The Bamboozle Brothers’ GenCon Experience

IMG_2556Wow what a whirlwind adventure! This was my first visit to GenCon and I loved it! I hardly got to experience most of what GenCon had to offer as I was busy pitching games almost every hour of every day – but no complaints from me because that was so fun!
Sen and I followed our own steps on how to prepare for a convention (it’s actually been awhile since we’ve attended a convention that wasn’t The Gathering – which doesn’t follow normal convention rules for pitching!). We set up meetings with 10 different publishers via email so that the afternoons of Fri and Sat were packed – back to back meetings all afternoon.
Thursday night
Sen arrived the day before but I flew in and got to the convention just before 5pm…which was good because we had a meeting set up with Dice Hate Me at 5:50pm!
Our first stop was at the Oni Press booth to set up a meeting with Cullen Bunn, Brian Hurtt and Charlie Chu as luck fell in our laps when Sen found himself in the right place at the right time and learned that they are looking to make a game out of the comic Sixth Gun. Meeting was set for the next morning – perfect!
IMG_2553Now it was time to meet Chris from Dice Hate Me. We had created a separate folder for each publisher we were meeting with and then put our sales sheets in the order that we thought each publisher would like each of our games. The pitch went great with Chris from Dice Hate Me liking Law of the Jungle, 9 Thieves and a game from Sen and another designer called Burning Rubber.
IMG_2571Then we went to the Nerd Nighters charity event hosted by JR Honeycutt (whom I met randomly on a trip to Texas 1.5 years ago!). We got to chat with other designers like Kevin Nunn and Luke Laurie about game design, which was really interesting. Then we had to head back to help demo our game, But Wait There’s More in hall D. We had a good turn out and since they were all adults, that allowed us to test our new Naughty Version expansion and was ecstatic that it went over better than expected! Yay!
Friday
SpielWe started the day with me trying to get one of the 100 per day copies of Mysterium that Asmodee had but the lineup was too big even though I bee-lined it to their booth. Boo. Ok, next we had an interview set up with The Spiel. If you’ve ever been to a game convention then you’ve probably seen them as they wear white jackets with large coloured meeples on it! The interview was fun and humorous and should be posted soon.
Next up was our meeting with Cullen and Charlie from Oni Press. It was Sen, me and Jon Gilmour (designer of Dead of Winter) in the meeting with them. I won’t go into all the details but it was exciting to chat about the possibilities of a Sixth Gun board game with them! Then Cullen said we really need to chat with Matt Kindt….Matt Kindt!!! For those unaware, he’s one of my favourite comic creators! Cullen took a photo of Sen’s business card and texted it to Matt – who reached out right away and set up a meeting with us.  Cool!
Jon Gilmore, Charlie Chu, Brian Hurtt, Sen, Jay

