Author: Molly Wardlaw


Posted on / by Molly Wardlaw / in Wasteland Express Delivery Service, Wasteland Wednesdays, Wasteland Wednesdays / 2

Wasteland Wednesday – Gone Gold

PRE-ORDER WASTELAND EXPRESS TODAY!

It’s been a while since a Wasteland Wednesday, primarily because there has been a lot going on in Pandasaurus Land that you’ll all be hearing about very soon.  And secondarily because Wasteland hit a point of nitty gritty detail work that was not as sexy to show as some of the earlier artwork that had been finished.

So, today we have the final! Rulebook (sans the story mode so you don’t all going spoiling yourselves before the game is out), and we have final production dice and miniatures.  Those will be at the bottom of this post, if you don’t want to keep reading, but I suggest you do!

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Today I want to talk about production design on a game.  Most of the time when you get a game back from a designer or design team there are lots of paths you can choose.  Some of these seem rather obvious like:  Do I include wood in the game?  Does it need miniatures?  Should that player board be punchboard or cardstock?  Should we put flavor text on the cards or not?  Should all the cards have unique artwork?  Does the art on the board need to look like a map or like a birds eye view of the world?  Does the player board need art on it or just boxes to make your action selection on?

We wound up answering in the most complex (and expensive) way we could on all of these questions.  We also added a few more like:  should we include custom gametrayz that will fit all of the pieces, not just as a storage method but as an integrated part of the gameplay experience?  Should we model all of the goods cubes?  Should we have them nest in the back of player trucks?  Should we hire a super talented famous comic book artist to illustrate the game?  Should we chuck the cardboard action selection and turn them into amazing 3d modeled cogs?

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This has led Wasteland Express to be the most overproduced game I have ever been involved with.  Overproduced does not mean we made the wrong decision.  We just made the expensive decision that added a lot of complexity (and time) to the production process.   The production budget (art, 3d modeling, etc) is probably equal to every other game that we have put out combined.   I know for a fact that it is higher than lots of very big games from publishers that all of you love because this industry has super friendly people who have told me our budget is way North of theirs.   This might mean that I am a big dummy and should not have spent as much or put as much into this game as we did.

But I also know one very important thing:  This game is really special.  I’ve had an inkling ever since I first saw the prototype and got the elevator pitch.  I knew it for a fact the first time I ever played it.  I doubly knew it was true when my brother in law asked if he could play it again after his first playtest of the game.  I believe this is one of the best board games I have ever played, and I knew that if we nurtured it just right we could have a game that is something extra special for players.  Jon, Matt and Ben trusted us to handle a world and a game that could be one of the best of the year, and we wanted to do it justice.

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Now that we have gone gold and I look at what we have put together, I am confident that we accomplished what we set out to.  From the insane amount of effort put into the story.  To the number of eyeballs we put on the rulebook (and the number of tiny revisions before everyone was happy with it).  To the work that Noah is still doing on getting the Tray inserts just right.  I am really, really proud to put our logo on the front of the box of this game, and I think you will all be extremely happy with the results.

So, that leads us to where are we now?  The miniatures and dice are fully and completely ready to ship.  The printed components are being finalized now.  Once the white-core PPC copy (a white game that punches out with no artwork) is to Noah at Gametrayz (www.gametrayz.com) he will finalize the tray design and those will be injection molded and added to the game.

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So, when you get your Wasteland box early next year you are going to notice something strange.  The lid of an already very large box (Descent size for reference) is not going to close.  The cardboard punch will rest above the box bottom and be shrink wrapped shut.  Once you have punched all of the components and slotted them into the Trayz where they go the lid will shut exactly as designed and you’ll have a snugly packed box of plastic tray inserts.   You’ll also never have to separate any components to play the game or messy up the table with piles of cardboard since the trayz will be used during gameplay to keep everything tidy on the table.

Your next Wasteland Wednesday will be a way off.  Probably when we have a production copy or a cool update on the trayz.  But for now, the game has gone gold and I couldn’t be happier.  We’re gonna keep pre-orders open for a little longer because there is no real reason not to at this point, to feel free and pre-order WEDS here:  PRE-ORDER WASTELAND EXPRESS TODAY!

