Unpub 8 Preview

Unpub 8 is just a week away, so I guess I better figure out what I’m taking. I have a table for Friday night and Saturday morning. Since there is a completely new schedule this year, I’m interested to see how the time slots compare. I’m guessing Friday tests will be more designer heavy while Saturday will be more casual, so I’m trying to plan for that in the designs I’m taking with me.

First up is Ion Award winning American Steel. It’s a dice-rolling strategy game about modern steelmaking, where the dice are both workers and resources. I’d like to get a couple of games in since I haven’t watched much play, so this is probably a good game for Saturday. If I don’t have it, my codesigner, Josh Mills will probably be showing it at his table.

I’m taking a new design currently codenamed NeonNoir. It is inspired by film noir, ranging from classics like Maltese Falcon through Hitchcock, with a more 80’s aesthetic, sort of Miami Vice. I’m trying to blend a detective game with more traditional euro-game elements so that it is dynamic and replayable but still feels like you’re piecing together a mystery.  NeonNoir is at a delicate point in the design. So far, I’ve only played a few proof-of-concept rounds to make sure the basic mechanism can work. So my plan for Unpub is to see if it actually does work for a full game.

I think Unpub is more productive when you can show a new game, and so those are the ones I’m focusing on. But it’s also very important to have a backup plan. So I will have some returning games and smaller games that I can play depending on time and availability.

iceburghTitle2Iceburgh is back and better than ever. Players rearrange floating blocks of ice to use and upgrade the buildings built on top of them, in order to become the new mayor. It is even smoother than last year and finally solves the problems I had with games stalling out. And I am hoping to find a publisher for this.

’52 Pickup, my card drafting game about restoring a 1952 pickup truck, only made it to the table once last year. I’ve been trying to find a way to streamline scoring, but really haven’t gotten to test it much. Unpub would be a great opportunity to test because I need to see how players handle the changes, when they aren’t designers who spend so much time thinking.

With luck, I’ll have an art-complete prototype for Supertall—my first Buttonshy Wallet game—about designing skyscrapers. And I’ll have a prototype of Garnet, MT, to test out, too.

LandmarksCoverI would love to find some fans of roll-and-write games to test Landmarks, my town-building epic that unfolds over 10 chapters.

New Bedford stuff. I have a box full of half complete expansions. More buildings and more complicated stuff, and a Solo campaign mode.

Finally, I’ll have a copy of Dare or Dare, my legacy party game, for after hours. If you don’t mind embarassing yourself in a totally family friendly way, it should be a lot of fun.

I never know what to expect at Unpub. Especially this year, in a totally new location, I have no idea what to expect from the event. NeonNoir is also the least-tested game I have ever taken. It might not make it past Friday morning. In any case, it looks like it will be a great weekend, and I’m looking forward to all the feedback.

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