An Update on the Tempus Series

The Tempus Series is a collection of print and play games I have been working on. In an earlier post I talked about how I accidentally designed a solo game. Tempus Imperium was that accident, and the first game in the series. The connection between the games is the mechanism of using the date and time to generate a 10 digit number. This number is used to setup a 10×10 grid for the game and determines what action you can perform each turn.

The games function like roll and write games where you write on the page based on each turns variable, except the variable is from the date and time. This makes the games feel a bit different than a roll and write. You know exactly what action you can perform each turn of the game. So after the initial setup, there is no randomness. For this same reason it was necessary to have a mechanism to let you change a turn’s action. Otherwise it would be very possible to be entirely locked out of an action for a game.

Tempus Imperium is about building an empire. You must build roads to connect to forests and quarries then use those resources to build farms, markets, forts, and castles. Gold is required for most things, including changing a turn’s action, so a strong economy is key. It has been out for a few weeks now and has received a lot of feedback. It had one major update to balance the scoring. I’m happy with how it is playing now and I’m ready to call it finished.

Tempus Fumus is about building a train line. You must connect your station to coal and iron mines to gain the resources you need, and villages to earn money. The game is very mechanically similar to Tempus Imperium. However, the tighter restrictions on how to build paths and where the things you need to connect to are, makes the game more difficult to play and design. It was released to the public 2 days ago. I believe it still needs a lot of work to give it the variety of strategies that Tempus Imperium has.

The planned third game in the series will be set in space and be about escaping from an alien attack. I have some ideas for new additions that will take advantage of the game’s print and play design. This is still very early though, so anything can happen.

I’m always happy to get feedback on my designs and these are no exception. Also, if anyone else is interested in designing a game using the tempus mechanism, let me know. I’d be happy to share what I’ve learned and would be interested to see what direction other designers could take it.

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