Mint Works, Card Size, and You!

This morning we managed to hit the $20k stretch goal for Mint Works, which is so amazing! Good work everybody! The number keeps climbing and we are marching towards more stretch goals.

In the update I sent out this morning I had mentioned that I was considering dropping the card size down from a custom size, somewhat near the size of a business card, down to a standard “Mini Euro” size. The leading contributors to this decision were

  • Card Sleeves are available in this size
  • Additional space in the tin for more cards

I figured this wouldn’t be a big deal at all, because the game is micro and portable. In addition the cards are already smaller than normal, and never spend time in your hands like a typical card game.

A few concerns have come up regarding the idea of shrinking the cards down and I want to address them here, rather than in yet another Kickstarter update, I don’t want to fill your in boxes with too many updates!

The main concerns about sizing the cards down were

  • Readability (will important things be too hard to read across the table?)
  • Accessibility (will it be too hard to place mints on the locations?)
  • Preference

Readability

This was one of my main concerns with shifting to the smaller cards, so I made sure not to size down any important information on the cards when creating the updated templates.

The result was a little less white space, slightly smaller card art, and a tighter design over all. The key items on the cards: Cost, Points, Name, Effect all maintain their existing size. Below is an image (clickable to see full resolution) that shows existing prototype cards along side the proposed mini euro cards. There is also a base Ticket to Ride card and regular playing card for scale.

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In terms of readability, everything looks as it should. I think this should dispel that concern.

Accessibility

Now this was not something that had concerned me when I initially considered shrinking the cards down, it was brought up by several people and I think it is very much worth verifying.

The two main concerns about accessibility were holding the cards and placing mint tokens on the locations. I don’t think holding the cards should be a concern since you don’t ever really need to keep a handle on your cards during the game. They spend the vast majority of their time on the table.

As for placing mints, I did some tests with my mint token analogs (read: Altoids) and stacked a few. These mint token analogs are 12mm in  diameter and 6mm in thickness. The diameter is the thing we care about the most at this moment as that is what the final diameter of the tokens for Mint Works will be.

Below is a picture (clickable for full resolution) of the same set of tokens on the same card in both existing size and the smaller size.

IMG_2307

Everything still fits just fine, the circles are nicely sized for the tokens and spacing still allows easy access to the placement circles. I think this should dispel the accessibility concern.

Preference

Now there really isn’t anything I can do to change how somebody feels about a given card size, so bullet point 3 is something I can’t address here with a picture. That doesn’t mean we can’t address it. Which leads us into the next step.

I’ve created another poll, this time to gauge preference of card size. The poll only addresses the concern of card size for now. As I’m not putting the option of plastic cards on the table quite yet since I’ve done little to no research into it.

Like the other poll, you can vote once per day until it’s closed. I’m not going to set an end date on the poll just yet.

I’ve embedded the poll below, or you can go here to view it directly: http://poll.fm/5nnoz


Mint Works – Live on Kickstarter

The Mint Works campaign launched on Kickstarter yesterday and in a surprising 7 hour blur, FUNDED!

Mint Works Backer
Mint Works Backer Avatar

Yes funded! Thanks to YOU the awesome backer, Mint Works is going to be a for real thing that everybody gets to play and enjoy!

We have already unlocked 1 stretch goal, and are close to unlocking another so come join in the fun and check out the campaign.

It’s time to get minty fresh!

A new game from the designer of Area 1851, launches on Kickstarter August 16th.

Five24 Labs mad scientist Justin Blaske is bringing Mint Works, his new pocket sized worker placement game to Kickstarter to seek funding. Players who love micro games, and worker placement will both enjoy this small and potent installment.

Mint Works has seen tons of iterative internal testing, external blind playtesting and competition judgment over the last year. Art, layout and design are all complete all that remains is securing funding to sign on with a manufacturer. The Kickstarter will feature a copy of the game for $10 with free shipping to the US, and subsidized shipping to other conuntries. Copies of Mint Works are backed by a money-back garuntee to all Kickstarter Backers.

About the game

Players take the role of a mint tycoon, utilizing the mints at their disposal as currancy to purchase plans for new and exciting structures that will provide them with recognition and more mints!

