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!
This 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!
A 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!
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:
Tasty Minstrel Games
- Belfort and Belfort: The Expansion Expansion – available for purchase
- 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
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!!
Yay 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:
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:
It’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!!
These 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!
We 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!!
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.
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.
I’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:
Thanks to everyone that supported this campaign! Can’t wait for you all to try the expansion!
Michael 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.
Belfort 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!).
After 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!
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!
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