A new “Let’s Draw” video! This one features a destroyer archetype spaceship from the upcoming Far Away Land RPG: Adventures in the Materiosphere. After doing a ton of different ships designs, I settled on a 3d approach as I thought it would let me make the ships more Far Away Landy. The 3d models in these videos were done in Autodesk’s 123D which is a pretty simple 3d drawing program. The line drawings are done on a Samusng Galaxy tablet using Autodesk’s Sketchbook Pro.
So, last weekend, I sat down with my wife to play Villagers and Villains, a card game by C. Aaron Kreader of Studio 9 Games. This was a Kickstarter I backed last year and it is only now that I have finally gotten around to playing it. The Kickstarter offered several reward levels and I opted for the core Villagers and Villains (V&V) game along with the Villagers and Villains: City Builder expansion. This review is only for the basic core game (Ill review the advanced rules and City Builder expansion later).
V&V came in a nice, full color rigid setup box. Both the cover art and the bottom box art are well done. The box is good quality and sturdy. Its small and the components inside fit nicely.
Inside the box you will find the instructions which are a single black and white sheet. There are 115 cards all of which feature fantastic artwork created by the game's author. There are two chipboard markers, one for the Starting Player and one indicating the King's Favor (the King's Favor is for the optional advanced rules which will be covered in a later review).The game comes with some punch out gold pieces which are made of sturdy chipboard. These little dudes are fairly thick and I can see them lasting a long time. The cards are standard poker size and a decent thickness (if I had any complaint it would be the card thickness, but this is minor and not a factor at all (I'm just a card prude)). There's also a small white d6 and a scorepad.
I felt like all of the components were of good quality. Nothing felt cheap in my hands.
On a final component note, the artwork if great. It is playful, colorful, humorous and kid friendly. I really enjoyed it.
The goal of V&V is to build the most successful village. The game is divided into rounds, each round having six phases of play. These phases of play allow you to recruit cards, battle enemies, get pillaged by enemies, get gold, and hire new heroes or citizens or build new buildings for your village. Cards in your village award you with points at the end of the game. You will want as many points as possible in order to win.
Challenge cards feature villains and other threats to your village. You will have to defeat these or else you will be losing gold. In our first game, I had a bad run of recruitment and quickly found myself mired in challenge cards (I kept battling trolls only to lose time and again - I blamed the die that came with V&V as I was only rolling 1s. After switching to my own d6, I began rolling 1s and 2s).
My wife and I found the rules to be easy to learn and game play was fast. Within just a couple turns we were on our own, looking back at the rules for specifics only a couple of times. We were engaged and entertained by the game play.
Villagers and Villains is fun. It is quick to play and I can see how playing with more people would make it that much more exciting. When we were finished we both felt like it was time well spent. We are looking forward to running the advanced version tonight and the expansion sometime this week. Money well spent.
As a side note. I mentioned before that I picked this up as a Kickstarter last year. I would gladly back (and will back) any other Kickstarters that C. Aaron Kreader/Studio 9 Games runs. He was communicative and gave what was promised on time (I may have gotten my game a little before the due date actually). Fantastic Kickstarter experience.
Here is Bored to Death's review of Villagers and Villains.
A few days ago on Tenkar’s Tavern, the proprietor of said establishment wrote a post in support of a gamer who had lost his wife. At the end of the post, Erik mentioned something along the lines of “it’s your community.” Since then, that line has stuck with me and got me to thinking about the gaming community. I think I have been reluctant to step into it online just because of online nonsense and negativity in general. But after reading that line, I thought about all of the people that have supported our projects and products. People have sent us pictures of their kids and students playing our games. Gaming is a community and I am part of that. How I choose to handle my participation is up to me. But choosing to remain on the sidelines in the hobby I have loved for 30+ years is bullshit and a disservice to those who have inspired, supported, and helped me along the way. Silence is a sin in this matter and so I seek redemption.