This happened! Jon Gilmour, Charlie Chu, Brian Hurtt, Sen, Ja

So now it was time to jog on over to our first actual pitch of the day. The exhibitor hall is ginormous that no single photo can do justice and so it can take quite awhile to get from one side to the other – not just because of the size of the hall, but also because of the amount of people you have to navigate through. This place was packed!!
RnRFrank from R&R Games was ready for us when we arrived and we chatted quickly about our game that we already have signed with him and learned that they’re really just trying to figure out the art for it as they want to get it right. Then onto the pitches. I love pitching to Frank because he’s very straightforward and that keeps things quick and still professional. We’ve perfected our pitch process now and so we really know how to use our time wisely with publishers. You never know if a meeting is going to get cut short or not!
Our process now is to bring out the previously mentioned folder (with sales sheets in order of importance for that publisher), and go through all of our sales sheets quickly. We preface the pitch by letting the publisher know that we plan on going through a bunch of different games quickly, using the sales sheets, and then the publisher can pick and choose which ones they’d like to see or learn more about. This is a great approach because now the publisher doesn’t have to feel like a schmuck by saying no over and over again. Instead they can simply say that they want to hear more about this one and that one – without having to say that they don’t like these other ones!
Frank liked our game 9 Thieves and Chrono Chickens! As per usual though we needed to keep the prototypes for the rest of the event to show other publishers. We could always come back near the end to hand over any prototypes.
FoxtrotNext we met up with Randy from Foxtrot who liked 9 Thieves and The Mystery of Mister E! A fan of the deduction game!
ZManWe met up with Zev from Z-Man and showed him our mini Akrotiri expansion as well as the rest of our games. He liked 9 Thieves as well! Martin from Filosofia came over and we chatted about our game Junkyard that they’re going to re title to Junk Art and will be released as the second game in the Pretzel lineup after Flick Em Up. We also chatted through a scenario for Flick Em Up that we were asked to design! He showed us the first expansion for Flick Em Up and it was awesome! Horses and ramps!! What a cool game!
APTravis from Action Phase was next and he really liked Law of the Jungle, 9 Thieves and Pig Goes Moo. He was cool with us sending him Print and Play files for the games though, so that’s cool!
Then we got to meet with Hasbro! We met Dougall at The Gathering this year, and so we were already very Hasbrocomfortable and friendly with him. We pitched our games in the usual way and he was blown away (I might be exaggerating to inflate my sense of self importance) by the quantity of games that looked good! We played 9 Thieves and a couple games from other designers – Snap Shot and Burning Rubber. Then our time ran out but he wanted to see more so he set up a time on Saturday morning to the rest. Fantastic!!
RenegadeWe had to boogie to our next pitch which was with Scott from Renegade Games. He expressed interest in SimpliCITY and Pig Goes Moo!
IMG_2570And thus concluded our pitches for the day though we did a couple hours of demoing But Wait There’s More which is always fun and funny. It’s so great watching people experience the game for the first time and realizing how funny this game is!
We thought we were meeting up with Matt Kindt after this but we rescheduled for the next morning. So I played my first non-prototype game at the con and it was Flip City from Tasty Minstrel Games! Neat game! Then we met up with Level 99 Games and played their new battle game, Exceed. We were joined by Josh Cappel and had some interesting conversations about graphic design.
Saturday
We started the day by meeting up with Dougall from Hasbro again. We only had 30 minutes but it was enough to try a couple more games and for him to express interest in Chrono Chicken – but only if we can come up with a better theme (and we think we have one!), as well as The Mystery of Mister E! That could fit in their Clue line up of games.
Then we shimmied over to meet up with Matt Kindt at the Oni Press booth. This was the highlight of the con for me. Matt, Sen and I talked for about an hour, with Brian Hurtt coming in halfway through to join in on the conversation. We chatted about the possibilities of turning Matt’s comic, Mind MGMT into a board game – and wow, that was cool to just brainstorm with him! We’re going to think about it and see if we can make something happen! How cool would that be??!!?? Matt was a super cool guy who has recently fallen in love with board games. His passion about games was great and we have some good ideas that will do his property justice!! So excited about this – I. CAN’T. EVEN.
Potentially the beginning of something amazing! Sen, Brian Hurtt, Matt Kindt and Jay!!

Potentially the beginning of something amazing! Sen, Brian Hurtt, Matt Kindt and Jay!!

