Too Easy…

In recent playtesting sessions Pinned Down has proven to be far too easy… Consequently, I’ve changed many of the rules and cards: Tokens in the treat pool now remain at the end of the wrap-up phase, and all locations now have negative effects, for example.

Additionally, the maximum number of starships per player fleet has been drastically reduced, and there are more cards referencing each other: Everything feels much better now.

There will be another big playtesting session this weekend before I upload the new deck sheets; however, the updated rulebook and cards are online right now, feel free to check ‘em out!

Play Pinned Down Now!

The card sheets containing the starter decks of all four affiliations, the attack deck, the damage deck and the location deck are online – you can print the rulebook and your decks and start playing the current prototype right now!

Next I’m gonna work on the Java tool for creating the card lists, as I found that doing that by hand is a waste of time. Wanted to develop that tool anyway – why create the card lists by hand and develop the tool after? ;)

Pinned Down Sees The Light Of Day

Today is the very first day that I talk in public about one of the most ambitous free-time projects of my entire life.

My name is Nick Pruehs, I am 24 years of age and currently studying for my master’s degree in “Sound, Vision, Games” at Hamburg University of Applied Sciences.

Some weeks ago, I started working on an idea that I’ve had for years now: A cooperative card game that combines great trading card game mechanics like the ones of the Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game by Decipher, Inc. with cooperative board game mechanics you find in games like Pandemic or Battlestar Galactica: The Board Game.

I’ve been playing trading card games for my entire life, and I’ve played many of them. Pinned Down is an attempt to capture the essence of the best of these games and create a new one that can be played together instead of against each other. Let me quote the beginning of the introduction of the official rulebook to tell you what this is all about:

“In Pinned Down, the players command a small fleet carrying the last survivors of the known universe: An ancient, unknown, and aggressive race has entered their dimension, seeking to destroy all younger races that might become a threat to them and will not cease attacking until their enemies are completely eradicated.

The players need to work together in order to survive until they find a safe harbor to live in peace.”

Each of the players plays a different role while passing different locations on their journey, such as covert ops, military or support. One of the most important points is that the opposition the players have to face grows as the players get stronger, much like in the Lord of the Rings Trading Card Game. The focus of Pinned Down clearly is on collaborating, on discussing decisions and planning the use of limited resources, as well as finding clever ship fight assignments.

This project follows a special philosophy: First, the game is completely free and you’ll have full access to all resources related to the game. Always. I’m simply tired of every human wanting to make the best profit of everything, instead of sharing what we’ve got. And second, you’ll be able to contribute to the project yourself and discuss your ideas with the community if you like to.

There will be a last playtesting session before I’m gonna release the complete card and deck list and you can help me prototyping right away if you want to!

The idea is to finally create an online version of the game based on the Unity engine. You’re gonna have your own profile and will be able to earn points as you play the game with your friends, enabling you to “buy” new cards and modify your deck, just as with traditional trading card games. However, as Pinned Down is cooperative, you don’t have to be a hardcore player to have fun playing it. Finally, there are gonna be special community events, similar to raids in the World of WarCraft Trading Card Game, that will grant you access to special premium cards if you participate.

Okay, that’s still a long way to go. So let’s start right here, right now, take a look around and become one of the first members of the Pinned Down community!