Use your mints wisely and rise to the top, in this pocket sized minty fresh worker placement extravaganza.

 

Time: 10min
Reccomended Age: 8+
Players: 2 – 4
Five24 Labs Website: http://www.five24labs.com
Mint Works on BGG: http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/200077/mint-works
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/Five24Labs/
Twitter: http://twitter.com/five24labs

 

 

New Game – Mint Works

Mint Works is a light and straight forward worker placement game. Its compact size makes it easy to put in your pocket and take it anywhere. Its simple rules make it easy to introduce new players to the genre of worker placement.

During the game each player will have a limited amount of Mint Tokens, which represent their workers.

Players will use these mint tokens to earn more tokens, take first player or buy and build plans.

Plans are how players earn points. Some plans will only give points, others will give extra powers to the owner.

Once any player has at least 7 points earned (or if there are not enough plans to refill the stock) the end of the game is triggered. The game will then be over at the end of the current round.

Whoever has the most points provided by plans they have built wins!

Status

Current: Getting Initial Manufacturing Quotes
Next: Formulating the Kickstarter plan, Approaching Reviewers.

New Game – Dungeon Town

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You are a budding adventurer who recently arrived in Dungeon Town, a small secluded settlement that just happens to be surrounded by three dungeons full of terrifying monsters and riches untold. The Lord of Dungeon Town, Thurston von Upperchin, recently passed away. His manor and estate will be up for auction in the coming weeks, and you have grand aspirations of becoming the next ruler. To accomplish this, you must delve in the dungeons and haggle with the local merchants to earn enough gold to purchase not only Upperchin Manor but all of Dungeon Town!

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Dungeon Town is a Gear Wrangling, Monster Fighting game designed by Mel Primus and Justin Blaske for 2 – 4 players.

Players of Dungeon Town find themselves making tough decisions on what skills they want to take when leveling up and which pieces of gear they need to purchase to slay the maximum number of monsters they can each turn.

Dungeon Town is currently going through the balancing phase of playtesting, and we hope to offer up some playtesting prototypes to the public in early 2016. If you would like to partake in this testing, please leave a comment on this article or contact us.

If you are interested in trying out Dungeon Town before playtesting copies are ready, stay tuned for Print and Play files in the upcoming weeks!

New Designer – Mel Primus

I’d like to take a moment to announce a new designer that we have added to the team, Mel Primus.

2015-11-18Mel is a business systems programmer and lifelong gamer. His wealth of creative energy has manifested in multiple forms throughout his life including art, music, acting, tabletop roleplaying, video game design, and board game design. He believes strongly that, in this brave new world of portable technology and social media, tabletop games are some of the most powerful tools for bringing friends and family back together again.

Mel and I have been working together for the last few months on a new game that goes by the name Dungeon Town. Stay tuned for a post about that in the near future.

Area 1851 Launch Party

area-1851-coverThis weekend we are having a Launch party here in Lincoln Nebraska for Area 1851! If you’re in the area you should stop by Hobby Town USA at 70th and Pioneers and come play!

Everybody that plays will be entered in a drawing to win a free copy of Area 1851!

 


 

71yXyP5EGSLIan stone will also be there to sell and sign copies of his hilarious book set in the Area 1851 universe.

Miscalculation: A Tale of Area 1851

Summer 2015 at Five24 Labs

Things have been crazy busy around here so far this summer, and there’s no sign of stopping! Here’s a little insight as to what’s going on.

 

Area 1851

Right now, Area 1851 is getting ever closer to store shelves, From what I’ve heard we are on the brink of assembly at the manufacturers. At that point, they get everything into a box, and then it finally gets on a slow boat across the ocean! I still have desperate hopes that people have the game in their hands by GenCon. I may be a little too optimistic, but time will tell!

 

Gen Con 2015

Well since you brought up Gen Con, I might as well talk about that. This year Justin will be out at GenCon again, and will be demoing Area 1851 in the events hall several times. The events are sold out, but that doesn’t mean everybody will show up, if you really want to get in a game, check out the listing, and swing by to see if you can fill in with a generic ticket!