Ok, back to earth and onto our next pitch which was more of a show and tell than a pitch. IDW/Pandasaurus had asked us to make a dice game for The Godfather as well as a Scotland Yard-esque game based on the comic Powers. We wanted to show them our progress on both of these games. First up was The Godfather game and they LOVED it! We’ve spent a lot of time play testing and tweaking this game to a point where we’re really happy about it! So glad they love it! Next up was Powers – which was presented as a Beta game. We walked through the direction we’re going with it and they were in full agreement on our decisions so far! Whew!
BD-TMGWe had to dart over to Tasty Minstrel Games after this to show Seth and Andy our Belfort Dice Game that we’ve been working on. We let them know that this was still beta as well. Normally we wouldn’t show a publisher a game that was beta but in both these last cases they seemed to make sense. It was a good opportunity to show what we’re doing and if they had any feedback that would change the direction of the development then it’s better to know now. And they did have direction! They thought there were probably too many dice in the game. They’re going to price it out, but we’re already thinking of ways to reduce the number of dice needed.
Then I got to meet Ryan from Mayday Games. While it’s great to catch up and meet with publishers we already knew, the big benefit of coming to GenCon for us was meeting new publishers and starting a relationship with them. Ryan was fun and after pitching one of our games and getting ready for our second he gave us a really nice compliment. He said that we’re the most organized and professional designers he’s met! That’s pretty nice to hear! We do take pride in our professionalism and strive to stand out from other designers (damn, why am I sharing this with everyone else then??!). Ryan liked a bunch of our games – Chrono Chicken, 9 Thieves, Law of the Jungle!
Next up? Shari from Ad Magic. Shari had agreed to publish our game Clunatics but wanted gameplay to be smoothed out a bit more. We fooled around with so many different ways to play this game and finally had a great suggestion from one of our play testers and it worked really well.  We showed her how the new version played and she really liked it! Yay! She assigned a project manager to the project and now we’re off to the races with this one! We had enough time so I pitched a game I’ve worked on with another designer named Shad Miller called Rack Your Brains. She had seen the sales sheet before and thought it looked interesting. I walked her through the first few rounds and she got it immediately and really liked it! We were in a rush but we left it with her and the project manager so I’m not sure if it’s happening yet or not!!
So we literally had to jog to a different hotel as we had signed up to give a seminar called, “How to pitch to publishers, the Bamboozle Brothers way.” We had borrowed a projector and we had a PowerPoint presentation to go along with our skits that went through all the steps on how we pitch our games to publishers. We had about 20 people attend the seminar and they seemed really engaged throughout, asking questions and taking notes. I really liked doing it and I think it’s just another thing that Sen and I do to try and give back to this community.
At 5pm we had our last But Wait There’s More demo to run alongside the publisher. Another set of fun people came and enjoyed themselves! Tons ‘o laughs.
For the first time, we got to actually go to a sit down restaurant for a meal! Crazy! Up until then we had been eating from food trucks and from inside the convention centre (dangerous – but the pot roast sandwich was delicious actually). We met up with JR Honeycutt, Tim Brown, The Spiel guys, Josh Cappel, Daryl Chow, Daryl Andrews and more at The Yard for a meal and lots of great conversation. Great stories from everyone about how their pitches went.
On our way out of the restaurant we bumped into Michael Coe and Nathan Hadfield from Gamelyn Games. That was serendipitous since we were on our way to a different restaurant to meet them! We chatted about our upcoming game that they’re publishing of ours called, Rock Paper Wizards and agreed to meet up again later in the evening.
First time meeting! Michael Coe, Jay, Sen, Josh Cappel, Nathan Hadfield

First time meeting in real life! Michael Coe, Jay, Sen, Josh Cappel, Nathan Hadfield

