February update 1 - Backer selected cards and the design update.

Backer selected cards

The votes are in! The cards have been dealt! The 7 backer selected cards that we will create for the game are:

  • Your partner is starting an addictive habit (how do you both react? Perhaps an intervention?)
  • Partner's job is a problem (forcing a change in occupation)
  • You have a sexual kink (how does your partner react? Are you aligned?)
  • I’m a spy and I’m deep undercover to protect you (a secret card. If this is revealed the cover will be blown and the player will be forced to change a feature and their occupation) 
  • Geeky hobby (I have a geeky hobby. Would you like to take part in it?)
  • Open relationship (are you open to being open? Partner chooses how to react)
  • I won’t be able to have children (both need to react to this. Are they in line? Maybe you don’t want kids? Maybe this is breaking your world. This will be a card with big possible effects on Story Endings (that we have now changed the name of, but more on that later))

We are very happy with your choices and think they bring some great opportunities to tell some fun (and dramatic) stories. Thank you!

We will try to have a draft of the cards finished for the next update so you can see how everything turned out.

Language

As a part of tightening everything up and getting it ready we have revisited most terms and expressions in the game. These efforts are about reducing ambiguity and making the game more intuitive to play.  

As an example, we have renamed Story Ending Cards to Destinies. Destinies hopefully make more sense. As a player you decide what destiny your character should aim for. Your goal is to select the right destiny and ensure that the character fulfils it. It’s more intuitive than saying that you are trying to fulfil a story ending. What is a story ending? We also think that it feels more powerful to sit with someone’s destiny in your hand than their story ending.

We have also changed the name of Story Cards. While that name was good, we felt that it didn’t fully encompass what the cards were doing in the game. These cards are now called Scenes, because that is really what they are. In the game you play a series of scenes from a relationship, so Scenes really felt like a natural choice. This also fits in nicely with the Chapter structure we use in the game.

We really feel that from a usability perspective the text on the cards has been much improved by these changes (and many other) and that the game is better for it.

The updated design

Old and new design. The new design still needs a few tweaks to create a bit more space between elements.

Old and new design. The new design still needs a few tweaks to create a bit more space between elements.

As you can see above the new design has choice point arrows pointing up/down rather than left/right. Up/down is much more intuitive and is processed faster cognitively. This update is also used for the board and everywhere else where choice points are represented. 

All cards also have the title repeated in the bottom. This might feel like waste, but helps when laying out the cards on the board. Each card will be placed on top of the previous one, with the bottom of the previous card visible. Players will therefore be able to see the narrative represented by the visible bottom card titles as the cards are played on top of each other, slightly spread out.

Print and play

We know that many of you are eagerly waiting for the updated PnP. 

We are almost (!) ready and will - if all goes well - share it on Monday. The technical update to ensure text merger has been much more intricate than we anticipated, but works fully now. 

A tiny part of the large spreadsheet

A tiny part of the large spreadsheet

 

All game options have been systematically organised in a spreadsheet. The text is exported through special scripts and merged into a complex InDesign file. As many cards have different layouts we then need to prune the InDesign file by running no less than 3 additional complex scripts. This is by far the most demanding merge job we have ever seen.

The good part about this is that we can now easily update the design of the cards and have it implemented with a few clicks. We will still tweak the design the upcoming weeks.

Making new language versions will also be easier, as translators just need to work on the text in the spreadsheet. When the text is ready it will be imported into the InDesign file (which might be slightly adjusted to accommodate for languages that use more text-space to express something) and the layout will be ready within a few minutes.

For the PnP we now just need a few more adjustments to ensure consistency in terminology and text-markup plus preparation of the technical file for the PnP (much simpler than the above operation).

An article about games for Valentine's (and Fog of Love)

Fog of Love is featured in Game Informer, the world's largest game magazine (we are only featured online however).

The article is just out.

It's a great write-up that we are proud of. We are in very good company and are the only unpublished game covered.

 

That is it for now,
Thanks!