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Developer Update January '23

Preface: This is a transcript of the following Youtube video and contains the same information. Feel free to watch or read, whichever you prefer.

 

Hey folks, Captain Zachavius here with an update on the progress of Yor Trading Card Game and more info about stuff I've been working on, stuff about the discord all that kind of stuff. So this could be a little bit longer video and or blog posts. I'm transcribing this into blog form, so you can read, watch, or listen to it, however you please.


Without further ado, I'm gonna jump right into it. First I want to talk a little bit about the progress of the game itself. So if you're unaware, I am making a physical prototype of the game and it is coming along decently well. It's a little bit slower than I would like to be honest.


I'm going to talk about why that is in a second. But where I'm at so far is I have sort of 3.5 revisions of the physical prototype, and I've been making those. I've not ordered printed cards or anything, I just printed on regular printer paper out of a printer I got off Facebook marketplace and I'm cutting those up and putting them sleeved with some blank playing cards.


So that's coming along. The game is playable. A handful of people have played it. It's still clunky. It needs revision, it needs iteration, but that's what play testing is for. I'm still pretty early in the sort of play-testing phase of this and to be honest, I would like to have more progress at this point, but I've been progressing in other areas and reflecting on the typical progression of a trading card game and, and other games I've listened to Mark Rosewater talk about Magic, for instance, and they take two years to develop a set of Magic. So not only am I making a core set, but I'm building the whole framework for this game. So I'm not kicking myself too much that the six months I've been working have not produced as much progress as I would've hoped, but it's still coming along. And if you're interested to see or play the prototype stay tuned to the end of the video, there's gonna be a few different ways for you to do that.


Another thing I wanted to mention is something called Day One (https://www.joindayone.com/). It's an entrepreneurship school/community and that's been where a lot of my attention has been rather than on the game itself. What I want to be able to do here is essentially create a company in addition to creating the game in order to have a company that can continue to develop and produce the game. I've learned a ton in that community and there have been some extremely supportive people there. So as an aspiring entrepreneur, it has been amazing. If that describes you, I highly recommend you check out Day One. One of their upcoming programs is from Vayner X (https://www.joindayone.com/tracks-q1/vayner-x-track), and Gary Vee is an investor, and Vayner has a bunch of awesome mentors and teachers that are going to be part of this upcoming boot camp. They've been very awesome so far and I'm gonna be continuing with that program.


A couple of shout-outs I want to give before I kind of get into the next thing. The first is gonna be my dad just because he is technically the first investor in my game. It's not like some big amount that I'm announcing or anything; I've not done a "round of funding", even a family & friends round of funding, just a special deal I worked out with my dad for a very small amount of equity in the game and the company. So, Shout out to him for supporting me and if that's something, you are interested in supporting, I'm not to the point where I'm comfortable taking anybody's money yet. I want to feel like I've made a certain amount of progress and have a certain amount of momentum and awareness before I take a penny from anyone except for my dad because he's, you know, he's my dad. I'm sure you understand there's a little bit of a different relationship there. He's not gonna disown me if I go out of business. Hopefully.


Anyway, another shout-out I wanted to make is to a friend of mine. This friend and his dad are the ones that taught me to play Magic: The Gathering back in middle school. I was friends with him throughout high school and we kind of drifted apart in college a little bit but kept in touch to some degree. Super awesome to catch up with him and get some feedback about the game. Not only the gameplay, but sort of the ideas for the model and how it's going to work. His dad especially has been extremely involved in the Magic community for many years. So he's been a tremendous resource. I'm very thankful to have their input on the game. I didn't ask if he could be thanked publicly - I think I forgot, or maybe I didn't forget, maybe I'm forgetting that I did ask, but if he would like to be recognized this is going to be posted in the Discord and I know he's in the discord, so I'll ask him to react with like a bird to this post If you would like to identify yourself. (I'm sure some of our friends from then know who I'm talking about.) So once again, thank you very much for your input. It has been very helpful.


The other shout-out I want to make is to another game called "Final Strike." It's being designed by another local designer here in the Twin Cities area named Lane, and Peter is the one who's publishing it. I'm super thankful to have met these fellow game designers and I've been trying to give more than I take in that situation. I've had a tremendous time being part of the Final Strike community in its early days and being part of those playtests. It's an extremely fun game. It's gonna be going up on Gamefound , I believe in March for crowdfunding. So if you like deck-building style games, it is a super fun game for up to four players and I recommend you check it out. I'll put a link to the Discord (https://discord.gg/udmVBkVBrF) and the Gamefound page (https://gamefound.com/projects/looking-for-greatness/final-strike). I'm hoping to, as my game progresses, be able to use those connections I've made for feedback on what I'm doing. So they've been tremendous, super cool guys, and the game is awesome. So I can't imagine I'm going to be getting anything but amazing feedback from them. (Steam Workshop Link for Final Strike on TTS: https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2870631505 )


The other thing I want to talk about is the Discord (https://discord.gg/KFtPhaxkht). You may be watching or reading this in the Discord, or if not you know, I'll put a link to the Discord in some other spots here where I post this. But the Discord is currently small. It's, I don't wanna say like intentional, but I have chosen not to promote it very much just because I have not been in the place to create enough content to make the discord an interesting, compelling place to be, and I'm kind of shifting gears now to sort of be in that, that spot where I'm gonna be doing content about the development and the play testing and the design and just sort of thoughts in general. I have been doing some content, especially video content on TikTok, and I've been sort of reposting those to YouTube and Instagram and stuff like that. So if you want to get a ping when I post any sort of content, there's now going to be a role reaction bot for different types of announcements and pings that you can get. I don't want to spam @everyone all the time, so please make sure you react for the roles for the type of content you want to be reminded about. I'll be honest, the algorithm's really important. The ability to get free organic reach on content is going to be super important to building the audience for this game. So it really does help me just as much as any sort of monetary investment. It helps me tremendously when you see my content to be able to like, share, retweet, etc, and watch the whole video through. Especially on TikTok, it helps the algorithm spread it far and wide, so I very much appreciate your support in that as well.


