The Ruined Blog

Ready to Rumble

Circulari Box Title

It’s been a while since the last update, but rest assured Circulari is ready to rumble once again. We’ve used the time wisely to keep polishing the game with new artwork and a revised solo mode. Take a peek below at the beautiful box new illustration by game artist Szymek Dmitruk. Set your sights on mid-2022 as we once again head towards the launch of a crowd-funding campaign and getting the game into print!

Flyer for Circulari

In the mean time, we have a few conventions planned before the big day arrives to help get the word out. Come and along and try out Circulari for yourself. A short demo experience will give you a taste of the full game and only takes 20 to 30 minutes to play.

Dragonmeet 2021 @ Novotel London West is only a few days away on Saturday the 4th of December and we’ll be exhibiting in the Upper Hall. It will be our first real-world event since early 2019. Time to shake off the cobwebs and get back out there. Online ticket sales have now closed, but you can buy them on the day for £12 per adult and £5 per child 11-16.

Next year will bring AireCon 2022 @ Harrowgate Convention Centre and, the big one, UK Games Expo 2022 @ Birmingham NEC. We can’t wait!

Virtually Expo

Circulari on Tabletop Simulator

The original plan was to exhibit at the UK Games Expo’s Birmingham extravaganza for the first time this year. However, the new plan, for obvious reasons (cough cough), is to take to the internet and attend the UK Games Expo’s Virtually Expo instead. An entirely digital event about analogue board games, fit for the pandemic age. The Virtually Expo is entirely free to attend and will hopefully tide you over until physical conventions can reopen. We look forward to welcoming you to our stand in cyberspace on the 21st to 23rd of this month (August).

We’re hard at work preparing Tabletop Simulator and Tabletopia versions of Circulari, ready for you to digitally demo. Here are a few things you can do to get ready too:

  • Make sure you have UK Games Expo and Discord accounts created and linked together. Discord provides a chat platform for communicating with exhibitors and other attendees. You can join the Ruined Sky Games chat server too.
  • Consider purchasing a copy of Tabletop Simulator if you don’t already own it. Tabletop Simulator provides a 3D virtual sandbox for playing board games online. You’ll need this to take part in some games.
  • Create a free Tabletopia account. Tabletopia also provides a 3D virtual sandbox, but is entirely browser based. You’ll need this to take part in some games.
  • Check out our Saturday and Sunday live demo events and add them to your Virtually Expo Schedule so you don’t forget ;-).

We’ll be streaming live demos on our brand new Twitch channel during the Expo. You’re free to just watch, but there will opportunities to play too!

We aim to regularly start a new demo at 15 minutes past the hour. We’ll be playing a truncated version with a point handicap so that, given some time for rules explanations and technology wrangling, we should be able to fit a petite but complete experience into about 45 minutes. A taste of Circulari! Here’s how to take part:

  • Install Tabletop Simulator and/or create a free Tabletopia account.
  • Join our Discord server and check out the #demo-events channel.
  • Sign up to an available time slot by clicking on the green tick icon. Make sure to check whether Tabletop Simulator or Tabletopia will used during that slot.
  • When the appointed time arrives, you’ll be invited to join a Discord voice channel for communication and connect to the game. The game will be streamed live on our Twitch channel.

See you there!

Prototyping Boards

Cutting Mat

Five months ago, the pandemic was still a phenomenon mainly confined to the Chinese mainland. We were busy packing our suitcases ready to visit relatives in Hong Kong for Chinese New Year with only a mild degree of trepidation! Little did we know what the future would hold.

Amidst all this however, I also had something else pressing on my mind. I had a then new process for prototyping dual-layer boards and had been trying to capture all the steps on camera. It’s surprising how much harder it is not just to do something, but to get good take of doing it on camera. Fortunately, I managed to get the last piece of raw footage done before we had to get out of the door, leaving me to enrich my holiday by spending some time recording the voice-overs and editing it all together.

I actually uploaded the resulting video to YouTube in that distant age before the UK entered lock-down. That is to say, I got almost everything done with the exception of writing this blog post and telling people about it. It seems fitting somehow that, as the government tentatively flirts with returning the UK to normal, I should get around to posting this now. Like putting a new battery in a stopped clock, in one sense no time has passed.

It’s only the second video I’ve made and first one to include any speaking. I’m pretty happy with how it turned out, although on reflection, successful videos tend to be more exciting or humorous, and less instructional. Still, one must start somewhere.

The process has also improved a bit since I made this video. I have the artwork printed onto thin cardboard now, which is a bit more sturdy, and glue all the layers together at the end rather than trying to cut the mounted artwork. This combined with using more layers of thinner board has made the cutting process a lot less time consuming than it used to be because fewer passes are needed. It only takes one slip for the machine to ruin a board, so it’s better to get through them as quickly as possible, even if more are needed.

Now, onward to the many other things which need doing. The next blog post should be about the either the new artwork or an update on the computer modelling, depending on which materialises first. Until then!