It was almost exactly one year ago that the Canopy Kickstarter wrapped up, and although the print run has faced a few delays, we are excited that Canopy is done being manufactured and will soon be on ships bound for US and European ports. While initially aiming for a retail release in this month, the game will hopefully be available in hobby stores around the world in October 2021.
For more info on Canopy check out our pre-order store (only available for customers in the USA at this time) and sign up for our mailing list below.
Canopy Pre-Orders: https://weirdcitygames.com/shop/
Thanks to everyone who visited us at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry for their third annual Mini Maker Fair. We feel so honored to have been part of this great gathering of DIY artists and creators from the start.
Many of you asked where you could find a copy if our games, so here are some links!
How a game ends and how to make the end compelling, meaningful and balanced is one of the trickiest aspects of game design. In March of the ants the victory conditions and paths to victory have changed almost more than any other aspect of the game. In the original design victory points were available only from victory cards. As this path was heavily random it soon became apparent that other paths were needed to achieve balance.
Victory collection sites were introduced onto the board to balance the victory cards and to provide more diversity and incentive to have a board based strategy. This worked well but something was still lacking. A static bonus for ants, larvae and food was added, closely followed by a bonus for a completely evolved body and multiple evolutions in a single body segment. The static bonuses were good and victory felt pretty balanced and allowed multiple strategies to be employed. However, the end game felt stale and the counting required from static victory conditions didn’t help the end feel momentous.
The next step (and most current) was to replace the static bonus with victory tiles that give a bonus if a specific condition is met. The victory tiles work quite well and create player interaction and tension around the endgame. The tiles also help the victory cards shine as they give you a secret strategy to compete for while still vying to complete the public victory conditions laid out by the tiles.
On December 21st, Ryan and I completed the update to the cards and sent in files to The Game Crafter for our first professionally printed cards. Before sending them off we updated all of the art, finalized the layout and design of the cards, revised text and rules for all cards, and added flavor to most of the cards. This turned out to be a larger undertaking than either of us expected and although occasionally feeling bogged down during the process we are both excited now as the cards are in between semi-final and final drafts and are looking quite amazing. Here is one of my favorite ants from the new set!
Here is a little sampling of where the ants are actually marching. A key part of March of the ants is exploration and control of new territory. When you explore you flip over a face down hex tile and place it anywhere on the board that you like. Hex tiles have a number of collection sites – square boxes – with icons next to them indicating the resource that will be collected. Hexes can also have centipendes, wormholes, or contain strange and powerful forces that will affect the surrounding hexes. These are just a sampling of the colors and textures that are found underground in the world of the ants.
Ryan and I started construction of the first prototype of “Ant Game” or Twilight Antperium. It is a exploration and tactical game with ant evolution as the “tech trees”. Ryan worked hard to make the game play quickly and while complex it seems like it is at a good level now and can probably be played in an hour or two. Still in rough stage but after assembling the cards (evolutions, Actions, and Victory conditions) I feel like I have a much greater understanding of how it works. Excited to be collaborating on this game with Ryan and feel like it has good flavor and legs. Six of them.