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Print It and Ship It Podcast

A podcast about self-publishing, publishing, and board game design!

Swordcrafters Designer Diary Part 1

Swordcrafters Designer Diary (Part 1 of 5) – Live on Kickstarter Now!

The Hook:

A game is a sword… a sword is a game.  How can that be?  In Swordcrafters, you split and choose groups of slotted sword tiles, and then assemble them into the 3D structure of a sword.  This is a game that combines the play patterns of modern board games with the building play pattern found in toys such as KNEX or Legos.

Swordcrafters has a seriously cool hook.  Swords are cool.  Holding a sword is cooler.  Holding a cardboard sword is both ironic and nostalgic, and feels unbelievably satisfying.  People will ask you what you are doing or what you are playing, and eyes will be drawn to the table with 5 players holding swords.  There will be many sword jokes told, although I will resist my temptation here.

Not only is this concept fresh and wonderfully playful, but Swordcrafters is also really simple and easy to pick up!

The Mechanics:

The mechanics are very simple and near to the “I split, You Choose” style of games.  A grid of sword tiles is laid out each round.  Each sword tile has a colored gem in it or is blank.  The first player makes one completely vertical or completely horizontal separation, separating one group into two groups.  Think about this loosely like a sword cut as it does not contain any right angles.  A thematic mechanic… check.  Now here is where there is newness.  Each player makes one separation in the grid.  When the turn comes back to the first player, you select one grouping of tiles available. Following turn order, each player selects one grouping of sword tiles.  After selections are made, players “craft” the sword tiles into their sword lining up the slotted tiles.

The first player is significant here.  That’s why we put a first player tile inside the grid of sword tiles every round.  If you select the grouping with the first player tile, it lowers the value of the grouping this round but gives you a large benefit to turn order next round.

Now, why would you care about what sword tile grouping you get?  That’s where the scoring and the goal of the game comes in.  We’re building a sword as our goal.  We’re comparing it to other players based on length, quality, and magic.

  • The longest sword gets a bonus (10VP).
  • Quality is determined by evaluating each of the four sides of your sword.  The largest set of adjacent gems on one side of your sword dictates your quality score.
  • Magic is determined by the Sword Magic cards that are in play at the start of the game. There are 3 of them.  Each card looks for a combination of two gem types, and the total of this combination is the magic value of your sword.  You evaluate sword magic scoring three total times, one for each card.

And that’s it.  Rounds are played until you run out of sword tiles.  For a 2-3 players game that works out to 8 rounds.  For a 4-5 player game that works out to 6 rounds.

The Theme and Visuals:

The theme is sharply honed, but fantasy games is not something AAG has done in the past.  For this reason, finding the graphical voice was a big challenge.  Also… a sword is really cool, but how do you make a 3D interpretation of a sword come to life?

My guiding light for visual design became trying to create artwork that actually resembled a sword, but not like a real sword… like a cool fantasy sword.  Using too much “metal” would surely fall flat.  This is where the gems come in.  Gems are not traditionally found in all swords, but the gaming industry has incorporated the gem/rune / “materia” into the sword becoming a fantasy trope.  Let’s use this to our advantage and bring color into play.

My vision for the audience of this game is a wide appeal, so I went with a fantasy artwork style that has vibrant colors and wide appeal.  When I was searching for an artist, I looked for talented artists that were making a splash in the Blizzard Fan Art scene since this art style is typically vibrant and fantastic.

What is next:

The vision is set, the mechanics are sound, the theme is edgy, and all that’s needed now is to obtain funding to bring this to life.  Parts 2-5 will detail more stories about the blueprint and iterations, sharpening the design, getting it forge-ready, and preparing for the final quench needed for a successful KS.

