Thursday, June 21, 2012

Print Sheet Problems?

I've had a few people tell me that the cards on the print sheets have been coming out the wrong size.  If you're having a problem printing, tell me what's going on in the comments to this post.

The cards on print sheet should be exactly the size of a normal Magic card -- 88 mm along the vertical axis -- at 207 pixels/inch.  The files are meant to be printed on standard letter-sized paper, with margins of 0.5 inch on each side.  Make sure your printer is not set to resize when you print.

If you need a program to print .jpg files, I recommend GIMP, which is kind of like an open-source version of Photoshop.  It's what I used to make the print sheets, so it should work for you.  You can download it here.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Print Sheets

Print sheets are finally ready to download and the Visual Spoiler has been updated.

New in this version:
- Fixed a bunch of typos and templating issues
- Added a new keyword (Intoxicated)
- Added new cards
- Revised existing cards for flavor, function, and balance
- Revised some artwork

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Gone Viral

I've gotten over 5,000 hits today.  Holy fuck.

Apparently, y'all want a downloadable version of the set that you can print.  As it so happens, I've already got 8.5x11 sheets that I used to print up the initial version for playtesting.  I'll make them available once I update them with the most recent versions of the cards, so check back later.  Or just follow me on Twitter (@theboozecube), and I'll announce it there.

Fus Ro Dah

Added a new card after watching the new Dawnguard trailer. I can't believe that I didn't think of this one earlier:

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Drinking in the Color Pie

One of my goals in designing the Booze Cube was for drinking to feel like an organic part of the game. For this to happen, I needed to design drinking cards that not only worked mechanically but also made sense in the color pie.  And to do that, I had to answer a fundamental question:

How does drinking fit into each color's philosophy?

Black was by far the easiest to figure out: black drinks for power. Black will do whatever it takes for power, no matter how high the price might seem to the less ambitious. After all, great power demands great sacrifice. And if black is ready and willing to kill its own minions or even trade its very lifeforce for power, it certainly wouldn't hesitate to give up its sobriety for it.

This hunger for power at any cost gives black some of the most powerful effects in the cube, but these effects are coupled with some of the highest drinking costs as well.  
With all this heavy drinking, black is probably the color most likely to die of alcohol poisoning.  Fortunately, death isn't necessarily an obstacle to having fun.

White drinks to strengthen social ties. Nothing brings people together quite like booze. When you're drunk and celebrating, everyone you meet is your new best friend. White will raise a glass and toast to just about anything.  White will gladly buy the next round, and it expects everyone to partake.

White is also especially fond of playing drinking games with friends. Not only does their silliness strengthen bonds of friendship between the players, drinking games allow white to do something else: make and enforce rules. (If you've ever played Circle of Death or Presidents & Assholes, you know exactly what I'm talking about.)

White is also the color most associated with hierarchy and conformity. White therefore naturally lends itself to being the color of fraternities.

Red, on the other hand, doesn't give a fuck about rules. It just wants to party. When hedonistic red goes out, it has no idea where the night will take it. It drinks with passion and gusto, following only its whims. And when red gets drunk, it has no inhibitions; it just goes wild.

There's no question that red always has a good time. Red acts on impulse and doesn't care what others think.  Consequences be damned - as long as it's having a fun, all those prudes and naysayers can go fuck themselves.  This attitude, of course, can lead to some seriously reckless behavior.

Red, as the color of elemental earth, also has one of the most criminally underused tribes. If there's any fantasy race that appreciates a hearty mug of ale, it's the dwarves.

Like its ally red, green is a color that wants to party. But where red gets reckless, green gets rowdy.

Green uses booze to lose its self. Like white, green drinks to become one with his fellow revelers. As the color of raw animal instinct, however, green doesn't bother with social niceties; it sees those constraints that civilization imposes on its behavior as confining. White drinks to make friends; green drinks with its pack.

Society is pretty demanding. Don't smash this. Don't pee on that. Green doesn't want to think about what it does; it wants to just live in the moment. When green drinks, it breaks the shackles of society-imposed inhibitions and acts on pure primal instinct. Its sense of individuality dissolves into unbridled Dionysian revelry. Green wants to just let go and just follow the ebb and flow of the party's energy. Green is about satyrs and nymphs having an orgy in the forest. It's about pissing off a hotel balcony to mark the world as its territory. And, of course, it's about that yearly fertility ritual we all know as Spring Break.

Finally, since green is the "creature color," it should probably get some solid dudes.

Blue was by far the hardest to figure out.  How does the color of intellect approach a beverage designed to dampen its higher brain functions? It seems like blue would sooner avoid the stuff altogether.  

