One Last Job

Design iterations of One Last Job

A few months ago, I entered a 1-card print-and-play board game design challenge. Just as it sounds, the goal was to create a board game that uses a single, poker-sized card. Up to 16 other assets could be included with certain restrictions, such as dice, cubes, chits, and more.

There were a lot of categories to enter for the challenge: best artwork, best rulebook, best 2-, 3-, and 4-player game—and many more. I won 2nd place as best new designer. (Yay!) I realized that I had some talent with design but still had a lot to learn.

Enter: One Last Job

Logo for One Last Job

The game I submitted was titled One Last Job, a two-player dice battling game. Players would recruit crew members associated with a specific type of die (D4, D6, etc through D20) and roll those dice against one another to collect or steal coins with the goal to be the first to gain or buy 2 energy cubes.

Early prototype of one last job

One Last Job is a quick best 2-out-of-3 game of sorts that combines short-term strategy and a bit of luck. I designed every aspect of the game, from the mechanics to the gameplay to the artwork and graphics. It was a fun challenge! It motivated me to get something out there that was polished (well, mostly) and to do it fast.

What I realized, though, is that even though I placed well in the contest, I designed a game that didn’t quite fit the challenge. What I really wanted to design was a game that used more than one card. One Last Job had to evolve.

A new take

Now that the contest is over, I can expand One Last Job into something more fitting to the game’s theme. My latest iteration does away with the single card layout + player aids in lieu for a multi-card drafting table to pick from.

But I added something new.

Players take turns recruiting two outlaws each, leaving two behind as freelance. Those freelance outlaws have special abilities that can help or hurt players, adding a new dynamic to the game.

There was just one issue with this, I made the freelance abilities far too punishing. In playtests, I found that there were many moments where players couldn’t do anything that round due to being blocked by the freelancer abilities. Not fun. That’s something I’m tweaking to give players more breathing room.

I have yet to work on a new iteration but I’m keen to test some new ideas out for the game.

Potential new mechanics for One Last Job

When I look at this game, I wonder whether it can be a card-only game. Does it even need the coins or cubes? I’m thinking of something with a drafting and deck-building feel, but with a variation on the usual deck-building “collect more points” or “reduce your opponent to zero health” end game path.

What if One Last Job instead was mission-focused? Players have a mission, and they have to compete to be the first to fulfill it by drafting and taking advantage of the outlaw’s unique talents. There are a lot play opportunities for that layout. For one, I could expand the number of players from two to four or five. I could add more cards with varying abilities. I could reduce printing costs and complexity with the card-only approach. I could also add solo and co-op missions.

With all these ideas in mind, I’m off to work on a new iteration of One Last Job.

Stay tuned, Otherworldly Beings…


Spooky October updates from Otherworld Games

Hello Otherworldly Beings,

Happy spooky scary skeletons month!

As the leaves turn and the dead come back to life, it’s a good time to reflect. I like to take this time to think about the important things, like do I have enough garlic and holy water to ward off creatures of the damned? The answer is yes.

I want to share a bit about what’s going on with Otherworld Games for October and the coming months…let’s go!

Play Color Space and leave me feedback!

Color Space has been out on Tabletop Simulator for a couple of months now. I’m going to add some extra touches to the game in the coming weeks but the game is ready for you to play. All you need is a copy of Tabletop Simulator, then you can download the Color Space mod for free!

Color Space box art

Expect gameplay videos soon!

To show you a bit more about how Color Space and One Last Job play, look out for videos on the Otherworld Games Youtube channel soon. (These will be my first videos, so go easy on me.)

More on that in a future update.

One Last Job is still in the judging process

I’m so anxious to see how it does in this contest. I’ve also been working on fun changes to the game that I’ll release post contest. These changes include, but aren’t limited to…
• A new character with the D10 die (D10 currently isn’t in the game)
• A slightly bigger bank (2 extra coins)
• A new mechanic where the dice placers DON’T choose can work for or against them

AND you can expect One Last Job to come to Tabletop Simulator soon!

One Last Job logo

I’m planning to spring ahead next year

You may have noticed that this new one-person board game studio hasn’t yet released a physical board game. There have been set backs, as I’ve noted in prior updates. But it’s looking good to start my first Kickstarter next spring! Originally, the plan was for Color Space to be the the first game. But the more I think about it, the more I think One Last Job is the better fit.

The reason? One Last Job uses more standard components than Color Space. I had been working with manufacturers to get the Color Space pieces just right for a slick-looking prototype and just never got there. I decided to take a step back and think. I decided that Color Space needs more time but One Last Job is rearing to go! I think it could make a great mint tin-style game.

Stay tuned on One Last Job developments in the future!

Okay, that’s really all for now…see you around, Otherworldly Beings.


End of summer update from Otherworld Games

Hello Otherworldly Beings,

The end [of summer] is nigh! Here’s an update on what Otherworld Games has been cooking over the season.

Color Space digital is available FREE on Tabletop Simulator

You heard that right. If you have Tabletop Simulator on Steam, you can download and play the digital Color Space mod right now for free. Give it a try to see if it’s the type of game you’d like to play in the physical world.

A poster for the game Color Space, out on Tabletop Sim for free. Kickstarter for the physical edition will be available next year.

Color Space physical edition Kickstarter has been delayed…

Due to the rising cost of freight and materials, the Kickstarter for Color Space has been delayed to some time next year. That just means there’s more time to playtest. 😀

One Last Job is in a contest!