Vote for BeeBeeQ and Figtown – Flavor Text

Final Voting - BeeBeeQ and Figtown (Pick a few from each)
  • BeeBeeq - Layin' down the 'Slaw 8%, 39 votes
    39 votes 8%
    39 votes - 8% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Wild Wild Wurst 6%, 29 votes
    29 votes 6%
    29 votes - 6% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - True Grits 5%, 26 votes
    26 votes 5%
    26 votes - 5% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Sweet Tea.N.T. 5%, 24 votes
    24 votes 5%
    24 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Figtown - For Whom the Pork Belly Tolls 5%, 23 votes
    23 votes 5%
    23 votes - 5% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Sir Racha's Flamin' Pulled Pork 5%, 23 votes
    23 votes 5%
    23 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Figtown - Kombucha Lips on This 5%, 22 votes
    22 votes 5%
    22 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Figtown - Hot Cross Man Buns 4%, 21 vote
    21 vote 4%
    21 vote - 4% of all votes
  • BeeBee Q - Locked and Loaded Nachos 4%, 21 vote
    21 vote 4%
    21 vote - 4% of all votes
  • Figtown - Live & let Acai 4%, 20 votes
    20 votes 4%
    20 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Figtown - Peachy-Quinoa 4%, 20 votes
    20 votes 4%
    20 votes - 4% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Rib-member the Alamo 4%, 20 votes
    20 votes 4%
    20 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Figtown - Wheat Grass is Always Greener 3%, 17 votes
    17 votes 3%
    17 votes - 3% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Deep in the Heart of Texas Toast 3%, 16 votes
    16 votes 3%
    16 votes - 3% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Shotgun Wedding Soup 3%, 15 votes
    15 votes 3%
    15 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Figtown - Sauerkraut 'n' Brussel Sprout Trout 3%, 14 votes
    14 votes 3%
    14 votes - 3% of all votes
  • figtown - faux grass foie gras 2%, 12 votes
    12 votes 2%
    12 votes - 2% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Home on the Free-Range Chicken 2%, 11 votes
    11 votes 2%
    11 votes - 2% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Check Out These Guns-yun Rings 2%, 10 votes
    10 votes 2%
    10 votes - 2% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Six piece jalapeno shooters 2%, 10 votes
    10 votes 2%
    10 votes - 2% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - It Was the Chicken Breast of Times, It Was the Brat Wurst of Times 2%, 9 votes
    9 votes 2%
    9 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Figtown - Flatbush-bread pizza 2%, 9 votes
    9 votes 2%
    9 votes - 2% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Dead Man's Ham 2%, 9 votes
    9 votes 2%
    9 votes - 2% of all votes
  • figtown - piled high polenta 2%, 9 votes
    9 votes 2%
    9 votes - 2% of all votes
  • figtown - portabello poutine 2%, 8 votes
    8 votes 2%
    8 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Figtown - PBR&J 2%, 8 votes
    8 votes 2%
    8 votes - 2% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Shootin' from the Chip's 'n Salsa 1%, 6 votes
    6 votes 1%
    6 votes - 1% of all votes
  • figtown - quinoa and cocoa crispies 1%, 5 votes
    5 votes 1%
    5 votes - 1% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Get along little doggy 1%, 5 votes
    5 votes 1%
    5 votes - 1% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - BBKaboom Sauce 1%, 5 votes
    5 votes 1%
    5 votes - 1% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Red Ryeder Ribwich 1%, 5 votes
    5 votes 1%
    5 votes - 1% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - DeBrisket 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Beebeeq - Liberty Bell Biscuits 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • beebeeq - honey-thunder dynamite dog 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Two Moles for Sister Sarah (pronounced MO-lay) 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • BeeBeeQ - Pulled Pork Chop Hill 0%, 2 votes
    2 votes
    2 votes - 0% of all votes
  • Figtown - You're Escargoting to Love This Rib-member the Alamo Sweet Tea.N.T. 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 486
Voters: 76
March 20, 2017 - March 22, 2017
Voting is closed

Thanks for voting!

 

