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Subject: Vaccine: The Boardgame. A Solitaire Boardgame about curing a disease rss

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John Gibson
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Here are some the changes that have been proposed by the VPG developer:

Potential Changes from VPG

 Instead of having the turns be measured in Weeks, have it measured in Spread of the Outbreak; this allows the Event cards to potentially move the track forwards and backwards instead of having the track move in one direction only.

o Additionally, have the player roll to determine if the track moves forward or stays the same each round; this roll would be modified by the number of molecules present in the virus.

 Change the personnel cards to include some or all of the following:

o Additional personnel.

o Allow player to have multiple personnel, but create relationships between the characters so that some personnel benefit from working together, others lose ability and some cannot work in the same lab at all.

 In addition to the colored letters, we were planning on coming up with more exciting shapes for the elements in each molecule.

 If we make the change to using something like Spread of the Outbreak or Deaths instead of Weeks we can keep the Operational Costs related to the track since it fits in with the story; the further the Outbreak spreads or the higher the Death count gets the more stressed the people in the lab would be, so the more things would cost (mistakes being made, pulling longer hours, etc), whereas the 15 week deadline seems a bit like an arbitrary number to the layman and doesn’t make sense for it to cause stress on the lab workers.

 We were already thinking it would be a good idea to divide the Equipment Cards up into multiple types, because then we could have Lab Events that prevent you from using certain equipment types for that round; something like 3 or 4 different types of Equipment would probably create enough variety.

 The changes you made to the Mutation cards are nice and could be easily incorporated into the Event Cards.

 The three sections of the Event Cards would include your Mutations while adding in story events for the Lab and world (Deaths) that also impact gameplay; as you can see in the example, the Lab events affect the player’s actions (restricting the creation of AP to one this round) while the Deaths events change the aspects the player has no direct control over (subtracting one from the player’s roll on the Death Track; in this
example we ran with the idea the player rolls at the end of the turn to see if the turn track advances or stays in place). In house we were thinking that Lab events could be good or bad, whereas the best you can hope for from Mutations or Deaths is to have no change instead of a bad outcome.

Looking at your changes

 I like the new name: Going Viral; I’ll have to check with Alan and Nathan, but I think it will have an easier time drawing the player in.

 I think Molecule will be easier than Antigen; I wanted to call them Molecules while I was playing because of their appearance and I should know better, since I come from a science background.
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Nate K
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Those seem like sensible changes. I especially like the idea of going from Weeks to Spread or Death; I think that will help the player get sucked in thematically.
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John Gibson
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Here is more back and forth between myself and the developer. This is the first time I have really had an in-depth discussion over one of my games by a board game professional. I found it very enlightening.

This stuff may be of interest to those of you who are designing board games right now but have not yet talked to a developer/publisher. Please let me know if you guys find this information interesting/entertaining/useful/a complete and utter waste of time...

Potential Changes from VPG – Comments by John Gibson

Josh wrote:
Instead of having the turns be measured in Weeks, have it measured in Spread of the Outbreak; this allows the Event cards to potentially move the track forwards and backwards instead of having the track move in one direction only.


Spread of Outbreak is definitely more thematic and exciting then static weeks. Will this still be a linear track? Will it still be 15 squares? Will it still be broken into 3 sections of 5 squares?

Josh wrote:
Additionally, have the player roll to determine if the track moves forward or stays the same each round; this roll would be modified by the number of molecules present in the virus.


Interesting. It creates a variable game that gives the player the chance to control how long the game lasts—turn wise.

Josh wrote:
Change the personnel cards to include some or all of the following:

Additional personnel.


Sounds good.

Josh wrote:
Allow player to have multiple personnel, but create relationships between the characters so that some personnel benefit from working together, others lose ability and some cannot work in the same lab at all.


Nice! Do you still have funding and variable costs to hire personnel (technicians)? Will it still be drawing 3 cards from a mixed deck each turn and hiring/buying only 1?

Josh wrote:
In addition to the colored letters, we were planning on coming up with more exciting shapes for the elements in each molecule.


I would have done that myself if I had more time, but it was a simple prototype for trying out the rules/game mechanics. Look forward to seeing examples of the graphics.

Josh wrote:
If we make the change to using something like Spread of the Outbreak or Deaths instead of Weeks we can keep the Operational Costs related to the track since it fits in with the story; the further the Outbreak spreads or the higher the Death count gets the more stressed the people in the lab would be, so the more things would cost (mistakes being made, pulling longer hours, etc), whereas the 15 week deadline seems a bit like an arbitrary number to the layman and doesn’t make sense for it to cause stress on the lab workers.