Then I remembered that blue mana comes from islands.

Islands are awesome places to drink. That means that blue is the color of rum, all-inclusive Caribbean resorts, piƱa coladas, and pirates.

Like a certain telepathic planeswalker, booze can also do some serious mind sculpting. Drinking messes with your memory and fucks with your sense of time. It makes you an expert in disciplines that you first heard of ten minutes ago (or perhaps just made up). Blue may not drink to get smarter, but it certainly thinks it's smarter after it's had a few.

Fundamentally, however, blue is the color of cunning. Sure, blue will throw back a few frozen concoctions on the beach of an island paradise... but this is often just a subtle ruse to lure its opponents into complacency so blue can take advantage of them. Blue knows that alcohol weakens the mind. If blue's opponents have more to drink than it does, it follows that its opponents minds will be relatively weaker and easier to manipulate. Mechanically, this aspect of blue is expressed through cards that encourage (or force) one's opponents' to drink and abilities that trigger when they do.

Well, there you have it. Booze and the color pie.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Beer Before Liquor: The First Playtest

It was going to be an epic turn.  Mind Over Matter has nothing on Beer Before Liquor:

M's Lounge Guardian had a VIP counter on it, giving creatures -1/-1, preventing me from playing Horde of 80s Cartoons, so I stuck it under an O-Ring.  With the coast clear, I drank 9, untapped three lands with Beer Before Liquor, cast Horde of 80s Cartoons, and then immediately drank another 7 to have it copy Wife's Tequila Wurm.  Then I drank another 15 to untap five lands and cast Cocktail of the Gods.  Feeling invincible, I drank another 9 to untap three blue sources so that I could timewalk with Wasted Time, planning to reset my hand with It's 5:00 Somewhere on my extra turn.
Updated version

Unfortunately, I didn't anticipate how hard it would be to chug a beer immediately after drinking 2 1/2 bloody marys.  It's not that I can't chug beer -- I'm normally quite good at it -- but it was just too much fucking liquid for my stomach to handle on one turn.  Reluctantly, I had to let my stomach settle before casting a spell that would require me to finish my still-half-full bloody mary and passed on my extra turn after doing something spectacularly insignificant.

With Lounge Guardian out of the way, Wife was free to bring out Juan, the Mind Smasher. I've never seen a planeswalker gain 18 loyalty in two turns before, but Juan really lives up to his name.  Wife had weak board position, so she decided to make some worms.  And by "some," I mean "a fuckload."  Wife downed a full pint glass of rum and coke two turns in a row, generating nine 1/1 worm tokens each time.

Updated version
On the next go-around, M blasted me with a Keg Stand for lethal by paying the alternate drinking cost for X.  It seems that he had forgotten about the Curse of Echoes that I had enchanted him with earlier, so both Wife and I sent our copies of Keg Stand back at him for lethal. (M's wife J was already passed out by this point, so she missed the trigger.)
Original verison
M's original Keg Stand resolved, so I chugged a beer and exiled Cocktail of the Gods.  This turned out to be pointless, as I didn't draw my wrath and got overrun by Wife's worm tokens.

Things I learned:
  1. Using booze as mana is really, really powerful. As long as someone's willing to drink enough, the current version of Keg Stand is automatically lethal damage for just one red mana.   I think alternate drinking costs will work, but I definitely need to revisit the cards that use this mechanic. For Keg Stand, I can either significantly increase its drinks-to-damage ratio or limit valid targets to creatures and planeswalkers; the latter option seems better.  This also means I'm probably going to have to raise the drinks-to-mana ratio for Spring Break, Juan, and other similar cards.
  2. I'd much rather take shots than chug beers.  Now, I don't mind chugging a beer or two, but it was just too much liquid and foam for my stomach to handle after drinking a pint and a half worth of bloody marys.  I think I'm going to revise some cards to give players a choice between chugging beer and taking shots.
  3. I was worried that Beer Before Liquor would be too strong, but it turned out to be pretty well balanced.  Using a 3:1 drink-to-activation ratio on cards with abilities that you'd expect players to activate multiple times in a turn seems reasonable.  I had a huge turn when I used it to repeatedly untap my lands, but I basically had to drink two full bloody marys as the activation cost.  This, combined with activating Horde of 80s Cartoons and casting Wasted Time, left me unable to follow through on my plan of doing degenerate things after refilling my hand with It's 5:00 Somewhere.
  4. I probably need another board sweeper or two in the cube. Maybe Pyroclasm.
  5. The Booze Cube still needs work, but it's fucking awesome to play.  More testing?  Don't mind if I do...

Updated Visual Spoiler

Check it out!