We’ve got serious momentum!

These past weeks have been incredibly busy for me, with work piling up during the week, our house being renovated and trying to plan our wedding amongst the challenges we’re all facing in opening up and getting back to normal. That being said, together with Jose, we’ve managed to make huge progress with the game.

Artwork

Jose has done an incredible job at getting the men and boys drawn up and coloured in, and I’m so excited to be able to share the first set of Visitor artwork with you all!

Bear

Daddy

Guy Next Door

Jock

Otter

Twink

With this first iconic set of gorgeous guys ready, we can start working on updating the overall visual design of the game to match. We’ve already started sketching out new layouts for the visitor cards.

Prototypes

My current handmade prototypes are a few years old and were made for a previous version of the rules. I’ve gotten by with a bit of frankensteining for a while, but it was about time I got something new printed that is coherent and applies many of the things I’ve learned these past years.

I’ve done all of the graphic design for this version myself, but I’m so happy I’ve been able to use the latest artwork from Jose. This time around unfortunately I don’t have the time or space to print, cut and finish multiple copies of the game using my home printer, so I’ve splashed out and ordered 4 copies from TheGameCrafter.com that will be professionally printed and finished! I’m so excited to see what it’s like to play the game with real cards and dice, and relieved at all the time I’ve saved by not having to print them myself.

Prototypes should arrive during August and photos will follow very promptly.

Merchandise

Once the prototype was ordered, I was overcome by the urge to get some more merchandise sorted. It was so great getting the keyrings and towels printed for the Kickstarter, that I wanted to do another round. Of course using Jose’s fantastic artwork!

I’ve signed up for an account with CloudPrinter.com and ordered a series of items using very basic layouts of the artwork to test how it scales to physical items and to see the quality of the finished products. I’m looking at Beach Towels, T-Shirts, Hoodies, Polo’s and Mugs. I’ll let you all know how they turn out!

A Huge Sauna Welcome To Our Awesome New Artist!

I am so delighted to be able to introduce the new Gay Sauna the Board Game artist to you all: Jose Garrote!

I was introduced to Jose a couple of months ago by a fan of the game (shoutout to Daniel – thank you!), and after our first chat it was clear we had a great connection and energy! A few conversations and some initial artwork later and we’re working super well together on this project.

So Jose, who are you and where are you from?
Hi! As Adrian said, I’m Jose, I am an artist from Spain who loves video games, animation movies and thanks to my friends in Vancouver, also board games.

How did you hear about Gay Sauna the Board Game?
Well, my friend Daniel, from Vancouver, the one who’s guilty for why I like board games, told me about Gay Sauna the Board Game. He said “Why don’t you draw one of the guys they have on their website so they can see what you could do?” and so I did… and here we are!

What’s it like to work on a board game?
Honestly, it’s kinda different from other projects. When you’re working on a board game, the challenge is to keep in mind the mechanics are more important than the art itself, which is a very tricky thing for an artist if you ask me. We just want to make it beautiful! But thanks to my background in video game design I am used to it. I think we’ve been doing a great job emphasising the game strengths and it’s really nice work together I feel very confident about the results.

And what about drawing naked men?
Am I allowed to say dirty stuff? I mean, imagine the places I end up looking for references… My goal is to make these guys sexy and at least they are for me, meaning sometimes it gets a bit hot in the room. But fun facts aside, drawing the human body is basic stuff to do as an artist so usually you don’t really think “this guy is hot” when you’re drawing them, you’re focused on getting the anatomy, the proportions or the lightning right. I am sorry if you thought this would be all fun but you have to be professional too.

Where can everyone find you and your art?
I’m glad you asked, just a few days ago my website was finished and I would really appreciate you all taking a look: https://www.narfil.com

Now with Jose on board, we’re getting close to putting the first version of the game into production! With that announcement, I think it’s only fair we share a visual hint of what’s to come.

We hope you like him as much as we do!

