Saturday, February 23, 2013

Tinseltown 2013 Edition

Tinseltown: The Board Game (TM)
Copyright (2013) Matt Jarrells

rules revised: 2/23/2013

Players: 2 - 6

Welcome to Tinseltown, the entertainment industry board game!

As an up-and-coming star of the silver screen, you compete against your friends to become a legend. In the time it takes to watch your favorite film, your family can play this epic game, filled with drama and laughs. So grab some popcorn and let's head to Tinseltown!

Each player is an Actor striving for film immortality. As an Actor, there are 3 primary traits that determine your qualifications for scoring an acting Role.

Presence: This is your recognizability and your capacity to hold attention.

Credibility: This is the perception of your talent and personality. Only Credibility may be a negative score.

Chops: This is your actual talent for acting.

Based on the Roles you complete, these points are kept in a Tally on your scorecard. When Tally of either trait reaches the set goal [ex. 50 points], player wins.

Game Pieces: Each player gets one avatar Game Piece

The Calendar
The Calendar has one space for each month of the year. A Calendar timepiece is moved along the Calendar to track game time.

The Schedule
Game pieces are placed in and move around The Schedule. The Schedule has one space for each month of the calendar year. All players begin the game with their game piece in January of the first year.

Players are dealt 5 Role Cards to their hand to start the game. Role Cards have a set number of months it will take a player to book and complete the role, indicated by the Release Date number beside the Time Piece.

As a player schedules a Role Card, his or her game piece is advanced in the Schedule. The Role Card's Release Date sets the Schedule in motion; a 6 month job scheduled in January has its Release Date in July.

When every player has completed their turn, the Calendar piece is moved to the next month. If a player can not schedule a role, he loses a turn.

There are three kinds of game cards that determine how the game unfolds.

Role Cards
Actors may choose to undertake many different Roles; through the successful completion of a Role, the Actor tallies Presence, Credibility and Chops points.

There are two types of Role Cards:
Starred Roles and Projects

Starred Roles are rated 1 to 5 Stars. Starred Roles appear on TV [Network or Cable] or Film [Independent, Documentary, Grindhouse, Short, or Studio].

There are numerous genres of Starred Roles, including Action, Comedy, Crime, Drama, Horror, Romance, Suspense and Thriller.

Projects have no rating. They are Commercial, Broadway, Off-Broadway, and Voice roles.

When Projects and Starred Roles are completed, the Role Card is moved into your Resume.

Now for a sample Starred Role...

Role: ** (2 star) Cable TV Series

Presence: 1
Credibility: 1
Chops: 2

Release Date: 6 Months

Skill: Chemistry
Audition: Presence 10, Athlete

Let's take a look at a sample Project .....

Role: Romantic TV Commercial

Presence: +1
Credibility: -1
Chops: +1

Release Date: 2 Months
Audition: None

What it means:
Any Actor may Schedule this role, as no previous experience is required. If you choose to take this role, you are employed and you place your Game Piece one month ahead in the Schedule, to correspond with the Project's expected Release Date. When the Release Date arrives, player adds corresponding points to their tally: +1P, -1CRED, +1CHOP

Simple, right? Well, here's where the business side of the entertainment industry can twist your expectations.

Media Cards
When an Actor schedules a Project Role, actor draws one Media Card. Unless the card instructs otherwise, the Media Card is played on the Project Card and they remain together until such time as it takes effect.

Think of it as media coverage of your project's release.

A sample Media Card....

Card Name: TV Pilot

Chops: +1

Time: +1 Month

What it means:
In addition to the Project Role you have already decided to take, you have also been cast in a TV Pilot episode. This will give you an additional 1 point of acting Chops. However, one month is added to the Release Date of your Scheduled Project.

Industry Cards
When an Actor schedules a Resume Role, actor draws one Industry Card. Unless the card instructs otherwise, the Resume Card is played on the Industry Card and, again, these also remain together until such time as it takes effect.

The layout of Industry Cards is much the same as Media cards. You can think of these as reactions from the entertainment industry - critics, ratings, awards and box office sales.

So! The calendar flips and your Role's Release Date arrives.

The first step to completing the Role is to collect your Game Piece from the Calendar ('piece in hand'). After all these steps are complete, you'll be free to select a new Role and place your Game Piece back on the board.

The second step is tallying points. Only now do you tally all the positive and negative effects of both the Role Card and the Media or Industry Card. I'd write out an example, but you can add and subtract.

It's also very important to know that when a Media or Industry Card delivers a result, the card is moved to the corresponding Media Discard Pile or Industry Discard Pile.

