My most recent design is for a design contest called The Hook Box Challenge and it is for The Game Crafter. This was my first game design contest at the Game Crafter and the procedure was quite different.
The game is called Hook’s Chest. In it, players are each dealt a hole card. On their turn they draw a card from the deck and choose one to put up for auction. They call out a number and suit. Any players at the table who has a card of either the same number or suit are free to shout “Argh!” in the auctioning player’s general direction. I once bid 7 coins on a card I just knew was a 2 of hearts and it ended up being a cursed 4 of hearts. That innocent looking girl to my left had lied to me, and she had done it well. It made me smile and cost me the game.
On their turn a player may bid on the card, call the bluff, or pass. A big part of the game is making sure that you’re not overbidding on cards that might end up being bad for you in the long run. Because some of the cards represent cursed treasure. Each suit has a bonus, spades allow you some foresight, hearts heal curses, diamonds get you extra loot, and clubs allow you to steal loot from your friends.
It’s a good time to be had by all. There was a final decision I made not to put the auctioned card in the hook box and seal it. I really wanted to. I felt it would give that Sheriff of Nottingham satisfaction that you get from snapping the bag closed. But in the end, I decided the game didn’t need the gimmick, and it wasted time. I wanted the game to feel snappy and fun. I didn’t want it to get bogged down by unnecessary theatrics.
“Argh!” is a totally necessary theatrics by the way.
Now, here are some pictures of cards and the book template. I’ll link to the the Game Crafter page where you will eventually be able to purchase the game (in 8 hours I believe) and it is on sale for only $5.99. This is for a limited time.
Some of the mistakes I made in submitting this game to the Game Crafter contest were pretty stupid: not putting enough action shots in for players to scroll through, even if it was just art. Not working on a backdrop, as one person said my digitized chest backdrop locked chest looks like a penis. And not doing PnP files or a video walk through. These would have helped tremendously, but I’m glad to be done and hope that it still does well based on the merit of the game. Because it’s a fun game.
Anyone interested in reviewing the game, feel free to contact me here or on twitter @noelannevoyt. Billy Board Game is dead, long live Billy Board Game. My family really helped me with the playtesting and feedback on this game. It really grew organically from our playtesting sessions. I want to thank Sarah and the kids for all their participation and having fun with me, and putting up with my maudlin moods when I lost faith. I should be getting several copies by the end of the month and would be happy to send them out.