You and another player are bitter rival pirate captains. After years of squabbling, you come across one another on a foggy night at sea. Thinking this is your best chance to finish off the other, you both set down the boarding planks to fight. However, the fog is too thick to see who’s who, so you must plot and place your crew to improve your odds of knocking your opponent Captain overboard in a devilish game of strategy and chance.
When developing Avast Ye- Blimey! I was determined to create an easy to learn strategy game focused on odds and prediction. I also wanted it to be easy to expand and be cheap to do so.
I have been developing Avast Ye- Blimey! for a very long time, taking whatever free time I could find to refine it. Originally, the game was designed for a academic project to be a digital card game for mobile devices. Once the project ended, I decided to switch from it being a digital experience, to a purely digital one. From there, I had conducted hundreds of tests to refine each and every component for release.
The cards the backbone of Avast Ye- Blimey! and have gone through by far the most changes across its development. I ran multiple tests to determine which cards should be kept, how many cards players could keep track of at once, what types of effects cards could and couldn't have, and much more. In all, I had designed over 30 characters and whittled those down to 14. I also did some considerable work to make the cards not only polished for this game, but for any potential expansions that could have followed.
Tri-Fold: 4" x 18"
Playing cards used for scale*
the board has gone through a number of changes to reach its current shape and design. Originally, the board wasn't included. However, testing showed that it was incredibly helpful for players to keep track of gameplay. To keep the board in cost, I took inspiration from a number of other minimalist boards from other games. Not only does it help track gameplay and statuses, but the card placement design makes it so cards rest at an angle, making them far easier to pick up and flip (which occurs a lot during play).
Used to resolve ties
Funnily enough, the resolving ties has evolved drastically across development. Originally, ties were resolved by rolling dice. Later, I switched to a coin toss, so I could include a doubloon for promotional reasons. This worked out fine, at first. However, as I began to finalize the cards, coin tosses were deciding the winner more and more. With help from The Game Makers Guild, the system changed where the doubloon's favor would flip with each win; turning this aspect of pure chance into one of pure strategy.
I am very proud of what I accomplished with Avast Ye- Blimey!. It has tested all of my skills and helped expand them in ways I never would have imagined. However, I can't say it's been easy, with multiple roadblocks that could have been avoided with better planning.
- Starting art far too late for the original release schedule
- Exploring logic and rules for expansions after designing the base game's core content
- Attempting to work too far away from contract workers (given my then experience)
- Not contacting a graphic designer till after the box art was majority completed
I had originally planned to release the game with the help of a Kickstarter campaign. However, due to development delays, various other commitments from both me and the artist AND eventually moving house; I have decided to shelve the project indefinitely. It just isn't worth the effort to market and retail the project anymore due to the current circumstances.
I still hold this game near and dear to my heart, but unless an actual company wants to become a publisher for it, this is where development ends. I plan to polish up a rule sheet at least and, hopefully, at least release the game on Tabletop Simulator in the near future so people can play it for free.