ConCentric 2015 & International Talk Like A Pirate Day

Myself (right) and my two offsiders at ConCentric 2015
Myself (right) and my two offsider’s at ConCentric!

From Friday 18th to Sunday 20th September 2015, Ark Angel Games and Pirates: Scourge of the Seven Seas had their first official outing at ConCentric 2015 in Adelade, SA.

ConCentric is one of many conventions held all over Australia (and the world) where people come to play board games. Although most people are there to play published board games, a few of us came with games in various prototype stages to put through their paces!

Convincing people to play a prototype game was actually much easier than I had anticipated, this may have been because 3 people in pirate outfits intimidated them into it, but I would like to think that board gamers are just friendly and like to try something new 🙂

The first ever public playtest of Pirates! Photo courtesy The Campaigner.
The first ever public playtest of Pirates!
Photo courtesy The Campaigner.

Within minutes of signing in on the Friday we had our first 2 victims at hand and from their the weekend just got better.

Of course what sort of self respecting game developer wouldn’t launch a pirate game on International Talk like a Pirate Day Saturday 19th (this of course didn’t stop us dressing up on the Friday and Sunday either). Before returning on Saturday morning we heard a whisper that glazed treasure be afoot, so tried our luck hunting for the fabled loot! After a short walk we followed our trusty map and noses right to Krispy Kreme where we managed to hall away an amazing 36 delicious treasures for nothing more than a hearty ‘ARRRRR!!!‘. This newly acquired loot provided quite beneficial when convincing prospective gamers to set sail on the seven seas!

Another crew of land lubbers being put through their paces! Photo courtesy The Campaigner.
Another crew of land lubbers being put through their paces!
Photo courtesy The Campaigner.

After each play test I quizzed the buccaneers on what they liked and didn’t like about the game so far. I received a lot of positive feedback with people loving the boats & the map, and thinking it was different to other games they have played. The most common feedback was people wanting to be able to interact more with others on the other side of the map, and treasure to appear more consistently. I certainly have a lot of new ideas bouncing around my head that I plan on testing in the future.

Sunday of the convention for myself, a few other budding game developers, and some experienced developers, was filled with an organised prototype session run by Kim Brebach of  Secret Base Games. Kim has recently put his first game, Monstrous, through Kickstarter, reaching over 200% of his goal.

Valuable feedback at the Prototype session. Photo courtesy The Campaigner magazine.
Valuable feedback at the Prototype session.
Photo courtesy The Campaigner.

The day started with a brief introductions before looking over each others games (shoutout to @drbroadgames) and splitting up into groups to playtest. This was an especially valuable playtest as I had several people playing who have previously developed and worked on numerous board games, and I was able to get much more constrictive feedback on Pirates so far. After a quick break for lunch we reconvened and Kim gave a presentation on board game design. Topics included tips and tricks on how to define your core game mechanics, how to define your audience, and how to go about getting a game funded or published. This was an invaluable experience and I hope over the coming months I can put a lot of what I learned into practice.

A huge thank you to everyone that play-tested Pirates over the weekend, was a fantastic experience :) Photo courtesy The Campaigner.
A huge thank you to everyone that play-tested Pirates over the weekend, was a fantastic experience 🙂 Photo courtesy The Campaigner.

Aside from playtesting Pirates, I was able to play a number of games that I have been wanting to play for a while and a few new ones that I would like to add to my library, including 7 Wonders, Power Grid and Coup.

A huge thank you to everyone who played over the weekend. Without people willing to test and give feedback, new games would never see the light of day. Also, a congratulations to Ben and the rest of the ConCentric crew for organising a fantastic and very successful weekend for everyone. Of course I can’t forget my two pirate offsiders, it means a lot to me that you came over with me from Victoria for the weekend – your support has been great throughout everything so far. And finally a monstrous thank you to Kim for running the prototype session, I hope to show you the next version of Pirates at a convention in the future!

Hello World

Earlier this year, I was on my way to a mates place to play board games for the weekend. While digging through my collection I had an idea, and from that, Ark Angel Games was born.

Many months, lots of prototyping, playtesting and rule changes later and I am ready to show my game (and hopefully many more) to the world:

Pirates: Scourge of the Seven Seas

You are sailing the seven seas in search for buried treasure, but you are not the only one…
In Pirates: Scourge of the Seven Seas, 2-6 players captain a fleet of ships to explore the seas in search of treasure. To win you must collect treasure you find on islands before your opponents or sink their ships before they have the chance to do the same. A game of skill, luck and pirates – this swashbuckling adventure will have you immersed in this exciting world, whether you reign over the seas through your vast wealth or your feared name. You must be quick witted and decisive as you sail your ships, dig for gold, build your fleet, and battle your adversaries. So me hearties, will you captain your way to victory and become the ruler of the seven seas? Or will you be sent to Davy Jones’ Locker?

We will be making our first appearance at ConCentric in Adelade, SA from the 18th to the 20th September. Please come and say hi, more playtesters are always welcome and I am after public feedback.

If you would like to be kept up to date on this and other games progress please subscribe to our mailing list or check back here later.

Signing out,

Karl
Designer