Justin will be around at GenCon doing various events and hanging out at the Game Salute booth possibly as well. If you see him, say hi! He will also have a few copies of Miscalculation with him so if you don’t have a copy and want one, let him know, he can hook you up!

 

Project Arkansas

We have been having weekly testing sessions of our upcoming steampunk themed mech arena combat card game. Balance is nearly achieved between the various mech pilots. And bosses are getting more and more solidified as well. Project Arkansas is chugging along nicely and will start to see the light of day soon.

Justin will have a prototype with him at Gen Con and is more than willing to play a game or two with you. It teaches really quickly and 1 on 1 games are fairly short (about 20min on avg.)

 

Other Projects

We have several other projects on the back burner that will start to get more focus as Arkansas gets closer to “done”. We are excited to tell you more about those games in later posts this summer

The Status of Things – Five24 Labs Edition

thumbs-upGreetings and well met travelers!
It’s been a while since I gave a full recap as to what is going on in the world of Five24 Labs, so its due time that I do so!First off, we just came out of an amazing convention experience here in Lincoln at the Great Plains Game Festival where tons of people had a chance to play a final art prototype of Area 1851, and everybody seemed to enjoy it quite a bit! And there were many questions about purchasing the game, as well as pre-ordering.

Preorder Area 1851

Which lead me to realize that the pre-order link that I had, was no longer functional. Gasp! No fear though, There is a new process for pre-ordering a copy of Area 1851, to get into your hands, hopefully in the near future! What is that process? Well, I’ll tell you by quoting myself from our Facebook page!

Good News Everyone! I have info on how you can preorder Area 1851 now! You have 3 options.

Option 1: Contact a local game salute authorized game store, and request a copy through them. You can find local game stores around you that are authorized for game salute here:http://www.gamesalute.com/storelocator/search
I know for a fact that both Hobby Town and Gauntlet Games here in Lincoln are authorized with Game Salute.

Option 2: You can email Support@GameSalute.com and request a preorder for Area 1851, they will submit it manually and send you a PayPal invoice.

Option 3: You can call 1-888-57-GAMES and request a preorder for Area 1851.

Hopefully at least one of those options will work for all of you! Happy Gaming!!

There’s that, easy-peasy preorders!

 

Area 1851 Status

That leads me into what the current status of Area 1851 is, well the status is still “In Production” and we are currently waiting on getting a physical proof from the manufacturer, all we can do is wait at this point. Maybe waiting harder will make it done faster? I don’t know, but it’s worth a shot!

 

Playtesting

As some of you may know already, we here at Five24 Labs have many other games in the works, and they all need some play testing. To facilitate with that, we ended up making a Guild on Board Game Geek to give people a central location to find info about testing Five24 Labs games. If you’re interested in playing some of our bleeding edge games, or the games that are pretty rounded out just need a few more plays till we can say they are “Done.” Then please head on over to the guild and join up. More info about testing, and scheduling tests will show up there as time progresses.

 

Are You a Game Designer?

Lastly, I wanted to bring up the topic of adding more games to the Five24 Labs library, currently there are 3 other games in the works behind the scenes here at the labs, one of which we have started doing some public playtesting on. But we want to help out local game designers, using what we have learned over the last few years with getting Area 1851 out to market!

If you, or somebody you know had designed an awesome game, and you like what we do, feel free to emailjustin@five24labs.com and strike up a conversation and let’s see if we can help you, or maybe even bring you on board!

Area 1851 Production Status

Hello everyone!
I just wanted to take a moment to let everybody know  everything I did on the current production status of Area 1851.

As of right now, I know things are moving at the factory, and we expect to be seeing samples. The only sample I’ve seen so far is the dice, so I want to show you that at least, so we all know the same information.

area1851-dice-sample

It’s not much, but to me this is VERY exciting! Sure it’s just dice, but they are dice that only exist because of Area 1851! That means a lot to me, and helps to keep me excited as we continue to wait during this slow period of production!

That’s all I really have for now, if you have questions feel free to hit us up on facebook, twitter, email or however you prefer (as long as you can find me there!)