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Subject: [WIP][PnP] MowTown - 15 minute Tile Removing Dice game rss

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Karl Lange
Australia
Victoria
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Hi Geeks! My first post here so bare with me.

I have been working on a quick tile removing, dice game called MowTown.



MowTown is set in a quiet 1960’s suburban neighbourhood where a rivalry for the best cut lawn has broken out.
Will you concentrate on cutting and tidying your lawn? Or will you try and sabotage your way up the social ladder?

MowTown can be played by 2-5 neighbours and takes 15-30 minutes depending on the number playing.

~~~~~ UPDATED TO VERSION 1.3 ~~~~~
You will need:
- Print one sheet of bonus cards + turn counter (below)
- Print one sheet with the player board and long grass tiles for each player (also below)
- Print player aids + tokens (can provide other tokens if you don't want to print)
- 5 dice of one colour and 3 of another (could make do with just 5)
- A token for the turn counter

You can find version 1.3 of the rules here:
https://1drv.ms/b/s!AgCDNPiIyoLThcRq9CQfclez_H1tbw
The full colour PnP v1.3 here:
https://1drv.ms/b/s!AgCDNPiIyoLThcRr-JZ1MaJFrtdFAw
And the low ink PnP v1.3 here:
https://1drv.ms/b/s!AgCDNPiIyoLThcRsm3kKFwPrw5oLzg

There are example turns in the rules too.

Any feedback on the game or rules would be greatly appreciated, I plan to continue updating the thread as progress continues.

Thanks all and I look forward to becoming part of the community.

Karl.
 
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Karl Lange
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A bit of background about myself and the game.

I started playing around designing games about a year and a half ago not long after I got back into boardgames (I used to play a lot as a child).

Since then I have designed 7 games (including this one) at various stages ranging from benched indefinably to I want more hours in the day to work on this.

You can usually find meself and my prototypes at the monthly Incubator Meetups at Games Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia.

This particular game idea came to me after seeing a friends prototype of a flower garden card drafting game at a local convention's game design session.

My first draft was created in a hotel room while I was away overnight for work.

MowTown (or mowing game as it was known still then) started off with a deck of cards for the movements and special actions (draw 5 play 3) but after 2 playthroughs I decided that it played fast enough to try as a dice game and I was really happy with it.

A number of tests later and some (not so) fancy graphics slapped on top and I had what you see in the PnP!

I have gone through a few iterations of the special powers and have replaced a few completely already (use your selected dice twice, choose any direction and a blank *shudders*). The most recent edition, the saboteur, I am quite happy with so far. The basic actions seem pretty solid and haven't changed from the start.

Anyway that's where I'm up to at the min, hopefully more updates to follow
 
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James Arias
United States
Sanford
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+1 to hotel overnight prototyping...been there done that, and beats email!
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Peter Sanderson
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TheArkAngell wrote:

There are example turns in the rules too.

Any feedback on the game or rules would be greatly appreciated, I plan to continue updating the thread as progress continues.

Thanks all and I look forward to becoming part of the community.

Karl.


Hey Karl, I've printed it all out and I'll let you know if it's terrible or not
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Peter Sanderson
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Okay, I had a play!

Stuff I liked:

Really simple concept that with a neat theme.
Quick games meant we could play multiple games in one sitting (almost had a 'just one more game' feeling)
I felt the bonus cards mixed up player goals enough to feel fresh each game.


Stuff I didn't like:

I might have been too tired or something when reading the rules, but it's a simple game that I reckon could have much simpler rules. Just don't ask me how!
Not entirely convinced that taking off tiles is better than adding tiles to keep track of what I've mowed over only because bumping the table made them move around about (I'm being picky now tho)

Over all I'm looking forward to more polish, my wife and I quite enjoyed it!
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Karl Lange
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Thanks Peter, I took your feedback into consideration and made some changes as well as some of my own. I got 4 playtests in this weekend and have made some more changes again. I will upload version 1.2 this week with descriptions of changes
 