Crash-SCBack at the hotel we had arranged to meet up with Patrick from Crash Games. We really thought that he would like our game SimpliCITY. We were a bit bummed that SimpliCITY wasn’t getting a lot of love at the con so far. It’s our favourite game of the ones we were pitching. I think it has to do with the sales sheet I made. I think the art makes it look too busy and basic. Anyway, we played it with Patrick and everything was humming along and we scored after the first round. Then you could almost hear the click as Patrick ‘got’ the game. He really liked it!
IMG_2614Then it was back to the hall to meet up with Gamelyn Games again. We chatted about the direction they wanted to go with Rock Paper Wizards and Josh sketched up some ideas for the cover. That’s a fun meeting! We’re thinking of aiming it more towards a family friendly type of audience since we know that gamers will like it no matter how it’s packaged. Michael really wants to get this game into mass market so the packaging really needs to appeal to that market. Then we played Tiny Epic West – the next game in the Tiny Epic universe, and had fun playing it and providing some feedback afterwards.
Sunday
Renegade-SC-giveSunday was all about re-visiting publishers to hand over our prototypes. We had some decisions to make about which prototype should go to which publisher. It’s a great position to be in when multiple publishers want your games! So we had to factor many things into which publisher we should give our games to, but their need for exclusivity – that was a big one. Some publishers requested this and that makes it hard for us! We did give some of our games to publishers that wanted exclusivity but usually it was based on their enthusiasm for our game and their promise of how much time they needed. We also found out that Dice Hate Me was also interested in our word game, Lost for Words! Huzzah! I’d love for that game to find a home!
Patrick from Crash won the Bamboozle Lottery! He gets to take one of our prototypes back with him!

Patrick from Crash won the Bamboozle Lottery! He gets to take one of our prototypes back with him!

Some of our games went home with two publishers if they didn’t care about exclusivity, so it was smart of us to bring two copies of each game! We are so SMRT! One publisher was doing print and play and Hasbro wanted us to mail him copies afterwards as he didn’t want to carry all of them back with him. So we got rid of all of our prototypes with the exception of Herdables. Boo. And we had just found a way to make the game even better too. The good news is that Huch and Friends likes that game and was interested in publishing it (and gave us the OK to pitch to other publishers at GenCon). So now we will let them know about the recent changes and that might motivate them to publish it!

So as of right now, we have no prototypes without a home! That’s a great feeling!! GenCon was even more exciting than I thought it was going to be. I wish I was there longer as we had more publishers we could have pitched to if we had the time. Next step for us is to email all these publishers to touch base with them after the con, and to ship out prototypes to Hasbro. Stay tuned if there are any takers!!
-Jay Cormier

Belfort: The Expansion Expansion Review

Bex-coverThis review was posted awhile ago – but he has tweaked it so much and added so many more photos that I thought I’d share it again. His enthusiasm for the expansion is fantastic! I’m really proud of that expansion because it really feels like we added something new to the game – without bogging it down or making it more complicated. Great review Mark!

-Jay Cormier

Game Nite Magazine review of This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us

Game-Nite-MagA new online board game magazine has popped up called Game Nite. It looks really polished and professional with articles, reviews and interviews! And as part of their inaugural issue they reviewed our micro-game, This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us! They really liked it and recommended it! Check out the magazine here and the review is on pages 4-6.

If you’re interested in picking up a copy of the game, you can get it for $5 at the boardgamegeek store!

-Jay Cormier

Bamboozle Brother games at GenCon 2014!

Are you going to GenCon? Want to get your hands on some upcoming Bamboozle Brother games? Well you can!! Here’s a list of our games that will be at GenCon this year and a map below showing where you can find them:

Queen

Tortuga-BoxTortuga – available for purchase

 

 

 

Tasty Minstrel Games

ThisTown-logoThis Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us – available for purchase (after that it will only be available on TMG’s website – so grab a copy now – only $5!)

  • Belfort and Belfort: The Expansion Expansion – available for purchase

 

Toy Vault

butwaitboxBut Wait There’s More – available for demo, Type in these codes into the Event finder on the Gen Con webpage to sign up:

  • Thursday 1pm: Game ID: BGM1462531
  • Thursday 3pm: Game ID: BGM1462534
  • Friday 1pm: Game ID: BGM1462535
  • Friday 3pm: Game ID: BGM1462532
  • Saturday 1pm: Game ID: BGM1462533
  • Saturday  9pm: Game ID: BGM1462536
  • Saturday 11pm: Game ID: BGM1462537
  • Sunday  2pm: Game ID: BGM1462538

GenConmap2014

Take some pics of our games at GenCon and send them our way! We’d can’t make it this year but would love to see our games out there being played – or even stacked up on a shelf!!

