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!

Play-testing v3.1

The first somewhat formal play-testing session was a huge success and a big thanks to those that participated!

There are still many elements of the game that need tweaking, but from the feedback I’ve received I believe that the most important areas of the game mechanics to continue to work on are:

  • Action Cards
  • Event Cards
  • Energy/Horniness Levels

Action Cards

The Action Card Deck being used for this play-testing session was created last week. The breakdown of the cards was just over 40% usable on the player themselves and around 45% of cards being used on another player. The remainder of the cards directly affected visitors on the table or the towel.

The biggest change being made to Action Cards in this version though is that there is now a new category of when the Action Card can be used. With many cards being restricted to be used within a specific part of a player’s turn the aim of this was to encourage players to follow more closely the activities of other players and create tactics based on the cards they have in their hands. This worked to some degree, with many of the cards appearing to be playable at a large portion of the time. The challenge is, players are not playing them. I put this down to a few reasons:

  1. Players want to know that the cards they play will have a real impact on the game. It’s not always obvious if this is the case, and many cards being played did actually turn out to have no effect at all. Improving this to ensure that cards have a real impact, even if this is a very small effect, I think is the best option.
  2. Players aren’t always paying attention to the rounds of the game, meaning some cards with a very short time-window can be tough to get right. I don’t want to make it too easy, but there’s improvement to be made for sure.
  3. Still 

With a beginning hand of 3 cards and a maximum of 5 cards in any hand there is also a little innate motivation to ensure that players are not hoarding their cards for too long.

As with most of the previous games, there’s still lots of room for improvement, with players still finding it difficult to determine when best to use their cards. Additionally, there are still many unclear cards (due mainly to the way in which they are written), but I have also discovered some rule specifics (such as re-rolling) that break the mould I had in mind for the way they should be used.

Event Cards

I also created an updated Event Card deck for this play-test. The Event Cards are the first part of the game to start to receive “storytelling fluff” with snippets of narrative being added to each of the cards to give a better impression of what is happening and to add some more humour to the play-run.

Overall this worked great (I learned a good lesson around the card design and the order of the text, so the next version will certainly read better) and I felt there was enough diversity in the events themselves as well as the shuffle element to moving visitors around.

I’m still not happy with a couple of things though. Firstly the Event Cards are pretty generic, with all of them resulting in a +1/+2/-1/-2 horniness result for a set of players. While this provides me with a guarantee of balance in the game, I feel this could do with spicing up a little with more odd-ball results. Balance could be tough to maintain, but I think the effort will be worth it. The main thing I have in mind here is to give some reaction, so not just move a dial improving a score, but requiring players to make some sort of decision and choice. It’s going to take some work and a lot of feedback so I hope you all have some thoughts and ideas to give me.

The other are of Event Cards that needs work is very much tied in with the 3rd point above, Energy and Horniness levels.

Energy/Horniness

Version 1 of Gay Sauna the Board Game had 4 attributes: Courage, Horniness, Energy and Soberness. I loved this concept, and should the game develop into some dungeon wandering RPG, then for sure these will all come back. But for now, it seems to be very much evolving into a hilarious and fun casual party game, so simplicity is hugely important.

Since then I’ve reduced down to only 2 attributes: Energy and Horniness. I very much like this as it gives the game an extra dimension of control and randomness. In version 3 of the game, impact on Energy and Horniness has been separated. Energy is almost exclusively modified by the rooms that visitors go into. This gives players the option to develop an Energy strategy. Playing with the specifics of how much energy is gained and lost per room, as well as the starting values, I have a good command over how energy can be used.

Horniness however is a different animal entirely. With constant modification due to the Event Cards being drawn, as well as large penalties to Horniness that come from the Sex Dice, players have consistently found it challenging to ensure they maintain the required level of horniness in order to continue to prowl the Sauna. Admittedly, the drawbacks of running out of Horniness have been reduced and this has given a little hope to those players lagging behind in the game, there is definitely a missing part of the game: a way to fix yourself if you run out of horniness early in the game.

For this, I don’t think there’s only one thing that can resolve it completely, so I think this will come in the form of quite a few small changes that hopefully will all together give the right level of control to players so they can have fun even if their chips are down.