For now he’s nameless, but that’s all for a good reason. We have big plans on the next steps, and we’ll be revealing all (and maybe a bit more) in the coming weeks. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated on the latest news!

How I create my prototypes

This duo really does give me everything I need

While I don’t claim to be an artist or designer, there’s a lot of art and design work needed to create Gay Sauna the Board Game. For all of the “real artwork” and finalised designs, I’m working with two designers for, but in the meantime there’s a host of prototype versions that need to be created and in order to make this possible, I’ve had to learn how to do this myself.

Without anyone paying for my software, it’s not viable for me to be using Photoshop, Illustrator or InDesign – the subscription models just don’t make sense for me. So I’ve had to find the right alternatives for me. To make everything I’m creating at the moment, I use a combination of GIMP and Graphic.

GIMP is a free, open source image editor that packs a real punch. I’ve been using GIMP for many years for basic things like creating transparent backgrounds on existing images, but now my needs have grown and it’s great that this free app has been able to cover a lot of my new found requirements. The only drawback to GIMP is the lack of native CYMK and Vector image capabilities. While there are some ways to resolve these using plugins and community contributions, I always found them cumbersome and a little lacking. So, as I started to print the things I was producing, it became necessary for me to find something to help me where GIMP couldn’t.

In walked Graphic. Native to Mac, Graphic is a vector editing program that seems to be designed for people creating publishing work – whether that’s digital or print, it’s got me covered. While it lacks the extensive functionality of both GIMP and the Adobe suite, Graphic more than makes up for it with its simplistic approach and easy to use GUI. There have only been a couple of times that Graphic has not been able to meet my needs and thankfully GIMP was fully capable of filling this gap. The biggest drawback is the lack of full layer masking capabilities – so specific edits I need to make to images I now do in GIMP and then move over the finalised edit to Graphic for layouts and finalisation. Graphic isn’t a free program, but the lifetime license only costs $30 and I feel it has been more than worth the investment at a fraction of the cost of even part of the Adobe suite.

I’d never thought I’d ever be spending so much of my time manipulating and creating images, but it truly is a rewarding activity with a tangible outcome at the end. It’s been a challenging learning process too, as it’s not just the methods I need to learn, the wider concepts of graphic design are pretty much entirely new for me. I didn’t even know what a layer mask was 12 months ago and now I’m finding out all the ways in which they can be useful within my creations as well as finding alternatives when the software is lacking.

I doubt I’ll ever work as a graphic designer professionally, but I’m sure having a lot of fun playing as one for the time being.

Going through changes

For as long as the game isn’t being printed by the manufacturer, it’s in development and I’ll continue to be changing and improving where needed. This continuous cycle of modifications is a challenging process as so many of the elements are connected together and while some things seem to be very much in flux – such as the Action cards, others, like the dice results, have been consistent for a very long time.

One thing that has been in visual design flux for a long time is the board; however it’s been some time since I made any non-cosmetic changes to the board. I have a huge array of balancing formulas and calculations that I use to determine the impact of some changes on key aspects of gameplay, and the consistency of the board has been really useful in keeping this workload manageable.

Based on recent feedback though, I’ve been through a long process to look at the impact of reducing the overall size of the board and I am overjoyed with the result of this investigation and resulting design process. I present to you, the new Gay Sauna the Board Game playing board:

The latest game board is quite a bit smaller than previous incarnations, measuring in at 72x52cm.

This latest version has some dramatic changes applied. With the removal of the Bar area, and the reduction in the size of the Dark Room, not only has the board shrunken from a massive 90x60cm to still a large 72x52cm, but also now has dedicated space for the placement of the 3 card decks in the game and their respective discard piles.

The rules have been shuffled around a little as well as the removal of the barriers to entry for each of the rooms that goes hand-in-hand with a complete rewrite of the game rules as a whole that returns gameplay on a single player round and focuses attention on improving the action and pace of the game.