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Karl Lange
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~~~~~ Version 1.2 Update ~~~~~

Hey All, I have completed a number of playtests and taken the feedback on board.

I have rewritten parts of the rules to hopefully make them clearer and made a few changes as below:
1 Changed the rules of Weed Wacker to be any square adjacent to you, the same as the Leaf Blower, to simplify the rules. Also updated the example.
1 Cleared up the rules around Special Dice and when you can and can't reroll Green Dice.
1 Renamed the Saboteur Token to Malfunction Token. This fits better thematically and I have some more plans for it in the future.
1 Changed the Bonus Points from 1/2/3/5 to 1/3/5/7. This just feels better and makes it a more standard climb.
1 Made the scoring order explicit (grass cut, then minus points for junk to a minimum of 0, then bonus points) This allows players who do a good job cutting their lawn but get lots of junk still able to get bonus points.
1 Added a feedback section with a link to a Google Form with a few short questions to assist in getting feedback.

I have changed Use All to Butterfly Net on the Special Dice.
I wasn't happy with Use All, there were a number of situations where it didn't work as I wanted it to (when you didn't have 5 dice) and it wasn't thematic like the rest of the special dice sides.
The Butterfly Net, if you chose to use it, gives you a Net Token that you can use to catch one of either junk or fertiliser when it is thrown at you. This has been pretty popular and seams to work quite well.

I have also added one new action. Instead of using a dice, at any stage of your turn you may use one of your 3 actions to turn around (180°). I added this to try and solve the issue of people getting stuck in corners for a whole turn (this has happened 3 times in my 20+ playtests). As a nice bonus, it has also been used a few times when people haven't been in a corner, or even on an edge. I have also changed the second example to incorporate this new action.

That's it for this update, as always, feedback on rules or from playtests would be fantastic, and thanks in advance

- Karl
 
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Karl Lange
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Hey if anyone is in Australia for PAXAus I am demoing MowTown at the Tabletop Game Designers Australia (TGDA) booth TT204! Come check it or other great Aussie games out

Will give a rundown of how it went after, so far the feedback has been great
 
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Marcus Finlay
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Looking forward to testing this one out on Saturday at the Preston Tabletop testers group!

https://www.facebook.com/groups/469971586492234/?multi_perma...
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Karl Lange
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~~~~~ Version 1.3 Update ~~~~~
Hey all, long time no see! as I mentioned above, I tested MowTown v1.2 at PAX Aus 2016 which was received quite warmly by attendees I got about 20 playtests in, all with reasonably tight scoring. I had a few families with younger children play who quite enjoyed it too

Since then, life has been keeping me quite busy, I've moved town, jobs, been on an international holiday, played lots of games and done some more designing.

MowTown has mostly been shelved since PAX Aus 2016 until marcupial contacted me, keen to test it out. being only an hour away, I decided to dust off my prototype and bring it along.

I quite like shelving a design for a period of time and coming back to it (although 10 months is probably too long ha) with a fresh set of eyes. After playing through MowTown v1.2.2 a few times I have made the following changes:

1 When you roll any number of stars, you can roll all 3 special dice, and select one result for each star that you rolled. This gives players a bit more control over what special actions they can take and makes you feel a lot more in control.
1 Nerfed junk a little by adjusting the scoring. you now score 2 points for each cut grass and lose 3 points for each piece of junk. Junk was just too strong, making it almost always better toward the end of the game. Let's see how this balances it out.
1 Buffed saboteur. Using it was basically giving up an action to make someone else lose one, so never really worth using. Now you only roll 3 dice and can only pick 2. Limiting others options when you are in a good position can be quite a good trade for a movement.
1 Increased the bonus scoring due to the new scoring implemented above. Now 3/5/7/10.

As before, the latest Rules and PnP are available in the first post and any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

If anyone is going to be at PAX Aus 2017 I will be showing off a new game at the Tabletop Game Designers Australia (TGDA) booth TT428, come and say hi
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