Thursday, September 30, 2010

Mailer to the List

I just sent this out to the email list (the yahoogroups to the left):

Hello, everyone!

I'm starting to get caught up on maintaining this mailing list, and I'm very excited to get moving forward on the game. I've decided that I'm going to enter the game in a design contest held annually at a Salt Lake City game convention every January. I'm excited to press forward with that.

To that end, I need some help:

First of all: I would very much like to hear back from anyone on this group who has played the game, especially in its most recent form (version 8.1). Unfortunately, because of spam, I had to shut down the discussion option in this group, but I would encourage you to join the chapterandversgametalk discussion
yahoogroup. You can find it at:

If you don't want to join that group, you can privately email me your reaction to the game at

Please take some time to try v 8.1 and to let me know how it goes. The more feedback I get, the better I will be able to get the game ready for the contest. Entry deadlines are the end of October, even though the presentation of the games and the selection of the winner won't happen until January.

Second of all, if there are any graphic designers in this group, I would sure love to talk to you about helping to prepare the game for the contest, and eventually for publication. I would be open to negotiating a split of any of the sales with anyone who was interested.

Thanks to all of you. It has sure been encouraging to see so many people express an interest in the game!


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Seekers!

I've been feeling for a long time (and that feeling was confirmed by playtesters) that the game needs a setting, to help make the experience more immersive.  One of the problems with the game is that it's pretty abstract.  You're making books out of chapters out of verses, yes, but in what context?  In what setting? 

As a M:TG player, or a Yu-Gi-Oh player, you represent a great wizard, summoning monsters or casting spells.  in Pokemon, you're a trainer, sending your creatures to fight in the arena.  What are you in Chapter and Verse?

I came up with the idea of "The Seekers".  These are souls searching the world through history and places looking for pearls of truth.  Still a bit abstract, but it gives a bit more context.  It's something you can imagine, and become as you play.  See the description on the left to get an idea of how it will work.

That also means that I need to develop two new types of cards:

  • "Pearls" - These will be very strong verses, probably with the "Unique" ability, rare (in published form) and expensive to play.  They will probably give some really big benefit to a player who closes a book with a Pearl verse in it.
  • Location verses - I imagine these would function in a way similar to the Location cards in Chaotic, the Planechase cards in Magic, or the Field Spell cards in Yu-Gi-Oh.  These verses would define where and when in the history of the earth the game is taking place, and give certain additional benefits to verses markered to those locations.
What's cool is that I can add these verses to the game, and add a lot of context and flavor to the game.  However, they won't add any actual rules!  It's all in the cards.

And I will, of course, keep you all posted!

More Progress, More Testing

I've been doing some more testing lately, and the more I play 8.1, the more excited I get.  It just keeps feeling more and more smooth and consistent. 

I have been noticing, however, as I've been playing, that I need to tweak up the cards some.  There are a few cards that need to be rewritten.  Not the scriptures, of course!  Mostly the effects.  Some of them have had the same effects text for the last three or four versions, and it's time to update!  Others just need to be more balanced.  For example, there are a few cards that simply cost too little to play, and the sacrifice cost needs to be higher.  Or maybe the ability needs to be tempered a little.  If, while you're playtesting, you find verses in need of editing, please let me know, via comment here, or via email!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Here's what's new in v8.1

OK, enough with the big story and the bla, bla, bla...

On with the nitty gritty.  In the process of making the game more fun, and playable, here's what I did with the newest version:
  1. The most immediate change is to note that the chapters are no longer "owned" by any player, nor are they "combined", "stolen", nor "included" together.  There are four chapter spaces in between all of the players, and verses are played into any of the four by any of the players.  Players are, in that sense, working together to build the chapters into books.  But, each book is still closed up by one player!
  2. When a book is closed, any player that added verses to it benefits.  The player that closes the book draws two blessings, and anyone else that added to it also draws one.
  3. This also means that each player needs a good number of blessing verses to start with.  I've tested 5-verse games and 7-verse games.  I think I prefer the five.  The games are done in about 20 minutes for two-player, 35 minutes for three.
  4. I'm working on the "backstory", or the "Setting" of the game, to help the players feel more immersed in the game.  This has been difficult, because the game is really so abstract.  You're not a wizard, or a pokemon trainer, or whatever.  I'll reveal this as I have it more fleshed out.
Thanks much for coming along for the ride.  I'm excited to see this add to the world of LDS games, and scripture mastery games.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

In Which I Go Through Phases

Life is cyclical, right?

So it is with Chapter and Verse.

See, I have too many hobbies, and too many interests, and not enough time or money to really pursue any of them.  One is this thrill I get from gaming and game design, and another is my LDS rock music, and yet a third is dutch oven cooking.  Mixed into all that is blogging and internet marketing (which is my day job).  Oh, and I also have a wonderful family that I try and take care of on occasion.  So far, they haven't disowned me.

So, I go through these phases where one or more of the "extra-curricular" hobbies takes center stage and the others tend to get pushed off. 

Gaming is pretty much a constant, but game design, particularly working on Chapter and Verse, tends to get sidelined a lot.  I've been working pretty steadily on a new CD, and also have been gradually preparing a dutch oven bread cookbook.  So, I've not worked much on C&V.

I haven't abandoned it, though.  In the years since the last blog entry, it's actually gone through another full revision, with a few sub-revisions.  I played with some card design ideas, and put them up on a facebook page.  I even joined a Mormon Game Design e-group, and started an online class in game design theory.  Great stuff.  Even still, I hadn't seriously looked at it in about a year.  Then, a few weeks ago, a friend of mine suggested we dig it out of mothball and give it a spin.

He got excited about it, and that fueled my own excitement.  That night, he and I fixed a few issues that have been troubling me about the rules and the concept ever since.  In a flood of ideas and activity, I've done another full revision, and now we're up to version 8.1 of the rules.  My son and I have been testing the new revisions.

I know I've said this before, but I'm finally feeling like it's solid, playable, and FUN! 

All that has made me rethink many things about the game, and the status of the website is a big part of that.  So, I've been copy/pasting  all of the old blog entries to this new spot, and it's now done!  I'm missing a few pictures and a few of the links, but it's still online.  I'm going to transfer the domain as soon as I get more of the static content added.  It will be much better!

Thanks for taking the time to play along.  We'll keep you updated!