Category Strategy

Chess: Variations on a theme

Sometimes, research turns into something else entirely.

Yesterday, as I was researching more historical board games for a few other artcles, I came upon a website that sold a few dozen physical variations on chess. It not only caugfht my eye, but also sent me on a fun wikipedia dive.

Today, I’ll be rating different chess variations by aesthetic, readability, and how much they made me want to play that particular variation.

3-person chess (Hexagonal)

Aesthetic: 10/10 a blast to boggle at. The squares merging in the center is incredibly pleasing.

Readability: 10/10: clearly readable!!! Lovely.

Want to Play: 10/10 YES. Wish I knew more people IRL who liked chess to play this version of the game!

3-person chess (circular)

Aesthetic: 10/10 a joy to look at, mak...

Read More

Ancient Board Games: Chaturanga

History:

This game from 6th century India is believed to be the ancestor of chess and other games (worldwide!) like it.

There are a few things that set Chaturanga aside from modern chess. For one thing, unlike modern chess, this game can be played with up to 4 players. In 750 CE, this version of chess reached China, and by the 11th century it had come to Japan and Korea. It went through Persia and into Europe around the same time.

The theory of the game’s spread revolves around the Silk road, an ancient trade route spanning from Italy in Europe to Xian in China. This trade route moves through land and sea, and facilitated trade of all kinds.

It’s due to the silk road that it can be hard to determine the origins of chess, as pieces simular to what we know have been found all ...

Read More

Ancient Board Games: Royal Game of Ur

A game like this, from 2600 BC, is full of intrigue. This delicately carved block of stone, with flowers and markings etched into the rock, sings to played again.

A 4×3 board is connected to a 2×6 board with 2 squares. There are 4 d4’s, with dots on 3 of the points. And there are 7 Tokens per player, with one blank side, and one side with 5 dots

We have the board, the dice the pieces, and the question remains: how do we play it?

Rules have been found for advanced versions of the Royal Game of Ur: the sweet irony of which is that the base rules are speculation. All we know for sure about the base game is some of the markings’ meanings, and that the goal is to get all your pieces across the board. Even the exact route is unknown.

Because of that, there are a few different sets ...

Read More

Basic Map making – the absolute minimum

As a DM, you lead your fellow players in the adventure of a lifetime! And you can’t do that without a setting for your adventurers to traverse!

There a Few ways to do this, like always!

Base it off of a real-life location

You can simply pick a point on the globe and lift the terrain and cities wholesale. This way, you can point your focus towards the plot and characters of your campaign.

    • Pros:
  • Makes your life easier
  • Can use history for flavor
    • Cons:
  • Expectations of Culture and mannerisms that come with a person’s knowledge
  • There will be history here, and the players might expect use of it

Create your own from scratch

Use map generators or craft a map from your own imagination to craft the most individualized map

    • Pros:
  • You can have whatever you want wherever you’d like
  • Create...
Read More

Potion Craft: Alchemist Simulator

With an art style taken straight out of middle-aged engravings, this game is a fun twist on the recipe-style order games that litter both the mobile market and early 2000’s PC games.

In it you can create your own recipes, help the town, and interact with the customers going through your shop.

The game offers customization of your shop and an art style that immerses you entirely in your role as town alchemist.

The demo is free to play on Steam

Read More

How to Build a Big Bad Villain

There are a few ways to create the ultimate evil for your DnD (or other media) game!

The Standard

Choose from the prototypes of any popular mass media for the skeleton to build your villain off of!

The common tropes in media range from Evil boss to Mass-murdering maniac. The general tropes for a simple villain include a sad backstory, a tendency for murder, and a longing to take over the world by violent means.

The way to impart your generic villain’s actions is to really expand on the scope of their evil deeds. Don’t just mention the widespread destruction, but show it and its aftereffects. Have the village that your players were going to head to be torn apart, have the most trusted villagers mention their hatred of the Big Bad, and how the villain affected them and their livelihoods.

The...

Read More

Rail Route: The Train Dispatcher Simulator Game

Early Access on June 23

Hypnotizing with it’s elegant minimalism, the spray of numbers and times across the screen a soothing balm to the organized mind. It’s the base form of a puzzle game, meant to challenge you and engage you, driving you to do better than yourself, to improve times, and techniques, and flourish in one of the most classic forms of transportation: the Train on the Rail Road.

The Game engages with that base videogame urge to watch numbers go up, to streamline your new ability to the best of your power.

Upgrade your trains and railways, solve the puzzles given, and even build your own Railways. Edit and Automate your maps to create the smoothest ride anyone’s ever seen in Rail Route: Train Dispatcher Simulator.

An example screenshot from the Game’s Steam page

Read More

No art skills? No problem! Part 2

Part 1 here: https://chrisjonesgaming.biz/no-art-skills-no-problem-part-1/ 

In part 2, we’ll be using Excel, and the updated version of MS paint (Paint 3d)

Paint 3D

Open up paint 3d! You want to go to the Canvas tab, and switch the sizing from pixels to percent. Type in 30 for the width. Or you can put in the exact pixel size for your card. Pokemon cards are 718 x 1000 pixels.

Step 1

Next, click back to the brushes, select your color and use the bucket (fill) tool on your canvas!

Step 2

To help figure out what you want, and where, it’s helpful to outline with rectangles! Go to 2D shapes, Pick the rectangle option, drag a corner to grow to the size you want. Then, adjust your line thickness and color to your preference! If the rectangle is a whole shape, you can change it to an outline by ...

Read More

No art skills? No problem! Part 1

No art skills? No problem! If you want to create a card game, and you can do everything except draw, this is for you!

One thing you can do is use other cards as an example, like pokemon cards, Magic cards, or any other game who’s aesthetic you like. If you have physical cards that you no longer care about, you can use white-out on individual lines, or white paint to cover the card.  That way, you can write out the information on the cards!

I will show some ways to design cards on your computer!

Let’s start with two classics- MSPaint and Microsoft Word!

MSPaint

Step 1

Open up a new canvas. Use the bottom right corner to drag to the size you want. Use the Bucket to fill in with a color you want.

Step 2

Use the box-drawing tool to map out where you want the different parts to go (title, image...

Read More

Robinson Crusoe; Board Game

Trapped on our own islands of loneliness, we seek a way out. In this game, you can sate that desperation by escaping the clutches of wilderness. I first heard about Robinson Crusoe the board game from my friend’s history professor. He, like many others, was looking for games to play at home.

One of the several draws of this board game is the ability to play by yourself. Robinson Crusoe has a Single Player option and a Multiplayer one, up to 4 players total. The Game is Published by Portal Games, and is available here.

The Game is based off of the classic book Robinson Crusoe, published in 1719.

Resource-gathering game that included cards, dice and tokens. There are many different paths to victory, which allows for replayability, especially if  you have a dislike for repetitive games.

Get ...

Read More