Two Kings Games looking for Beta Testers for D4

By Polar_Bear
In News
Apr 18th, 2012
9 Comments
495 Views

Two Kings Games wants your help in playtesting their new RPG they’re working on. Go have yourself a look-see.

From them to you:

Two Kings Games has released a Beta test for their up and coming RPG D4: Basic. Sign-ups are happening right now!

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  • Jasonhurst

    Thank you Tabletop Gaming News for posting our article.

    I noticed that I didn’t really give a lot of details on the game. D4: Basic is developed with a elegant simplicity that gives players from all walks of life and ages to play RPGs.

    Although simple, this doesn’t necessarily mean boring. Instead of focusing on the manipulation of numbers or rules, D4: Basic focuses on bringing the game back to where the action is, in the game.

    Get lost in this simple system that can be easily learned in under an hour by anyone.

    D4: Basic is that perfect game to break out with your non-gamer friends. Folks that aren’t interested in investing their life to gaming, but instead, want to just kick back and have some fun!

    If you have any questions about the game feel free to email me ([email protected]) and I’ll gladly answer any question you might have.

    Game on!

  • Soulfinger

    I’m not sure I know anything more about the game from reading this post. Instead of numbers or rules, you play the game? Which, going by the illustration, is about two goblins hacking off a dude’s head? And that is something my non-gamer friends are interested in? There are TONS of “simple” RPG systems already — some that players can pick up in less than ten minutes (TWERPS, for example). I thought Talisman was the game for playing with non-gamers who don’t want to game. In my opinion, Fantasy Flight pretty much has the RPGs for non-gamers market cornered. Simplicity and time investment aren’t the issue at hand for these people (it’s not like non-gamer denotes some illiterate mouth breather). It’s all about concrete goals and visuals versus abstract, free-form game environments. If you aren’t “interested in investing [your] life to gaming” then at the end of the evening the game has to have a winner.

  • Nightbee

    Aww, I like that graphic.

    I would imagine that this game will cost somewhat less than $60-80 to buy into, and therefore might target a market that FFG neglects.

    I think that taking ALL of the art out of the test kit (as opposed to just limiting it or making it black and white) might be a mistake, though. If the art is so important that it must be protected, isn’t it also important to the game experience?

  • jedijon

    Alternatively, you could sign on with me and get to Beta Test one of the most complicated RPGs ever developed…

    Good luck w/your signups for a caltrop based RPG. While I don’t agree that the market is anything like saturated (since it seems Kickstarter is proving that this isn’t a viable business term in the gaming market), I do agree that on a gaming website a brief synopsis of the actual gameplay might be more effective than a PR post trumpeting its merits.

  • Jasonhurst

    Thanks for the feedback everyone. It’s much appreciated.

    @Soulfinger

    I agree with you that there isn’t much out there as far as how the game is played directly. I believe this is a pretty standard practice with all TTRPGs and their hosting companies. Sure, if you go in to buy HackMaster and if you read what the game is about, you never really learn what it is exactly. You only get to find that out after you purchase the game.

    As for your last comment, I totally agree! And see below and I’ll try and explain how this is handled in D4: Basic.

    You’re right, btw, we do need something more definitive on our site to help further explain the game. We’ll have something up soon, thanks for the tip.

    @Nightbee

    Thanks, we were super happy to get Ammar on the Two Kings Games team as our primary artist. He’s a great guy, hardworking, and a wonderful artist!

    You are correct in your assumption about the future pricing of D4: Basic. One of our goals is to keep the costs of getting started as little as possible. I can’t give any concrete price ranges right now. We want to make a game that’s available and affordable to anyone that wants to play. Something, again, you don’t have dedicate a lot to , in order to enjoy.

    Thanks for the art suggestion, in fact, I was just discussing this with my co-developer and it’s something he feels strongly about as well. We’re going to see what we can do to get some art loaded into the beta after all. My initial hope was to get documents in the hands of the testers by this weekend, of course this might push the release back a few days — but in my eyes, worth it, if it increases the initial reception of the game!

    @Jedijon

    Thanks for the well wishes. I agree that the opposite of this game could be offered and probably be just as successful. By developing D4: Basic, Two Kings Games is in no way trying to dog on any game that’s not D4: Basic. But the way we see it is that those kind of games already exist out there and are enjoyed by many folks. (including myself!)

    This is something different. Do we plan on taking over the whole gaming industry with D4: Basic? Probably not. Are you going to choose D4: Basic over D&D 5e? Probably not. But our hopes are that this is something you keep on your shelf next to all those other games. A game that you can break out on a wild hair and just start playing with your invited friends. A game you don’t have to schedule for or spend a lot of prep time to get going — but still have the same TTRPG experiences you get with other RPGs.

    With that said, I’m still going to try and answer some of your questions here that might help clear things up a little at least.

    First I’m going to start out explaining the why. Why D4: Basic?