Agreed. I think this works better then my tying the costs to the Equipment Cards. If you are keeping the Spread of the Outbreak low, then your costs should stay low. If it goes high, then you should penalized for it.

Josh wrote:
We were already thinking it would be a good idea to divide the Equipment Cards up into multiple types, because then we could have Lab Events that prevent you from using certain equipment types for that round (a mockup for the new Event Cards is shown to the left); something like 3 or 4 different types of Equipment would probably create enough variety.


Sounds good. This makes me think of an idea. How about some Event Cards stay active until the player does something to make it go away. In that scenario some Equipment Cards/Personnel Cards could be affected for multiple turns until the player does something to “fix it.” This could add a new phase to the game called Crisis Management Phase where the player gets an opportunity to try to get rid of a continuous Event card. The player would place the card on top of or over the Equipment/Personnel cards affected. This may make the game to fiddly, but just a thought…

Josh wrote:
The changes you made to the Mutation cards are nice and could be easily incorporated into the Event Cards.


I actually like the current way better. I like the “oh crap!” moments when a Molecule you are working on suddenly gets replaced by a new one.

Josh wrote:
The three sections of the Event Cards would include your Mutations while adding in story events for the Lab and world (Deaths) that also impact gameplay; as you can see in the example, the Lab events affect the player’s actions (restricting the creation of AP to one this round) while the Deaths events change the aspects the player has no direct control over (subtracting one from the player’s roll on the Death Track; in this example we ran with the idea the player rolls at the end of the turn to see if the turn track advances or stays in place). In house we were thinking that Lab events could be good or bad, whereas the best you can hope for from Mutations or Deaths is to have no change instead of a bad outcome.


So there can be “Good” Event cards…nice. Your use of Paris, France made me think of something. Right now the Virus area is a hexagon made up of 19 hexes, and so it looks roughly circular. What if we put globe—focusing mostly on Europe—as the background. So that would me that certain European countries/cities could end up being inside a hex. So the card example you gave, when you place that molecule you are actually placing it on the Paris hex…but then problem would be that many of the hexes would be ocean hexes…which would not work thematically. Just thinking out loud.

Or instead of a globe you could still put the name of a major city inside of each hex and just display the background in a different way…just a thought.

If you guys have a different idea for the graphic for the Virus area I would love to see it.

Josh wrote:
Looking at your changes

I like the new name; I’ll have to check with Alan and Nathan, but I think it will have an easier time drawing the player in.


I like the double-meaning of the name. It would be cool if the game really went viral!

Josh wrote:
I think Molecule will be easier than Antigen; I wanted to call them Molecules while I was playing because of their appearance and I should know better, since I come from a science background.


I would also suggest changing “Antibody Protein” to just “Protein.”

I thought of naming the virus Ebolera, which is a combination of names Ebola and Cholera—it sound very deadly! .

I noticed there was no mention of Funding in this document. Any proposed changes to that?

Do you still like the dice mechanic of rolling for the success/failure of Lab Equipment?

Does the “push your luck” mechanic of removing Biosafety Level 4 in the last 5 turns of the game where if you roll a 6 you have to flip over an Event card? Did that ever come up in your playtesting or is it an unused option?

Do you have any mock ups for the board design yet? I love see them when you have them.

That’s all the comments I have for now based upon you
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Zaxarias Faraggitakis
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Hello again my friend!
I have a strange question to ask:

The developers are ok that you post your back and forth talking you have with them?
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John Gibson
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SweetShark wrote:

Hello again my friend!
I have a strange question to ask:

The developers are ok that you post your back and forth talking you have with them?


I never asked... whistle
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Zaxarias Faraggitakis
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gedin wrote:
SweetShark wrote:

Hello again my friend!
I have a strange question to ask:

The developers are ok that you post your back and forth talking you have with them?


I never asked... whistle


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Nate K
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gedin wrote:
SweetShark wrote:

Hello again my friend!
I have a strange question to ask:

The developers are ok that you post your back and forth talking you have with them?


I never asked... whistle


I wouldn't worry. They didn't say you COULDN'T, as far as I can tell.
 
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Chad Mestdagh
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May I just put a vote against the title "Going Viral"?

It doesn't tell you what the game is about. It misleads you into thinking the game is about a video on youtube making the the big time. And to be honest, in my humble opinion, it just sounds kind of dumb.
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Pablo Schulman
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radchad wrote:
May I just put a vote against the title "Going Viral"?

