The New Card Design

Brugge Flag

This was the previous card design used in testing.

In the final version of the adventure box, you will be treated to this instead. Note the differences:

Brugge Flag

The publisher is smoothing the cards around the edges and so what you will get in the final box will have the border within a reasonable distance from the box.

And that number at the bottom? That is the Expense Number, used for the Strategy Game.

For the Strategy Game (although it is irrelevant for the Adventure Game), each card has a rating. Players will choose a number (say, 100) and then they will select cards for their teams with the grand total of their expenses being 100 (if there is a remainder, they may buy World Points (one World Point will costs 1 expense point, the same way that Brugge Flag costs 9).

The art style and the font have also been changed accordingly. The font was difficult because there are only so many popular fonts that can be used commercially…

The coming weeks will bring new previews!

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Kaverini Happenings and Other Stories for Summer 2015

Hello, hello!

It certainly has been a while since I posted on this (since the expo at Microsoft Times Square). Weighed down by schoolwork and other travails, plans have since been devised to transform Kaverini from a plan into a purchasable.

Between now and August 2015:

(1) I will be creating the materials for creating the first Kaverini adventure box! The title of the adventure will be “Vlaanderen: Flemish Lions and Loves” . Once all of the materials for the box have been finalized (art that I can be proud of, legal issues taken care of) a Kickstarter campaign or its ilk to begin the first print run will be on its way!

(2) The box will contain the materials needed for pre-written adventures in Bruges, Gent, Antwerp and Brussels, as well as enough cards for your imagination to take root.

(3) Furthermore, I have the Antarctica mini-Adventure looking to a similar fate.

(4) Those who contribute a certain amount or higher to the Kickstarter campaign when it COMES will have the privilege of choosing any card design that will be finalized in one of the expansions (for example, you could ask me to create your own university or your favorite landmark as a setting in “Kaverini”, and, provided you contribute, I will make it into a real card!)

(5) In the meantime, a question for you: what sort of settings would YOU like to see in the future of the game? Your enthusiasm and ideas are what keeps innovation and the human spirit alive!

Brugge Flag

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Possibly Playable for the Expo: Kaverini Antarctica Adventure!

For those of you who don’t know, I got beset by a gargantuan translation job over the weekend, and one that set my progress back for the Expo SIGNIFICANTLY (to say the least).

I owed you all an announcement as to what the other location playable at the booth will be. It is Antarctica. However, on account of the setback, it MAY or MAY NOT be featured! It primarily depends on how good my hand decides to feel (drawing can be difficult sometimes, typing as well. I was working almost non-stop over the past few days ever since I got the translation assignment…and not on this game, mind you!)

In any case, this card will show up in the strategy game selection:

McMurdo Station

This is based on the real-life American research station in Antarctica, which is the largest settlement on the continent! If you get lucky, you may be able to learn more about it two days from now!

Anyhow, I thought to appease you curious folks and to get you ready to play the game for the first time open to the public, let me share a rulebook excerpt on HOW TO CREATE YOUR CHARACTER:

Each character begins with three level 1 emotional techniques of the player’s choosing, 20 HP, and 0 of each Emotion and Heart.

The player may either choose one of the pre-drawn characters in the box (and give the character a name), or draw the character at his or her discretion (and give him/her a name).

When this is done, the player than does two things:

  • Writes three things about the character (so that it is more than just a picture and a name)
  • Choose one of the abilities (see “Abilities” below) for the character to permanently acquire”

(and as a bonus, the abilities you can choose from)

  • Sensitive: Kaverit and Foes that are sensitive take and deal double pain/Schmerz.
  • Insensitive: Kaverit and Foes that are insensitive take and deal half pain/Schmerz
  • Psychic: a Kaveri with Psychic can look at all of the details of any Foe card currently in a confrontation or bargain.
  • Confidence – The first technique that would otherwise harm a Kaveri or a Foe with Confidence does nothing at all.
  • Chutzpah – The first technique that deals Pain/Schmerz to a Kaveri or Foe with Chutzpah causes the source of that technique to take half that amount of Pain.
  • Lagom- Techniques executed by Kaverit or Foes with Lagom can have their Pain/Schmerz divided among the adversaries at the discretion of its controller, instead of it all being allotted to one adversary.
  • Focused – The character gets 1 extra point to spend each time while levelling up.
  • Passionate – If the Kaveri uses an emotional technique for the first time in a confrontation, that technique automatically triggers its special effect.

In the meantime, think about this: this is a game where you can play as nearly anything you can think up. So what will YOUR dream character be? Don’t forget about Custom Techniques, too! Read more about them (and the emotions) HERE.