Wasteland Express Delivery Service Rulebook

 

Posted on / by Molly Wardlaw / in Diamonsters, Fire and Axe, Machi Koro, Machi Koro Harbor Expansion, News, Pandasaurus Games

Pandasaurus & IDW Games Holiday Gift Guide & Contest!

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IT’S HERE!

THE 2015 IDW & PANDASAURUS GIFT GUIDE is the answer to all of the gamers (and soon to be!) gamers in your life you’re scratching your head about! From Stocking Stuffers to Family Games to full-on AP inducing Gamer’s Games, we’ve got it all sorted and explained.

Once you’re done perusing, check out our handy-dandy FLGS locator to find your precious! If you don’t have a local store near ya, “Diamonsters,” “Machi Koro” and “Machi Koro: Harbor Expansion” are at Barnes & Nobles and “Machi Koro” is now officially in Targets across the US!

To celebrate and spread the word about our guide, we’re launching a 12 Days of Holiday Guide Gift Giving Contest across ours and IDW’s social sites! EACH DAY a different game from our guide will be featured and up for grabs! Starting TODAY with “Diamonsters”! Check out Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for a chance to nab it!

Happy Holidays and Happy Gaming!!

 

~Team Pandasaurus

Posted on / by Molly Wardlaw / in Fire and Axe, News, Pirates of the Seven Seas, The Game

Fire & Axe, The Game and Pirates of the 7 Seas OFFICIALLY IN STORES!!!

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So happy to announce that a Pandasaurus trifecta has officially hit stores and online! Run to your FLGS to nab a copy of the gorgeous, big box grail game, Fire & Axe, the buzzy Spiel Des Jahres nominated, The Game or the highly anticipated Mysterium follow-up,Pirates of the 7 Seas! Or all three! Check out each game’s page for all of the deets!

Posted on / by Molly Wardlaw / in News, The Game / 1

Spiel Nominee, THE GAME, is Coming!!!

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Pandasaurus is thrilled to announce that we, along with our partners at IDW Games, will be bringing this year’s Spiel Des Jahres (Game of the Year) nominee to the US! From the brilliant German mind of Steffen Bendorf, comes the heart-thumping, lighting speed coop known simply as THE GAME.

THE GAME is no toy. You and your friends will have to work together if you are going to survive. How well can you coordinate your movements? Without talking? Can you trust your friends to make the right move? Quick thinking and spitfire cooperation will make or break you.

Are you ready to play The Game? Or will the game play you?

The Game is great for gamers (or non-gamers!) of all ages and levels. It’s truly a gateway must!

Posted on / by Molly Wardlaw / in Machi Koro, News

Machi Koro Nominated for SPIEL DES JAHRES

We here at Pandasaurus HQ are beside ourselves as our beloved Machi Koro is officially one of three games nominated for the top gaming honor of 2015 Spiel Des Jahres (Game of the Year)! For anyone wondering what the SDJ is, it’s kind of like the Oscars of tabletop gaming. Previous winners include grail games such as Ticket to Ride, Catan, Quirkle, Carcassonne, Dominion and Hanabi among many very notable others.

The two phenomenal games nominated alongside Machi are The Game and Colt Express. Thus, we know we’ve got some stiff and very deserving competition, but that makes the nomination all the better. It has been our great honor to bring the work of Machi’s brilliant designer, Masao Suganuma, and the visually incomparable artist, Noboru Hotta, to the United States.

Machi Koro is the first Japanese game to ever be nominated, so having just come back from visiting with the brains behind MK, we know that this means the world to the Japanese gaming community.

Winners will be announced soon, so stay tuned and thanks most of all to all of y’all for spreading the Machi love and letting the world know about this little game from Tokyo!

Posted on / by Molly Wardlaw / in Fire and Axe, News / 1

Exclusive Minis With First Edition of Fire and Axe

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Coming May of 2015!

Other Viking Games have come and gone, but one game lived on the lips of gamer’s everywhere: “Fire and Axe”.  This gem has been out of print for over a decade and going for North of $200 dollars second hand ever since.

The legend returns in a brand new deluxe edition from Pandasaurus Games and IDW Games.  Every care has been taken to update this classic game with all new, breathtaking art and design, inimitable miniatures and top notch components.

For the first print run only, we will be including 25 each of the Shield Maiden and Archer figures (5 in each player color).  So, be sure you contact your favorite game store and make sure you get a first edition copy reserved.

