@:2@ expected m 3.75:@.75
All crew dice follow this pattern?
1 - x1:x1:x1:x2:x2:x3 ev 1.67
2 - x1:x1:x2:x2:x3:x3 ev 2.00
3 - x1:x2:x2:x3:x4:1@ ev 2.4 @ev 0.20
4 - x2:x2:x3:x3:x4:2@ ev 2.8 @ev 0.40
5 - x2:x3:x4:x4:1@:1@ ev 3.25 @ev0.50
6 - x3:x3:x4:x5:1@:2@ ev 3.75 @ev0.75

All dice follow this pattern?

Ship Bow/Stern Dice
Ship Hold Dice? I'm liking the single value from the stern die determining cargo capacity
Different qualities of Sterns with larger or smaller holds and more or less bows.
Initial ship die: <1: i="i" or="or">
Most expensive <3:3 and="and" draw="draw" i="i" re-roll="re-roll" this="this" where="where">

Repair/Upgrade Ships
For each ship die, pay 1f/its current value in florins? to tip up the die.
Paying the current value means that its often better to trash and re-roll (cost 1f) than retain.

X# re-Rolls of Any player dice = # re-Rolls of blank Zombie Dice. I quite like this as a mechanism. If there are no more blank zombie dice then you have maxed out on re-rolls this time, or you can do something that increases the number of Zombie dice, and hope they roll blank! 
Or # re-Rolls of Any player dice = # extra Zombie Dice - this means that the number of Zombies will not be known until the actual combat - a little like ninja dice. If ninja dice are rolled, then what does "draw" do? Could that be re-roll another dice instead? I don't really want to roll the ninja dice once they're out. If they survive combat then they move up a level. Lost combat moves them down a level?

ninja dice must equal or exceed Zombies. When rolled?
1d6 per ninja strength point? Or just use the ninja dice?
ninja Dice have different values. Zombies are linear but the zombie pile forever grows!
If zombies win then either lose ninjas or cargo
Cost of new ninja dice increases if ninjas are killed.
Place dead ninjas on cost track to obscure lower values. Or do they go to discard? Add one zombie for each ninja strength?

X Non linear reward for # matching ports/commodities a bit like Bohnanza - this idea now exceeded by selling bulk at the top price.

Buy new 
X port
X commodities
/ commodities quantity dice
/ ninja dice
/ ship bow & stern dice
/ crew dice
/ fortune dice
Xnews of nearby ports dice - do I really need these or 
/does the fortune die do this too?

Just use x(Roll and use) bought dice immediately - do not just add them to your discard pile like other deck-building games!
Just use the value you buy unless you pay to reroll.

X Perhaps just re-roll ports and commodities? Superseded by economic mechanisms

Roll ship dice and construct ships
X Start with 3 bow/stern dice so a simple <] is always possible. Actually this is nonsense!
X Bow and stern define # holds also - place on a mat a certain distance apart?
/ Perhaps only the stern determines cargo capacity? 
/Cargo dice have values that must fit into the holds?
/The ship can contain as many cargo dice or cargo dice values as this number. 
XPart of me likes the separation of the cargo dice and their value.
/Needing to fit dice values in the holds will require lots of ships. Fine!
/Each ninja die takes up one hold space.

XAllow ships to be damaged by reorientation of the die. This determines how much cargo is lost? I'm not sure I like this particularly as I need the ship dice to do other things.
XI'm not sure that I like the idea of ship then HTH combat. The ship can add to the initial? combat round. I'm currently thinking of abstracting the combat into two rounds, allowing some reduction in the # of zombies before the final reckoning each round.
/In fact I'm now leaning towards just a single abstracted zombie combat round

/Can whole ships be lost? If there's one Zombie left for each movement and hull point? 
XOr maybe an empty ship is considered lost?
?One new zombie dice per item lost?
XCan the ship dice be lost? If not then having ships destroyed by zombies is less serious, they just go back into the discard pile and thence the draw bag. /Empty ships go to the discard pile.
XCan the player re-configure during combat? Probably not.

XPlaces that you have traded at get extra demand dice but that also attracts zombies. I'm now not sure extra demand dice will fit on the map!

I'm a bit concerned that with 21 ports the economy upkeep phase will be too arduous, especially as only a handful will be relevant.
/Maybe only generate economy as you sail? There can then be actions to buy intelligence before you sail. 
/Maybe an initial setup? 
/Or roll only for the ports you can reach? 
I'm leaning towards an initial setup so that the player has some initial info _and_ rolling when you arrive/when asking for info.

/How do we decide starting position & resources? Difficulty and a strategic choice or rather vice versa

21 Ports
X Ports - rated according to # connections. Too complex to include.
Valencia 2
Barcelona 2
Marseilles 2
Genoa 4
Naples 2
Venice 3
Ragusa 3
Corfu 3
Constantinople 5
Canea 5
Famagusta 3
Rhodes 3
Antioch 1
Tyre 1
Alexandria 5
Tripoli 3
Messana 5
Tunis 2
Algiers 1
Palma 4
X Pisa? 5
Cadiz 2(1)

/Countries such as Spain and Italy, in the southern areas of the continent, specialized in glass, wine and spices.
Silk, wool, cotton
?I'll use these then?

/Currency is the gold florin.

Real prices. 
1fl = 75s = 900d
1s = 12d
Worsted (wool) 3.5d/yd
A bale of wool 3 fl. ==> 1 bale = 3x900/3.5 = 770yd
Linen (cotton) 6-12d/yd
Silk 100-280d/yd
Spices 12-36d/lb
Saffron 183d/lb
Stained Glass 500fl? Weak source.
Wine 4-8d per gallon, 1 barrel = 60 gallons = 480d ==> ~2 Barrels/fl

Total Dice
21 Commoditiy Price Dice
6x6 = 36 Commodity Cargo dice
6? Ship Dice. This may not be enough? Allows max 3 ships. Should there be ship starting dice? 21 Dice 1x6, 2x5, 3x4, 4x3, 5x2, 6x1? Allows a potential fleet of 10 ships.
A half way option is 3:2:2:1:1:1 = 10 dice. Do commodity cargo dice need the same structure?
6? ninja Dice. Total EV 15 implies 21 Zombie Dice - seems too few
6 Crew Dice
6 Fortune Dice

n Zombie Dice, where n is probably quite large.

If you read this far, thanks for your interest.

Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Two Terrible Things Happen at Once

Someone posts on the BGG Print and Play forums about NaGa DeMon - National Game Design Month and on the same day someone else posts in the Risus Yahoo Group about a new One Page Design Challenge - a Risus Steampunk Setting.

*Must Not Chase Shiny Things*

So, the NaGa DeMon project will be Trading in the Mediterranean with Ninjas vs Zombie Pirates - The Solo Deck Building Dice Game (tm).

A game designed by me, specifically to cause Tom Vasel and Donald Dennis to simultaneously explode. ;p

This is past the initial design phase and into the play testing - the only current problem is the need to construct over 100 custom paper dice before I can start. Progress is slow. Each set of 6 dice takes about 2 days.

It also occurs to me that now people in the UK can Kickstart stuff, the joke would be complete if I did a Kickstarter campaign for it... Unfortunately, there's too high a risk that people without a well developed sense of irony would back it. Although I could always put the funding target as £1M...

As for the Risus Setting, it would be a good excuse to do something like a Girl Genius homage. "Femme Fantastique" maybe?

Progress reports as separate posts to follow. Maybe.