Vote for Fry Hard flavor text

Vote for Fry Hard' Flavor Text
  • Lord of the Fries 9%, 32 votes
    32 votes 9%
    32 votes - 9% of all votes
  • The Breakfast Club Sandwich 6%, 22 votes
    22 votes 6%
    22 votes - 6% of all votes
  • Lord of the Onion Rings 5%, 20 votes
    20 votes 5%
    20 votes - 5% of all votes
  • The Hills Have Fries 5%, 17 votes
    17 votes 5%
    17 votes - 5% of all votes
  • The Princess Fry'd 5%, 17 votes
    17 votes 5%
    17 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Bill and Ted's Bogus Jerky 4%, 15 votes
    15 votes 4%
    15 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Princess Monognocchi 4%, 15 votes
    15 votes 4%
    15 votes - 4% of all votes
  • The Brave Little Toaster Streudel 4%, 15 votes
    15 votes 4%
    15 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Reservoir Hot Dogs 4%, 14 votes
    14 votes 4%
    14 votes - 4% of all votes
  • A Clockwork Orange Chicken 4%, 14 votes
    14 votes 4%
    14 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Roastbusters 4%, 13 votes
    13 votes 4%
    13 votes - 4% of all votes
  • The Empire Steaks Back 3%, 12 votes
    12 votes 3%
    12 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Forrest Gumbo 3%, 11 votes
    11 votes 3%
    11 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Some Like It Hot Tamales 3%, 11 votes
    11 votes 3%
    11 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Life of Pie 3%, 10 votes
    10 votes 3%
    10 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Cakes on a Plane 3%, 10 votes
    10 votes 3%
    10 votes - 3% of all votes
  • There Will Be Blood Sausage 3%, 10 votes
    10 votes 3%
    10 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Nachos Libre 2%, 9 votes
    9 votes 2%
    9 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Silence of the Lamb Chops 2%, 9 votes
    9 votes 2%
    9 votes - 2% of all votes
  • True Grits 2%, 8 votes
    8 votes 2%
    8 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Kiss Kiss Bang Bang Chicken 2%, 8 votes
    8 votes 2%
    8 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Beefless In Seattle 2%, 7 votes
    7 votes 2%
    7 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Star War d'oeuvres 2%, 7 votes
    7 votes 2%
    7 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Potato Wedge of Tomorrow 2%, 6 votes
    6 votes 2%
    6 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Pulpless Fiction OJ 2%, 6 votes
    6 votes 2%
    6 votes - 2% of all votes
  • True Pies 1%, 5 votes
    5 votes 1%
    5 votes - 1% of all votes
  • QuesoBlanco (Casablanca) 1%, 5 votes
    5 votes 1%
    5 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Open Face/Off Sandwich 1%, 5 votes
    5 votes 1%
    5 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Seven Hamurai 1%, 4 votes
    4 votes 1%
    4 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Howard the Duck Soup 1%, 4 votes
    4 votes 1%
    4 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Fudge Dredd 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Flan Wick 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • George of the Jungle Juice 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Never Say Liver Again (007) 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • MAC and Chee (MAC and Me, an ET ripoff I wish I could forget) 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • It's the Great Pumpkin Seeds 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Hardcore Lamb Henry 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Pancakes Labyrinth 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • The Wicker Manicotti 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • An Oyster bar you'll Desire. (Streetcar named desire) 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Judge Bread 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Carne Wrap of Courage (Ewok Adventure) 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Chocolat Shake 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • Charred Brown 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • The Green Mile Beans 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 371
Voters: 86
March 6, 2017 - March 9, 2017
Voting is closed

Thanks for voting!

Vote for Sashimi Rollin’ Flavor Text

Vote for Sashimi Rollin' Flavor Text
  • Friends in Lo Mein Places 12%, 25 votes
    25 votes 12%
    25 votes - 12% of all votes
  • Notorious B.L.T. 8%, 17 votes
    17 votes 8%
    17 votes - 8% of all votes
  • Hakuna Frittata 8%, 16 votes
    16 votes 8%
    16 votes - 8% of all votes
  • Live and Let Fry 6%, 12 votes
    12 votes 6%
    12 votes - 6% of all votes
  • Ain't No Lie, it's the best Pad Thai 5%, 11 votes
    11 votes 5%
    11 votes - 5% of all votes
  • Tupacos 4%, 9 votes
    9 votes 4%
    9 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Stuck In the Middle Au Jus 4%, 9 votes
    9 votes 4%
    9 votes - 4% of all votes
  • The Thunder Egg Rolls 4%, 9 votes
    9 votes 4%
    9 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Blackened Yellow Chicken and Rice 4%, 8 votes
    8 votes 4%
    8 votes - 4% of all votes
  • To Shrimp a Butter Fry 4%, 8 votes
    8 votes 4%
    8 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Mackerelmore 4%, 8 votes
    8 votes 4%
    8 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Flavored Ice Ice Baby 3%, 7 votes
    7 votes 3%
    7 votes - 3% of all votes
  • I Want To Hold Your Ham 3%, 7 votes
    7 votes 3%
    7 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Do You Wanna Build a Snow Cone 3%, 6 votes
    6 votes 3%
    6 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Mmmpops 2%, 5 votes
    5 votes 2%
    5 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Cheese Whiz Khalifa 2%, 5 votes
    5 votes 2%
    5 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Hey Jus 2%, 5 votes
    5 votes 2%
    5 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Aesop Rock Lobster Roll 2%, 4 votes
    4 votes 2%
    4 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Baby Got Bacon 2%, 4 votes
    4 votes 2%
    4 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Like a Vegan Burger 2%, 4 votes
    4 votes 2%
    4 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Spirit In the Rye 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Mr. Tambourine Ham 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Let It Beef 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • All About That Striped Bass 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Blue Suede Cheese Burger 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • American Pie 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Another One Bites the Crostinis 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Bad to the Fall Off the Bone Ribs 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Turn, Turn, Turn (To Everything There Is a Seasoning) 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Free Range Bird 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Jalapeno Big Poppas 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Piano Ham 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • No Spuds 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • Stairway to Ham and Cheese 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • Wild Cherry Pie 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • E-40 oz Steak 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 210
Voters: 46
February 26, 2017 - March 1, 2017
Voting is closed

Thanks for voting!

