BGG.con 2008 Prototype Testing Sign-up
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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I always bring unpublished games with me to BGG.con, and in the past I've set up a geeklist such as this one in order to draw attention to the fact that the opportunity exists to play some unpublished games at the con. Not everyone is into that kind of thing, but there has definitely been interest in playing these games in the past. So I present to you this year's Prototype Sign-up list for BGG.con!

I'm going to list the prototypes I'm bringing so that people who find them interesting can "sign up" to play them, and I'll organize a time for each if I can. I brought some of these games last year, and some even have BGG entries. I'm also going to try and organize a general prototype testing session for people to test games brought by other designers.

Since these are prototypes, you'll have the opportunity to give the designers feedback on what you thought was good or bad in the game. This is your chance to be a part of the development process!

If you are bringing a prototype of your own, feel free to add it to the list with a description of the type of game, length, and etc.

** I'll warn against bringing unfinished or untested prototypes **
I've found that while designers are apt to play and enjoy an unfinished game, generally speaking gamers aren't too interested in it. Therefore, in order to maintain interest in playing unpublished games, I'm going to ask that you only add games to this list that you are certain work and are near ready to show publishers.
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1. Board Game: Terra Prime [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:2435]
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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I've been working on Terra Prime for about 2 years now, and it's currently in line to be published(!) A videogame company in Seattle is interested in publishing other media, like board games, so they're planning on publishing Terra Prime as a side project. If all goes well, it could be the start of a whole board game division for them!

Terra Prime - Space exploration/resource management game for 3-5 players. Something of a Twilight Imperium Lite perhaps, lasting 1.5-2 hours.
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2. Board Game: Homesteaders [Average Rating:7.37 Overall Rank:285]
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Homesteaders is currently being reviewed by Rio Grande Games for publication.

Homesteaders is an Auction and Resource Management game in which players bid on the opportunity to build certain types of buildings, then spend resource cubes to build one of several buildings of that type. The buildings confer abilities, income, and points; some automatically and some requiring a Worker.

The game lasts 10 rounds, with each round consisting of an Auction phase followed by a Building phase. After the last round, players get 1 final income phase and one last chance to buy and sell goods and use their building abilities before scores are tallied.

Players score for their buildings, bonuses conferred by buildings, and points earned throughout the game from selling resource cubes. The player who builds the best combination of buildings and best manages the 9 different resources in the game will score the most points and win, as long as they don't take on too much debt!
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3. Board Game: Wizard's Tower [Average Rating:7.12 Unranked]
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Wizard's Tower is a fairly abstract game for 2-5 players (+/- 30 minutes play time) where you place Apprentices on the board and move them around in order to satisfy various scoring conditions. Each urn you roll some dice to determine what plays are available to you, but you can discard one of the dice to change the result of another one, so you get a fair amount of control over your actions despite the random nature of the dice.
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4. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Lost Adventures by Jeff Warrender and Steve Sisk, has a hidden information element which is clever and frankly very cool. The game is fun, and who doesn't want to play Indiana Jones? It's for 2-4 players (though 5 should work as well), and takes about 2 hours.

In Lost Adventures, players play adventurers a la Indiana Jones, visiting Theme cards (such as Sallah, Henry Jones Sr, and the Grail Diary) to gather information on 3 hidden Relics, the Lost Temple and how to navigate it, and the Holy Grail. Meanwhile, a relentless enemy is searching for the Temple as well ("Nazis... I hate these guys.")! The more information the players get, the more Enemies are added to the board and the faster they approach the Temple. Once the Temple is found (either by a player or by the Enemy), the game moves to the Temple phase where players navigate the Lost Temple in search of the Grail Room (to find the Holy Grail), and then a font to test the Grail in. Again, the Enemy is also searching for the grail, and the game ends as soon as either a player tests the True Grail in a font, or the enemy finds the Grail. At the end of the game, the player with the most points wins. Points are earned by finding and delivering the Relics, finding the Temple and the Grail Room, testing the True Grail in a font, and beating up the most Nazis.

