SkyBoats Breezy Mode (Also, SkyBoats is 25% off this week!)

You can grab SkyBoats on sale here.

I’m currently working on a new mode for SkyBoats in an attempt to cut down on the time each turn takes, and generally smooth/speed up play. At the same time, I want to preserve as much depth as possible, while making it “breezier” to play! Enter ‘Breezy Mode’

Breezy Mode will be available in a sub-menu for now, and has its own ranking system attached to it. It is currently experimental and has no tutorial implemented, but if it is sucessful enough, it may be swapped with the main mode to be the new “Ranked” and appear on the title page. At this point the old “Ranked” will become “Classic” and will be moved to the Bonus menu.

The current changes for the mode are listed below, but if you’d like to become a part of the process, we’d love to have you on the discord to hear your feedback! Just click this link to hop in:

Breezy Mode Changes
-Fuel removed from boats. Now the leftmost unused cell is always used to move
-Goods value only based on quantity for first round (random every round thereafter)
-Boats down to 2 (may go back up to 3 at higher ranks)
-Reduced board size
-Removed contracts
-Removed gold bonus for selling goods far from their origin
-Removed refuel from shop
-Replaced with “Refresh city demands”
-Allow moving out of cities for free
-Each city can only be visited by each boat once per turn
-Wind meter bonus reworked to be 1VP/5 meter (from more complicated chart)
-Modified Carrot pattern
-You can now pick up items mid-glide (dropping other goods if full)
-Added “goods” abilities to boats as default upgrades
-Two goods spawn at the end of each round
-Remove end of turn wind meter decrease

Keith Burgun, Fabian Fischer and I have started curating a site of game design content (blogs, videos, podcasts and whatever else). The goal is a) to promote more of this writing to take place and b) to show how game design principles inform actual games as they are made! 

You can check out and subscribe to here.

Mechs vs Minions GDC Talk

Very cool, personal talk about the design of the Riot board game “Mechs vs Minons”. Really enjoyed the candidness here. Some nice nuggets about specific targeted play-testing as well. Cool unexpected slide cameos of Tom Vassel and Quinns from Shut Up and Sit Down as well. 🙂

Interview On the “Clockwork Game Design” Podcast


I was interviewed yesterday by Keith Burgun of Clockwork Game Design. The episode ended up being over 90 minutes long (!) and covered a ton of interesting game design ground, focused around the BrainGoodGames Commandments and each of the BrainGoodGame releases up to this point! I enjoyed it thoroughly and through it turned out really well.

You can check it out here:

GDC Talks from Board Game Design Day

Obviously I’m much more of a fan of strict match based play than the legacy stuff, but I’m sure there are some interesting nuggets contained within! Paul Dean and Shut Up and Sit Down basically do the best reviews of any kind ever with their board game reviews.

You can watch them for free on the GDC Vault website. Link courtesy of Polygon here:

BattleCON Print-n-Play

My girlfriend and I are major Print and play fiends, so we decided to check out BattleCON today (I think I heard Tom Vassel say he really liked it, which makes sense because it has variable player powers 🙂 ).

Anyway, after a couple plays seems like a pretty interesting lightweight system. I really like how the two card attack combos give a good amount of emergent complexity in a very intuitive way. Interested to play some more.

“Random Parallel Learning Talk”

Interesting talk about how mastery is maybe the fundamental driving factor behind long term player engagement. The speaker raises points about how if you include potential mastery over several skill-sets (execution, strategy, teamwork, knowledge, etc) you can allow “Random Parallel Learning”. This basically means that players are able to jump back and forth between improving on different axes at will, and often subconsciously. It also raises the potential of an “aha” moment during a match (or in the case of execution the realization of a growth in proficiency).

Another point raised is that rouge-likes set up failure as part of the natural state of play, so it doesn’t feel so harsh. Keith Burgun has advocated that a 50% win-rate is ideal for learning, and I wonder if 50% is in the realm where failure is expected. (I sort of anecdotally think the loss rate might not be high enough to remove a lot of the sting at this level).