PlanetX - Free PDF GameReleased
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As promised, we have released the free version of our PlanetX Game. A game of conquest and exploration and ultimately elimination of all opposing factions. It was a great success at DunDraCon and we have had many great games afterward as well. Head over to Free PDF Game Sign-up to get your game. In a short while, we will have a boxed version of the same game with some additional twists that have come up since the PDF version was published.
 
The Making of A Game Part2
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This is a series on how to make a game. At the end of this series, you will have a working, playable game. This has been play tested with the PsyX Games team, family, and friends. We look forward to sharing this work and hope you enjoy it.
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The mechanics of a game is extremely important as it drivers the game towards its conclusion.
In luck-based games, the mechanic is usually dice, cards or a spinner. Strategy games usually have pieces that are placed and or moved on a playing area, but can also incorporate luck mechanics for the results of conflict between players, pieces or movement.

Does the game have some type of payment system? Many strategy games allow players to improve their position in the game by planning ahead and reaching goals by spending game points or funny money.

Creating unique mechanics often defines the game. The game with a tube and sticks that hold up marbles was aptly named Ker-Plunk which fitted images of the sound it made during play. The game with magnetic rocks on a playing field was fittingly dubbed MagnetX.

Once you have some idea of the game type and mechanics, at least at a broad level such as strategy or luck, it's time to figure out the game itself.

My son and I enjoy playing games, mostly strategy and action games. So for this game, it will involve territory and combat involving ships in space with the mechanics for combat being dice and cards for ship modification and variation for game play.

The goal of this game is going to be to eliminate the other players, by capturing their planets and destroying their ships.

First to consider is the playing area or board. A pegboard could be used, however, from a hobby shop I have a table sized hex mat; this can represent space where the ships and planets will sit.

For planets I’ll print circles the same size as one hex with the planet name inside, these will be used on the hex mat so that players can see where the planets are.

For ships, at first, I thought about designing four different space ship sets, but on consideration of moving and handling them I’ve decided that chits that stack would be better. I could buy some, or use Checker pieces, but instead will use pennies, because they stack well, are plentiful and easy to handle.

To settle conflicts we are going to use dice because I have plenty of them and it will save time instead of making a spinner or figuring out a different mechanic for combat. Besides ease, dice rolling can be exciting for players.

In summary, the components of the game will be a hex mat, pennies, and dice with other parts that I will print on card stock using my PC.

Originally, this game was to emphasize ships but after thinking about the game play, decided to move the emphasis on to the planets and territory.

I've picked thirty Planet Markers, as previously described, that go on the mat (The Galaxy). I will make a card for each planet that a player will take when he is in control of that planet, a Planet Card (a blank card with the name of the planet on top). Now I have to decide what makes them important in the game?

The most obvious conclusion is resources. Each player will need to conquer planets to harvest those resources which in turn will allow the player to make ships, which can be used in offense and defense against other players.

Will all the planets be the same? No, I think that’s boring. So I will make them all different. But how, what defines a planet? To keep it simple I will go with two attributes, Size and Type.

Size will represent how many Factories the planet can support. Type will determine how productive those buildings will be. Each player will begin with the same Size and Type planet, so I’ll make four Planet Origin Cards. I’ve decided planets will vary in size from 1 to 7 and in type from 1 to 9. So I’ll need to make seven sheets with nine cards each, which will yield me a total of 63 different Planet Info Cards.

The Planet Origin Cards should not be the best planet, but I want them to be pretty good. So I’ve decided on each player starting with a Size 6, Type 5 planet. This means that if a player has six Factories on his planet it will pay 30 credits at the beginning of his turn.

When a player gets a new planet he will draw a Planet Info Card and that will determine what attributes that new planet has and be placed on top of the Planet Card allowing the name of the planet to show. If another player takes over this planet the Planet Card and Planet Info Card will be moved in front of him, depicting his control of the planet. In addition to I’ll make colored flags so that each player can see on the map which planets are controlled by each player.

Stay tuned for the next installment of the series!
Al Wenzl
PsyX Games
  Twitter and Tweets
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Well, we finally jumped on the bandwagon so people can know what's going on here.

http://twitter.com/psyxgames.  Pick us up and we'll try to keep you up to date.

For instance, we now have a Tournament Table which is 20"x20" board with a border and covered with black felt fabric with the MagnetX board placed in the middle.  This makes it stable and keeps stones from falling off.  This runs $25 and is only available on our site.