Look forward to seeing you soon!

Copyright 2015, Jared Gimbel, WorldWhile Comics and Kaverini Korp

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What Will be for Kaverini at the Playcrafting Expo in New York City?

You will get the following:

(1) Your chance to play the game for the first time in its colorful form!

(2) You can play the Kaverini Strategy Game, with cards from many different countries all together, with me or with/against your friends (and me, if you so choose).

(3) You can also play the Kaverini Adventure Game. I will announce that there will be TWO adventures as of writing that will be featured:

One of them is the first-ever adventure I designed, all the way back in June 2013 when I intended for this game to only be for mobile or the equivalent, before I ever thought of adding ANY card component.

The setting will be…

Brugge Flag

That’s right! The well-known Flemish town and tourist Magnet, Brugge (Bruges), Belgium!

(4) The other one will be announced on Monday.

(5) You are welcome to give suggestions for the future of the game (including locations that you’d like to see! As well as tips. In all forms. Tips are very much appreciated.

(6) Because this is the first time I’m testing this, I’m gonna have far, FAR more Chutzpah than normal. I showed the Strategy game spoiler to one of my family members, who proceeded to pick this one as his/her favorite:

Max Mekker

For those of you unaware…remember “Big Bird” from Sesame Street? Max Mekker is the Norwegian doppelganger of that character, created for the Norwegian version, Sesam Stasjon, which has stopped producing new episodes for…what is it…a decade now?

There will be HUNDREDS of cards! And, of course, you can make YOUR character ANYTHING you want!

Who’s excited?

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The Fifth Rule

I see advertisements for games very regularly (in part because my designer friends gave me an ASSIGNMENT to play addictive games and note what they do well). One common complaint I have about way too many franchises (excluding a handful of Japanese ones) is the fact that they tend to take themselves WAY too seriously.

As you can see from the following cards from my upcoming strategy set for the demo game, I have gone out of my way to ensure that such a complaint cannot be made about this one:

N

And I know that not just a few of my friends will be amused by this one:

Grzegorz Brz

I’ll just present these as is right now, feel free to amuse yourself by trying to find the references. BY THE WAY, even if you don’t get them, I will create a section of various adventure booklets in which the references will be explained. That way, you can learn without having to turn to the Internet.

Copyright 2015, Jared Gimbel, Kaverini Korp and WorldWhile Comics. Characters from other fictional works are the property of their respective owners and are used for educational purposes only.

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“I Thought Kids Don’t Like Educational Games!”

Many a time have I shared the idea that Kaverini seeks to teach, and then people from many backgrounds tell me that, given how much more popular titles such as Candy Crush Soda Saga (which I’m aware of only through NYC Subway Advertisements) than anything that seeks to teach anything, that I should expect total financial failure.

Here’s the thing: I’ve noticed two things about 21st century America, which I glimpse particularly well in Manhattan:

(1) The general level of cultural and scientific literacy leaves something to be desired

(2) People are addicted to their devices

Granted, Kaverini is not a game for a device…YET! But the Physical Edition game will be the forerunner to something you can play on your electronic device of your choice.

When I was a child, my parents severely limited the time that I had to play non-educational computer games (such as playing them once a month). Educational ones, on the other hand, they let me play as often as I wanted (within reason, obviously, and not when I had homework and not on school nights).

The collection of edutainment games we had was, as a result, significantly immense, and I’ve noticed something while looking back, something that I’m not the only one to say:

The key to a good educational game is to teach people in a way in which they don’t realize that they are learning.

Call this the “Trojan Horse” technique, if you will. Adult brains often are hardwired to spend more time on fun tasks than on laborious ones, BUT…if you can disguise a learning experience as a fun task? You override the system, in the same way that the Trojans were defeated.

It is true that many games can be educational experiences even when they are not marketed as such. I, like many other people in my demographic in the early 2000’s, fell to the wonders of Magic: the Gathering, and teachers remarked that players of the game had improved vocabulary and math skills (no surprise), not also to mention that a significant amount of the cards had worldly cultural references.

Kaverini is nowhere near as dark nor as serious. And unlike many other games, it works cultural knowledge into an active game mechanic.

Take, for example, a wonderful card that you may have the privilege of playing with in under two weeks:

Plush Puffin

Oh, one more revalation: wondering what the card backs are? They are flags of countries. This card will have the flag of the Faroe Islands on the other side, an homage to the fact that one of the Islands’ significant tourist exports are puffin toys.

foroyar

That’s the Merkið (pronounced “Mesh-chee”), the Faroes’ Flag that will adorn the other side of the Puffin card. That design will obviously look familiar to many of you.

