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Developing Great Scott! – Part 7: Print, and Indeed, Play!

Hey there – long time no see! So in-between my web design work, I’ve been hacking away at getting the files for the Great Scott! cards finalised. I’m *this* close to ordering a proof copy of the core game from DriveThru Cards, but I figured there was nothing stopping me from making a Print ‘n’ Play version of the game, so that’s exactly what I’ve done!

I decided to go with a demo version of the game, rather than give everything away. Before you click away in disgust, the PnP gives you the full Great Scott! experience, just with less card variety. In this 75 card version, there are almost 3 million possible combinations available, as opposed to over 95 million in the full game. Enough to give you a taste, I reckon 😉

The card art is 100% final, and is presented in PDF format, full colour, at 300dpi. This is exactly the same artwork I’ll be sending to the manufacturer when the game gets made for real.

The PnP files are completely free to download, all I ask is that you sign up for the Friends of Sinister Fish mailing list in return. You’ll get the download link in your welcome message after you confirm your email address.

What Else is Happening?

The Box

I’m working on the box art for the game, and I currently have two contenders which you can see below. I’m favouring the second design right now, but there’s still work to do on it.

The Rules

The game rules have changed a *little* bit, but nothing like the huge swings we had early on in the game’s development. I’ve tidied up the drafting phase of the game, giving players a 10 card hand, plus one draw per turn. The reason for this is that because everyone plays simultaneously, the free-for-all drawing & discarding got a bit messy and it was easy to screw up the turn order. This version plays much smoother, while letting players see the same number of cards over the course of a round. Not being able to target as many specific card types means the average scores for inventions are a little lower, but damn does it feel satisfying when you get a good combo!

The latest version of the rules is included with the PnP file, but you can download it here if you fancy a peep. It has also been updated with the final card art.



I love mini-cards, so much. Feels good to share that. So, I’m unreasonably excited to have a valid reason to include some in Great Scott!. The base game will now feature 30 mini “Commendation” cards which are used to vote for your favourite and second-favourite invention each round. They are awarded face down at the end of a round, after everyone has explained their ridiculous inventions. You always award one 2 point card and one 1 point card, and they remain face down until after all the invention scores have been totalled. I really enjoy games where the final score is a secret until the end (I’m thinking of  Small World and Lords of Waterdeep), and I’m pleased to be able to add that mechanic to Great Scott!.

Here’s a look at the art for the Commendation cards.



What’s Next?

What happens now is a pretty big step for me – I’m going to have the first real prototype of the game printed on actual proper cards! If all goes well, I’ll follow up with multiple copies, destined for the hands of various tabletop game reviewers around the world. In the meantime I’ll continue blind playtesting of the game as much as I can, and being really annoying on social media in the run up to the start of the Kickstarter campaign in January or February 2016!

Can You Help?

As you know, Great Scott! is my first game, and I would very much like it to be a success. I can’t do that alone. I would be eternally grateful if you could do any of the following:

  • Download and play the PnP. If you like the game, please consider recording your play and giving it a rating on BGG:
  • Read the rules, and let me know if they make sense.
  • Are you a hobby games retailer or distributor? I would love to speak to you! Playtesters have loved the game so far, rating it an average of 9/10 for “fun”, and I want as many people as possible to have a chance to play it after all the Kickstarter mayhem is over.
  • Are you a reviewer? I’m already compiling a list of people I’m going to contact about possible reviews, but maybe I’ve missed you. Do get in touch with links to your blog / channel and let’s talk 🙂

That’s all for now – we’ll meet again…

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