LUTHIERS - Introduction
LUTHIERS is a game about handcrafting and selling high-end acoustic guitars to customers that all have different needs, budget and expected lead time. Purchase wood blanks, manage your inventory, craft unique instruments, build your reputation by selling your masterpieces to key-customers, and become the most prestigious luthier of all!
Luthiers is my first game to hit Tabletopia for playtesting and has a special feeling because I am a professional luthier (even though I have never practiced after school..!). I think I was able to put together very good mechanisms to create a tight, tense, and highly strategic heavy Euro game. So far, I have played 9 times and I am more than happy to see where it is leading.
My goal with this game is also to have luthiers all around the world to showcase their creations in the game. This would be added during the final design, prior to the Kickstarter campaign.
Move your Main Character between four districts (Cultural, Financial, Commercial and Industrial) to have access to different actions specific to these districts. Each District color matches a Player color, representing their starting location at the beginning of each round.
Action Tokens are used to take actions. Each player starts with 3 Action Tokens and can unlock more through the Upgrade action. These Tokens are also the same used on the Owned Contracts (used as a "Time" token), meaning that the more contracts you have in hand, the less actions you can do during a round. Efficiency is thus really important!
Each round, a certain amount of Wood Blanks is available in the Market. Each Wood Tile has a different Value, and there is also a Cost Modifier. Every time a Tile of a certain type is sold, its corresponding cube moves one space up (increasing the cost). At the end of each round, each cube moves down one spot for each “unsold” tile. In other words, the more players purchase one type of one, and the most expensive it becomes over time.
Your owned wood (Blanks and Completed pieces) is stored in your Storage Space. It is the only place where it is allowed to rotate the Wood Tiles. Storage can be Upgraded if your inventory gets too massive. Each round you also place Unworked Wood Blank and Repair Tiles in your Production Space, which can also be upgraded for more space. You also place your scheduled Repairs (purpleish tile) for a money income.
Sales are made through Contracts. Contracts must first be owned. Each Customer/Contract has different requirements: type of Wood tiles, minimum Reputation, minimum Total Value of the instrument, and duration of the Contract.
The reward from these Contracts (Money and Reputation) varies depending on the difficulty of the Contract. There are 4 type of Contracts (Collector, Celebrity, Professional, Student), that have different requirements and budgets. Inspiration tiles (Unique visual element on the instrument) can be added to boost the guitar’s value.
Each Contract (Customer) has a different set that must be collected in order to completed it.
Points are earned through several ways : total money at the end of the game, position on the Reputation track, inventory, objectives, etc.
There are several things put in place to add replayability : variable Market tiles, variable starting tiles (Market/Contracts/Studies), and random dummy player locations for 2-3p games. I also want to test variable Global / Personal objectives and implement a starting-resources draft.
A. ACTION PHASE
In Turn Order, each player either 1) MOVE their main character to a different District, or 2) TAKE AN ACTION by placing an Action Token on an available Action spot. Continue until every player has passed.
Contract: Take one contract
Apprentice: Pay money to flip 1x tile over
Inspiration: Take 1x Inspiration Tile (Value booster)
Collector: Take the available Collector contract
Bank: Take a loan / Pay your debt
Exhibition: Buy a stand at an exhibition, increase your Reputation
Study: Purchase a unique ability
Market: Buy Wood blanks.
Upgrade: Pay X to get 1 Upgrade. It upgrades either your Storage, your Production capacity or your Movement range. You also gain an additional Action Token.
Repairs: Take a Repair tile (must be placed in the Production space) to gain money at the end of the Production phase.
Retail Store: Assemble and sell an instrument. The price you get is its Value + X dollars. It is a fastest way to make sales (vs Contracts) but with minimal benefits.
Private Stock: Buy a Luxury wood blank
Pre-assembled Necks: Buy pre-assembled necks. They don't need to go through the Production Phase, but have a value of 0.
B. CONTRACT PHASE
Complete your owned Contracts, resolve the failed ones, or continue rotating the Time Token. It is important to note that the value of your assembled guitar does not change the reward (money) you get. If the customer agreed to a "12" in terms of value and you prepare a "20", you might lost some money.
C. PRODUCTION PHASE
Move your Unworked Wood Blanks from your Storage Space to your Production Space.
Then flip the tiles over (on the Completed Side) and move them back to your Storage Space. They are now available to complete contracts during the next round.
Income from scheduled Repairs is also received.
D. CLEAN-UP PHASE
Get your Action Tokens back, update the Market, empty the Retail Store, replenish the Market/Contract/Study/Inspiration tiles, and put your Main Character back to your Starting District.
This is not the final game visual; it is just something temporary I made myself and I am not a graphic designer