Great Frijolio Food Truck – Vote for your favorite menu items!

Vote on your top 5 favorite food menu items for The Great Frijolio - TV inspired food truck
  • Hogan's Gyros 9%, 21 vote
    21 vote 9%
    21 vote - 9% of all votes
  • Fresh Mince of Bell Pepp-ér 8%, 18 votes
    18 votes 8%
    18 votes - 8% of all votes
  • M*A*S*H'd Potatoes 7%, 17 votes
    17 votes 7%
    17 votes - 7% of all votes
  • The Rice is Right 6%, 15 votes
    15 votes 6%
    15 votes - 6% of all votes
  • The Adventures of Winnie the Poutine 4%, 10 votes
    10 votes 4%
    10 votes - 4% of all votes
  • How I Met Your Smothered Pork Chops 4%, 9 votes
    9 votes 4%
    9 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Sesame Chicken Street 4%, 9 votes
    9 votes 4%
    9 votes - 4% of all votes
  • The Walking Bread 4%, 9 votes
    9 votes 4%
    9 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Stranger Wings 4%, 9 votes
    9 votes 4%
    9 votes - 4% of all votes
  • Sailor Moonpies 3%, 8 votes
    8 votes 3%
    8 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Lettuce Make a Deal Wrap 3%, 8 votes
    8 votes 3%
    8 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Sabrina the Filleted Fish 3%, 7 votes
    7 votes 3%
    7 votes - 3% of all votes
  • The Amazing Rice 3%, 6 votes
    6 votes 3%
    6 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Looney Tuna Fish Salad 3%, 6 votes
    6 votes 3%
    6 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Crazy Eggs-Girlfriend 3%, 6 votes
    6 votes 3%
    6 votes - 3% of all votes
  • Game of T-Bones 2%, 5 votes
    5 votes 2%
    5 votes - 2% of all votes
  • South Pork 2%, 5 votes
    5 votes 2%
    5 votes - 2% of all votes
  • The Venchurro Brothers 2%, 5 votes
    5 votes 2%
    5 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Breaking Bread 2%, 4 votes
    4 votes 2%
    4 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Yellow Umbrella Colada - How I Met Your Mother 2%, 4 votes
    4 votes 2%
    4 votes - 2% of all votes
  • Friends Fries 2%, 4 votes
    4 votes 2%
    4 votes - 2% of all votes
  • The Golden Curls - Fries 2%, 4 votes
    4 votes 2%
    4 votes - 2% of all votes
  • The Real Roastbusters 2%, 4 votes
    4 votes 2%
    4 votes - 2% of all votes
  • "Fruit up!" Smoothie - How I Met Your Mother (Barney's "Suit Up!" phrase) 2%, 4 votes
    4 votes 2%
    4 votes - 2% of all votes
  • The Golden Grills 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Hawaii Five-Onion Rings 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • The IT Chowder 1%, 3 votes
    3 votes 1%
    3 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Big Bangers & Mash 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Criminal Mint Shake 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Got Ham 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Supergrilledcheese 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Supermanicotti 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • A Plate of Scones (Game of Thrones) 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Meow Meow Baked Beanz - Community 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Yung & the Restless 1%, 2 votes
    2 votes 1%
    2 votes - 1% of all votes
  • Feastworld 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • The X-Filets 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • Halt and Catch Fryer 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • Dancing With the Starfruit Smoothie 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • Hammibal 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • Chopped Steak 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • Better Call Salt Taffy 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • Green Okras 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • The Eggspanse 0%, 1 vote
    1 vote
    1 vote - 0% of all votes
  • Egg Foo 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • AnimaniYakitori 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
  • Duck Confit Dynasty 0%, 0 votes
    0 votes
    0 votes - 0% of all votes
Total Votes: 231
Voters: 47
February 21, 2017 - February 25, 2017
Voting is closed

Thanks for voting, vote closes on Saturday 2/25.