Tell Us Your Unpub3 Experiences!

Ok all you Unpubbers. You’re tweeting all over the place, back and forth to each other. It’s cool and all but we’re missing out on a lot. So here’s where you can let all us unfortunates know what you did at Unpub3. What game blew your socks off? What designs did you take if any? What cool people did you meet? If you attended Unpub3 tell us about it. I’m not completely sure this will work so I NEED YOUR INPUT! Give us a full download. Leave your comments below.

14 thoughts on “Tell Us Your Unpub3 Experiences!”

  1. Absolutely loved it.

    For games from other developers, I enjoyed playing Tessen, Bigfoot Blitz, Knot Dice, Belle of the Ball, and Escape from Pirate Island. Whoever else I forgot to mention, please forgive me.

    I loved meeting people face to face whom I had previously known only electronically from their twitter handles.

    AtataT- We got a bunch of playtests for our unpublished game AtataT. Response on play and rules was very positive, and received some advice on what components might work best to minimize fiddling in a game where planks are laid & removed and tiles are flipped. My favorite comment – “I don’t like abstract games, but I like AtataT!” Showed AtataT to both Dan of Game Salute Chris of DiceHateMe, who both took several minutes to give their on-the-spot evals and suggestions.

    Fill The Barn – As a recent self-published game, Fill The Barn was also eligible for table time. I had 3 plays with 3 completely different demographic groups (one with pre-teen girls, one with HS teens, one with over-40 adults. The question from all 3 groups after all 3 plays – “where can I buy this game?” Further proof that the best way to get interest in a game is to get it out of the box and play it.

    Again, absolutely a fabulous weekend. I love Unpub. Playtesters are hard to find. Where else can you as a developer set up a prototype on the table and have unknown playtesters come to you?

  2. Lots of cool people there, got to finally meet Daniel Solis and he had an amazing 13 card deduction game. He was tentatively calling Xenophobe. There was also a game design challenge run by Eric Alvarado had this amazing game called Mill City. Your goal was to get flour processed then put on trains and it was simply amazing!

    Games in no particular order that stood out:

    Compounded – I got to play this at a previous UnPub, such an amazing game. The game is well balanced and uses the theme extremely well. It’s Kickstarter success is not by accident. And no Louder did not pay me to say that 🙂

    East India Company – Another game I got to play at a previous event. But I just had to point this one out. Paul Owen did a great job on designing that game.

    Intrigue – Awesome trick taking game with some twists. Jay Treat did a great job and it really needs to be published so more people can enjoy how great the game is.

    Maximum Throwdown – Fun card throwing game by Jason Tagmire. A lot of talk about the game and got a lot of attention during the weekend.

    Pay Dirt – A game from the designer of Alien Frontiers, Tory Niemann. Patrick Nickell from Crash Games demoed the game. Great worker placement game that was well balanced. And the game does not use dice.

    Phobos – Brad Smoley’s tile-laying, worker placement game. This game is extremely polished and balanced for an un-published game and needs to be out there for people to play. It was an amazing game.

    Tessen – From the fine folks at Cardboard Edison. This is a two player real-time set collection game. It plays smooth and once you get a hang of playing the game you want to try again and again and again…

    Wartime – War game by Josh Tempkin & Brad Lackey. Was told by a friend I had to play this game and I was not disappointed. It’s a real-time game that happens in under 8 minutes. It has a chess feel and uses timers to control when you can move your pieces. During my game my opponent and I got confused whose pieces were who and started killing our own pieces and didn’t care! Because we were having so much fun. Another game that needs to be published so all can enjoy.

    This was a great weekend and so happy I got to take part in the event. Awesome to meet so many wonderful designers who genuinely care about their craft and their fellow designers.

    1. Hi Kevin,
      It looks like you had a blast. I’m glad for the run-down. I’m hopefully downloading a PNP of Xenophobe today. Daniel is an amazing person and designer. With Belle and Xenophobe I’m sure he’ll be published soon. Jay Treat commented too. I’m sure he appreciates you comments about Intrigue. I’ll have to talk to Jay about some playtesting. I’ve been very interested about Pay Dirt since I interviewed Patrick. I’m glad was fun. I’ve heard of Phobos and it sounds fun. I’ve heard only good things about Tessen and really want to play it.
      Oh, East India Company. That game is the talk of the town. I really want to play it. I have an interview with Paul in the works so come back for it.
      And Compounded. I’ve played and really liked it. Chris says they have tweaked it since so I am amped to play. I backed the Kickstarter campaign today.
      I’m very jealous of your great time at Unpub3. I’m definitely going to have to make it next time.
      Thanks for the post.

      1. Ooh, I saw Daniel posting a PnP on Twitter. I played his 13-card mini game over the weekend and loved it. I’ll have to print it out.

  3. Let me correct that typo – The game challenge was run by Bryan Fischer and Eric Alvarado had the amazing Mill City game. Sorry about that.

  4. Black Oak Games’ Knot Dice were definitely the most gorgeous, must-touch item at Unpub 3. Daniel Solis’ Belle of the Ball was almost surely the most-played game, thanks to Daniel’s unwavering enthusiasm. Jason Tagmire’s card-throwing game, Maximum Throwdown, was the most novel, fun and publishable game. My copy of Intrigue and Mike Young’s Meteor were probably the oldest games that should have been published by now.

    I won’t list all the neat games I played or all the great people I met, because there were just too many, but John Moller’s Unpub 3 was a huge success on every level: Seeing old friends, making new ones, getting exposure, playing games and improving my own.