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Posted on / by Molly Wardlaw / in Machi Koro, Reviews, State of the Saurus, Tammany Hall / 1

BBQ, White Pants and Machi Update

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This State of the Saurus will focus mainly on Bar-B-Que. Because…Labor Day. Also, the millions and millions of white pants that will no longer be worn—except in Miami where the dress code calls for only white pants, all the time, all year long.

All right, let’s begin… JUST KIDDING. We know y’all want to know about the status of one Machi Koro. So, let’s get on it:

Good news! The shiny, new, bootiful print run is ON A BOAT. (Happy dance!) And because we love you so much, we’ve got some picks of the final print run to share with you below:

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Machi was delayed due to some production issues. They were not major, but we here at Pandasaurus pride ourselves on quality. And anything below the very best is just not good enough. We hated this being delayed. We hated even more how many of y’all were pretty darn bummed because of the delay, and to you we want to say THANK YOU! Thanks for your patience, for your loyalty as a Panda S customer, and for your boundless love of this tiny little game. You guys have really gotten the word out, given the world Machi fever, and seriously rock.

In other Machi news, Geek Dad (the famed blog previously of Wired fame) wrote a full, fantastic review of our little game in which he implores readers to “pay a visit to lovely Machi Koro” (it was mentioned in his Best of Gen Con, but an actual review is now here). Some choice gems from Jonathan Liu:

~”What I love about Machi Koro is that it’s so simple to learn, and even though there’s a lot of luck involved, much of the gameplay is about deciding how to take advantage of the odds.”

~”Since Machi Koro was one of the few games I picked up during Gen Con, I got a head start learning it and playing it, and my kids have really enjoyed playing it with me… It’s all about turning your town into a powerful economic engine.”

~”You’ll have to wait a couple weeks before it’s available in the US, but keep an eye out for Machi Koro. It may be a small town, but it’s definitely worth a visit.”

But that’s enough of that for now, because we’ve got some other tricks up our sleeves. On the same boat is a reprint of something near and dear to our heart, the one and only game of political backstabbing and corruption and our first game ever, TAMMANY HALL! It’ll be here soon, the box will look a little different, but it’s the same great game y’all love. Be sure to ask your FLGS about it.

Also hitting the same time is Kill Shakespeare. It’s the Battle of the Bard, IDW’s first foray into games based on their hit comic book series by the same name. Kill Shakespeare was designed by Thomas and Wolfe, the gents behind Yedo, so we’ve got a feeling you hardcore gamers out there are gunna like this one.

PANDA S SEAL OF APPROVAL TIME: We’d also like to report on the game we played at NYEEK, our local game night, this week. This was one of N’s prized scores from Gen Con and we can’t do enough cheerleading (with handstands!) for Sheriff of Nottingham. The game is duplicitous in all the right ways. If you’re in the mood for one heck of a bluffing game (we’re talking layer upon layer upon layer of deceit) nab this one IMMEDITATELY. We were in stitches.

Until next time friends, happy gaming and don’t let anyone ANY ONE give you flack for wearing that Spiderman onesie to bed… Like someone I know…

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Posted on / by Molly Wardlaw / in Machi Koro, Machi Koro Harbor Expansion, Reviews, State of the Saurus

Life After Gen Con

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It’s been a crazy post-Gen Con week here at Pandasaurus HQ, and I must say that while the coffee in our lives may have indeed improved vastly, we are missing the hell out of all of y’all. There’s no better feeling than that of being around the good, like-minded peeps that are proud to call themselves board game geeks!

Speaking of which, Forbes just reported that there were more than 56,000 of you lovelies there; double the number of Gen Con attendees just five years ago. That’s crazytime, y’all! Table top gaming is growing, big time. And nothing could be better for the world than more Agricola and Sherriff of Nottingham and less Monopoly and Sorry. Sorry, Sorry.

I should also note that in addition to all of you, N also misses Pizza Hut (they don’t have them in NYC). Sad, I know. We’re surrounded by delicious, big-slice pizza, yet not a drop of the Hut for him to drink…

But back to the State of the ‘Saurus! We’ve got some stuffs to say!