  1. Event Card changes will have a big impact. By keeping the Deck about the same size, but introducing a good portion of non-attribute related results, I can reduce the consistent horniness bombardment that players face with the current set.
  2. Pick Me Up: The rule to buy something to gain some horniness has been a concept since the beginning, but the specifics still need to be ironed out. Currently it’s possible to skip a turn of energy in the Bar to gain 3 horniness. As the only option for knowingly improving your horniness, the price for this boost is a little high. I can potentially see some option of splitting the rewards between the two attributes (but some arbitrary division is probably more convenient for the game). Whatever it ends up being, this rule is certainly at he cornerstone of horniness management.
  3. Action Cards can also provide some more benefits here – having multiple cards that can boost horniness of a player could be a good way to get players to play the cards in their hands, provide plenty of Hell No! options as well as give players that chance to fix a losing situation. This however is of course no guarantee, players may simply not draw one of these cards and while I’ve toyed with the idea of giving players specific cards to start the game, I like the much more variable aspect of a random deck.
  4. Sex Rolls are the biggest offender in the current version for ruining the player experience. With 2 results that give players either a null-turn next time by preventing match rolls for a turn, or by throwing all of their horniness out of the door when shooting their loads, players have a good chance things will end badly. Now I don’t want to ease up too much here, I think there should be some penalties for players that are Matching; after all if you’re matching, you’re winning. The first change will be Shooting your Load will only incur a penalty of 4 horniness. The second change is the Love Affair result, which will change from no matching on your next turn, to you can only match with visitors of the same type as your last conquest in your next turn. The flavour is kinda nice here too: You’ve kind of gotten a crush from this guy, so you get blinkers for only guys that look the same.
  5. Room options are a final item I think can be useful here and have also given me something in the game mechanics that I was missing: a way for players who are falling behind to not get left behind. Room impact at the moment is entirely focused on Energy modification. I don’t want to change this much, but I will be introducing an additional rule to each room that comes into effect when a player does not successfully match with a visitor in their turn. For Energy Sapping rooms like the Dry Sauna and Steam Room, there will be a small horniness bonus for players that fail their match rolls. Whilst in the Bar, there will be a horniness loss should players fail a match roll. A little added complexity, so I’ll be sure to keep an eye on this as well as ensure players are provided with clear turn-order instructions.

There are of course other areas of the game that I know need a lot of work. The game instructions and other published materials are still a big pain both create as well as produce (my printer hates me about 75% of the time). The instructions I provided for v3.1 were certainly an improvement with a visual example of the matching process included; however the order of how information is provided as well as determining the right way for this to be portrayed to a group is still very much a work in progress. Short of recording a video, there doesn’t appear to be any golden egg (and I will produce a video asap, but the written rules need to also exist). For this, I think the next step is to try several iterations of the rules and then publish them here to get feedback from you all on how to refine.

So, thanks again to the play-testers! None of this would be possible without them. If you’re interested in joining the fun and becoming a play-tester, sign up to the newsletter at http://gaysaunatheboardgame.com and I’ll be posting January Play-testing dates before the New Year.

Adrian

It was his first time…

Blake had never been to a gay sauna before, he’d been to bars, clubs and some rather interesting house parties, he’d passed through dark rooms, though had yet to have a run in with anyone that felt even remotely like the kind of hot, slim Furry Fox he was really looking for in the dark. He’d been a prowler online for more years than his birth certificate says he should have, and had experienced several remarkably enjoyable encounters. Unfortunately, this had also come along with many, many more somewhat disappointing affairs, with the most recent only several days past.

Blake looked down to his wrist, a wave of panic spread through his body then dissipated quickly as he for the fourth time today, remembered he had lost his watch. It had been the hookup from three days ago, the very cute and energetic Fox called Curtis, who had managed to persuade Blake to have another guy, Michael the Twink, to pick him up in his car and for both of them to join for a threesome. While Curtis was really cute, and Michael was only just short of being a supermodel, Blake had always had bad experiences with the uber-attractive and was tentative about agreeing. In the end, he’d looked at the clock and figured what the hell. On the journey it turned out that Michael was intelligent and witty, and much to his surprise very much into Blake. It didn’t take long for Michael to slip his hand across the car into Blake’s lap, encouraging the growth already pushing out the seams of his jeans. Michael tried to push the buttons of Blake’s fly apart, but after the second attempt resulting again in the car swerving across the road, Blake lightly tapped his hand away and deftly pulled the jeans open, slipping them just under his hips leaving his now fully grown but tightly restrained cock pushing up from under his white briefs.

