14 August 2012 | 2 Comments
We’ve been working on Viticulture for almost a year now, and so we’ve gone through dozens of prototypes. Early on in the design, there was no common board–I wanted players to be able to develop their own strategies without conflicting with the other players.
But I learned about halfway into the process that conflict is interesting as long as it’s not annoying. Someone might be able to block the short-term move you wanted to make, but it doesn’t ruin your long-term strategy, and you still have plenty of good options in the short term. Those are the keys.
So as soon as I figured that out, the shape of the game board flourished. After a few versions, I made a prototype of the board that was good enough for us to play on. At the time, it looked beautiful to me. But as you can see below, beauty is in the eye of the creator:
Fortunately, my very talented artist friend, David Montgomery, knows how to take concepts like that and make them beautiful. The following isn’t quite finished–it still needs all the graphic design components and some “seasoning” (see below for explanation). But it’s close.
Here’s the breakdown of Viticulture: The Strategic Game of Winemaking:
In the game, you find yourself in rustic, pre-modern Tuscany, where you’ve inherited a meager vineyard. You’ll have a few plots of land, an old crushpad, a tiny cellar, 4 workers…and the dream of owning the best winery in Italy.
Your job is to allocate your workers to complete various tasks throughout the year. Each season is different on a vineyard, so the workers have different tasks they can take care of in the summer and winter. There’s competition over those tasks, and often the first worker to arrive at each one has an advantage over the rest.
Fortunately for the you, people love to visit wineries, and it just so happens that many of those visitors are willing to help out around your vineyard. Their visits (in the form of visitor cards) are brief but can be very helpful.
Using those workers and visitors, you can expand your vineyard by building structures, planting vines, and filling wine orders as you work towards the goal of owning the most successful winery in Tuscany.
What’s your favorite board game art?