So another thing I want to talk about is something that I've been working on as sort of a side project. It is a platform I'm calling Venue Menu. Some of you may already be aware of this, but if you're not, I'm essentially trying to make a marketplace like an "Uber" for free events, event organizers, and event venues. So for instance, think about free events or cheap events; You might not be able to charge a whole lot of money to attend a book club or a board game club or a fantasy football meetup, or any of those types of events where you usually are not making any money from them (or enough money to justify renting a space.) I want to be able to pair those organizers of those events with venues that are happy to give space for free because they're able to monetize that foot traffic via food and drink sales or game sales or just by having people in the venue in general. So I'm looking at breweries and coffee shops and certain areas of shopping malls and venues like the one that I work at my day job; it's called "The Burrow" in Oakdale. It's a family entertainment center; We have an arcade and axe throwing and minigolf and restaurant, bar, and all that good stuff. So in that venue, we can make money by people just walking in the door and participating in some of our activities. Generally speaking, that type of venue's happy to have more people and the organizers are happy to have space. I want to have a platform for both parties to be able to search for each other and find people that meet the right criteria and the right dates, and organize everything - just kind of streamlining it. It's going to be very cool. I'm hoping to have a working beta of that by the end of Q1.


So I started this side project because I wanted to get a little more entrepreneurial experience and prove my entrepreneurial abilities, and it seemed like something I could do totally on my own. I've been using no-code tools and other stuff like that. It's smaller in scale and scope than the game I'm making, and it should be done fairly soon. I don't want to talk about it a whole lot in my Yor content, so if you're interested in that I'll put a link to the landing page (https://yep.so/p/venue-menu). You can read more about it and please drop your email if you're interested I'll be doing some email communication regarding that platform.


What's next? Well, I am working to finish the first iteration of my last faction in the prototype. So just to catch you up, I have plans for four factions and Biomes, and I've done three of them.


  • I have the Seaboard faction (Biome), which is water-based and the faction is Pirates in the water biome.

  • Cityscape is another biome with the faction for the first set being medieval knights and kings and castles and all that kind of stuff.

  • Desert is another biome. I have cowboys in the first set of the game as sort of the faction in that biome.


And those three are certainly not done, but they exist. I have sort of working versions and I'm kind of playing with those to figure out how they feel and how they work and what characteristics they all have. The last one that is not created yet, sort of still in my head, is gonna be the Forest / Wilderness Faction. I believe I'm going with wilderness just to be a little bit more flexible. And that's gonna be a Sherwood Forest, Robinhood, Merry Men type of faction. So that still needs to be designed, hopefully going to be done this week because...


This coming weekend the weekend (the 20th) I will be at Protospiel (https://tabletop.events/conventions/protospiel-mn-2023) to playtest the game, and then the weekend after that is going to be 2DCon Unplugged(https://www.2dcon.net/unplugged/). They are local board game events, Protospiel being for prototypes and play testing primarily. 2DCon is just sort of a board game event in general, but I believe there's gonna be plenty of people there who are interested in the game and hoping to get a lot of playtests in and get a lot of feedback at that event. So If you are in the Twin Cities area, that's gonna be the place to try the physical prototype and the newest version if you've already tried it. I'm iterating a lot, making some big changes, and I'm very early in the process obviously, so it's going to change quite a bit between each time you see it.


Another event I'm hopefully going to go to is Veecon (some budget concerns there.) I started working on this essentially at Veecon (https://veecon.co/) last year, So I want to be at Veecon again if at all possible. Obviously, that's not local, but if you're there come and say Hi, come and see me, and I will have the prototype with me there as well if I'm there and you'll be able to play it.


Finally, if you are not gonna be at any of those local events or you're not local and you're not going to be at Veecon this is going to be for you (and actually, this is for everyone.) I am going to be getting the prototype on Tabletop Simulator and that's going to be a super useful tool for playtesting and allowing anybody in the Discord to play test digitally, not just physically.


I have to tweak it a little bit. I'm hoping to have that ready - If I can - by the time of Protospiel. Otherwise, I may take the feedback and the changes that I make from those two events and put the first version of Tabletop Simulator up with those changes and use that as the next step in iteration.


So, hopefully, you are excited to be able to play Yor digitally. I'm hoping there are some people here that want to give that a shot. Keep an eye out for that here in the Discord and I will, like I said, be doing a lot more content about the game and posting in Discord and getting some discussion going. I welcome your participation and I thank you for your interest so far. So, look forward to a lot of exciting things happening with Yor this year. Of course, I'm still looking for folks that want to help me with the game, whether that be potential co-founders or just testers or whatever. So please invite your friends to be part of this community if you have an interest in helping out and being part of it. At this point, I'm willing to hear anyone out, just be aware of how early it is with the progress of the game. So thank you for watching or reading or listening or whatever, and I will see you on the next development update.



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