It doesn't tell you what the game is about. It misleads you into thinking the game is about a video on youtube making the the big time. And to be honest, in my humble opinion, it just sounds kind of dumb.


I agree.

Now, I'm loving to read your posts. Very insightful about the developing process.
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John Gibson
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radchad wrote:
May I just put a vote against the title "Going Viral"?

It doesn't tell you what the game is about. It misleads you into thinking the game is about a video on youtube making the the big time. And to be honest, in my humble opinion, it just sounds kind of dumb.


Thank you for giving me your thoughts on the title, Chad. I think the toughest part of this who game design thing is coming up with a compelling title. When I using the CDC in the title I was told by some people that they did not know what “CDC” stood for? Calling a game The Center for Disease Control Blah just does not really roll off the tongue. Trying to come up with a title that used the word “Cure” or “Vaccine” just seemed to lack punch. Maybe I should just call it Virus…I don’t know.
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John Gibson
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PSchulman wrote:
radchad wrote:
May I just put a vote against the title "Going Viral"?

It doesn't tell you what the game is about. It misleads you into thinking the game is about a video on youtube making the the big time. And to be honest, in my humble opinion, it just sounds kind of dumb.


I agree.

Now, I'm loving to read your posts. Very insightful about the developing process.


Thanks Pablo! meeple
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Zaxarias Faraggitakis
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gedin wrote:
radchad wrote:
May I just put a vote against the title "Going Viral"?

It doesn't tell you what the game is about. It misleads you into thinking the game is about a video on youtube making the the big time. And to be honest, in my humble opinion, it just sounds kind of dumb.


Thank you for giving me your thoughts on the title, Chad. I think the toughest part of this who game design thing is coming up with a compelling title. When I using the CDC in the title I was told by some people that they did not know what “CDC” stood for? Calling a game The Center for Disease Control Blah just does not really roll off the tongue. Trying to come up with a title that used the word “Cure” or “Vaccine” just seemed to lack punch. Maybe I should just call it Virus…I don’t know.


Yeah, I think also you should not use the words Cure or Virus.
You should use some other kind of words to somehow show the whole theme of the game in only few words.
I think a title like "Anomaly Breakdown" sound good to me

Faraggitakis Zaxarias
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John Gibson
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SweetShark wrote:


Yeah, I think also you should not use the words Cure or Virus.
You should use some other kind of words to somehow show the whole theme of the game in only few words.
I think a title like "Anomaly Breakdown" sound good to me

Faraggitakis Zaxarias


I don't know..."Ανωμαλία κατανομή" doesn't have quite the same ring to it when translated into English. When I think of Ανωμαλία I wouldn't think of a virus right away...just something strange or mysterious. And though a κατανομή is adequate way to describe what happens when a disease runs rampant, it doesn't have the right umph I'm looking for.

But thanks for the suggestion, Faraggitakis! I really do want input on this challenging problem.
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Chad Mestdagh
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Wasn't there a book called the Hot Zone about fighting off the ebola virus a few years back?
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John Gibson
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radchad wrote:
Wasn't there a book called the Hot Zone about fighting off the ebola virus a few years back?


The Hot Zone: A Terrifying True Story by Richard Preston (1999)

A highly infectious, deadly virus from the central African rain forest suddenly appears in the suburbs of Washington, D.C. There is no cure. In a few days 90 percent of its victims are dead. A secret military SWAT team of soldiers and scientists is mobilized to stop the outbreak of this exotic "hot" virus. The Hot Zone tells this dramatic story, giving a hair-raising account of the appearance of rare and lethal viruses and their "crashes" into the human race. Shocking, frightening, and impossible to ignore, The Hot Zone proves that truth really is scarier than fiction.

Hmmm...it is a title with a punch. Maybe I could use the word "Zone" in title...

Thanks.
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Zaxarias Faraggitakis
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gedin wrote:
SweetShark wrote:


Yeah, I think also you should not use the words Cure or Virus.
You should use some other kind of words to somehow show the whole theme of the game in only few words.
I think a title like "Anomaly Breakdown" sound good to me

Faraggitakis Zaxarias


I don't know..."Ανωμαλία κατανομή" doesn't have quite the same ring to it when translated into English. When I think of Ανωμαλία I wouldn't think of a virus right away...just something strange or mysterious. And though a κατανομή is adequate way to describe what happens when a disease runs rampant, it doesn't have the right umph I'm looking for.

But thanks for the suggestion, Faraggitakis! I really do want input on this challenging problem.


Haha!