Put the Puffin on a character with the U.S. Flag? Not a Nordic Cross, because it does look like the flags of those countries. Put the Puffin on a character with the flag of Åland (a group of islands between Sweden and Finland, Swedish-speaking but under Finnish control?) Given that it is a Nordic cross, you get the bonus!

Have a wonderful weekend!

Copyright 2015, Jared Gimbel, Kaverini Korp and WorldWhile Comics

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Introducing: The Emotions!

I remember when I first was drawing up the ideas that would eventually become Kaverini, and one important prerequisite was that it be non-violent, or otherwise give a strong message that there are more effective ways to handle difficulties than punching things or lighting them on fire or slashing them with a sword.

If only many other media in our world could follow suit…

While there will be bad guys on your Kaverini adventures, and they will indeed want to hurt you using not-very-nice-methods-which-I-don’t-endorse, your job isn’t to respond in kind.

Your job is to pull their emotional strings so as to make them stop.

Imagine this: you are beset by some variety of criminal with a weapon. You are empty-handed, and you don’t want the criminal to hurt you, or to do anything bad, and so you may react in several ways. You could act nervous and attempt to buy time, you could become visibly upset, or you could attempt to scare down the foe with the power of your words alone.

The criminal may react differently depending on which emotions you choose to show. Some may prove heartily ineffective, and others may strike a weak spot that may cause him or her to rethink his or her entire outlook on life.

This is how the Kaverini confrontation system works. You use your emotions to stop the bad guys.

You can do this in a number of ways (13, in fact…I counted! I should know, because I made the game…). Each of the thirteen emotions differs in the following ways:

  • Each emotion has a “special effect” that has a chance of activating when you use an emotional technique. The higher your emotional intelligence in the given emotion, the higher the chance that you will get the special effect.
  • As described above, some Foes will be relatively unaffected by emotions of certain types, and deeply affected by others. You, as the noble Kaveri, have no way of knowing the weak spot (the “Heel”) or the resistance (the “Shield”) unless you use a trial-and-error system.

Without any further dilly-dallying, allow me to introduce the emotions!

(NOTE: Each special effect lasts only for one turn, unless otherwise noted)

SADNESS:

Effect: “Your foe is immobilized by your sadness!”

Foe skips a turn

Sadness

INNOCENCE:

Effect: “Your innocence strengthens your heart!”

Heart +Lv (Lv is the Level of the Kaveri using the technique. On non-Kaveri cards, it refers to the level of any Kaveri of your choice).

Innocence

CHEER

Effect: “Your foe lets gladness into the heart!”

(The gladness affects the foe each turn, Lv points, like “poison” in RPG games)

Cheer

HOPELESSNESS:

Effect: “Your hopelessness weakens your heart and strengthens your emotions!”

Heart –Lv, Emotion + Lv

Hopelessness

HAPPY

Effect: “Your happiness heals you!”

Heal Lv hit points

Happy

LOVE

Effect: “You are protected by the power of love!”

You become impervious to all Foes’ effects for a turn

Love

ANGER:

Effect: ”Your emotions resound with anger, but your body feels weak!”

(Emotions +Lv, HP – Lv)

Anger

FRUSTRATION:

Effect: ”Your Frustration keeps on growing!”

Multi-turn technique that lasts Lv turns, +1 temporary emotion each turn [this is cumulative].

Frustration

INTIMIDATE:

Effect: “You intimidate your foe! You sense weakness across from you!”

Next  technique on you from a Foe has no effect

Intimidate

NERVOUSNESS

Effect: You are paralyzed by your nervousness!

Skip next turn, add Lv(2) to E, H, or HP on the turn after the one you skipped. This effect ends until battle is over.

Nervousness

COMICAL: WIT

Effect: “The Power of your Wit is truly unpredictable!”

(Random effect, chosen at random from the first 10 Emotions above)

Comic Wit

COMICAL: SILLY

Effect: “You can’t know what you are doing when you behave so silly!”

(Random effect, chosen at random from the first 10 Emotions above)

Comic Silly

COMICAL: SLAPSTICK

Effect: “You never know what direction slapstick will take…”

(Random effect, chosen at random from the first 10 Emotions above)

Comic Slapstick

Why are the Comic Techniques Exactly the Same?

Functionally, yes. But keep this in mind: (1) There are some cards that will mention one of the three types of Comic by name (or “Comic” overall) (for example, Foes in their Heels and/or Shields) and (2) it adds a dash of flavor to the game as a whole.

In Addition! There are also “Custom” Techniques. So if you don’t like any of these, you can think of any superpower you want! (It doesn’t necessarily fit within the whole “non-violent” thing, although it can, but I figured it would be better for me to give more choices to you wonderful players out there).

