Scott Caputo

Pencil First Games has announced The One Hundred Torii, a new Kickstarter project from designers Scott Caputo (Whistle Stop) and Eduardo Baraf (Herbaceous), with artist extraordinaire Vincent Dutrait (Treasure Island, New York 1901 and many, many others). The One Hundred Torii is a zen tile laying game, where 1-4 players take turns adding to an ever expanding garden, calling for help from the characters living therein, and scoring for paths between matching landmarks.

“Step into tranquility as you pass through the torii gates, traveling from fountains to flowers to shrines while meeting vendors, poets, and even samurai along the way… “

On their turn, the players take one tile from their hand of 2, and expand the garden. Every tile piece has paths and at least one of the 6 features – Lotus, Bridges, Lanterns, Water Basins, Inari Statues, or Sekimori Ishi (stone features). If a continuous path is created between two matching features, the player scores a landmark token for that feature. If multiple paths are created, the player only scores for the shortest one. If the path passes through one or more Torii gates, bonus tiles are earned; Red Torii give the player multiple matching tokens for the feature, while blue Torii earn tokens for other, different features. When a player earns 5 of the same token, they must be cashed in for a larger 5-point piece. Similarly, 5 more tokens create a 10-point piece. Fully isolated areas of the garden with 2 or more features score special Enclosure Tokens. Other achievements are earned for being the first player to earn all six 5-point tokens, or three of the 10-point tokens.

Another important aspect of the game is the ability to ask for help from one of the five characters who live in the garden. Characters cost coins, or single tokens, but never the larger 5- and 10-point pieces. The Samurai prevents players from placing a tile in a specific location. The Poet covers a single feature, preventing it from completing pathways, or possibly allowing for longer pathways. Both the Samurai and the Poet stay out until another player asks for their help. The Vendor allows players to discard a tile from their hand, and replace it with 2 new ones. The Geisha lets a player place 2 tiles into the garden, although only the second tile scores for a path. Finally, the Gardener allows a player to place a tile on top of another tile. The first and second time a player summons a character, they collect that characters’ token, earning 2 points. However only one player may collect the points for summoning a character for a third time.

At the end of the game, the 5- and 10- point tiles score their points, as well as tiles earned from working with the characters, tiles from creating enclosures, and achievements for being first to earn the larger tokens. The One Hundred Torii also comes with a single player mode, where the player battles against Onatsu, the pilgrim. Onatsu takes the player’s unused tiles, and scores her own points throughout the game.

The Kickstarter Campaign for The One Hundred Torii continues through June 10, and the game is expected to deliver in April 2020.

Following the acclaimed success of Grimm Forest, Druid City Games has released their next game, Sorcerer City, on Kickstarter. As of the writing of this article, Sorcerer City has already doubled it’s initial funding goal (with 23 days remaining). So what is Sorcerer City?

Sorcerer City, from designer Scott Caputo (Voluspa & Whistle Stop) mixes tile laying and deck building into a strategic game that is kept moving by a casual timed element. Imagine if Carcassonne, Dominion, and Galaxy Trucker were combined into a magical strategy game of sorcerer architects competing to see who could gain the most prestige! Walk with us down the streets of Sorcerer City!

As is the case with all Druid City Games, Sorcerer City is full of gorgeous components but the buck doesn’t stop there. The game play is quite unique. Each player will have a set time to build your city by laying tiles in the best strategic means possible. Over time, however, you will have opportunities to better your tiles and thus allow you to build a better city. But watch out, there is a monster phase that will add unique monsters to each player to add to the mix.

Additionally, Sorcerer City will have a deluxe copy available that replaces components with metal coins and plastic miniatures along with a deluxe game box.

Druid City is not only known for their beautiful components, but their unique game-play. Sorcerer City seems as if it won’t disappoint. You can head over to the campaign here to learn more as well as fund the project.

A new expansion is coming to the popular Whistle Stop from Scott Caputo and Bezier Games. The Rocky Mountains Expansion will bring, well, mountains, to the pick up and deliver train game, with a 3D mountain board. The Rockies hold great rewards for those that can scale them on the way west. The expansion also contains special tiles, 2 new train routes, 2 new towns, gold nugget tokens, more end tiles, 9 new upgrades and 6 new shares. You can read the full press release here, and look for the Rocky Mountains Expansion in stores this August.

Bezier Games has announced their newest game, Whistle Stop, by designer Scott Caputo (Kachina, Voluspa). In 1869, the driving of the golden spike sparked the start of the great railroad expansion in the U.S. In Whistle Stop, players build train routes west across the U.S., picking up goods and selling to small towns along the way. In exchange for goods, players gain shares in the railroads, or can hold the goods for bigger payoffs when they reach the west coast.

Players will need to optimize their actions, possibly gain new actions, block the other players and lay new tracks while managing their limited coal resources. The Game includes game board, 5 player boards, town tiles, coal, gold and whistle tokens, 60 resource cubes, 25 wooden trains, railroad shares, and upgrade cards. Whistle Stop supports 2-5 players and plays in just over hour, and will be released August 2017 at Gen Con. Pre-orders will be available at Bezier Games.

scott-backdoor-man

In a recent article posted on the League of Gamemakers, Scott Caputo relates his experiences in getting not only his games published, but also his poetry by using a method he calls the “back door.”  In lieu of more traditional methods of finding a publisher for a game (emailing publishers, etc.), Caputo explains how much more effective it was for him to find someone willing to publish his work due to networking.

“Given two equally talented designers, I firmly believe the one who is better at networking will get published first,” Caputo states.  “You will cease to be an unknown name on one of a thousand emails, and instead, you will be a known commodity, someone they feel they can bank on, and that can make all the difference.”

Caputo lists several strategies for making these important connections:

  • Making connections/friends with publishers
  • Volunteering in the [gaming] community
  • Keeping your contacts alive
  • Taking time to build your network
  • Kickstarting your own thing

To glean more from Caputo’s experiences, read the full article on the League of Gamemakers website.

Picture From Scott's BGG Profile

Picture From Scott’s BGG Profile

From the designer of Valuspa and Kachina Scott Caputo a very insightful blog post has been posted on League of Gamemakers blog.  As someone aspiring to design a game one day it can be a little daunting thinking about trying to do your game pitches to publishers.  Scott talks about the fact that after having published Valuspa he went to Essen with expectations maybe a little too high.  This post is about what he learned from pitching his games and the feedback he got and didn’t get from some of the publishers he was dealing with.

voluspa

Often it is not until you take a broader perspective on the things you ahve learned that the lessons truly sink in.  For Scott he talks about the experience developing that broader perspective so that he could improve upon the games that he presented to publishers.  He doesn’t say it but it is possible that some of the things he heard initially were not as positive as he took them out to be and were more people being nice.  While others were maybe a bit more direct and while it was not as pleasant hearing the raw message in the end it was likely more beneficial.

I would strongly encourage you to head over to the League of Gamemakers blog to read his story here.