Game Developerz - Board Game Box Shot

Game Developerz

| Published: 2014
9 13 3

An epic balance of competition and cooperation between game developers to make the best video game!

go to: Who would enjoy this game?

Overview

In Game Developerz, each player assumes the role of a development company. The goal is simple, be the developer at the end of the game with the most critically acclaimed video game. However, the road to get there can be a bumpy one. You’ll be thwarting other developers on one turn, and then be needing their help on another. Game Developerz won’t let you take things too seriously though because it is full of humor and satire. If you’re a fan of video games you’ll have an extra level of enjoyment as you peel back the many layers of humor and “fan service” found throughout the game.

Check out Game Developerz on kickstarter >
The campaign ends on April 5th

Prototype Review: Onion Squire sent us a very high quality prototype of the game. The images below are from that prototype. Cards and art may change.

Game Developerz game in play

Set Up

Getting a game up and running is really quick. Each player is randomly dealt a company card that will give them a unique special ability throughout the game. You’ll get a chuckle when you’re dealt your company because they are all satires of actual companies.

The Assets, Features and Random Events decks are shuffled and put in the middle of the play area along with the Coinz tokens. Players are each given five Coinz and dealt five asset cards.

Let the game development begin!

Gameplay

Players will take turns improving their staff members and developing features with the goal of making the video game that will be the most loved by critics and gamers. This critic score is called the Betascore.

There is a lot of freedom in the game and what you can do on your turn, which makes gameplay fun and simple. You won’t be burdened with tons of steps and phases during your turn, with allows you to focus on having fun! There are two types of asset cards you’ll be playing from your hand: Staff and Business Development.

Staff Cards

These cards are the different employees you’ll be hiring and firing during the game. They can range from a wannabe programmer to a hot shot art director. You can hire up to six staff members. Each staff member will have a different set of skills represented at the top of the card: Art (green), Programming (blue), Game Design (orange) and Marketing (magenta).

Game Developerz staff cards

It’s with your staff’s skills that you’ll build your game’s features or even help other developers build theirs. Keep an eye out for staff with a star symbol in the upper-right corner. They’re typically either well skilled at each skill type, or exceptionally good at a few.

Business Development Cards

These cards add the twists, turns and fun to the game. They represent the different types of events that happen during game development, like having your CEO retire, or having a team building activity. Some cards will allow you to boost your skills or other player’s skills. Some will allow you to make it harder for other players to complete their feature development. No two cards are the same, and we highly recommend reading the titles and flavor text during the game because it really adds to the humor and fun of the game.

Game Developerz busdev cards

Your Turn

When you start your turn you can hire staff by playing them from your hand, or fire staff you’ve hired by discarding them. You may also play any of your business development cards. Now you have an important decision to make for the second part of your turn: Do you go into Preproduction or Feature Development?

Preproduction

This is how you’ll improve your team of staff, as well as gain Coinz and other asset cards. Right off you’ll gain one asset card and two Coinz. You can then “invest” by paying Coinz to gain additional asset cards. While in preproduction your free to fire and hire how you like, as well as play business development cards.

Game Developerz Coinz

Feature Development

Your video game needs to have great features, and this is how to do it! You won’t know what feature you’ll be developing when you choose feature development, so it can be risky, even if you’re fully staffed! You’ll draw the top feature card and it will tell you what skills you’ll need in order to complete it.

Game Developerz feature cards

Features range in difficulty as well as the Betascore (top-right corner of the feature card) they’ll give your video game at the end of the game. Features like Supercool IP and Sandbox gameplay require a lot of skills, but give your game a much higher Betascore. Features like co-op mode and more zombies are much easier to develop, but don’t boost your Betascore as much.

If you successfully develop a feature you’ll gain that feature as well as the reward (Coinz!). If you don’t succeed you must draw a number of random events as noted on the feature. Random events can be good, but can also be bad! Below are a couple examples.

