The face of Sven Uilhoorn.

Sven Uilhoorn

Interaction- and Game Designer based in Groningen, the Netherlands
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A Piacere

Board game about the era of composers like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven, with players playing as composers to earn points from compositions created.

To be able to create compositions, they have to teach or perform to earn florins for rent, then get better housing for more productivity. On top of that there's interactivity by spreading rumors, reducing opponents' number of cards to draw.

Roles and Responsibilities

I am responsible for the entire project, from coming up with the idea/concept, designing mechanics to the visual design. All drawings are own work.

Final Product

The (almost) latest version (soon to be updated with character boards more closely based on real composers with new mechanics and different abilities):

The full game board of the Compagnieën board game in the middle of a play test session with card of both players at each side.

A finished game of last years' version (winning players' board is on the other side of the table); game board, player board, three levels of card stacks (composing and action cards per level). Finished with no money left. Die on the red card marks München, which this player was kicked out of.

Process and Methods

Inspired by the film "Mozart", while also discovering that board games around music themes are pretty rare, I started off by reading a lot about Mozart, the living conditions, and determining the types of cards.

First prototype playtest. A few card types didn't survive (travel, now separate composing stacks, new spread rumor rules)

Close up of second prototype.

Close up of the most expensive city, Vienna, and info on travel and rent.

Last version that was hand drawn, with all components. No player boards back then.

Previous work in Illustrator, never saw print. (illustrations are obviously not my work and are placeholders)

Current cards, after about ten playtests. Illustrations are still placeholders.

Toughest Challenge

This is my first (and probably only) "gateway game", a game among the likes of Carcassonne and to a lesser extent Ticket to Ride. I still wanted to keep it mostly tactical and low on luck, which is both achieved. The game is pretty close to being done right now. City shields are now being worked on for a nice game board.

What I'd do Differently

It didn't turn out to the gateway game that I imagined, but I think it's for the better that it ended up the way it did.

Tools Used

  • LibreOffice Writer: rule books
  • Pen & Paper: design of map, logos, cards
  • Trello: checklist and project planning
  • Illustrator/Photoshop: board design, card design, icons
  • Various online sources, mostly Wikipedia, for thematic accuracy

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