Blog Game Design Games Lingua Franca

Lingua Franca design journal (Jun 29, 2022)

I’ve made more design tweaks to streamline Lingua Franca. The biggest change is that I’ve combined the Spotter and Language Cards! Now, instead of a complicated Spotter Card process, the Spotter need only draw a Language Card and use the corresponding grid representation in the bottom-right corner to determine which mission the Responders must guess.

Lastly, I’ve marked Lingua Franca contest ready! It’s as done as it’s going to be for the sake of the contest. The newest version of Lingua Franca is available for print-and-play and using the links at the top of the thread.

Wish me luck and I hope we can make a Lingua Franca together!

Blog Game Design Games Lingua Franca

Lingua Franca design journal (Jun 7, 2022)

After reviewing feedback from playtesters, I’ve made a series of adjustments to Lingua Franca. Thanks for the feedback! The core of the game is still there, but I’ve changed how clues are given and what Responders can do to make the game more dynamic. I’ve also changed the player count to 3-6 (used to be 2-4).

Here are the details of these changes:

  • Communication games like Mysterium and Codenames have an element of player discussion to help solve clues. Not “table talk” discussion that defeats the purpose of the game, but that other aspect where Responders discuss what the Spotter’s clue might mean. Lingua Franca was missing that. I think increasing the player limit to at least three players will solve this, as that means there will be a Spotter (clue giver) and at least two Responders (problem solvers).
  • Lingua Franca was too hard in a lot of cases and takes a lot of brain power to attempt to give and solve clues. What’s odd about this is that in my initial playtests of the game, I found it was too easy. That’s why I went to a 12-card grid for Missions. I understand though that my playtesting a game that I created means that I’m going to be good at playing it out of the gate and will have a warped perception of the difficulty of the game. Thank goodness for people like Trevor and others who playtested Lingua Franca and provided valuable input. To help solve this problem, I’ve made MANY changes to the Language Cards and Spotter Cards.
  • Instead of having three words on a card and the Spotter stating how many words relate to the Mission, Language Cards have been revamped. They now allow the Spotter to say a word within the confines of the Language Card. For example, there’s a Language Card for color, where the Spotter can say a color to help clue Responders in on the correct Mission Card.
  • Language Cards also have suits, and cards of the same suit can be played with a Language Card to allow the Spotter to say multiple words of the same type. As a Spotter, you could play a Color card and three other cards of the same suit (axe, burner, or vial) to say multiple colors.
  • Responders can now play a number of suit cards together (depending on the number of players) to activate abilities and upgrades. Responders can increase the hand limit of the Spotter, have them remove an incorrect Mission, or “equip” a Language Card for permanent use by the Spotter.
  • There were inconsistencies between the rules and the version of the game that I believe I’ve fixed.

These changes to the rules and game are live in the Google Doc rulebook and versions of the game. BUT, I haven’t yet updated the print and play assets. (Give me a few days to get the print and play stuff updated.)

NINJA EDIT: I was able to update the PnP file today!

Let’s get out there and make Lingua Francas together!

Blog Game Design Games Nine Muses

FINAL UPDATE: Nine Muses is Contest Ready! 🥳

After doing final playtests, performing a few balance tweaks here and there, and making final changes to the design for readability and consistency, I’m proud to say that Nine Muses is finally Contest Ready! That means that the game is in a finalized state in terms of design, assets, and rules—although I can still make changes if I find a typo somewhere.

Yay! Wish me luck. 🤞

Helpful Nine Muses Links: room
Print and Play PDFs
Otherworld Games Page
Board Game Geek WIP Thread
Main Board Game Geek Contest Thread

Here’s the Gameplay Demo Video:

Blog Game Design Games Lingua Franca

Lingua Franca design journal (Mar 8, 2022)

Major update to Lingua Franca!

After reviewing feedback from playtests performed by myself and others, I’ve made an update to Lingua Franca to add more zest to the gameplay while preserving the theme and spirit of the game. The base idea is the same: People work together to pick out the correct mission and achieve 3 successes while avoiding 3 failures using only Language Cards as clues.

PnP files: Download the Lingua Franca PnP
Digital version:

Changes to the game include:
• It’s now a 2-4 player game (Formally, only a 2-player game)
• Illustrated Mission Cards with more robust mission depictions (No more icons, which makes for a more challenging experience)
• Improvements to layout and general design (Card backs are closer to the final design)
• A digital version available on to play for free!

Blog Game Design Games Lingua Franca

Lingua Franca design journal (Jan 24, 2022)

With Lingua Franca 1.1, I’ve made adjustments to allow for more icon cards. There are now 24 icon cards, with an expanded grid of 12 icon cards in play at a time. I’ve also made a Google Sheet of all the words. This helped me eliminate duplicates and randomize the words that appear on the cards a bit more. The rules have been updated with a new “locator” card mechanic. Also, I added card backs, although everything is still low res as I work through iterations.

I’d like to thank @kevinplaysgames for the locator card idea. With that, I was able to finally make use of the icon card backs and increase the number of icon cards in play. Neat!

Full disclosure, I haven’t had a lot of time to do full playtests on this. With the additional icons in play, I don’t know how difficult it’s going to be. I’ll be looking to tweak the word cards quite a bit to make the game balanced while still offering a challenge.