Also, we have a chest which is a heavy wooden box in which to place the game which sells for $45.  We should have both products up on the website soon, for now you can call and order at 1-800-PsyX-Now.
 
The Making of a Game
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This is a series on how to make a game. At the end of this series, you will have a working, playable game. This has been play tested with the PsyX Games team, family, and friends. We look forward to sharing this work and hope you enjoy it.
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When we are children we play games. Those games can be anything, from stuffed animals that we imagine talk to each other, to innumerable others. They supply a platform for social interaction and teach us how to deal with emotions.

Depending on each person, they will enjoy certain types of games. There are many, from simple to complex, from luck to strategy and everything in between. As children we tend to enjoy pure luck games, they even the field between players and enable children to have an equal chance at victory against each other and their parents. As game players mature they begin to lean toward games that offer choices that influence the outcome of the game in victory or defeat.

There are plenty of great games to choose from. Trivia, luck, action, strategy and games that mix some or all or those are already on the shelves of stores, even coffee shops. Yet people invent new games while others wonder how the inventor came up with the idea for the basis of that new game?

The following will be a set of articles, a sort of walk through in the creation of a game. The goal is to inspire those who have thought about creating a game, to take action and do it. And for those who are not so inclined, some interesting reading with a rewarding end.

I’ve loved games all my life, I am a gamer, like many a child at heart. My first experiences marbles, Ker-Plunk, Sorry, Aggravation, Headache, Checkers and Monopoly. Then I moved on to Cards, Stock Market, Stratego, Risk and Chess. As a teen and young single adult I discovered role playing games (RPG’s) and Diplomacy. Then I grew up, got married and had a family, time became limited and eight hours gaming sessions became an extreme rarity and I turned back to Chess and board games that lasted hours instead of days.

When I was a kid, with motivation from creative parents, we made some of our own games and we had great times playing what we created and showing friends. Making games entertains my children and teaches them that they can act on their creativity. As well it gives me an outlet to satisfy my creative thoughts.

There are many great reasons to make your own game, to many to list. So let's get on with the actual design.

What ideas do you have for a game?

Once you have chosen to make a game, you will have to decide on what type of game you want to make and how much time you want to put into it? Keeping in mind, the more you put into it the better the result.

If you need to make something and play it all at once you’ll likely be limited to a pure luck game. It could be something simple like auto racing. Draw a course on paper with spaces. Draw and cut out cars. Make a spinner or use a die for movement. This type of game, a luck based space movement race to the end game can be simple and fun. You can add spaces with positive or negative results if a player lands on them, like; lose a turn, go again or draw a card (if you have time to make cards.)

More complex games will require more thought and more time, days, weeks or even months to design, test and modify and add to. Something to remember is that complexity doesn’t always make a better game. In my experience complexity slows game play down, which is often a drawback, as players who have to wait for their turn may not be engaged in the game and become bored. Keeping players interested in the game is very important. A good goal is to keep players interested in the game even when it is not their turn.

Will your game require players to race to a conclusion, contest against the other player’s resources, collect items or game wealth or place themselves in a winning position? When you decide to make a game you need to come up with a theme or story that the players can understand and a goal to win.

What will you use to create your game?

A lot will depend on your resources and skills. Games can very simply be made with cardboard, paper and crayons, pens or color pencils. There are also many programs on computers that can be used. Pieces can be made of paper, carved and painted wood or whatever elements you find appropriate. Games for yourself, friend and family can be assembled with basic parts using glue, tape and store bought items, like dice.

If you want luck, add dice or you can make a spinner with a paper clip and cardboard arrow on a paper pie chart with numbers or actions. Making cards is also very simple. The more time you put into the pieces of the game, the better it will be to play.

When I think about a game I toss ideas around in my head and then start writing down a description of the game on my computer. As I get more ideas I add them to this description. These ideas change over time and become the rules for the game.

I also use Photoshop and Paint to create tokens for game pieces along with other parts, like cards, depending on the game.

Al Wenzl

PsyX Games

  DunDraCon33
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We have some new and exciting things to show at DunDraCon 33! You'll just have to come to the Con this weekend or wait for next week when we post the new goodies. It's amazing how much work going into getting ready for a convention even when you have most of the stuff from previous ones. With Al's hard work, our booth looks even better and it won't try to tip over on us again.

This should be a great Con weekend since it's going to rain all weekend from what I hear. Checkout our site and give us your feedback or if there is something you are interested in seeing. We will be adding to it over the next few weeks.

Bruce

 


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