Keeping this in mind, most of the time my posts are about Far Away Land and my own projects and work. I play a lot of games and there are a lot of games and mechanics and people who inspire me. There are projects and games I love that I never speak of. There are Kickstarter projects that I’ve backed that have never heard from me. There are people posting awesome things constantly that I never respond to, even though I really enjoy what they are creating. I know I can’t respond to everything I like, but I can make an effort to crawl out of my own fantasy world and help others as I have been helped.
In an effort to make this crawl, Faruniverse is going to expand into the realm of other people’s works. I will begin to put the word out about products and projects I back and play. I will review and talk about the games I play, the blogs I read, and the people who do creative things I enjoy. There is no shortage of awesomeness and awesome people in the gaming community. When I’m told that something I made inspired someone or entertained them, I feel good. I want other people to feel that way as well.
With recent tech upgrades I have been able to streamline the “Let’s Draw” videos so they aren’t such a hassle to create. This is really the first time when I have had digital tools that all mesh together and work like tools should work. Tools fix problems. Tools get used. Tools build things. So, now I can draw digitally, record the drawing, send it to the cloud, edit it in video software, and upload it online – and none of this requires me doing anything other than learning the flow. Not only do I get to keep the drawings, but I also get a neat video of the process. I plan on recording pretty much every drawing from here on out. I won’t upload them all but a lot I will.
So, these two videos are drawings for the upcoming Far Away Land: Adventures in the Materiosphere which is all about space and planets and space hooliganism and such. The first video is a series of sketches. The second is taking one of the ideas in the sketch and creating a finished line drawing to be colored. I made the 3d image in the second video based on the sketch. The 3d image serves to speed up perspective and make sure things are straight and clean, like spaceship lines should be. Anyways. Check Let's Draw episodes 4 and 5...
My excitement increases as Lexington Comic Con draws near. For those in the Lexington Ky area, this year's comic con will be March 11-13th. Data (Brent Spiner) and Tasha Yar (Denise Crosby) of Star Trek TNG fame are going to be there! I wonder if I can work in a "fully functional" joke? I'll try not to.
In anticipation of this event, I made up some Far Away Land shirts for a couple folks including myself. If you see a big, hair guy that looks awkward walking around, that's probably me. Here's the shirt :)
The World Architect Cards Kickstarter is in full swing and doing well. We are well on our way to unlocking all of the stretch goals (nearly halfway there) we have set. We’ve got almost four weeks remaining in the project and we are hopeful that all stretch goals will be unlocked. Also, the folks at Kickstarter made us a “Project We Love” which think is pretty cool and should get us a bit more exposure.
Thanks to everyone who is already on board. You are making it happen! If you aren't on board we hope you will join us.
The World Architect Cards Kickstarter project is up and running. We reached our goal of $2,500 in less than two hours. Six stretch goals have already been unlocked! We hope you will join us in making the World Architect Cards the best they can be.
World Architect Cards Kickstarter
So, on Monday, February 15th, we will be launching the World Architect Cards Kickstarter. This is a deck of cards designed to create randomly generated overworld maps for role-playing games, narrative building, map ideas, group creative sessions, etc. The initial deck will include 53 cards plus an instruction card (for a total of 54 cards). Each card features a map location and a series of descriptors for describing the location. Each card also features a random weather generator that uses a d6 to randomly generate weather. We will be offering up a bunch of stretch goals for this project to increase the size of the deck, a tuck box, cardstock quality, the amount of artwork, layered tiff files (so you can make your own cards), and the type of cards being offered. Oh, and these cards are full compatible with the Dungeon Architect Cards.
This is the third project we have run on Kickstarter. The cards are done, the art is done, the layout is done. We just need money to print and ship and pay the people who made these cards possible. As with all of our projects, we enter into this one ready to go as soon as the Kickstarter ends. Our previous projects have delivered months before the actual delivery date and we aim to repeat this again. If you would like to see our past projects, check out the links below.
We hope you will join us as we launch the World Architect Cards.
Blogs I read...