On the Road to GenCon

You know, my least favorite part of a designer is physically cutting out prototypes. Designing on the computer? Awesome. Writing rulebooks? Tolerable. Getting out the scissors? I put it off as long as possible.

However, there’s something satisfying about when you finish, and you realize how far your games have come. I have spent the last month remaking boards, cutting out cardboard, and assembling the final prototypes. I’m going to highlight a few of these prototypes with brief commentary.

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Con of the North

Thank you to everyone who joined us at Con of the North this past weekend. The Polaris Collective attends 4 conferences per year, but Con of the North is special. It’s not strategic; it’s not a place where we hope to meet publishers; it’s not even “worth our money” from a financial standpoint (since we do not sell any prototypes yet). Con of the North is about something different: connecting with the people who play our games. We design games to create and foster community, and that’s exactly what we got. Here are a couple of photo highlights and some reflections from each of the designers present.

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Elemental

The other day, I ran into one of the guys who spent a lot of time at our booth at Con of the North while at Fantasy Flight. It was a good reminder that people remembered us!

You might wonder what’s been happening with Mirror Tactics lately. Well, based on feedback I got from Con of the North, I’ve brought it back into development. I realized when watching people play that the game either needed to be simpler or more complex. The version I showed was an uncomfortable middle ground, appealing to neither type of gamer. I’ve been exploring both paths, and I think I may have stumbled upon two unique but very different games.

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兵道鏡 – Mirror Tactics

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Enter the war-torn Island of Rokkoku (六国島). For years, six great kingdoms have fought for dominance of the island. For peace to reign, a Shogun must be established to keep the kingdoms in order. But which kingdom will reign over the others? Which warlord will be Shogun? Will it be you? If so, you must not only outmaneuver your opponents on the field of battle, but also gain glory and renown. After all, no kingdoms will follow a coward. Use your wits to watch your opponents, guess their strategies, find their hidden weak points, lure them into terrain disadvantages, and bend them to submission.

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