The car pulled to a stop and Blake looked up to see the yellow lights of a car park skirting a tall and incredibly grey apartment building. Unfortunately he did not hear the footsteps approaching from behind in time and was shortly met with chuckles as two college students passed by, presumably catching a glimpse of his underwear. He hoped they’d not gotten a good enough look to spot the small damp circle at his tip or the steady and uncontrollable pulse every few seconds. It was nothing to him anyway, he was getting excited about getting Michael undressed and still had vivid images of the dick-pics he’d gotten from Curtis and couldn’t wait to get his mouth around that meat.

Once inside, things had gone smoothly to begin with; Blake was very content being the centre of attention as it seemed both the boys preferred him to the other. He had taken his turn to suck each of their cocks in turn before taking both in his mouth at once; trying his hardest to keep his teeth out of the way whilst he pleasured these young men. It wasn’t long before Blake motioned for Curtis to move behind him whilst he continued to devour Michael. He heard Curtis fumbling around in a drawer somewhere before padding back lightly across the room. Blake felt a couple of lubricated fingers entering slowly up him, feeling the pressure and before relaxing naturally around the digits.

Maybe thirty seconds later Blake heard Curtis start to swear under his breath, there was a stomp on the floor before Blake felt a sharp stinging on his left butt-cheek followed by an extensive string of expletives that was muffled to Blake due to the amazing clapping sound that had reverberated upon impact. Caught in shock and during exhalation, Blake tried to gasp in air only to realise that his mouth was entirely filled with Michael’s junk that was now dripping pre-cum down the back of his throat turning his half-cough into a full-blown gagging. Blake violently coughed up the hard inches of Michael before spluttering about on his knees trying to catch his breath.

Behind him Curtis was in a rage, having issues with the condom it seemed. As Blake turned his head around he wasn’t sure that Curtis was aware that Condoms did not have ears, brains or any sense of being; and him shouting his commands to the condom for it to restrain from pulling at his foreskin as he rolled it down over his rapidly shrinking manhood would be fruitless at best. Blake was also pretty sure this was the primary cause of said shrinking penis. He didn’t however believe it would be a good idea to interrupt this domestic and thought to focus his attention forwards onto Michael, who should, if his memory served his correctly, be sat in front of him with his beautiful dick pointing towards him begging for it to be sucked.

Oh how was he wrong…as his vision caught up with his head returning to face forwards on his body, Blake took in the picture sitting before him. Michael had indeed not moved and for sure his young Twink energy was continuing to pump the vast amounts of blood needed to keep his impressive cock pointing to the skies despite the look that Blake was later to notice being etched on his face. Michael however was not the only thing sitting before him. Blake had not felt the significantly sized and numerous lumps and blobs of his large Chicken Sate dinner rushing up his windpipe. It seems he had not once in his entire twenty two and a half years of being, ever imagined how a Chicken Sate dinner could ever be regurgitated in such a specific set of circumstances that this dinner resembles far too closely that which should only ever come out of an orifice much lower in one’s body…it was then he looked up and saw the expression staring down at him.

There must be words that can diffuse such a situation. There must be that one sentence you can say that will result in everyone laughing, smiling as they get up grab a towel before continuing on with the fun. Blake didn’t know that sentence. He didn’t use any sentence. He simply got up, grabbed his underwear, shirt, jeans and shoes and headed for the door. He got one step out before he remembered his phone. He dropped everything there and ran quickly back inside, putting his hand up to the right of his face as he walked confidently into the bedroom. Having blocked his vision to where both Michael and Curtis would be sitting and standing respectively, Blake had his eyes on his phone on top of the drawers. He pinched it up, did a quick about face and marched back through the hallway and out the apartment. Bundling up his clothes from the floor, he pushed the elevator button. His exposed unsatiated cock swinging lightly as he moved around, threatening to leave droplets of his pre-seed on the floor.

He breathed a loud sigh of relief when the lift arrived less than ten seconds later and another much louder noise as he relaxed entirely to the sight of an empty lift exposed by the opening doors. He hopped into the lift, rapidly pressing the ground floor button until the door started their way-too-slow journey to meet each other. Once freed from button duty Blake pulled his pants on, followed by his jeans and shirt. He picked up his phone and got his regular taxi number ready as his other hand felt in his jeans pocket for his watch….

“Fuck it!”

That had been then, now Blake was hopeful. The hot and fuzzy Muscle Bull called Ferris had been chatting with him for a little while and today had invited Blake to join him at the gay sauna. It was mid-day on a Sunday and Blake wasn’t sure there would be anyone at the sauna but Ferris assured him it would be busy enough. He would recognise Ferris on the street by his hat.

