Design Diary: Introduction

 

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A successful playtest meet up

One of our ambitions for 2017 here at the Crafty Players is to put out more higher quality articles. If you read our post about our new year’s gaming resolutions, you would have read that I have set myself the goal of having three games ready to submit to the Cardboard Edison Award in January 2018. To help facilitate both of these goals, I’ve decided I’m going to write about my experiences of trying to design board games. From the early steps of idea to early prototype, to playtesting and how I modify the game based on those playtests. Continue reading

12 Games of Christmas – Part 2

Ding dong indeed! So here we are with only a few short days (today being the shortest!) until it’s Christmas. Huzzah! Let’s celebrate by finding the best games to backstab and murder your family and friends without actually doing so and thereby avoiding Christmas prison (which is reserved for murderers and those who riffle shuffle my cards).

Continuing with our 12 Games of Christmas, below are my (Emmet) choices for the best games to play with your family and friends over the holidays. The last few years pur families have created a little tradition of meeting up on Christmas Eve, ordering a takeaway, and playing some games. As my nieces have gotten older we’ve been able to introduce more complex games to our game nights, but even so the games here are very approachable and easy to pick up and play. These games will work with anyone from the age of 7 and up I’d say so they’re perfect for a family night tucked up with hot chocolate and mince pies.

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Shogi and I

Today I’m going to talk about something a little different. It’s still a board game, but it’s not a hot off the shelf release from Essen, or a Kickstarter reward or my latest adventure in solo gaming. It’s about shogi, Japanese chess, the game which I have undoubtedly played the most in the past 10 years. Many people compare the game Go to chess, but shogi is much closer. Several of the pieces move the same, lending a sense of familiarity to those who’ve played chess. But it’s also hugely different, and in my humble opinion, better by far.

Before we go on, I want to say that I won’t be using the Japanese names for pieces etc, just the names in English that I know them as, as taught to me. It may not be technically correct, but to me the words carry more than just meaning. Continue reading

Dublin Maker 2016

The Crafty Players aren’t called crafty just because we like craft beers. We chose the name because it allowed us to encompass many things we enjoy. Craft beer is one of them. Crafting is another, and to prove it, I joined Dublin Maker last weekend for the first time. Dublin Maker is an annual event that has been running for the past 5 years. They describe the day as a “show and tell” experience, where inventors and makers from throughout Ireland can gather in Merrion Square in Dublin for a full day of showing off what they create. I popped along for the day with Board Game Designers Ireland to show off some of our work and to see if we could capture the public imagination.Logo-Dublin-Maker-624x384 The Crafty Players Continue reading

Playing with Oneself

I don’t play board games for the games themselves, I play them because they bring me together with people I want to spend time with, they facilitate friendships, catch ups and create good stories. For these reasons, I’ve never played a solo board game. It’s a whole genre of the hobby I have no knowledge about. There’s another whole area of the hobby which I know very little about: print and play games. There are games that haven’t been published in big shiny boxes, but are available online for download, that you print yourself. You can print the game on cardboard or paper, colour or black and white, and have a perfectly playable game at the end of it all.

I decided I would explore these two worlds at the same time. I’d look into some print and play, solo games, give a few a try, and report back on what happened. Just like a real journalist. Continue reading

RPG: Preparing a Session

As previously mentioned here on the blog and in the most recent podcast, we’ll be bringing you more content centred on tabletop role playing games here on The Crafty Players. To that end, this week I’ve got some Games Master (GM)/Dungeon Master (DM) tips on helping you prep for an upcoming session. I’ll be framing this as preparing to run a game of 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons, but a lot of this advice can be used for any system you’re planning on running.

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First Impressions: Quadropolis

 

Over the past two years, our group has become more passionate about board games, and more people in the group are starting their own collections. This means that we often get to try new games, but not play them multiple times in a short period of time. The competition for which games we play is fierce. So we’re left with first impressions. Rather than let this restrict us, we’re going to embrace it. Quick, short first impression posts, followed up as we get more experienced with a particular game. Recently, Emmet did an excellent job of sharing his first thoughts on the game Last Will. This week, I’ll be doing the same, but for a different game: Quadropolis.

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The Crafty Podcast – Episode 01

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In our first ever podcast we introduce ourselves to the world and begin sharing our love of board games and craft beer!

We chat about Rex, Bora Bora, and Steampunk Rally, and then we discuss new beers we tried including 200 Fathoms by Galway Bay and Children of the Revolution by Wicklow Wolf. Finally we talk about how and why to start your own monthly board game meet up.

Intro and outro music courtesy of Kevin McLeod of incompetech.com/wordpress/

Meeple in the Know: Beer for Beginners

“You should write a blog post about the basics of beer”, said Emmet, shortly before I punched him in the face. I’ve been reading and learning about beer myself, and didn’t feel like I was in a position to teach it. I’d feel like a teacher who is trying to stay one lesson ahead of the student. But the more I thought on it, the more I realised he was probably right, a quick overview of some of the basics shouldn’t be beyond me. Hell, not knowing THAT much might even be an advantage, as I can write without going off on tangents or digging deep into the nuances. So here it is: Paddy’s Beer for Beginners. Continue reading