-Jay Cormier

Both our Kickstartered Games have been successfully kickstarted!

ThisTown-logoYay and thanks to everyone who supported in whatever way you could for getting both Tortuga and This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us funded! It was a fun ride – especially the last day for This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us as we had a swell of comments and engagement from our backers! In fact, we had more comments on the final 2 days than we did over the rest of the entire campaign! Wow!

Here are some stats:

How much funds we brought in each day for This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us

How much funds we brought in each day for This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us

How many backers we had for This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us

How many backers we had for This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us

How many comments we had per day for This Town Ain't Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us

How many comments we had per day for This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of Us

The last day was only an hour or so – so you could really combine those last 2 columns into the same day! Note that while we had more funds raised on the last day than the previous day – we had almost the same number of backers – which means that existing backers raised their pledge level – awesome! So the game is funded – 601% of our initial target, so that’s fantastic! In the future the game will only be available on the TMG website (Tasty Minstrel Games). But it’s cool to know that at least 4687 people will be playing this game in a few months!!

Let’s compare to our other game, Tortuga:

Funds per day for Tortuga

Funds per day for Tortuga

Backers per day for Tortuga

Backers per day for Tortuga

Comments per day for Tortuga

Comments per day for Tortuga

Tortuga-BoxScreenshot 2014-01-30 08.08.40It’s definitely saddening to see so many people back out of their pledge throughout the campaign. I believe it had nothing to do with the game but some people didn’t feel like the stretch goals were enticing enough (though I think the extra island is pretty darned cool!) and some people were turned off from the fact that the game was already available for pre-order elsewhere. Oh well – we still hit 284% of our target and the game is coming out! Once it comes out – all these negatives will hopefully be forgotten as the focus then shifts to the actual gameplay.

So an exciting couple of weeks for the Bamboozle Brothers. We’ll be back on the Kickstarter bandwagon in a month or two when our next game, But Wait There’s More starts its campaign from Toy Vault! That should be a lot of fun because the game has the Monty Python license attached to it!! Wow! Stay tuned for all those details. And thanks again for those that backed either or both of our recent games on Kickstarter!!

-Jay

Fantastic video review of Belfort: The Expansion Expansion by Couple Vs. Cardboard!

Screenshot 2014-02-05 23.07.07

Bex-coverThese two are just awesome! I love their reviews. They have high production quality, they’re both good on camera (and adorable!) – but mostly I love them because they actually REVIEW the game! I’m not sure how we all became so complacent in interchanging the word review with rules summary. 99% of all other ‘reviews’ that I see are mostly a lengthy rules summary with an opinion tacked on at the end.

Anyway – I’m ranting. Here’s their video review of our new expansion – which they both seemed to really enjoy!

-Jay Cormier

New Microgame being published by TMG is now available as a Print and Play!

ThisTown-logoWe have a new microgame coming out soon from TMG (Tasty Minstrel Games) called “This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 of us.” It will be going up on Kickstarter soon-ish, but we all thought it would be a good idea to let people try it out for themselves first – for free! We have the base game available as a Print and Play on boardgamegeek. The game is only 2 pages of printing – with 25 tiles making up the entire game! It’s an area majority game with some interesting decisions to be made – all in less than 15 minutes! 🙂

If you want to share any comments or thoughts on the game after playing it – please let me know ASAP as we could use that in our campaign – especially if you belong to some sort of board game review site or something!!

Print and Play of This Town Ain’t Big Enough for the 2-4 Of Us.

We have a couple of mini-expansions that will be stretch goals for the campaign – but they aren’t included in the Print and Play. Feel free to message me and I can email you the expansions as well for you to try out.

-Jay

Last 12 Hours to support Belfort: The Expansion Expansion!!

Wow – this is it! The last few hours of the Kickstarter campaign for Belfort: The Expansion Expansion! If you haven’t pulled the trigger yet – well, now’s the time! We’ve already hit our target – but if we get to $35,000 then everyone will get a comic set in the world of Belfort and written by myself and my writing partner, Tim Reinert. You can actually read the comic online, but the only way to get your free physical copy is through this Kickstarter campaign.