I have been excited about this game ever since it was described to me on the BGDF a few years ago. The way the game handles hidden information is very clever. The game "knows" the location of the hidden items and some other information, and by visiting the Theme cards and then looking up clues you learn that information. The more Theme cards you visit before looking up a clue, the better the information you receive. There is a time pressure from the Enemy's relentless search for the Temple and then the Grail, and as the players gain information, the Enemy (game clock) accelerates toward its goal. Every part of the game is highly thematic, as it feels like the Indiana Jones movies.
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5. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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BrainFreeze! is the very definition of a quick filler. The whole game lasts less than a minute.

Each player has a deck of 25 cards (5 shapes, 5 colors, 1 card for each combination). Turn 3 of the cards face up in front of you. Your opponent plays a card to the center of the table, you must match either shape or color. If you cannot (or don't want to) do so from the face up cards in front of you, then you reveal cards off the top of your deck until you get one you can (and want to) play. Then you hit the chess clock, starting your opponent's time, and replace the card played (or scoop the revealed cards up under your deck).

Each player has 30 seconds on a chess clock - if you run out of time then you lose!

I've described BrainFreeze! as "2 player Toppo with strategy."
 
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6. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Prolix by Gil Hova (IngredientX)

A clever word game for 2-4 players (30-45 minutes). Players come up with words based on letters on a central board. The nice twist is that all the letters on the board don't need to be present in your word. You just score for all the matching letters. This means that instead of rewarding knowledge of obscure 2-letter words or words that have a Q and no U, you can use common words that are longer than those used in other games.

To put it another way, in Prolix, you can use all those words you always wanted to use in other word games, but were always one tile/card short...
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7. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
Seth Jaffee
United States
Tucson
Arizona
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Reading Railroad is a connection game with word-building as a main mechanic, as opposed to a word game. In word games you make words for the sake of making words. In Reading Railroad you make words in order to lay railroad track, connect cites, and collect City Tiles. The City Tiles have letters on them as well, and endgame bonuses can be scored by spelling specific words with the City Tiles you collect.

You do not have to be good at spelling or have a big vocabulary to excel at Reading Railroad!
 
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8. Board Game: Mix-Match [Average Rating:7.75 Unranked]
Just call me Erik
United States
Waldorf
Maryland
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Mix-Match is a perfect information abstract strategy game for 2-4 players. It offers very high interaction and short playtime. Players swap pieces, then remove pieces of a like color, then optionally collapse all pieces to one side of the board.

The tricky part is that it has an interactive setup, and that the colors you swap and take need not be your own. First to clear the board wins.

Plays in about 20 minutes.
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9. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
Just call me Erik
United States
Waldorf
Maryland
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Princes of the Universe Is a game for 2-6 players. Players each represent one of the sons of the former ruler of all creation, who has just passed away. Not content to rule their corner of the cosmos, they wage war until only one rules all the Universe!

Princes of the Universe is a dice-intensive, high-conflict, multiplayer wargame. It plays anywhere from 20 minutes (2 players) to about 2 hours (our longest play time yet, with 3 new players, one half-asleep veteran, and a full rules explanation.) With 6 experienced players, games should not last much past 90 minutes.

If you are familiar with Titan, you may want to think of this as "Titan Light".

 
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10. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
Patrick Christenson
United States
Austin
Texas
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Vices & Virtues

Think Spades with abilities.

Four player team game where one team is devils and the other team is angels. Each player gets 14 Vices and Virtues to use to try to gain control of as many of the 14 Humans as they can. If you use a Vice to acquire a Human, he turns evil. If you use a Virtue, he turns good. When 6 Humans are good or evil the game is over!

Quick game that plays in 30 minutes or less. Achieved 13th place in the Studiogiochi's Archimede board game contest. So, from their response, we are trying to fix the abilities to be more simple and fun.