Back in July, a little 1-card print-and-play game known as One Last Job was launched. It’s free to download and play right now, as long as you’re willing to print and cut out a card and 2 player aids. You’ll also need a small collection of assets. (Dice, chips, cubes—that sort of thing.)

Title art for the 2-player dice-rolling game One Last Job

That’s it! Oh wait, actually…one last thing

A new game is in development! With the working title “Cosmic Voyage,” this is a co-op game about space exploration and scientific discovery. Think of something that fuses together the vibe of games like Tokaido and Forbidden Island but has unique aspects such as career advancement and dealing with mental health on an extended space mission.

It’s still in early prototype stages but it’s coming along nicely. We actually just played a new prototype today and the game is fun and solid! More on this in the future.

Okay, that’s really all for now…see you around, Otherworldly Beings.


June updates from Otherworld Games

Happy Summer!

What a time it’s been. The pandemic has rearranged and marred our lives but it looks like we’re seeing the light at the end of the tunnel across the globe. Fingers crossed! Here are some updates on what this small design studio. (I mean, really small, since it’s just one person.)

I neglected to give a May update and almost neglected a June one. Apologies for being so absent. Life and other projects sort of took me over for a while there. I’m coming back with some strong updates, though. I’m also working on publishing a book of creative fiction scifi short stories and building out an Etsy store to sell my art prints—but enough about that. Let’s get to it!

Introducing One Last Job, a free print and play game

In an effort to be more active in the board game design community, I decided to enter the 1-card print and play design contest hosted by Board Game Geek. I’ve entered One Last Job, a two-player, rootin’ tootin’ dice recruitin’ game. You face head-to-head against someone, recruiting crewmates—in the form of dice—and rolling them to use their abilities.

Logo for One Last Job

Every aspect of this game, the mechanics, the artwork and design, all of it was made by yours truly. (Remember where I said I was the only person at Otherworld Games?) HOWEVER, this game still wouldn’t be possible without the amazing people who helped me playtest it; one of those being my wife and partner in crime. Thank you!

A photo of me playtesting an earlier build of One Last Job against myself.
Me playtesting an earlier build of One Last Job against myself.

Download the print and play file, print it and play it, then head over to my entry thread and leave a comment in the thread to let me know what you think!

Neat, but what’s going on with Color Space?

I’m still on track to kickstart the Kickstarter for Color Space on Nov 2nd. I’ll be talking the game up a lot more around that time. I’ll need all the support I can get to make Color Space a reality. Mainly money. Right now, I’m trying to settle on physical products for the game, including the game itself. What do I mean by that? I mean I’m trying to figure out how Color Space will physically look. Check out some of these prototypes!

A photo depicting four physical variants of Color Space. Top left: cedar and wax. Top right: acrylic glued in acrylic. Bottom left: epoxy. Bottom right: cedar and epoxy.
Four flavors of Color Space. Top left: cedar and wax. Top right: acrylic glued in acrylic. Bottom left: epoxy. Bottom right: cedar and epoxy.

But I want to play Color Space now!

Good news, everyone—you can do that thing! My lovely wife made a Tabletop Simulator version of Color Space that you can download yesterday. (Or today if your time machine is broken. My point is is that it’s been out for a bit.)

Grab this FREE mod and fire up the old Tabletop Simulator!

That’s all for now! Keep your board games cool out there. You know, so they don’t melt their assets off.

Color Space

A Colorful Game: What’s Next?

Hello everyone, it’s been a minute! Sorry for not posting in a while. I am, as we all are, navigating the virus and other passion projects. (I’m working on a creative writing career—go figure.) Now, my project has entered a phase where I’m playtesting the same build heavily to make sure that it’s balanced. This is important to a strategy game. Both players should be on the same playing field and players executing a fun move shouldn’t be defeated by random chance.

Every game—not just strategy games—needs to make sure that a particular player doesn’t have an unfair advantage. Sometimes this could mean that designers might need to tone down the benefit of a mechanic. You can sometimes have an unfair advantage just by being the starting player, though. I aim to make sure that isn’t the case in A Colorful Game.

I’ve got four things on my plate right now for A Colorful Game:

  • More balance playtesting
  • Design for physical game assets
  • YouTube tutorial video
  • Tabletop Simulator version (with scripting)

The bottom two items are still in their infancy, and I don’t have much to show for them. As for the top two:

More balance playtesting

This is from a most recent playtest. The grey meeple signifies the tile that was just moved. (Players can’t move the tile that was recently moved.)

I’ve been rigorously playtesting with my wife or sometimes playing against myself. It’s coming along smoothly. My big worry right now is that there’s a first player advantage. More testing will see if that’s the case.

Design for physical game assets

I’ve been wanting to make the components out of wood for the longest time. But I’m warming up more and more to the idea of making them out of resin (similar look and feel to modern sets of dominos). Resin is typically heavier than wood, and may have better longevity. Also, resin is typically less expensive to manufacture and generally easier to work with. The difference would mean more rounded corners as well versus wood. Here’s a quick side-by-side.

Resin mockup (left) versus a wooden mockup (right) of the assets for A Colorful Game.

The differences might look minor in Illustrator, but they’ll feel major when holding the physical components. I’ll still stand by my love of wooden components though. I just think they look neater and more unique.

Anyway, that’s it for now. Until next time!