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Mentis Cohorts - Four Odyssey Games in One


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#1 Rev. Rob OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Dec 29, 2010 11:01 PM

Now taking orders! :)

http://www.atariage....-taking-orders/

Mentis Cohorts Q&A

Stuff people have been asking, stuff you may want to know, and stuff I just feel like telling you.

Q: What kind of game is this?
A: The game is a strategy board game that utilizes the Odyssey to enhance game play.

Q: What Game Card does Mentis Cohorts use?
A: It utilizes Game Card #5.

Q: What modes of play are there?
A: Mentis Cohorts is really four games in one. The first is a versus strategy game called Mentis Strike that utilizes the board game and the Odyssey. The second is a versus mode called Mentis, which is the same as Mentis Strike, but without the Odyssey. The third is called Mentis Siege that is a single player game similar to Breakout utilizing the Odyssey and game the pieces. The fourth is called Ego Mentis which utilizes only the game pieces and is a single player puzzle game similar to peg solitaire. I really feel that Mentis is a solid strategy board game on its own. Mentis Strike enhances it to a level that is much more fun for gamers and adds a whole new dimension of strategy and gameplay. Even Mentis Siege is sold enough to stand on its own as the world's first single player Odyssey game. This collection is really solid.

Q: What does the game include?
A: The game includes an 18"x18" vinyl game board, nine black glass tiles, nine white glass tiles, instruction sets for each game, a draw string bag for the game pieces, two vellum screen overlays (A4 size), and a black 3"x24" tubular case with Odyssey style graphics. Oh, and a certificate of purchase, of course.

Q: How much will the game cost?
A: The cases and the boards are cheaper when more are ordered. I am estimating that the final price will be something like $55 with shipping. That may go down if there are a good number of pre-orders. The game board itself is the most expensive component at almost $40 for a single one. With enough orders I can negotiate that price down.

Q: Will Mentis come with Game Card #5?
A: No.

Q: Why not?
A: Producing PCBs (printed circuit boards) is expensive. By not going that route the cost is reduced significantly. Game Card #5 is extremely common. If you have an Odyssey but not Game Card #5, you can usually find them very cheap, or make one out of a card and some tin foil.

Q: I don't own a Magnavox Odyssey, should I buy this game?
A: Yes.

Q: Why?
A: Because I said so.

Q: ...
A: Oh, okay. In all seriousness, when I produced Odball a number of people contacted me and expressed and interest, but regretted that they couldn't find an Odyssey at a decent price. I designed Mentis with those gamers in mind as well. The game is fully functional as a stand alone board game. The Odyssey merely adds enhanced game play. I wish Odyssey and Odyssey^2 game designers had this philosophy in mind when they created games like Invasion and Conquest of the World.

Q: Why did you make Mentis? What was the process?
A. Well, for one, lot of people were asking me for a follow up to Odball. Mentis has taken an opposite development course than Odball had. With Odball, I decided years ago that I would produce Game Card #11. Not knowing how it would function, I designed a game based around how the card worked. Initially, the game was designed to be too much like Basketball. Not owning the 1973 games, I didn't know it at the time. Once I realized that I had to go back to the drawing board. The difference between Game Card #8 and Game Card #11 was very slight; the action performed by the reset button. I can see why Magnavox decided not to produce #11. However, I focused on that one difference and built what became Odball around it.

Q: That's great, but what about Mentis?
A: I was getting to that... I had originally intended to only make a single player game, since there had never been one, and I felt that there needed to be. As I got into it further, it was too irresistible to fully flesh it out as a two player strategy board game. Unlike Odball, with Mentis I designed the game first, and then figured out a way to incorporate the Odyssey. Pretty much the exact opposite. I decided early on that I was going to use an existing Game Card, or reproduce Game Card #12. Because of the aforementioned cost of PCBs, I decided it's best to use one that came with Odyssey. Game Card #5 fit the needs perfectly.

Q: How long did the project take?
A: Not long at all. About two weeks?

Q: Will it contain an easter egg?
A: Yes, and I think this one will be more obvious than the one in most copies of Odball.

Q: When will Mentis Cohorts ship?
A: On or about 2/14/11.

Q: How will you ship it?
A: I'll wrap the tube in brown shipping paper so as not to damage it.

Edited by Rev. Rob, Tue Jan 18, 2011 11:51 PM.


#2 Rev. Rob OFFLINE  

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Posted Mon Jan 3, 2011 9:46 PM

Well, I found a website that does game boards on the cheap. Unfortunately, they don't fold, so this is going to be a big box - one that I have to figure out how to make.

Game development is going smoothly.

Project Mentis is evolving opposite of Odball.

With Odball, I first produced the gamecard, and then built a game around that. With project Mentis I am starting with the basic gameplay mechanics, and an incorporating the gamecard(s) into it.

To save on costs, Project Mentis may use an existing gamecard, but I am strongly considering a repro of one of the 1973 gamecards. That probably won't happen. I want this game to be under $30 this time. Not $65-$80 like last time.

So far Project Mentis will play a lot like a board game. Again, this is in stark contract to Odball, which was envisioned to be more of an arcade/action game.