Help us playtest it and your ideas for abilities very well could change the game.

http://www.seaborngames.com/Vices&Virtues/
 
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11. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
Dan Manfredini
United States
Austin
Texas
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Venture Forth is my answer to the question "What would a Euro version of Talisman look like?". The gameplay focuses more on the achievements of the individuals in your party than the endless grind found in similar games.

You can win the game with a lone faerie just scraping by trying to befriend the people in his neck of the woods. You can also take the traditional route and win by amassing a huge party who blaze through all obstacles on their way to acquire treasure.

I'm very open to feedback and suggestions.
 
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12. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
Dan Manfredini
United States
Austin
Texas
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Stellar Underworld is a space shipping game for 2-4 players. You are the kingpin of a shipping operation with its central base of operations in the the most despicable starport in the region. Your organization will take any action necessary in order to stay profitable, legal or otherwise. The good news is that there's not much law enforcement in space. The bad news is that you're not the only one looking to make a starcred. Just recruit some henchmen, pay off a few mercenaries, deliver your cargo, and try to stay out of trouble. It's all in a days work!
 
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13. Board Game: The Big Time! [Average Rating:7.08 Overall Rank:5544]
King of All Simians — Not a Mere Diplomat
United States
Wilmington
Select State
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I'll have my game with me. It's in its final state, after being worked on for much of the past year. It's a light filler game where players bid on acts to fill the bill at their Vaudeville theater, hoping to make it the most revered in posterity.

All of the theaters and acts in the game are real, coming from newspaper listings from the Golden Age of Vaudeville, about 1905-1915. It's been a lot of fun to design and test and play thus far, and I look forward (with some trepidation, I'll allow) to having more folks play it, especially discerning folks such as y'all.
 
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14. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
Bradley Keen
United States
Harrisburg
Pennsylvania
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I will have two or three games designed by Emanuele Ornella to playtest if anyone is interested.

Charlemagne is a 60-90 minute medium-weight resource collection and worker placement game where players help Charlemagne build his palace in Aquisgrana. Each turn, the players send out tax collectors to the different regions in their territories to gather the resources necessary to build various sections of the new palace. At the same time, players also attempt to establish their own control of the regions by building castles in the different regions. At the end of the game, following the death of Charles, the empire will be divided into three regions and the players who have the most influence in each of the regions will be rewarded. Players will also gain victory points for their help in the construction of Charlemagne’s castle.

PrinceBurg is a light-weight set collecting game where 2-4 players recruit workers from a general market to construct various buildings for victory points. Players represent Princes, attempting to build up their fiefdoms and solidify their control of the region. Yet the workers and artisans also represent factions over which the players are trying to gain control over. At the end of the game, players score points not only for the buildings that they have constructed but for their ability to gain influence over these factions. The game takes approximately 45-60 minutes to play.
 
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15. Board Game: Unpublished Prototype [Average Rating:7.02 Overall Rank:1562]
Justin De Witt
United States
Austin
Texas
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I'll be bringing Castle Panic as well.

The forest is filled with all sorts of Monsters. Goblins, Orcs, and even mighty Trolls lurk in the shadows. They watched and waited as you built your Castle and trained your soldiers, but now they’ve gathered their army and are marching out of the woods. Can you work with your friends to defend your Castle against the horde, or will the Monsters tear down your walls and destroy the precious Castle towers?

Castle Panic is a light cooperative game for 2-6 players that takes about an hour to play. The game has been through several playtests and many revisions and is essentially finished, but final art is still in production.
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16. Board Game: Revolution! [Average Rating:6.75 Overall Rank:752]
Will Schoonover
United States
Seattle
Washington
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Steve Jackson Games will be at the show, and I'll have the prototype for Revolution along with a few other games that we are playtesting.

Revolution is an area control bidding game that plays in around an hour, and only takes about one turn to learn.
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