Screen Shot 2012-07-11 at 10.18.26 PMI’m really hoping we make it as I love the story we came up with and I love the art! We found an artist by the name of Rob Lundy and we paid him out of our own pocket for the art. We got permission from Tasty Minstrel Games to do it and they were cool with it. And they liked the comic as well! So much so that they actually hired Rob to do the art for their Ridiculously successful Dungeon Roll game!

So without further ado, here are some links:

Check out the comic

Check out the Kickstarter campaign.

Thanks to everyone that supported this campaign! Can’t wait for you all to try the expansion!

-Jay Cormier

5 Reasons Why Michael Mindes loves Kickstarter

kickstarter-badge-fundedMichael Mindes, owner of Tasty Minstrel Games, has published an interesting blog post about why he loves Kickstarter – aside from the obvious money reasons. It’s a great read for anyone contemplating using Kickstarter as a way to get their product out in the world – especially board games! Check it out here.

 

-Jay Cormier

Belfort: The Expansion Expansion – How it came to be

Bex-coverBelfort was released to the world in the late months of 2011. Since then the game has done extremely well, selling out of two print runs, getting picked up for a German and a Polish version and now it’s getting a full expansion with funding through Kickstarter. The expansion started to get developed in August of 2011 – months before the base game had even hit the shelves! This is not to say that we were cocky and expecting that the game would be a huge hit, but we were excited about it and liked playing in the Belfort sandbox!

The publisher, Michael Mindes of Tasty Minstrel Games (TMG) let us know about an idea he had about wanting buildings to be upgradeable such that players could get more gold, or more Gnome placements. At the same time, Sen and I had been toying with an idea about using roles and that these roles would be tied to turn order. We had quickly brainstormed some ideas of the powers for these roles and they were very basic yet beneficial. We thought it was interesting to tie these powers to the turn order, as that would make people want to use the King’s Camp more often.

Then we got Michael’s peanut butter mixed into our chocolate. We combined the two ideas and the powers soon became Assistants. Since the players are the Master Architects, it didn’t make sense to give them powers directly. Also, by making them Assistants we could introduce a lot of new races into the game – which meant new Josh Cappel artwork eventually!! We also added a new resource called Reputation. Players started with 2 Reputation and could earn more by going to the cathedral. The cathedral was a new tile that laid on top of the board, but right in the centre – in the middle of the Keep. The Cathedral had 1 worker plank on it and if you went there you got 2 more Reputation. Players had to use Reputation to activate their assistants’ powers or gain an expansion permit to upgrade a building.

We liked the idea of upgrading a building, but we weren’t too keen on upgrading it just to get discounts on resources. We had a brilliant idea that brought in individual scoring paths for each player – and that was to tie a specific scoring option whenever someone expands their building. We tried it and it was really interesting! By telling a player that they will get more points if the buildings they build have more wood in them – well, that makes players want to build buildings with even more wood. This cause people to play the game differently than they did before – which was very interesting, and I think a good direction for an expansion.

We playtested this a few times and tweaked the powers here and there and it seemed to be going well, but then had an idea from one of our playtesters: why not get rid of the Reputation altogether. This was interesting but frustrating. It was a new currency that made everything work, so we were perplexed at how to make everything work without that currency. Eventually we decided, why not just let people use the power for free every turn? Was that too powerful? Then for acquiring an Expansion Permit, players would have to NOT use their Assistant power in order to get it. Aha! That really worked! Now players were really motivated to use the Assistants’ powers, but they were also really motivated to expand their buildings.

OK, so now we were ready. But with 10 Assistants we couldn’t be certain of how each Assistant worked with each of the guilds. Would any of them be broken if a certain combination came out? To figure this out we advertised here on this site that we were looking for playtesters for the expansion. We had over 70 groups email us wanting to participate. We sent them a pdf of the basic art file (nothing by Josh Cappel yet – just clip art!) and waited for their feedback.

