Tag Archives: Steve Jackson

Development Log

Just a few quick notes about what I’ve been working on lately.

First, the biggest push has been a board and card game. I’m not exactly sure how to categorise it since it uses both extensively in play. It is based on some 3 am answers from the days when there wasn’t anything else to do but to hang out at iHop ordering from the kid’s menu. In this case, the question was, “If you had a billion dollars and a cable network, what sort of shows would you make”. And the answers were kinda crazy.

But that’s not what the game is about. The game is about taking some of those crazy shows and putting them on a schedule, in competition with other players trying to do the same thing. The idea is to award points a few times during the game and whoever ends up with the most points, wins.

The fun factor is going to be in arranging those crazy shows. You could have “The Fish Hour” followed up by the reality show, “I dream of Angelo” in the same way that Steve Jackson’s Illuminati game has the many crazy groups all controlling each other. Well, that and being able to best your friends.

Currently, I have the basic mechanics worked out and have moved to start in on the numbers. The part of the game where you see how many of which card is needed at minimum to make the various other bits of the game work properly. That’s going to take a bit more as the mechanics can get a bit hairy. Right now, in order to make a show you have to have three things. The first is the show’s card. That has to be in your hand. The next is you need the personnel to work on it. This would be the writers, actors, and producers who do the work of putting the show together. And finally you need the money. Where I am right now is trying to get those numbers to be harmonious. Not easy and requires a bit of math followed up by trial and error before reverting back to further math.

The goal of doing all of that math is to have something that feels more engineered, a game that is flexible and resilient to the sort of abuses that players put games through. In this way, I am approaching it like a software project. I want to be able to get as much done with it and to “harden” it to the point where I don’t have to do much work, if any, to support it after I’m done.

More updates about the development of the game as they happen.

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My first Post

Hello, and welcome to MY first post on Brew N Games. I suppose I should have done this sooner, but I’m a bit lazy. Ah well.

So, the two main topics of this site are Beer and Gaming, and I’d like to talk to you today about both of them. Sort of.

Or, to be more specific, I’d like to talk about a Beer I haven’t started brewing yet, and a new board game that isn’t out yet that I haven’t actually played. No! Wait! Come back! It will make sense, I promise. Maybe.

So, let’s start with the Game. On Thursday Nights at the local (if you count 50 miles away as local) game store, they have open board gaming night, and I and my wife like to go to this fairly regularly.
Last Thursday, the second, there was a guy from Steve Jackson Games on his way back from Origins who had stopped at the store to demo a couple new games, Revolution! and The Stars are Right.

The Stars are Right is a Cthulhu Mythos themed card game, which the guy demoing described as a “competitive puzzle game”, but it never actually hit the table, so I don’t really know anything else about it.

Revolution! however came out for a demo play. I, however, didn’t actually get to play. I did watch the game however, and it was very interesting. I look forward to it coming out so I can play. The boards were very nice, with high production values. Each player got a bidding board listing a dozen important townsfolk to influence, a screen to hide there bidding board until the reveal phase, and a number of little cubes to use a markers on the large town board to represent who had the most influence in different areas.
At the start of the round, each player gained an amount of Gold, Force, and Blackmail tokens based on their previous turns actions, which they spend to try to influence different people. Everyone can be influenced by gold, but some cannot be blackmailed, such as the spy, or intimidated by force, such as the general.
After the bidding, players compare bids to determine who won the support of each of the twelve townsfolk, and then they gain bonuses based on the individual. For example, if you got the spy, you could replace an opponents cube on the town board with your own, stealing points. If you have the support of the aristocrat, you gain 5 support(points), three gold to use next turn, and put an influence cube on the Plantation on the town board. And so on.
All in all, a fun and interesting looking game.

Now on to beer. I am in the process of making a nice homebrew oatmeal stout. Very early in the process. As in, still working on the equipment. Because, you see, I am going to make this beer from all grain, not a kit. No extracts, no malt powder. Whole malted barley and flaked oatmeal. So, I’ve had to construct a mash tun. A mash tun is a large tub used to steep the grain in order to extract the color, flavor, sugars, and enzymes that you need to make beer. There are two ways to go with a mash tun, because you have to keep the mash warm for over an hour to fully extract the sugars and enzymes.
1> You can make one that you can heat, i.e. a large metal pot with a spigot in the bottom that sits on the stove and heats while it sits.
2> What I did, you can make a Mash tun in a Cooler or other insulated vessel, so it holds the starting heat in.

So, I took a big 15 gallon cooler, and I pulled the spigot out, replaced it with a copper tube and valve, and made a filter out of copper water pipe. More detail on that later.
The filter isn’t what I’d call 100% finished, but it’s done enough to be functional, and I’m tired of waiting, so I’m going to do the first batch with the filter as it is. At the moment, it’s running through the dish washer, while a little water sealant is setting up in the mash tun itself.

More details as work progresses.