    Here’s my life in a nutshell. I’m 31, with a full time job, part-time school, three kids, a wife and friends. A pretty full life. I have friends that like to game and I have friends that don’t like to game. I have been trying to set up a good schedule for gaming because I love to do it. But it never works. When you get older and bring in more and more responsibilities into your life, you just have less time to dedicate to RPGs. This is the reason behind D4: Basic. This will give you something you can pick up in a moment’s notice and start playing with friends. And the beauty of it is that you can include friends who have never played before and they’ll have a good chance to enjoy it. In other words, the rules don’t facilitate dominance due to increased understanding.

    Here’s the what:

    D4: Basic is going to play much like your regular RPG, but is presented like a board game. This might sound a lot like those other RPG to board games out there, but it’s not quite the same.

    D4: Basic is an RPG first and a “board game” second, in regards that in order to play, you don’t really need the board or the pieces to play (much like your run of the mill RPG). What it does take from the board game world is that the rules are simple and streamlined. It also has everything prepared for you, so you can just open the box, get out all the pieces and play.

    What you get when you get a copy of D4: Basic is 4 hero cards, x number of treasure cards, the rulebook (which will include the monsters), 3 pre-made scenarios, game tokens for hp, game pawns and a game board (a wet erase generic battle mat basically). (Future scenarios will include new heroes and new treasures as well!)

    How the game works, is that you pass out your hero cards to your players and the Referee gets the treasure cards and the scenario. Give the players their pawns and hp tokens and then start reading and playing.

    The game is going to jump you right into the adventure. You’ll get a small synopsis of what led to the dungeon/town/adventure location as well as let you know what your goal for this scenario is. (saving the princess, finding the item, stopping the bad guys, etc).

    At this point, you’re basically playing what feels like a session of an old school RPG with very light rules.

    As you play, the players will run into monsters, traps, and items. Once they find an item, they’re handed a treasure card. This card is built to where it can be handed to the player faced down. If this is done, the players will get to see the picture of the item as well as the description, but the effects that the item causes will be hidden (to be discovered by the players). Treasure cards also have points associated with them.

    After the scenario is complete, either by the players becoming successful or by reaching less favorable fates, there’ll be a chart on the scenario to tell you how well you accomplished the scenario. This chart will give you a certain amount of points that will be added to your treasure card points and points you earn just for surviving. Those points are then pitted against another table to tell you how well you did. This is also another way to relay to the players that “hey you did good, but you miiiissed something! Wanna try again?”.

    Anywho, thanks again for your comments, they are well received and very welcome at all times! Do we think that D4: Basic will be for everyone? No (but what game truly is?). Do we think it’ll replace your favorite RPG? Nope, probably not. Do we think it’ll be a cheap alternative to your favorite campaign type RPG that can be picked up and enjoyed at a moment’s notice? By golly, I hope so!

    If you’d like find out more about the game and continue helping there’s plenty more room in the beta test. Sign up and give it whirl!

    Cheers.

  • Tenderloin

    People should also keep in mind that this project is still in development stages. Spelling out step-by-step gameplay this early in the ‘game’ isn’t entirely necessary.

    It seems like throwing out a beta-test (open to the public) is a good way to get valuable feedback about exact gameplay before formally laying it out on the website. The developers will no doubt make changes to the system at least in some small part, due to this testing phase. And even then, commercialized games dont always spell out these details on the box do they?

    I like the idea that there is still something to be discovered about this upcoming game. Participating in the beta seems like a perfect way to learn something new that the masses don’t get to see. Also look forward to the kickstarter, which will no doubt be more descriptive if they expect for people to invest!

  • Soulfinger

    You’ll need to provide more than 4 hero cards. Casual gaming usually involves a lot of players or a revolving door of players. Besides that, people want variety. My friends buy the Talisman expansions more for the extra hero options than the extra rules. I doubt they would touch a game that was just Fighter/Mage/Cleric/Thief unless the system predates MTV. You also need to work on a much more concise pitch. Sell it to me in a paragraph or less, which is what any professional outfit is going to do.

    However, maybe I’m missing something, but D4 just doesn’t sound exciting to me. What your describing sounds like a ghetto Heroquest. As its pitched, D4 is a low-end alternative to all of the Mansions of Madness, type games, in which you get a hero card, read a synopsis, run through a light RPG style adventure, accumulate treasure cards, and get scored at the end. The fluff text on the website — with orcs burning down a village, a black knight, and a dragon — is so generic that it’s boring. I know that I’m being harsh, but my hope is that I am missing something and that the game is more interesting than the website makes it out to be.

  • Jasonhurst

    No not being harsh at all. These are valid points and concerns. I as for developing a standard pitch you can’t be any more correct.

    As for your other concerns. It sounds to me that you and your group just wouldn’t be interested in the game. There’s nothing wrong with that. D4 isn’t going to be for everyone and we’re not interested in competing with the games you mentioned as they are not totally in line and of a different genre from what we’re offering. Even Heroquest is of a different stock as it is more of a board game then it is an RPG. We at TKGs feel that you should play the types of games that you like and that there are so many out there that anyone can easily find a game of a genre that they’re interested in. If that’s D4 then great! If a ccg excites you more then that’s great too!

    With that said as new scenarios are released new heroes will be as well. Every new scenario will be a different gaming experience.

    Cheers.

    Cheers!

  • Jasonhurst

    Oops double cheers. I’m updating on my phone haha