Wednesday August 27, 2014




Game choices impact new tile game

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If you like boardgames at all, you are likely aware of the tile laying mega-hit Carcassonne.

Well a new tile laying game is looking to carve out a place on the gaming table.

Hoyuk has recently been on Kickstarter raising start-up funds, and it found strong support, pushing past its goal with several days left in its campaign.

“Hoyuk wasn’t really inspired by a game, but really by an object: a small scale model of an ancient city I saw once in a museum. I said to myself ‘I really want to create a game where people would just build this’,” said Pierre Canuel, the designer of Hoyuk.

“I thought it would be very appealing to people, like when you see a miniature war game on process, or a nice chess set with detailed pieces, sitting in a living room. When you see such things, it makes you curious and you want to learn how to play. That really was the starting point with Hoyuk.”

Like many projects Hoyuk would go into development hibernation for a time, but then re-emerged for Canuel.

“Then the game came to a rest until I moved to Norway,” he said. “There it took on its new look, with a new theme based on a long research where I studied in detail several archaeological urban sites. I picked Hoyuk when I discovered that in that community they would destroy, often on purpose, their houses after several decades of use, and then build new houses on top of the rubbles. This process would lead to rise the ground of the village, and eventually form a hill in the end. I thought this pattern would be an excellent game mechanic: building layers over layers of miniature houses. That was perfect for me regarding my original goal: a nice gaming object.

The game plays simple enough, it is after all a tile laying game and that tends to keep play pretty straight forward.

The meat of tile-laying games comes in what choices players face laying each piece, and what impacts such decisions have on the ability to win.

Hoyuk offers a lot of in-game decisions. That is good in terms of depth, although I can see with some groups play grinding to a crawl as players mentally weigh options. Some times simpler choices keep game play flowing better.

Hoyuk is also a game that has changed as it came to Kickstarter.

“The original design from the author did not include a board so it was difficult to determine the playing area,” noted Alexander Argyropoulos a co-founder of MAGE Company with Michael Andresakis. “We had to make a board that could fit the whole game and the components, and could make the game even more thematic and not to be a vast board. So we tried several things and we finalized it thanks to the feedback from our playtesters. At the end we also added a grid on the board.”

So what makes Hoyuk different in terms of tile-laying games?

.It is true that it is a different approach but sometimes the seeming randomness of tile destruction can feel more like an in-game mechanism to level the playing field among players, rather then creating some added layer of game play.

At present Hoyuk plays two-to-five players making it pretty versatile, and the game through Kickstarter is already releasing some additions/expansions to grow the game, both solid positives.

Check it out via www.magecompany.com

 




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