All of this will be wrapped up in the launch of the 9th full version of the game that I’m hoping will be finalised in the coming week or two, when the next playtesting sessions will be planned in and I’ll get to try this all out with a real audience of players.

It’s nerve wracking making such big changes to the game, but I really hope that this all is worth it. I guess I’ll find out real soon.

Printing and Playing

In this past month I’ve seen lots of changes, with a brand new updated logo I’ve started the busy work of getting offline materials printed, starting with these awesome new business cards!

Coming next week are the first promotional flyers, simple A5 pages with a page of text briefly explaining some of the things to expect in the game. I’ve even been able to add some of the fantastic new artwork to these, so I can’t wait till they arrive.

Next up I’m looking at Keyrings and Towels – and there’s a possibility I’ll be able to put up some of this merchandise for sale on this site, so keep your eyes peeled!

With the next Playtesting sessions already planned, I’m also pulling together an update for the game materials including a new set of visitor cards. Unfortunately they’ll not yet have new updated artwork, but with a revised set of balanced metadata and a slightly new and improved visual design they should make all the difference for new and existing players.

I’ve still got some really interesting new mechanics to try out, so if you want to get in on the action, check out the Events Page and sign up!

Tribes over Types

For many versions of the game, the visitors were categorised by six types: Bears, Daddies, Muscle, Otters, Twinks and Wolves. I needed to find an icon-set for these and so they kind of morphed into 6 types I could represent by animals: Bears, Daddy Gorillas, Foxes (Otters), Muscle Bulls, Twink Bunnies and Wolves.

As I approach production of the game, I’m revisiting all aspects, and the types were top of my list to get finalised and I have made some changes. Firstly I’ve decided to drop the term Types and replace this with Tribes. Playtesting has proven this is a common enough term amongst the intended audience for the game ūüėČ

As for the Tribes themselves, Bears, Daddies and Twinks remain untouched, although Daddies and Twinks will drop their animal counterparts and adopt a new icon. Otters will return and get an appropriately cute ottery test-icon you may have noticed. Muscle guys will morph slightly into Jocks and get a Jock icon. Finally the Wolves are retiring early, howling at the moon as they head into pastures new. They’re being replaced by the new Tribe: Guy Next Door.

The big next step: An Artist

So I’ve just posted an advert for an artist and this is a huge thing for me and this project, as I make my steady way towards making this game a reality.

The biggest piece of work that needs to be done is the character artwork. With a current “Visitor Deck” of 120 guys, there’s a huge amount of work that needs to be done before the game will be ready. There’s also a lot more work to be done in the rest of the game, from the board, the cards, playing pieces – basically everything could do with a little more artistic flair than I’ve put into this to date.

As this becomes a reality, I’ve had to start putting some more formal things into place and my planning forces me to set some dates. My current aim is to get a Crowdfunding Campaign live on or around 1st May 2019 and whilst there is still some months, there’s a huge amount to get done in that time.

In terms of the artwork, I don’t expect for the game to be production ready when the crowd funding campaign is launched; however the core theme and visual style (colours, fonts, styles etc) will need to be finalised as well as enough game artwork to be able to create the campaign image and video materials. This also means that there is a somewhat limited investment in this as full materials will only need to be produced if the campaign is successful. Although if the campaign is not successful, I am likely to find another method of launching the game.

My ideal situation would be someone who is up for joining me in this challenge, not just contractually creating characters as freelance artist, but as a partner in developing Gay Sauna the Board Game as well as all the games that I hope will follow. That being said, I’m also realistic about this and know that I’ll know the right artist when I meet them and see their work and all the details will follow.

I’m hoping this little glimpse into the process at the moment might be useful for anyone who is or knows someone who might be interested in becoming the artist for Gay Sauna the Board Game and if you do, check out the job post and get in touch.

Help Wanted – Game Artist / Digital Illustrator

ReRoll Works is seeking a Game Artist with excellent digital painting/illustration and visual design skills to work on the upcoming project Gay Sauna the Board Game.