At this stage, Project Mentis has three play modes: single player, two player, and "board game." The board game mode does not require an Odyssey to play. I figure if I am going through the trouble of making a Odyssey-style board game, I may as well make it playable "offline."

That's all for now. I hope to be ready to ship a first run sometime around March 2011.

Edited by Rev. Rob, Tue Jan 4, 2011 5:54 AM.


#3 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011 1:33 PM

Sounds great. I'll throw up a blog post on Armchair Arcade soon. Where did you end up getting the game boards from?

#4 Cebus Capucinis OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011 1:37 PM

I am in like Flint for this one! :thumbsup: Sounds very, very cool!

#5 Rev. Rob OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011 4:04 PM

Sounds great. I'll throw up a blog post on Armchair Arcade soon. Where did you end up getting the game boards from?


Well, I am still not sure how it's going to turn out, so they may end up being DIY, but I used this site. Very cool concept.

#6 Bill Loguidice OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011 4:12 PM

Sounds great. I'll throw up a blog post on Armchair Arcade soon. Where did you end up getting the game boards from?


Well, I am still not sure how it's going to turn out, so they may end up being DIY, but I used this site. Very cool concept.


Yes, very cool concept and fair pricing. Seems like you made as good a choice as possible!

#7 5-11under OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011 4:38 PM

Now I want to design a board game. :)

#8 rpgcollector OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 4, 2011 4:56 PM

I am in for one. Loved Odball!!

#9 njb12287 OFFLINE  

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Posted Thu Jan 6, 2011 5:34 PM

Im definately in for this too. Id even prepay if need be

#10 Rev. Rob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 8, 2011 4:09 AM

Well, that website is crap. I paid almost $10 for a crappy board that was printed on poster board. I could've done that. And I don't think it would be right to have $10 of the expense of the game be such an inferior product. I'll be sure to post a pic when I get a chance.

I am going to print the boards on fabric. (Anyone have a good resource for this?) This way they can be rolled up to fit into the box. Who says a board game needs to be on a board?

There are now five modes of play. Two are vs. using the Odyssey, one is solo using the Odyssey, one is vs. without the Odyssey, and one is solo without the Odyssey. And that's going to be it.

The game will use Game Card #5. That will save significantly on cost.

After I get a suitable board printed, the bulk of the game is done. I already know what pieces I want to use, and how to make the boxes. All that will be left is to find an artist to do the box art. (Any volunteers?)

#11 njb12287 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 8, 2011 10:31 AM

I think thats a great idea. fabric will be very cool for the board

Have you decided if you want to go with the 72 games box design or 73 games box. I wish i had some artistic talent.

#12 Rev. Rob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 8, 2011 6:11 PM

I think thats a great idea. fabric will be very cool for the board

Have you decided if you want to go with the 72 games box design or 73 games box. I wish i had some artistic talent.


'72 style is a lot easier for me.

#13 njb12287 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 8, 2011 7:39 PM

ya and it will actually go nicer with odball to make them somewhat of a set.

#14 Rev. Rob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 8, 2011 9:48 PM

I printed the gameboard today. It's really nice. It's a little expensive, but I think worth ti. It's on 18"x18" vinyl.

I need to figure out what I am going to do for a box. Suggestions would be helpful.

Also, today I bought the game pieces.

#15 njb12287 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sat Jan 8, 2011 11:53 PM

A vinyl board sounds cool. I cant wait to see more about this

#16 Rev. Rob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 9, 2011 3:57 PM

I am removing one of the modes of vs. play due to screen overlay limitations.

The game is now 95% complete. The only hold up is finding an artist to do the box art.

I also picked the boxes. The game board is 18"x18".

This is a strategy game, hence the code name.

#17 njb12287 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 9, 2011 4:55 PM

so itll fit in with Invasion. Thats cool. Invasion was kind of dull mainly because it is very time consuming.

Edited by njb12287, Sun Jan 9, 2011 4:55 PM.


#18 Rev. Rob OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 9, 2011 5:27 PM

Here's a pic of the game board with game pieces.

Attached Thumbnails

  • DSCN0048.JPG

Edited by Rev. Rob, Sun Jan 9, 2011 5:44 PM.


#19 njb12287 OFFLINE  

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Posted Sun Jan 9, 2011 5:32 PM

Very cool. Cant wait for more details

#20 swlovinist OFFLINE  

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Posted Tue Jan 11, 2011 8:32 AM

Sounds like a great homebrew idea, I cant wait for more info. I am glad you are doing better these days.

#21 mb7241 OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:27 AM

Consider me in for one, as well (and here I go, into the world of Odyssey collecting o_O ). Possibly two, if I have enough $$ (which I likely will, if that <$30 bit goes as planned) :) .

#22 zodiacprime OFFLINE  

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Posted Wed Jan 12, 2011 10:47 AM

Sounds like a fun idea. Please put me down for one when the time comes. Thanks.

#23 ianoid OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 14, 2011 4:37 AM

Yeah, I'm in for one as well.

#24 Rev. Rob OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 14, 2011 10:15 PM

Everyone who either PMs me or posts here will get a PM when this is ready for order. I think I am close to securing some cover art. :)

#25 njb12287 OFFLINE  

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Posted Fri Jan 14, 2011 11:35 PM

fantastic im actually very excited for this one




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