Archive for the 'Transantiago' Category

Metrofinál [Beta] Released

2011 Nov 5

I wrote the first draft of this game in 2006, so I can’t tell you how excited I am that — five years later — it’s finally ready to share with other folks. I don’t think there’s anything out there that provides a play experience quite like it. Enjoy!

The Play Materials

Metrofinál Game Board (8.5×14″, single-sided)
Metrofinál Rules (booklet)
Metrofinál Character/Station Cards (8.5×11″, double-sided)

Other Stuff

I’m also working to compile a set of playtest notes based on my own play — though I’ve only played this version once and that was not even exactly the same as the beta — things that are more advice than rules and will eventually be worked more fully into the text in a future gamma version. That’ll be posted at some point and kept regularly updated, especially because there’s no promise on when any gamma version of this will be released. The beta took me five years! My design philosophy is to work on stuff when I’m inspired to do so, which can require a fair bit of patience. BUT! This version works pretty great as it stands, and I hope folks really get something out of it.

It’s Finished

2009 Jun 10


Check out the alpha draft here.

The Board and Basic Rules

2009 Jun 9


The rules work something like this:

1. Players place their planets (dice) anywhere on the board except for the middle star. These are set to 1.
2. The player of the Chocolate Pirates places the ship (pyramid) on any remaining open space.
3. Player pawns start on their home planet.
4. Starting with the top of the list (Cream), the first player declares their destination.
5. First player draws a road in one of the three primary colors to that planet, moving their pawn there. Roads extend through the gaps surrounding hexagonal spaces, always taking the shortest route that doesn’t cross over an existing road or go through the sun. You cannot start a new road if all 3 primary colors are already in play.
6. You narrate a scene about mixing confectionery knowledge and experimenting with mad candy science.
7. The first player and planet owner swap candies, eating one of their own and the new one at the same time.
8. If the result is agreed to be yummy, that planet’s die is increased by 1 (to 2).
9. If the players do not agree that the result is yummy. The die stands.
10. The next player goes, etc.
11. You can extend roads by continuing to draw in the same color, but cannot fork them.
12. The Chocolate Pirates can sail 6 squares a turn, but cannot cross roads. If they arrive at a planet, they swap candies as normal.
13. Planets at 6 have developed a scientific solution to the chocalypse.
14. Once all planets are at 6, the chocalypse occurs and everyone eats chocolate and other candies together, instead of dying horribly. You win!

Joy! Joy! Chocolypse

2009 Jun 8

Aside from finishing Murderland reviews, I’m working on a “proof of concept / demo” version of Transantiago that you can play just using a printed PDF gameboard (black and white) and the tokens from Zombie Cinema. Thematically, the game is like Nine Worlds + Candyland. My working title is “Joy! Joy! Chocolypse.”

The plot goes something like this: Everything was wonderful in the Lollyswirl System until scientists determined that the medium-sized Lemon Drop Sun was about to expand to become a massive Chocolate Giant! Now, as ambassadors from the various confectionery planets, you must travel to neighboring worlds along the Rainbow Roads, attempting to rally all the alien peoples of Lollyswirl against the impending chocolypse. However, each planet has its own problems to deal with, which you must solve before you can count on that world’s support.

– Cream (White d6)
– Spice (Red-Orange d6)
– Sugar (Pink d6)
– Mint (Green d6)
– Berry (Purple d6)
– ??? (Blue d6)
– Chocolate Obelisk? (Black Pyramid)

Minor Tweaks

2009 Mar 4

Trying to get ready for playtesting Transantiago at JiffyCon.


Oh Yeah

2009 Feb 24

Here’s the most recent version of the board.


So Close

2009 Feb 24

This is so Shreyas can help me write the bodhisattva and station descriptions.


Yes, I realize that the front and back of the token sheet doesn’t line up. That’s intentional, so you have to flip your bodhisattva card and place it next to the cards of the players sitting on either side of you to read the station descriptions. Bodhisattvas are controlled by a single player, but stations are controlled by two players working together. When your bodhisattva visits a station that you jointly control, this allows the other player to control the station while you move through it. However, if two players jointly control a station together, both of their bodhisattvas cannot be in that station at the same time, since nobody can play the station.

Also, once you discover the deva hiding within a station (for example, The Assassin), that station can no longer be visited. In fact, the token representing the station now represents the emerged deva and moves around the map, jointly controlled by the same players as before. Devas do not need to stop in order to change lines, plus, they can travel and conduct passengers to Annihilation/Creation Station, the site of the endgame.

The World Flower Keeps Growing

2009 Feb 13

Trying to get the board to work for a variable number of players, 4-8.


Product Design Concept

2009 Feb 12
  • Print the board for Transantiago on the front of a 12″ x 12″ record flat
  • Print the rules on the back of the flat, so they can’t be consulted once play has begun
  • Package the flats in groups of 3-5 (however many will fit easily), inside a blank LP jacket
  • Print some custom stickers to label the jackets
  • Sell them, through somebody, with the intent that a new board is used each time the game is played, creating a visual record of play

I Feel Sufficiently Chastized

2009 Jan 23

I was poking around Adam Dray’s little indie MU experimentation parlor, The Foundry, yesterday. And, while they were very welcoming, both Adam and Dave were like: “Review our Murderland games, bi-atch!” So I’m going to temporarily give up my plans to start programming Transantiago as an 8-person MU game and try to finish Murderland reviews before I start getting death threats.

Also, thinking about text-based virtual worlds made me recall my youth playtesting Castle Marrach for Skotos. And I was like, “Didn’t I receive an email from one of the other playtesters a few months back? I wonder if I ever got around to responding to it.” So I went and checked and I got that note in September of 2007. Whoops. Double chastisement! I emailed the guy back and am going to have at least the first half of the Murderland reviews finished today. This has already dragged on too long, even if I was expecting, like, 8 games instead of 36.