Monday, September 21, 2015

CFR this Sunday at Congress of Gamers

Championship Formula Racing will be making a live appearance at Congress of Gamers, Sunday the 27th at 1:30.  I'll be running a full 3-lap race on a 1/64th scale track.  If you've seen the set-up at WBC, you know the drill.  A final decision on track has not been made.

If you've never played before, come at 1:00 for a demo.

I also volunteered to run a game of Steampunk Rally (BGG), fresh off the Kickstarter.  I'll start with a demo at 5:00 followed by a race at 5:30.  So stay after CFR and make it a full day of racing games.

Congress of Gamers is a local Rockville, MD con that is a really great value.  If you show up just for Sunday, it will cost you $7 at the door.

Friday, April 17, 2015

I've Got a Mailing List

I've been unintentionally collecting emails of people interested in Speed Circuit for a while. Now I've got an official email list.

So, if you want periodic emails about Championship Formula Racing play opportunities, PBeM, the forth coming publishing, and/or my other games in development...

Friday, April 3, 2015

Championship Formula Racing (Speed Circuit v3) at WBC 2015

For me, the game of Speed Circuit that I grew up with has become the game of Championship Formula Racing (CFR) to be published by Jolly Rodger Games.  Although I did not know it at the time, that transformation started when I took over GM duties for the Speed Circuit Tournament at what was then Avalon Con many, many years ago (I actually don't remember when).

So while the program at WBC 2015 will say Speed Circuit, for me it will be the first tournament for Championship Formula Racing with what will be the game's final rules set (I promise).

Many, many thanks to Chris Long for being Chief Steward again this year.  I will get up to Lancaster on Thursday and Friday to run the demo and as many qualifying heats as I can but will not be staying through the weekend.

There is only one rules adjustment from last year, which I describe below.  Also note that these core rules are very close to being locked down as the rules set for CFR.  I will also be bringing development versions of some of the components that may end up in that version of the game, including a card-based system for car set-up.

Finally, I will be bringing up components for racing against historical drivers that will be included in CFR.  I may run one or two historical drivers at the demo Thursday and would be happy to loan out the components to anyone who wants to play with it at the con.

On to the tracks.

Thursday Q1:
Track 1: Hockenheimring (PDF)
Track 2: Monza (PDF)
Track 3: Shanghai (PDF)

Friday Q2:
Track 1: Albert Park  (PDF)
Track 2: Monaco (PDF)
Track 3: Valencia Street Circuit  (PDF)

Saturday Q3:
Track 1: Circuit of the Americas (PDF)
Track 2: Buddh  (PDF)
Track 3: Suzuka  (PDF)

Sunday Finals: Marina Bay  (PDF)

Rules Links:

Note that some terminology has been rejiggered in this version.  "Test" is the new official name for attempting to exceed your top speed, acceleration, deceleration, or start speed.  Also note that these rules refer to the components that I currently imagine will be in the box for Championship Formula Racing.  Some components will be different in a large format, live event like WBC but I've tried to make the components work at that scale and WBC will be a good test for those.  Also, the tables you are used to seeing are gone and have been replaced by a new thing I built out to make them look less like 1970s era war game combat charts but the underlying math is the same.

Rule Change:
Starting Grids for more than 6 cars (from the core rules)

When there are between 7 and 12 cars in the race the blue spaces are all used and some number of red spaces will also be used, from front to back, as shown by the numbers on the picture below. So in a 9 car field, we would use all of the blue spaces plus the first three red spaces (marked “w/ 7+”, “w/ 8+”, and “w/ 9+”).

Cars are assigned to those spaces from front to back and from inside to outside. As always, the first car will be placed in the front row to the inside. The second car would be placed in the front row to the outside, etc. If a space is not being used for that number of cars, then it is skipped. Thus the last car will always be in the last row to the outside. The example below shows a 9 car field and indicates the order in which cars would be placed in each space.

The purpose of this layout is to balance out the effect of pole bids regardless of how many cars are in the field.

See the core rules linked above to see how this grid system works with 6 or fewer cars... a thing that rarely happens at WBC.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

5 Lessons Learned From UnPub 5

1) Do not try to demo two games at once.

That table over there on the right looks great with both games set up.  But it almost broke me.  Trying to run two different games at once was a bad idea.  I did not want to turn away a potential playtester because the game they wanted to play was in a box instead of on the table.

Instead what happened is that when both games were going at once, I was able to pay less attention to how things worked or didn't work or just help people through the first couple of turns.

Thank god a good friend of mine hung out for most of it or it would also have been a lot more tiring then it was.

On day two, I put out Spore Wars till lunch got three great plays in.  Then switched to UFO Racing League after lunch.  I was able to pay much closer attention to what was happening in the plays and help guide people as needed.

2) People who come to a convention to play unpublished games are smart people and friendly.

More then once, I had a play tester ask after the game what my plan or steps toward publication would be.  That was not a question I expected and one that shows a level of knowledge and sophistication about game development.  But maybe I should have expected that from these attendees.

Also, these people are hear to play games,  They want to play games.  I don't think I once asked someone if they wanted to play a game and they said no.  So if you go to something like this, don't wait for them to ask you to play -- ask them to play.

3) The pylon was useful.

People came over and read what was on the pylon as they walked by.  That was probably the best thing about the pylon.  It gave people who may not have wanted to ask me something or interrupt a way to find out what I was showing and figure out if it was something they would be interested in.

4) Business cards are a must have.

Put all the ways for people to follow you on it.  If they like your game, they want to know what happens to it and so they need to know how to follow you on Twitter or Facebook or your Blog or whatever you have.  So put it on a card and hand it out when people express interest.

5) Don't worry if you do not have a sell sheet.

I don't think anyone took one and no one asked for one.  I heard lots of noise about sell sheets before the convention.  I built one for UFO Racing League because I think the game is pretty mature in the development process and I had them sitting out all day 2 (forgot about them day 1).  I did not build one for Spore Wars because that game is officially about a month old.

Now this is clearly a small sample size and I'll be interested to hear if others had different reactions, but I think I'm undecided on sell sheets.

Monday, January 5, 2015

CFR Core Rules Beta

I finally have a first draft of the core rules for Championship Formula Racing.

PDF Here

I'm not sure that this is the right format for the rules.  I am contemplating creating a version that outlines only the core-core rules and pushes exceptions and edge cases off to the back of the rules.  There are a good number of edge cases in this game.

For those familiar with the WBC style rules there will be few surprises.  Perhaps the only two things I added in this draft is a revised grid system that spreads cars out a bit with smaller fields plus I tweaked the tie-breaker roll for pole to allow you to spend skill there as well.

Not a change, but I also came up with a method for using cards to set-up your car at the beginning of the race.  This creates a completely reusable system for car set-up.

If you have any thoughts on this version, either in substance or in clarity, please let me know.