Arriving at the end of the road Blake spots the hat easily. He makes his way down the street before suddenly filling with unfathomable levels of dread. Blake’s mind flashes vividly with the images of the Vindaloo leftovers he’d had for breakfast that morning…

Getting into the Data of Action Cards

Hi all,

Today I’ve been really getting into the details of what the action cards are about and what would make the perfect action deck for the game. My data set is a de-duplicated list of the version 3 Action Cards. My intent is to ensure that all Action Cards (apart from the Nope equivalent) should be unique in the deck.

If you want to see the current Action Card deck, you can download it here.

I first took a look at the target of the card, whether the card is played on the player themselves, on another player, or on visitors on the board.

While I think this makes a nice graph, the split between yourself and other players I don’t think gives the game enough interaction, so I think I’ll work to tilt it more towards using cards on other players. Maybe to around 60-70%.

I’ve also taken a look at the part of the game the card affects. This is similar to the target, but here I looked at does the card affect the matching process, player attributes or rooms for example.

It’s pretty clear at the moment there’s a strong trend towards card that impact the matching process, whether that’s improving your own chances or reducing another player’s. This is the core of the game, and so I think this will always be the more dominant part here, it does make me think that some other areas could benefit from some action card attention.

Finally for today, I looked at frequency of use. Primarily, how often would players have the chance to play the card. This is kind of difficult, as many cards are dependent on factors within the game that could or could not arise; however I’ve taken a shot at categorising them into the following:

1 – Anytime: Can be used pretty much any time (e.g. stealing a visitor card from another player)
2 – Frequent: Can expect to be used at least once in a round or on your own turn most of the time (e.g. force another player to re-roll a successful match roll)
3 – Sometimes: Should be possible to use in one or two rounds (e.g. add a kink for a single roll)
4 – Rare: Could be once per game (e.g. if you reach 0 horniness, gain 1 horniness now)

Here I think is where a lot of attention should be focused. I believe the Rare and Sometimes should make up a total of around 25-40% of the deck, ensuring that players with a couple of cards in their hand should be able to use at least one of them during a round. With a little work, it should be possible to improve the usability of many of the existing cards and ensure that’s a focus for the new ones that will be added.

So what do you think about the Action Card deck? What kind of percentages do you think should be for the split for target, affect and frequency? Or is there another trait you think I should be looking at or would like to see the data on? Let me know in the comments below!

Scheduled Play Testing Event in December

I’ve scheduled in a play testing event to take place on Sunday the 16th. See the Event Page for more info.

I’ve opened up 6 places for the session – this is to ensure that everyone will get to play themselves and I’m hoping to get a good conversation out of you all after the game about how it went and to collect some ideas and thoughts you might have.

If you can’t make this date, or if it fills up, don’t worry, I’ll be planning plenty more of these in the weeks to come.

Action Cards

While Action Cards (the cards you hold in your hand and can use on yourself or other players) were not part of the original version of the game, by version 3 I have seen them rise in importance to probably be the most vital element that needs work to perfect the gameplay.

Play testing so far with regards to Action Cards has given a huge amount of insight, and I’m looking at several aspects to refine the way they work.

Some key findings:

  1. Action Cards are the primary mechanic to ensure players are not playing solo games
  2. Players want to have a variety of cards in their hands at all times
  3. Cards should be generic enough to be usable most of the game
  4. Players need incentives to use cards and not to hoard them
  5. The base probabilities in the game are too low for high impact Action Cards
  6. Action Cards need to be simple to explain and remember but interesting and engaging

I’ve had some ideas following on from this, I was thinking about potentially making each Action Card dual purpose – so it can be used on yourself as a buff or an opponent as a nerf – but discussions highlighted this could invalidate point 1 above which I believe is probably one of the biggest weaknesses of the game in its current form.

As a result, my next step for Action Cards is to develop a new set that will consist mostly of small nerfs (negative effects) that should be played on other players at specific times – such as during the selection / matching / post-matching steps of the turn. There will also be additional buffs for yourself, and some form of ‘nope’ will need to be present.

This structure of specific timing during a turn, but hopefully a generic effect that is applicable during most of the game, should encourage players to use their cards when they can as well as pay close attention to what the other players are doing. Hoping to support points 1, 3 and 5.

Small additions to this include a starting hand of 3-4 cards and a maximum number of cards a player can hold in their hands, covering points 2 and 4.

So the final action is to cover point 6 and ensure that the Action Cards themselves have the right level of detail and flavour to spice up the interaction in the game. I guess I’ll get to work!

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.