Tag Archives: daniel solis

Blood-spattered white picket fences: zombie hunting in the 1950s!

Exploding Rogue Studios has put forth an RPG game set during the Red Scare 1950s called Dead Scare, in which it isn’t just women and children first, it’s women and children only!

The game designer Daniel Solis talked about several Kickstarter projects in his blog today that are nearing their funding deadline, amongst them was Dead Scare. It only has 5 days remaining and are less than $100 from their goal, so they’ll make it. The game is unique in that you’re not the Mighty Zombie Slayer, you’re the suburban housewife or the kid who has to defend the house. It’s a game that explores aspects of society that are not normally touched upon in most games, and it is also being published by a four woman team!

For $15 you can get the PDF of the game, plus digital rewards, a print copy will set you back $30 plus shipping.

Daniel Solis has a couple of interesting posts on card game balance

This is a constant struggle when it comes to card game designs, and I’m always trying to balance card power versus rarity.  Daniel applies the Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, or basically not having perfect balance or distribution in something, that asymmetry has value.  For fairness, I prefer balanced positions where players are equal and the outcome is based upon skill or luck, not drawing the ‘mega-sword of death’ card and being able to wipe other players off the board.  I’ve tried to balance powerful cards with play restrictions, such as ‘remove from game after use’ so it’s a one-shot advantage.

Anyway, interesting reading.

Daniel’s Blog:
Balancing power and rarity

Wabi-sabi in card game design

Reverb Gamers Master List #5

Have you ever introduced a child to gaming, or played a game with a young person? How is gaming with kids different than gaming with adults?

My sister has three daughters.  Before the third came along, when the two were still in primary school, I’d always say “You are my two favorite nieces in the whole wide world!”  Then the day came when they said “Hey, wait!  We’re your only two nieces!”

I still love ’em, though.

There’s a board game called The Amazing Labyrinth.  The board is set up in a grid with certain pieces fixed in place, the end result is that you can push an entire row or column of tiles, and there is one more piece than there are spaces on the board.  In your turn you push one row/column, causing the far tile to drop off (this is the ‘push’ tile for the next player) and you try to form a path from your pawn to a treasure.  Everyone has a certain number of treasure cards dealt at the start of the turn, if you get to one of your card’s treasures you score the card and place it face-up in front of you.  First player to score all of their cards wins.  It’s an amusing game and can really screw with your eyeballs, very simple, fairly fast, and a lot of adult gamers enjoy it as a break from more intense board games.

I gave this game to my nieces and they had a lot of fun with it.  I also gave my latest and youngest niece a newer version of the game for younger kids where the playing board is much smaller and plastic with a couple of sliding pieces to change your movement paths.  Very simple, but a good introduction to the series.

A couple of years ago we corrupted my wife’s youngest niece with some Bella Serra starter packs….

So yes, with great relish I have corrupted young’uns.

Gaming with kids is different in that it requires a lot of patience.  They have much shorter attention spans and tend to be more fidgety than most adults, so it can be more difficult to keep them engaged.  This favors shorter games, I don’t think I’d consider longer than a half hour game for kids in the lower half of primary school.

I have not tried getting a kid involved in role-playing, but games such as Happy Birthday, Robot or  Do: Pilgrims of the Flying Temple, both by Daniel Solis, or Cat: Revised by John Wick would be ideal for that.

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