Gay Sauna the Board Game is an exciting board game experience currently in development in Amsterdam, NL and is in need of a skilled and dedicated Game Artist / Illustrator for creation of the final game artwork. The primary focus for this role is the Character Artwork that requires over 100 individual characters that need to be designed and produced.

What I’m looking for:

  • Graphic Illustrator / Artist that has worked professionally in this role (Portfolio)
  • LGBTQ+ Ally
  • A sense of humour
  • Not easily offended (by the Game, not by me. I’m incredibly nice)
  • Located in/near Amsterdam, NL a strong preference
  • Any games design experience a bonus
  • Interested in (gay) board games

If you’re interested in this opportunity and want to find out more, please get in touch using the contact form on the right.

About ReRoll Works:
The owner of ReRoll Works, Adrian has a passion for games and has created and refined the concept for Gay Sauna the Board Game. ReRoll works is now focused on bringing Gay Sauna the Board into production and made globally available online. Adrian is dedicated to creating compelling board game experience that combine exciting flavour and character with deep and tactical gameplay.

While this is a startup venture, the project is relatively mature and is planning for a public crowd-funding campaign to launch before the end of Q2 2019.

Happy New Year!

Hi everyone, I hope you all had a wonderful Festive Season. I’m back in the New Year and I’m so excited to be able to tell you all about version 4 of Gay Sauna the Board Game.

In a recent playtest, we had a serious discussion about the playability, namely the matching process and the player cards. Combined with the results I’ve seen about the manner in which to introduce the game to new players, I’ve taken a long look at the game and decided it was time for a full visual remake.

The new card design has taken a slightly more modern game look, without the strong borders, the colours now flow to the edges (I just hope I can get the print job done right). The most important thing about the new designs is that the cards line up next to each other to be able to see whether you can match with the visitor, and what you have in common.

I’m showing you here sample player cards, please note that I do not own the rights to the images used here, this is just used as an example.¬†Please¬†contact¬†me¬†if¬†you¬†would¬†like¬†to¬†have¬†your¬†images¬†removed.

I’ve also done a little bit of modelling for the game pieces, as I’m seeing the current set of tokens and boards are a little tatty from being just paper. I’d like to do a lot more of this and I will certainly update all the tokens for this version.

The rules have had also had the biggest change since the very first version with the long narrative being removed. While it always remained a popular part of the game process for playtesting, it always took a huge amount of time to get through and may not add enough to justify this. This kind of content will remain in the game though, with some being delivered in the box as background fluff and additional reading info and some will be presented in a video that I think needs to be a part of the final delivered product. The rules themselves are now in a very short setup and winning section, with a “Hookup Guide” attached that players should go through together if playing for the first time. This is then supported by each player getting a “Gay Sauna the Board Game Sauna Guidebook” that provides details about all the sauna specifics including rooms, attributes, cards and of course the types, kinks and roles.

Version 4 still has a lot more to be done for it, including the player boards, rooms and event and action card designs. All of that for this week, it’s going to be tough, but I’ll make it in time for the next Playtesting session this coming Sunday 13th. It’ll be a really fun day, and the first chance to get to play the version that I expect to be the final one I make myself without an artist!

Getting started…

Hi everyone, the first update on here from me I guess should be about this site. I’m putting this together to have a place to communicate to the growing fanbase for Gay Sauna the Board Game, as well as to start documenting the journey I’m going through as this game goes from the rough sketches of a game to something resembling a fully fledged idea in reality.
I’m super excited to be able to work on this project now, and while it’s still early in the process, I can’t wait to get moving on all the things that I need to do.
To give a bit of an insight, at the moment I’ve categorised my tasks into:

  • Game Mechanics
  • Art & Design
  • Background & Character
  • Marketing & Promotion

My biggest focus at the moment is still on the Game Mechanics, as this is ultimately the core of the game and will make or break it, but given that the project is evolving and the play-testing is going well, I thought it was about time I branched out into some of the other categories to flesh out the project and get things moving.