First off, we know y’all are clamoring for a little piece of Machi Koro, and we hear ya loud and clear—we want nothing more than to get it into your paws! Sadly, there have been some completely unforeseen production delays. We wanted to make 100 percent sure that the final copies were completely up to our high production standards. Nothing but the best. BUT it will be out in a few weeks. So soon! And in the meantime some additional cool Machi-things happened this week, like:

-The beloved blog Geek Dad calling it out as one of the few games he actually got the chance to play at Gen Con. Jonathan Liu dubbed it “a delightful surprise” and revealed an upcoming review. We agree. But it’s not a surprise for us. Not sure where that leaves us… NEXT!

-The upstanding Canadians behind Watch It Played posted not one, but two Machi vids. Here’s the How to Play vid—which is super awesome if you’re wanting to learn. Rodney provides the best step-by-step guide we’ve come across heretofore.

Next up is their play through. Again, super helpful if you’re learning. Also, that family is insanely cute—good luck in Japan, Andrea! And because they’re so stinking cute, we’ll just maybe forgive them for calling Mr. Pandasaurus a “Pegasaurus.”

And once you’re done checking out the base game with that vid, check N and I on BGG’s Gen Con 2014 coverage where we show off the shiny, new Machi Koro Harbor Expansion!! Warning: I am shy and am cursed with the sad affliction known as RBF—DON’T JUDGE ME!

Check it out here, action (or in my case, inaction) starts at 2:00.

For videos where both people actually talk on camera, check out this BGG clip of the Great Kevin Wilson speaking with N about his upcoming X-Files game. Best moment: Beth Heile geeking out about X-Files parties in college. Check it out here, action starts at 5:30.

And that’s it for this week’s installment of the State of the ‘Saurus. Tonight there will be lots of beer and Sheriff of Nottingham at our local game night. The gods are good.

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*Photo courtesy of Geek Dad

Posted on / by Molly Wardlaw / in Diamonsters, Fire and Axe, Machi Koro, Pandasaurus Games

Pandasaurus Games Takes a Bite Out of Gen Con

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Gen Con 2014 – Pandasaurus Games took Indianapolis last week for the mother of all board game conventions: Gen Con. Well, in the US (apologies to Essen), and lots happened. Games were played, tournaments were held and no sleep was had.

So, let’s break it down: The biggest Gen Con Panda S buzz with a bullet was the one and only Machi Koro. We had more interested gamers that we could handle—luckily we had a crew of intrepid, really, really good-looking and talented demoers, whom we are eternally grateful to! Seriously, as in, we probably owe them our first-born. (Oops. Shouldn’t have said that out loud. They’re gunna be coming for Johnny!) Of course Nathan held his fair share of Gen Con Machi Demos as well. Machi Koro Demoing is now listed on his LinkedIn. I did exactly one demo, turned bright red and apologized profusely when N took over and, you know, actually explained the game in a coherent manner. God bless the sweet gamer that insisted that I, “did a great job.” I owe you. Second born… maybe?

Continuing with the Machi Fever, we held a very successful (and nasty!) tournament on Thursday. Machi fans are fighters! We’d never seen so many coffee shops and purple cards! Oh, my! Winners of each round won a custom Machi Koro play mat and the crowned king won a prized copy of Machi itself. He was eager to test ways to make it meaner. Machi will be in y’alls’ paws in just a few weeks! We promise!

Other buzziness was IDW/Panadaurus’ upcoming X-Files board game. Fans were lucky enough to have the great Kevin Wilson demo the game at various times in the booth. Ain’t nothing like a demo from the man that made the game! You can get all the Mulder and Skully you can handle come October! If you missed Kevin at the Con, be sure to keep an eye out for the BGG News Gen Con 2014  vid of he and Nathan talking about/explaining the game for all of you lovelies!

Speaking of the camera, Nathan got another shot at trying to look less goofy onscreen with the BGG livestream vid of us explaining Diamonsters. At least I was there to make Nathan look like a thespian. That will also be on YouTube, keep one eye open. Lastly, we had two HUGE Gen Con announcements. Pandasaurus is taking on the out of print grail game, Fire and Axe, and the much buzzed about, oil-hungry euro, Wildcatters. In case you don’t know what to think about ‘Catters, the boys of Shut Up & Sit Down deemed it the Gen Con “game we’re most excited about.”

In between the above was breaking the bank on all of the board games we have been drooling over in the last few months, one billion gallons of convention-grade coffee and Nathan sleepwalking into a merry band of cosplay minstrels.

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