For example, in one of my playtesting rounds I created a Kaveri (who was a beach ball) and he had a custom technique in which he would shout the word “Salami!” and defeat foes with that. Exactly how that worked I haven’t worked out, but maybe you can do a better job at designing a Custom Technique that makes sense (although I have no idea why you would want to do that…)

The Custom Techniques are not of any type, and so are not affected by either Heels or Shields. Nor do they have special effects the way that the emotional techniques do. However, to make up for that fact, they deal extra Schmerz (the specifics will be noted in the rulebook).

Each Emotions has ten different techniques (I named them all) Grades 1 – 10.

Find out more about them in the coming weeks!

Copyright 2015, Jared Gimbel, Kaverini Korp, and WorldWhile Comics

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Announcing: the Bethnic Region Adventure!

Allow me to tell you of the first adventure that will be shown at the April 29th Expo!

Kaverini Adventure Game: The Bethnic Region will take you to the deepest areas of the ocean floor! Keep in mind, if Facebook infographic quotes are to be believed, humanity as a whole knows more about the surface of the moon than it does about the ocean floor itself!

That said, what is stopping you on this submarine adventure to the bottom of the world, undergoing a hackneyed and not very imaginative plot to save the world while hunting…what else…sunken treasure? Don’t ask me how the two of them fit in together…I honestly…don’t know!

Encounter a host of foes that I just made up off the top of my head by writing random words into Google translate and then having it run into random phrases in Lao or some other interesting language I thought looked cool at the time. I don’t really even know how to classify these monsters, and I’m certainly not going to go through the effort to trademark them, either.

Be forewarned: this may not hold true for the demo in April, but you will need a scuba kit for the actual adventure box. The scuba kit is not included. Prices may vary depending on your country.

Exactly how the scuba kit will fit into the existing gameplay mechanics which involve tamer things such as…well, pieces of paper and dice…will be…worked out on a later date…

I would like to wish all of my fans a happy first of April!

DSC00049 (3)

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Introducing: World Points and the Conversation Lottery!

Kaverini is not just any game. It is designed to be fun, but, in being fun, it also seeks to teach you about a real place that exists, somewhere on the planet on which you are reading this text.

There will be previews at certain points, some of which individual characters or settings are revealed or in which game concepts are revealed. Today I will introduce you noble minds to two things.

What is the Conversation Lottery?

When you visit a new place, you will have to talk to people. Whether they be fellow visitors or locals, they will have something to say. Sometimes, certain “sound bytes” will stick in your head.

While playing the game, if you find that you are entering a new place, you can strike up a conversation with someone you see. But instead of simulating the entire conversation, except when it is integral to the plot, the Converation Lottery instead gives you a sound bite from that conversation that sticks out.

The adventure booklets each come with 100 different possible sound bites (bytes?) that characters can say when you talk to them. Some of these, I confess, I stole from conversation that I actually had with people in real life. But if you recognize something that you said while playing the game, consider this a tribute to you.

When a player wants to have a conversation, he/she rolls a die that will generate a number between 1 and 100. Based on the number, the according sound bite is referenced in the adventure booklet and read to the players. Some of these will be information about the setting, some of these will be information about other places, some of them will be stupid comments, and yes, some of them will be jokes.

To give you a taste of what you might find in a Kaverini conversation lottery:

“The tour guide said, ‘look at this rock’, and then three minutes later, ‘look at this rock’, and then thirty seconds later, ‘look at this rock’. I now hate rocks!” 

I remember when I was in Brussels. I wanted to buy some chocolate but my brother told me that it was too expensive”

Some languages in South Africa have these clicking sounds. I tried for hours to make this one that involved me clicking the tongue to the bottom of my mouth. My mom tries it once and gets it perfect! How does she do that?” 

I heard someone in the subway car mention that a snowman suddenly came to life somewhere in Riverside Park.  Part of me is not inclined to believe it. But…who knows?” 

One of my friends made a movie in which he was throwing orange peels at the dragon statue in Krakow. How crazy is that?”

“Wanna hear a joke? It’s not a very nice one. What do you call a Norwegian who is drunk? Answer: a Dane!” 

Taxi drivers in Jerusalem can get you anywhere in the city in five minutes. That says more about the taxi drivers than it does about the city”. 

That’s all you get for now.

What are World Points?

Suppose you’re really getting into the game. Enthusiastic. You make lots of jokes. You ask questions about the setting. You even try to speak snippets of the local language out of the phrase book. You ask the tour guide lots of stupid questions.

