Workin’ Out the Kinks

It has been a few months since last we met here, dear Gamesters. Suffice it to say, I have taken a hiatus from the blog-o-sphere due to the myriad responsibilities of everyday life, to which I’m sure you can all relate. But, as 2018 has arrived, and we’re all ready to spring forth from our perennial hibernation, I’d like to share some updates with you on the progress of Reel Me In!, which, like us, has been metaphorically slumbering, and yearns to grow into its newest iteration.

We recently attended another official play-testing session, this time at a new location in downtown Eugene. This was the first time we’ve actually brought our game, as well as the first time non-family/non-relations have played it. We got a LOT of constructive feedback, which of course, could be perceived as negative, but I like to be optimistic, and say that it will truly help to push the game into a more fun, engaging and exciting experience.

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The main critique we got was that there were too many “Lose a Turn” cards, and also confusion over whether one should lose just the current turn, or the upcoming turn. In all honesty, I knew this was going to be a problem eventually, so it’s good that it came up. Mainly, early on, our goal was just to get the game playable (check!). We then moved on to card quantities, balance of the watercraft, spatial layout and mechanics of gameplay. Having solidified most of these elements, we now know we need to tweak the various consequences resulting from about a fifth of the action card deck. The difficulty being: How to come up with new and interesting actions that engage players instead of turning them off?

The idea of mini-games is prudent to consider here. If any of you remember having played Mario Party  for N64, you will remember the mini-game category. These were little side games that added to the thrill of the main storyline, and if you were like us, these were one of the best parts of the game. They served as bonuses that pitted the players against each other or had them work together toward some common goal, rewarding them with more “stars” to tally at the end of the game.

How this all relates to Reel Me In! is that we will now be working on incorporating more side-games, or side-actions to the game, and will reduce or alter many of the “negative” actions that might otherwise sour a potential players experience.

What fishing related actions would YOU find fun, silly, or laughable? We’d sure like to know. “Ships Collide” (pictured below) is an example of an action card that creates an unusual twist.

IMG_2749In other news, our artist and graphic designer are still churning out action cards and we’re nearing completion (at which point we’ll be moving on to finalizing the fish and tackle decks).

Although our pace has been somewhat hindered of late, I know the advice of Jamey Stegmaier (successful board game Kickstarter-er) still rings true: never launch until you’re truly ready. We want to have the best product we can, and sometimes that means progress is slow (“Two steps forward, one step back.”). And therefore, I take comfort in knowing that, even with setbacks, we are marching forward gradually.

Thanks for reading and following along. We can’t wait to bring Reel Me In! to an online retailer near you!

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