Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Evolution of Battle Tank

-Erik McGrath

Battle Tank has been the main focus here at Inspired for the past few months. It is the first board game idea I had and it has proven difficult to bring from the stage where I woke up in the middle of the night and scribbled down all the rules to where it is now. The most difficult parts has been the art and the choice between squares or hexes.

I'm going to share the stages of that process today.

First we have the original digital drafts:
Battle Tank Original Map Art

Simple, gets the idea across but not much else. This was what the prototype looked like and it was merely functional. This was a square image and the roads got a little wonky in places.

From there we moved on to a slightly better look:
Battle Tank Evolved Map Art

As you can see our GIMP skills have improved since the original but the game is still using squares. The roads line up along the grid better than in the previous image, but they still have to make some odd angles to not look weird.

And here is where we are now:
Battle Tank Hex Map Art

This image is still being worked on and we are very happy with it. The trees look much better, the roads flow better and as a bonus the map now has significantly more permutations since you can rotate each hex to any side and the roads will always match up. Using hexes has also made it so we can have seven large tiles instead of four while still keeping it so that most of the time there is a way for the tank players to escape in seven turns. Since the game ends with a mad scientist win on turn ten its important that there be enough turns to have maneuvering options and to retain a slim possibility of escape even when your tank is destroyed and your crew has to hoof it the final few hexes.

So there you have it, the journey from bad to better for Battle Tank: Escape From Giant Robot Island.

Monday, August 20, 2012

What's New: Drachenheim

Drachenheim Dragon Inspired Press Card Game
-Erik McGrath

This is the first post in What's New, a semi-regular series where we talk about our ideas and what we intend to pursue. Today's feature is Drachenheim.

Drachenheim is card game where the players take the role of young dragons staking claim to their first domain. They have left the protective umbrella of their parent's lairs and ventured out into the world where they must burn, subjugate and pillage the countryside while fending off rivals and obnoxious heroes with flame, tooth and claw.

Play proceeds in turns and on each turn the young dragons take to wing and fly out over the land. They can spend their action exploring the wild places and perhaps find treasures to fill their hoard or bands of savage creatures to destroy or dominate. They can fly to nearby villages and towns and subjugate them to provide a regular source of tribute or burn them down and simply carry off whatever they wish.

Settlements produce many kinds of resources but dragons care mainly for wealth, cattle and maidens. The size of the settlement, whether it is a village, a town or a city determines which resources they can produce and how much they can have at any time. Wealth is coin and rich goods rarely found in villages. Cattle can be cows, goats, sheep or even horses and are found in great abundance in rural areas. Maidens are young men and women, dragons are not picky about gender.

Beware taking maidens in tribute! While they are the most prestigious of treasures and the most delicious of meals the snatching of the citizenry is the leading cause of heroes taking up arms and seeking to slay the marauding dragon.

Development is in the early stages but we expect nothing will change dramatically over the course of the project. The young wyrms will always cause trouble for the folk, seek adventure and have to fight for their lives when the natives get restless.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Chemistry's in the Cards

Inspired Press Chemistry Card Game Lewis Structure
-CJ Andersen

The main point of games is that they are fun and engaging; something that is often lacking in the classroom.  Thus we were inspired to create games that also had educational value, particularly in the area of STEM.  It's an subject area near and dear to our hearts, as we have such a lot of big nerds for developers.  Our man Erik has his BS in Physics, Laura teaches engineering to kids, Jillian works in finance, I manipulate numbers for a living, and we all agree that education needs more games.

Enter our latest inspiration that's in the testing phase; currently with the working title "Chem 101".  Using hexagonal element cards and rectangular bond cards, this game attempts to teach players how to create Lewis structures in a competitive point based game.  Our first installment will limit the elements to four of the most common; hydrogen, oxygen, carbon and nitrogen.  Basic molecule creation objectives will teach about the "Rule of Eight" (valence shells), single/double/triple bonds, formal charges and electronegativity.

One of the more entertaining aspects of creating this game has been that it is teaching me Chemistry all over again.  Erik, as our resident scientist, has been supplying the chemistry expertise, and as the game has taken shape, it proves itself well by reinforcing and building on my dusty high school chemistry knowledge.  Of course the cards can also be used simply as visual aids to demonstrate Lewis structures, but in the end, we will create a game entertaining enough to make you want to learn.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Celestial Warriors version 3 is up

Celestial Warriors

Greetings fans, today Erik has finally finished updating Celestial Warriors to version 3. For those who have played it the rules are tightened up and some additional subsystems have been added to give it a more authentic, wuxia feel.

You can find the rules on our hobby games page here.

For those new to Celestial Warriors it is a short and simple RPG where you portray skilled martial artists using an interactive system meant to simulate the back and forth of a martial arts movie. You can duel other skilled fighters or battle hordes of lesser warriors with ease in this fast and furious game.

Monday, August 6, 2012

New webhost, new look, new games!

Inspired Press Battle Tank Giant Robot Island Boardgame

Time for what's new at Inspired. 

First we are going to be using blogspot to talk about our process and what's next for us. We are also going to use it as our webhost due to how much easier it is that what we currently have so all our files are migrating over the next few days.

In Battle Tank news we have established a budget after getting quotes from several printers and we will be giving Kickstarter a try to raise the initial funds. 

And our newest goal, given our team's interest in STEM, we have decided  to create educational games for all ages. Our first project is called 'Chem 101' and will teach players how to build Lewis Structures using hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen and oxygen. 

Stay tuned for more and if you want more info don't be shy, Erik will gladly talk about his creations.