If you impress the tour guide enough, he or she may be inclined to give you one of these, whenever he or she feels like it:

world point side 1

Cool! What does it have on the other side?

world point side 2

That last one sees to be fairly straightforward.

But about those other two? Well…you’ll have to wait and see!

Copyright 2015, Jared Gimbel, Kaverini Korp and WorldWhile Comics.

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The Preview Cards: Explained

Kaverini is an educational game that also strives to be fun and give players an infinite amount of choices.

As a child, I was only allowed to play educational computer games on a regular basis (non-educational ones I got to play about once a month or so). From noting what games I gravitated towards and which ones I remembered, the general rule for a good educational rule is this (to which I also have to credit my wonderful  colleague and long-time friend Seth Alter):

The key of creating a good educational game is to employ a “Trojan Horse” strategy: put knowledge in the game without having the players realize that they are learning.

Kaverini did exactly that. Over the course of the adventures, the players will discover the nature of real-world places in the same way that they would if they were wandering in the countries themselves.

For my showcases of the card types, I chose to represent the countries that I have lived in to date. The cards themselves do not tell the full story, although the adventures that feature the cards definitely will.

Although not all of the cards are equally of educational value. This one, for example, doesn’t really tell any story, although it probably was somehow related to me almost having been fire-crackered in Jerusalem, Krakow and Heidelberg (yes, on three separate occasions!) ‘

Rogue Remoted-Controlled Airplane

Right now there is a very heavy blizzard outside of my New York Apartment. I remember one time when I was facing a very similar blizzard in Stockholm, and from across the other end of the Baltic Sea, what do I hear but…an ICE CREAM TRUCK! It sounded just like this, only with more echo:

NYC’s own Ice Cream Truck tunes don’t fare better. At all. However, it did enable me to come up with this, while writing one of the umpteen versions of the Kaverini rulebook:

Catchy Melody Ice Cream Truck

Speaking of Sweden, there is this one drink that is very popular at around Christmastime, called “Julmust” (“Jul” is Christmas in Swedish and the other Scandinavian Languages, hence “Yuletide”). My father aptly described it as “Dr. Coca Cola”, which pretty much sums it up, except for the fact that there nearly isn’t as much sugar in it.

The company that produces the most Julmust is actually owned by the Carlsberg Brewery, which is a Royal Danish brand.

Knowing that I couldn’t use a trademarked title in my game, but wanted to reference the local cuisine regardless, I game up with this:

Yule Juice

The companions in the game reference well-known local figures, mostly dead but also some living ones. The figures don’t have to be human, actually, nor do they even have to be living. They provide special effects for the Kaverit (the players) during a confrontation or a bargain (more on that when I reveal more of the rules).

For now, here is Arik Einstein, the best-known modern Israeli songwriter, who died in 2013. Here is his card:

Arik Einsteinf

You can listen to his songs herehere, and here. Now the flavor of the card becomes more apparent. As to what Schmerz is? Ha ha ha. Not telling you…yet…

Settings? Allow me to bring you to Heidelberg, featured not only in my sketches for this game but also in the 1996 version of “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?” The centerpiece of Heidelberg is not only the Old Town (German: Altstadt), but also this castle/palace (Heidelberger Schloss), which will look vaguely familiar to all of you:

STA_4772

Photo by Jared Gimbel

In that area behind the tower all the way to the left is a garden that you can’t see from that vantage point. It has a statue of Neptune with a fountain, a bust of Goethe, as well as serene grass which I felt best captured the overall mood of that area:

Heidelberger Schlossgarten

And, now for the Dragon of Krakow.

If you visit Krakow, you will see vendors selling dragon plushies everywhere. This relates to the legend told about the Dragon who lived in the den underneath Wawel Hill (on which there is the castle and cathedral in which the medieval kings of Poland are buried). The dragon is slain by a young although not too rich person who feeds the dragon a dead sheep filled with sulfur. The dragon eats it, and then gets so thirsty that he drinks water from the local River Vistula (Polish: Wisła) until the dragon explodes.

There are probably other variations of this tale, but the fact remains is that countless children’s books have been written about it, in Polish and definitely in not a few other languages.

If you visit the area right outside that dragon’s den in Wawel (the den is only open during the spring/ummer months!), then you will find this dragon statue. It breathes fire every few minutes or so, and if you text a certain number, you can make the dragon breathe fire!

FIRE

Photo by Jared Gimbel. I can’t tell whether that is actually fire or a cloud in the background. Can’t remember.

The story of the dragon -> this card.

Dragon of Krakowf

Stay tuned for more revelations about the game! Let me know what you think!

 

Copyright 2015, Jared Gimbel, Kaverini Korp, and WorldWhile Comics

 

 

 

 

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