Dev Update 1: Introduction

Hello!

My name is Timm: lead developer and director at George and the Goat. This is the first dev entry for Tapestry, and so will contain a bit more background information than a dev entry normally would!

First, let me first tell you a bit about my backstory. Recently (perhaps triggered by getting older, perhaps by the raging pandemic), I have thought a lot more about passion, work, and wasted time. Generally, passion is most often enjoyed in one’s own free time, and work just facilitates having money to spend for one’s passion. However, I think working on something that combines work with passion is way more valuable – even if it might increase financial risk! My greatest passion has always been games; be they video games, board games, or tabletop role-playing games. I ventured in this direction early in my youth, developing a mod for Quake 2 and some other smaller projects over time. So, I decided to take a new direction with George and the Goat, and we began to develop an internal board game framework on top of the Unity Engine.

Being a big fan of Stonemaier Games and Jamey’s blog and videos, I saw an upcoming opportunity with the release of Pendulum. In an interview, I heard Jamey mention that they didn’t yet have concrete plans regarding a digital version. Subsequently, I preordered a copy of Pendulum and once it arrived I verified our framework’s applicability. I contacted Jamey to see if Stonemaier Games would be interested in working with us, but unfortunately by then SG was already in contact with another developer. However, we began talking about Tapestry. Despite having no references, Jamey offered us two months to develop a prototype and the chance to convince him to work with us.

This brings us to the present. Two weeks ago, we handed Stonemaier Games a video of the prototype, and shortly after they agreed to work with us. We are both delighted and excited to have been given this opportunity!

If you have ever opened a board game published by Stonemaier Games, you will probably have noticed their attention to detail and high-quality components. Having spotted that they switched the paper used to print rulebooks to a more premium variety, I realised that I know of very few companies who care about their customer experience as much as SG. Due to these high-quality expectations we feel particularly honored, and will do our best to deliver a digital version that is up to Stonemaier Games’ standard!

Moreover, Jamey’s transparency in his blog posts, YouTube videos, and weekly Livecasts is something I have always appreciated. We will try to emulate this with regular dev updates; including detailed information about our current state, opportunities to look behind-the-scenes, and topics that arise in our Facebook group.

Among the topics that are already planned are:

  • UI – how we try to bring a game that needs a lot of table space onto a small screen.
  • RNGs – is my (digital) future predetermined?
  • Turn-based games and math, and what this has to do with an undo-system and the game log
  • AI – a multi-part series on how to get the computer to make (seemingly) intelligent decisions

If there are specific topics that people are interested in and which come up in the Facebook group – the AI topic was a suggestion by Michael K. Young – we will do our best to cover those too.

We want to use our Facebook group to build up a community, and to allow members to influence the digital version’s development. We will do our best to listen to all ideas, suggestions, and comments. One thing to note is that over time, there will be polls and discussions about features in the Facebook group. While a poll outcome of 99% vs. 1% does clearly indicate what we should go for, there may be cases where the majority will not be the direction we then pursue. Consider the following example; a poll asks users for the preference between two ways to interact with something in the game – A and B. The results are: A: 52%, B: 48%. A would take 4 weeks to implement, but B only 2 days. In such a case, from a business perspective, 52% would not be enough to justify the enormous amount of extra work. I just want to make sure that people understand that a majority in a poll may not necessarily “win” the way we go forward!

Regarding the current situation, as I said before, we just recently finished the prototype – which covered only a small portion of the whole game. With that in mind, I am currently unable to give a “concrete” timeline. However, the next update will contain more details about where we stand right now!

I am really excited about this project, and I can’t wait to play the first fully digital game of Tapestry – who knows? maybe against some of you from the Facebook group! If you are reading this: the first to comment “GOTCHA PUZZLE 1: 1602” in the related Facebook post comments will get a free Steam key and beta access (when the game is at that stage).

Comments only in the Facebook group post