Nathan Hansen Games

The Game Crafter runs a number of Challenges (i.e. contests) every year, and for the most part, I've ignored them. Usually, because by the time I notice one I'm interested in they are just about finished and so I don't have time to design something for the contest. Right now, there are three contests running that I'm interested in. And I have designs mostly "ready" for two of them, and an idea for the third.


The Big Box Challenge

As of the time of this writing, there are 22 Days remaining to enter this contest. The contest is to create a game that is comparable in size to a game like their The Captain is Dead. They also mention Catan, Ticket to Ride, Pandemic, 7 Wonders, and Stone Age as size appropriate. But, they specifically state that the game must play in 1 to 2 hours, NOT 30 minutes so I think their mentioning 7 Wonders is a bit of a mistake.

The game I am thinking of entering into this contest is Day at the Dawg Track. It is a programmed movement racing game in the same universe as my Dawgs of War game. The design is complete (and has been for a while) but the art is all still "designer art". Meaning that it is bad, and only exists to be a placeholder until I could get an artist to work on it. With the contest timeline, I can no longer wait, so I'm going to start doing better designer art on my own. Hopefully, I can get enough done before the deadline.

The Gamehole Dungeon Crawler Challenge

This one has 92 days remaining. The challenge here is to create a game that feels like a party exploring a dungeon. They mention Dungeon!, Hero Quest, Descent, and Warhammer Quest as inspirational games. They also specify that the game must play in under 2 hours. The main appeal for this contest for me is that the winner gets a little statue called a Rodney. Which is awesome.

For this challenge, I'm thinking of resurrecting an old design that I shelved while I was in college. I stopped development on it in college because I heard about Munchkin Quest, which a few years later I actually played and it really isn't very similar. I called it Epic! because it was the first design of mine that during testing played in over 2 hours. So, a challenge there would be in shortening the game. Plus, the current kit is mostly hand written, so a lot of art would be needed. And, one of the core mechanisms (a riddle mechanic) is kind of garbage because it would require either a TON of cards or players would be able to memorize the answers. But the game is rather interesting aside from those issues. The basic gameplay is as follows; players explore a dungeon consisting of hex tiles connected by doorway tiles. The doorway tiles are challenges that players need to overcome. As they explore they will eventually come across the Dungeon Master, who then make a beeline for the Village. If the Dungeon Master gets to the village before the heroes can defeat him, they lose.

The Hidden Movement Challenge

This one just got announced and has 134 days remaining for submission. The idea is to create a hidden movement game. Something I have never attempted before. So, an interesting proposition. The mention Letters from Whitechapel, Fury of Dracula, Spector Ops, and Nuns on the Run. Of those, I've played Fury of Dracula. Once. And I've seen Spector Ops played. Once. So, given my lack of experience with the mechanism, I think this will be a true challenge for me. I'm excited to get into this one.

I do not have a functioning design to start this with. But I think I have a cool idea. But it will require a ton of research. It just so happens that just before I happened across this challenge, Extra Credits posted their first video about The Bismarck. So, that is what I think I want to try to do. A 2 player game about hunting the Bismarck. I have no idea how this will function yet, but I'm sure I'll be posting updates over the next few months. 

Written by Nathan Hansen — May 13, 2017

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