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Showing posts from June, 2020

All About Deck of Wonders

The Deck of Wonders coming soon page is live on Kickstarter!!! This is a major milestone in the sprint to launching the Kickstarter campaign, and you can check out the Deck of Wonders coming soon page here. Condensing this game down to a single image and sentence was an agonizing process, so I wanted to share more detail about the game on this blog. Below is a more detailed (though still very high-level) description of Deck of Wonders that hopefully makes you even more excited than the coming soon page did! All of this is obviously work-in-progress, and that means your input (in the comments of this article or on any of my socials) can help shape Deck of Wonders into it's final form. Enjoy, and let me know what you think!

Deck of Wonders
You have stolen the Deck of Wonders from Fate herself, and now she's unleashing all manner of magical minions to take it back! Her Villains beset you on all sides, and you must out-play them with the Deck of Wonders, even as they try to stack the…

Virtual Gaming Con Events

All the demos last weekend were so much fun that I've decided to post more "Deck of Wonders: Learn to Play with the Creator" events through BGG's Virtual Gaming Con this week! Every night you'll be able to sign up to play via Tabletop Simulator. Sign up here, check out the playthrough below to get hyped, and I hope to see you there!

Click here to back Deck of Wonders on Kickstarter!

Gnomish Gnegotiator: Card Reveal and Development Diary

I recently finished my final balancing design pass of the second Villain in Deck of Wonders: Aurora the Empath. To celebrate, I thought I'd break down the journey of how one of the more unique cards in her set, Gnomish Gnegotiator, came to be! Sad to say I don't have art to share for Gnomish Gnegotiator (yet), but what follows is a mechanical breakdown of how the card evolved into its final form. If you want to help bring Gnomish Gnegotiator (and the rest of Deck of Wonders) to life, please support our Kickstarter!
As an empath, Aurora senses, manipulates, and exaggerates the emotions of everyone around her. The cards in her set play on that theme, and early on I had the idea for a lawyer/attorney type of minion that would swoop in to defend their "client" and make everyone doubt the conviction of someone they thought they had dead to rights. Mechanically, my first pass looked like this:
TypeDamagePriorityHealth TextPlayerMinion121When an other friendly minion would b…

Origins Online Update: Now Demoing Independently

If you follow the board gaming scene at all, you probably know that Origins Online has been (rightly) canceled. You can read their statement here, and some great perspective on it from Eric Lang here. I hope Origins continues to recover from its mistakes with honor, and I hope it gives attention and momentum to the Black Lives Matter movement.Deck of Wonders had been planning on doing a big push at Origins Online, with "Learn to Play with the Creator" events running via Tabletop Simulator every 2 hours the entire con. Even though the con isn't happening any more, we'd still love to give our community a chance to play Deck of Wonders. To that end, we've set up the events to run independently, open to anyone who's interested! Just click here to sign up if you're interested in playing Deck of Wonders!There's no fee for the events, though we'd suggest you donate if you can to the Black Lives Matter Global Network. You can also watch the below playthoug…

XCOM and Card Draw

I just finished XCOM: Chimera Squad last night, and I can't say enough good things about the game! The way it plays with the core XCOM formula feels almost sacrilegious at first, but the game does a great job capitalizing on all the new opportunities created by those changes.Believe it or not, XCOM is a huge design inspiration for Deck of Wonders.
Now I know a turn based strategy video game and a solitaire expandable card game seem worlds apart, but what I take inspiration from is XCOM's approach to difficulty. Jake Solomon, Creative Director and Design Lead for XCOM, once described the series as "an unfeeling collection of systems," and that's a fantastic encapsulation of why I love it. Unlike so many other "difficult" games, XCOM isn't trying to make you fail. It's certainly not trying to make you win, either, but is simply enforcing the rules of its various systems with ruthless indifference. It's up to you, the player, to navigate those s…

Origin Story

Ahead of Origins Online, I've been thinking about the origins of Deck of Wonders... which were actually at Gen Con! Below is a blog I wrote about a year ago that tells the story. Enjoy!I’m a complete gaming nerd. Video games, card games, board games, escape rooms… you name it and I’m into it. I’m the kind of nerd that spent my last vacation inventing a card game. I’m even the kind of nerd that listens to podcasts that are purely other people playing games. Months ago I booked tickets to see one of these podcasts live in Indianapolis. What I didn’t realize at the time was that they were doing a show in Indy because Gen Con (one of the largest board game conferences in the world) was in Indy. Gen Con is a hotspot for learning about new and exciting games, and I eventually realized that, if I was going to Gen Con, and if I’d invented a card game, I would be insane if I didn’t at least try to demo the game while there.This realization was all of one week before the convention.The barr…

Tabletop Simulator: Full Game Playthrough

As we ramp up towards Origins Online, please enjoy this full game playthrough of Deck of Wonders in Tabletop Simulator, including explanations of rules and strategies, as well as some behind-the-scenes commentary. It's a longer watch, but it's one of the most thrilling games of Deck of Wonders I've played, and you're gonna love the back-and-forth swings all the way to the finish!

If you're interested in playing Deck of Wonders for yourself (with me there to teach the rules and coach your through it), you can sign up here for both Origins Online and Gen Con Online!
UPDATE: With Origins (rightly) canceled, I won't be running demo events as planned, but would still love to give anyone who's interested the chance to try Deck of Wonders via Tabletop Simulator. Just reach out here or on any of my socials and we'll set up a time!
Click here to back Deck of Wonders on Kickstarter!

This Past Week

This blog is mostly for Fun Card Game Stuff™, but there's literally no microphone, however small, that shouldn't be used to denounce the inequality that plagues our nation, this last week in particular.
People shouldn't have to fear the government that's supposed to protect them. People shouldn't be hated, abused, and killed because of their skin color. People shouldn't have to riot to feel heard.
I won't pretend to have answers, but it's clear our current system is bad (borderline evil), and I'm ready to try radically different solutions. Even--hell, especially--solutions that require significant sacrifice from privileged people like myself.
I'm taking action across several fronts (political, relational, financial) as best as I know how. And I would love thoughts from others (especially friends that don't look like me) on what else might look like help.
I commissioned this art when I sold Deck of Wonders prototypes to raise money for pro-democr…