    1. Hi Jay,
      Thanks for the comment.
      I hear really good thinks about Knot Dice. It seems to be one of the hits of the con. Daniel Solis is a friend of mine so I’m really happy to see that Belle was so well received. It’s a really good game and I hope certain game publishers are listening to the buzz from Unpub3 about it. Maximum Throwdown sounds fun.
      Intrigue – Tell me a bit about it. And would you be interested in talking about it on the site?
      It really sounds like Unpub3 was a great success!
      Thanks for visiting and come back often.

      1. Intrigue is a 45min trick-taking card game for 3-4 spymasters.

        Each player cares about 3 of the 6 factions in the game, sharing 1 in common with each other player. So you have to work with your opponents to score. The ability to read and manipulate others—like a real spymaster—is crucial to success.

        The entire deck (8 agents of each of the 6 factions) is dealt out to all players. You’ll have a bunch of enemy agents in your hand, so knowing when to go for the victory is no more important than knowing when to take a dive. It’s all about manipulating agents (and players) to serve your greater purpose.

        Each plot (trick/round) players deploy an agent to the field twice, which is just enough time for some really tricky plays. Then, players redraft one card from any of those agents allowing you to craft your hand as the game goes on.

        It plays very differently from other trick-taking card games. Further cementing the theme, there is a deck of scheme cards and players will choose a secret scheme they’re trying to accomplish for each plot.

        I would be happy to talk more about it with you, Tom.

  5. Unpub 3 was a great event in every way. John Moller pulled off an amazing weekend and deserves all the credit in the world.

    The venue was perfect, just the right size and bright. The panels were filled with useful advice for designers, and having just one per day left the rest of the day for focusing on playtesting.

    There were too many games for any one person to play them all. That’s a great thing but also a shame since every game we played was a lot of fun and we wish we could have played a lot more of them.

    From Jay Treat, we were excited to play Assault on Khyber Station and Intrigue again. (We’d enjoyed them at Metatopia.) He’s made some nice changes to both games, and they definitely deserve to be published.

    From Charlie Hoopes, we played AtataT, a solid abstract that anyone can enjoy. A month or two ago, we bought his self-published game, Fill the Barn, for our friends’ children, who love it.

    From Daniel Solis, we played Belle of the Ball a couple of times and even helped him demo the game for a video. A friend who went to Unpub with us said this was her favorite game; she played it about a half-dozen times! We also got in a last-minute play of Xenophobe, which seemed pretty slick.

    From Matthew O’Malley of Black Oak Games, we made a point of seeing Knot Dice, which we can confirm is even more gorgeous in person that it looks in pictures. We also tried his fencing game, Crossing Swords, which uses a nifty method of modeling physical space during a fencing match.

    From Mike Young, we won a game of Escape From Pirate Island, which feels a bit like a more thematic version of Forbidden Island.

    We’d already playtested Hostage Negotiator from A.J. Porfirio of Van Ryder Games, but he brought a spiffy-looking new prototype to Unpub, and he had people coming up to give it a shot all weekend. It’s got a great, unique theme translated exceptionally well into the game mechanics.

    We unfortunately didn’t get to play Maximum Throwdown from Jason Tagmire and Alex Strang, but it was hard not to notice the folks who did. The table was surrounded by people having a great time anytime it was out.

    Pig Pen by Kevin Kulp is another game we played at Metatopia and again at Unpub. He’s done a great job of streamlining the game since then, and it’s bound to find a big audience as a family-friendly game.

    As for Cardboard Edison’s games, we got in about four tests of Skewphemisms and received a lot of useful feedback. Tessen saw a lot of play time and found some enthusiastic fans, who we gave one of the prototypes to take home!

    We couldn’t have been happier with Unpub!

    Chris & Suzanne Zinsli

    1. Hey guys,
      Man, reading all these posts really makes me sad I missed it. I’m ‘intrigued’ about Intrigue. I hear good things about it. Jay has some comments here. Hopefully I’ll get to play it soon. I’ve played Belle a couple of times (Daniel live here in Durham.) but not the latest version. I hope to this weekend at a small Gameathonapocaloozafestacon this Saturday. Knot Dice looks gorgeous and I am interested in how it is played. AJ sent me a PNP of Hostages Negotiator and it is an excellent game I agree. And I hear very good things about Tessen and would like to play it at some point.
      It seems like John Moller deserves a lot of credit and thanks for doing this.
      Thanks for visiting.

  6. I wish there would have been more time! I didn’t get to play most of the games that I had put BIG STARS beside and in all honesty, that’s a good thing. With 45 designers, there was simply no way to hit up every table in two days.

    The first day, I was able to jump into 4 different play-tests of my own games and received top-notch feedback. No game is impervious to criticism, so even if it’s an idea that completely revamps the gameplay, I’m listening. Hopefully no one thought I was being rude by not pulling out a notebook to jot down comments, but I like to actively listen and if the ideas stick, I’ll be thinking about them for weeks afterwards.

    I also loved that the event had a table for every designer and designer’s could put up signs to let everyone know when the next game would start if needed. It did a lot to keep everything focused.

    I played Brewing Up a Business: The Card Game, Quintiles, Skephemisms, East India Company, Maximum Throwdown, Hostage Negotiator, and Belle of the Ball. I ordered them this way, in the ascending approximate order of how close they are to prime-time (not to offend anyone, because no games were bad or less-finished, just rated whether the designer had everything 100% or more to tweak). The variety of interesting games was phenomenal, and I think, more importantly, the positive and enthusiastic attitude of the designers made the whole event work.

    1. Hey TC,
      I’m glad you made it over to comment. I’m glad you were able to get some good feedback. Just looking at the clips and photos I can tell John did a fantastic job setting everything up and running it smoothly.
      It will be fun to see where all the games seen at Unpub3 are in 6 months and a year.
      Thanks for stopping by.

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