We did the playtesting in three phases. After each phase we gathered all the feedback from all the playtesters, assessed their comments and tweaked the powers of the Assistants. The most valuable feedback that came in (well, it was all really valuable – but this one stood out) was to allow players to choose their Assistant every round instead of having it locked into their turn order. We found that when the Assistant was locked into turn order – it didn’t motivate more King’s Camp action. Instead, players just hunkered down and devised a strategy for their one Assistant and stuck with it the entire game. By allowing players to choose – they could choose the same one every turn, but most players would change it out, and this offered even more strategy and created even more desire to go last (because Assistants were chosen in reverse turn order!).

halflingAfter three phases, we were happy with all the feedback we got and locked the rules down. There was a conversation in the middle where TMG was wondering if we could do some smaller expansions instead of a big one. Could we divide this expansion into two? Fortunately we never had to because we were really happy with the direction we were going, the feedback we were getting, and how integrated the two ideas now were. In the third phase we decided to cut the rounds down from 7 to 6. This was mostly due to the fact that the Assistants were so powerful that players were building almost all of the buildings on the board by the final round. So thematically we said that the king has given the Architects one less month to make his city even more beautiful, but to help them out he’s allowing them to use his Assistants. The very last rule we added was to start players all at 6 points, thus making taxes happen even in the first month (unless you have the Halfling Assistant!).

In the last couple months we’ve seen the art start to come together, and now the Kickstarter campaign is in full effect! If you’d like to back Belfort: The Expansion Expansion, then please do so by clicking here!

-Jay Cormier

Sens-Turn

Originally, The Expansion Expansion was called “Belfort: Reputations and Renovations” because of the now-missing Reputation points that were driving this new segment of the game.  Originally, you would lose reputation by having to rely on your Assistant’s aid.  Imagine – a Master Architect’s mere Assistant helping out?  Shameful!  Minus 1 Reputation to you!  But if you accomplished the feat of renovating an existing building to be better looking and such, your Reputation for being an able craftsman would be bumped up accordingly.

It made so much sense!  We had Guilds linked to Reputation points and other ways to use them planned – using them to affect majority scoring, trading for resources, and turn order were all in the works at one point or another.  In the end, however, we are happy with having them out of the game (for now!) as they created another thing to track physically.  The Reputationless method we’re using now is much leaner and faster – having to remember to have ANOTHER currency/resource made attaining an Expansion Permit and then build it very difficult and slow, in terms of average number of rounds it took to complete it.  What we came up with after eliminating Reputation is essentially the same thing, abstracted down:  We use the Assistant to either do their ability or obtain the work permits required to start an Expansion.  This either/or dilemma, in effect, mimics the idea of gaining or losing Reputation enough to justify the removal of that resource.

I’m super-satisfied with how the final product is turning out!  Josh Cappel’s artwork never ceases to both delight and amuse me.  His work on the rules is somehow whimsical and precise at the same time and his characterization of the denizens of Belfort make me howl in delight.  I personally can’t wait to get the Halfling, Giant, etc. into play!  And, as much as I like/resemble the Halfling, I’m really hoping that nobody picks the Imp(s)!

And here’s a first look (world premiere, I believe!) at the talented Pixies, who bring a splash of even more colour into our beloved world of Belfort!

BEX_avatar_pixie

Interestingly enough, Jay and I got our copies of the German and Polish versions of Belfort while at Alan Moon’s Gathering of Friends last week.  We’re unsure if either Pegasus or Lacerta will pick up the expansion for our European friends, but we hope so!

Thanks to everyone who has supported our Kickstarter campaign so far and we’re looking forward to getting this product out into your hot little hands.  It’s been a long time in development, so it’s high time that things got released to the wild!

~ Sen-Foong Lim