Actually the right way to say it in Greek is "Κατάρευση της Ανωμαλίας".
To me as a Greek, doesn't ring good to me at all.
I though translated in English sound more good.

So, let see another title before I go to sleep......mmmmmmmmmmm......
Maybe Infection Core sound good?

If I remember right, the last tile is the most important of all....or I am wrong? I don't remember....so sleepy.

So yeah, thank you for the talk and maybe I will see you tommorow also.

Goodnight!!!

zzzzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.........
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Pablo Schulman
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gedin wrote:
radchad wrote:
May I just put a vote against the title "Going Viral"?

It doesn't tell you what the game is about. It misleads you into thinking the game is about a video on youtube making the the big time. And to be honest, in my humble opinion, it just sounds kind of dumb.


Thank you for giving me your thoughts on the title, Chad. I think the toughest part of this who game design thing is coming up with a compelling title. When I using the CDC in the title I was told by some people that they did not know what “CDC” stood for? Calling a game The Center for Disease Control Blah just does not really roll off the tongue. Trying to come up with a title that used the word “Cure” or “Vaccine” just seemed to lack punch. Maybe I should just call it Virus…I don’t know.


CDC: Virus Outbreak
Vaccine (I like it!)
Vaccine: Center for Disease Control
Vaccine: Virus Outbreak
Epidemy (sounds similar to another famous game huh)
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John Gibson
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I think for now I am going with this one:

THE CDC: CONTAGION
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Nate K
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I like it. Although I actually know what the CDC is, and apparently that's not common knowledge?
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John Gibson
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kurthl33t wrote:
I like it. Although I actually know what the CDC is, and apparently that's not common knowledge?


My thought is that anybody who is going to buy a VPG solitaire game is going to know what the CDC is--that should just be a given.
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radchad wrote:
Now, I'm loving to read your posts. Very insightful about the developing process.


I agree. I've been following this thread from the first post. Thank you for letting us in on the process

PSchulman wrote:

Vaccine (I like it!)
Vaccine: Center for Disease Control
Vaccine: Virus Outbreak


+1

The name "vaccine" is what drew me to this game originally.
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FoggyPlanet wrote:
radchad wrote:
Now, I'm loving to read your posts. Very insightful about the developing process.


I agree. I've been following this thread from the first post. Thank you for letting us in on the process

PSchulman wrote:

Vaccine (I like it!)
Vaccine: Center for Disease Control
Vaccine: Virus Outbreak


+1

The name "vaccine" is what drew me to this game originally.


Well thanks for following, FP. As somebody once said: "An actor can't act in a closet." So it is nice to have an audience when posting this stuff.

As for the word Vaccine...I don't know...it just doesn't sound sexy enough...it seems to lack punch for me. But I guess that might just me me...
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Zaxarias Faraggitakis
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True that.
I think is better to write the whole sentence for the others to understand.
I suggest to do this like Konami did with the Metal Gear series:



The main title is with big letters, but the other part of the title is as small as possible.

small letters: The Centers for Disease Control.
Big letters: Contagion.

What do you think

Zaxarias Faraggitakis
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SweetShark wrote:

True that.
I think is better to write the whole sentence for the others to understand.
I suggest to do this like Konami did with the Metal Gear series:



The main title is with big letters, but the other part of the title is as small as possible.

small letters: The Centers for Disease Control.
Big letters: Contagion.

What do you think

Zaxarias Faraggitakis


So something like this:

The Centers for Disease Control
CONTAGION

It looks good as a graphic, but saying it out loud could still be a mouthfull.
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Zaxarias Faraggitakis
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gedin wrote:
SweetShark wrote:

True that.
I think is better to write the whole sentence for the others to understand.
I suggest to do this like Konami did with the Metal Gear series:

[img]ht tp://pics.mobygames.com/images/covers/large/1086291082-00.jpg[/img]

The main title is with big letters, but the other part of the title is as small as possible.

small letters: The Centers for Disease Control.
Big letters: Contagion.

What do you think

Zaxarias Faraggitakis


So something like this:

The Centers for Disease Control
CONTAGION

It looks good as a graphic, but saying it out loud could still be a mouthfull.


Hahaha!!!
Yes, exacly my friend , I still don't know how to put big letter.
But I think it could work if you use three words from the sentence:

Center Disease Control
CONTAGION

I think this sound BADASS!!!! [or not cause don't know if this make sense in english lol ]

Maybe if you call it also like, would sound better:

Center Disease Control
CONTAGION ZONE

I really have fun with your project my friend

Faraggitakis Zaxarias
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