Game Developerz random event cards

You DO have options if your staff doesn’t have enough skill points to develop the feature. You can play business development cards from your hand, spend Coinz for a “risky investment” to buy asset cards (those cards can only be used until the end of your turn), or bring on other players to help. Why would another player want to help you develop a feature? Because you can bribe them by giving them Coinz, cards, and even making deals to give them a certain amount of the rewards should you successfully develop the feature!

Now all is well and you and your third-party helpers have enough skills to develop the feature… don’t forget other players can play cards that thwart your efforts. But even after they do that, you can continue to play cards and even make deals to bring in another player.

Once you’ve completed either Preproduction or Feature Development, your turn ends. When it’s not your turn, make sure and look for opportunities to use your staff and cards to either help other developers out and gain rewards from those alliances, or use your cards to make it harder for developers to complete their features. What happens when it’s not your turn can be just as beneficial as what what happens on your turn!

Game End

The game ends when one player has developed six features. Just because their game has six features doesn’t guarantee they’ll win. A game with voice chat co-op mode and zombies is going to have a tough chance at beating a game that’s an MMORPG with an awesome game engine! Also, players can use their extra Coinz to buy the loyalty of critics to improve their Betascore… this NEVER happens in real life! (10 Coinz will give a player two more Betascore points)

Components

Onion Squire sent us a prototype that in our opinion looked like the final product! That in itself gives us faith that the final product will be nothing short of excellent.

Game Developerz close up 1

Learning Curve

Game Developerz is really easy to learn, and even easier to teach. If one person knows how to play, the rest of the players will have the basics down after the first round.

Who would enjoy this game?

Family Gamer {maybe}
Kids LOVE video games, so this could be a great game that your children would actually want to play with you! The game does have some mechanics and decisions that younger children would need help with, and there are some cards that wouldn’t be appropriate for them… but those cards can easily be removed without impacting the game.
Strategy Gamer {no}
There is probably too much unpredictability in the card drawing and player interactions when developing features for a strategy gamer to really embrace this game.
Casual Gamer {yes}
The theme of Game Developerz, along with its humor, could be really appealing to casual gamers. The basic mechanics are quite simple, and the constant player interaction will make sure everyone is involved on every turn.
Avid Gamer {yes}
Because no card is the same in Game Developerz, there is a ton of replay value here. If you’re an avid video gamer player as well, there’s no reason not to have this in your collection!
Power Gamer {maybe}
Game Developerz is simple, light-hearted and unpredictable. In a group of video game loving Power Gamers, this could be a blast and a nice break from the intensity of other games they typically enjoy.

Final Thoughts

The player interactions in Game Developerz are crazy and fun. On one turn you could be sabotaging another player’s attempt to create a feature, and then on their turn they might be asking for your help. There are even times when you can purposely sabotage someone so that they’ll NEED your help, and you’ll give it to them because they’ll offer you some rewards in return!

It’s worth noting that this game is all about alliances and sabotaging other players. If you or those you play with don’t like this type of confrontation, this game probably isn’t for you.

How much you enjoy video games will also have a definite impact on how much you’ll enjoy Game Developerz. This isn’t a bad thing because there is plenty of humor in the game for everyone! In our time with the game, we found that players that didn’t know much, if anything, about video games had a good time, and those who knew a lot about the video game industry had an absolute blast!

Game Developerz co-op card

You can tell Onion Squire knows a lot about the video game industry, because the illustrations, card titles and flavor text have multiple layers of humor and satire. For example, everyone would understand the Co-op Mode feature card and that some games can be played cooperatively… but video game lovers will also recognize that the illustration is a nod to a very popular co-op game called Castle Crashers. I found myself enjoying looking at the cards and looking for their “hidden” humor (some of it not so hidden like the company card “YouBeFlop”).

Game Developerz is currently on kickstarter.com, so if you like what you see here, you should definitely check out their kickstarter campaign and back the game!

Game Developerz Card Game on kickstarter.com

Learn more about this game on kickstarter.com

{The kickstarter campaign will end on April 5th, 2014}
Go now >

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