Lastly, the completed Role Card is moved to your Recent Resume. More on your Resume in just moments. Have you visited our concession stand?

Each actor maintains a Resume of Roles they have played or are playing.

The Resume area has 5 sections in all:

Currently scheduled Role Card lives here. When a card is in your Schedule, your are working and your Role Card is in production.

Schedule Queue
Upcoming scheduled Role Cards are placed here. Upon a Scheduled Role's completion, the first card in the Queue moves to the Schedule and player draws the appropriate Media or Industry card.

Recent Resume
Roles completed in the current year stay here until all players have completed their December turn.

Past Resume
When the Calendar turns to January, past year's completed TV and Film Roles are moved here from Recent Resume. Some card games might call this area 'The Graveyard'.

Certain Media or Industry Cards do not have to be played immediately. Option Cards be kept until such time the actor chooses to play it.

You also have the option of renewing most TV Series you have completed in the current year.

Sometimes as an Actor, you will take on memorable Roles. We've got something for that - Lasting Effects! You'll find Lasting Effects listed on many Role Cards.

Certain Media and Project Cards deliver Lasting Effects, as instructed by the cards. Lasting Effects points are not added to your tally at Release Date. Lasting Effects are points that are only distributed annually, each January.

Every year, people will look back fondly (begrudgingly) on your Roles (your life) and you'll collect or lose points accordingly.


Starting the Game
Time Piece is placed on January on the Calendar. All players are dealt eight (8) Role Cards.
Eldest player goes first or may defer.

Score Card
Players tally Presence, Credibility, Chops and Projects plus Lasting Effects of Presence, Credibility, Chops and Time Lost to Annual Commitments.

To begin the game, each player tallies 1 Lasting Credibility point. Each January, everyone ages and becomes just a little bit more Credible.

Player's Hand
Actor may only schedule Roles for which they are Qualified. Only one Role from your hand may be Scheduled at a time. When all players have considered their hand, scheduled their Roles
and followed all resulting effects, the Time Piece is moved to the next month.

Release Date
When a Role reaches its Release Date, Actor reclaims game piece from the board. The completed Role Card is placed in Recent Resume.

If there is a Role in your Schedule Queue it is now Scheduled and the appropriate Media or Industry card is drawn. If no Role is queued, Actor chooses next role from hand.

If an Actor is not qualified for any of the Roles in hand, or chooses not to be cast in any of these Roles, negative effects begin.

For every two months unemployed, player loses one (1) Presence point and (1) Chops point.

Again, Presence and Chops may not drop below zero.

I can't play any of these Roles!
An inexperienced actor may have a hard time finding work. It is not entirely uncommon for a player to be unemployed the entire first year of the game. Chin up: in January you will get all new cards and become more Credible as an actor. Real life actors aren't even guaranteed that much!

December IS a month of Game Play. Players should not neglect any of the steps of their turn in December. However, there are two extra steps that occur after each player has completed their December turn.

Renewing TV Series
At the end of the Calendar year, players must first decide whether to renew any TV Series Role completed this year. Rescheduled TV Series Role Card is placed in actor's Schedule Queue.

If no other Role is currently scheduled, the Series resumes in January.

Example: A renewed TV Series role with 'Release Date: 4' is rescheduled starting in January. The role's Release Date is April.

More Complicated Example: Player has completed a TV Series Role in current year. In December, Player has piece in hand and a qualifying Role in hand.

Player has three options:
1) Choose not to take qualifying Role; choose not to renew TV Series. Result: Piece in hand in January; Lose 1 Presence point to Unemployment; TV Series moves to Past Resume

2) Choose not to take qualifying Role. Choose to renew TV Series. Result: Renewed TV Series role is rescheduled starting in January (as above).

3) Take qualifying Role and renew TV Series. Result: Player schedules Role according to Release Date; TV Series is moved to player's Schedule Queue.

Players may not renew a TV Series if its Release Date will exceed December of the next Year.

Example: December of Year 5 arrives and Player is booked for a Film Role through April of Year 6. Player's Recent Resume holds a completed TV Series Role that would take an additional 9 months to Schedule, placing the Release Date in January of Year 7. Player may not renew the TV Series.

Players are not given the option of renewing Series Roles that have not yet reached their Release Date.

Players may renew two TV Series from their Recent Resume, Schedule allowing.

Reshuffling the Role Card Pile
Next, all of the current year's completed Projects and all Role Cards remaining in player's hands are returned to the Role Card Pile. The Role Card Pile is then reshuffled. This step is really the key to the game.

Discard Piles
Cards remain in the Media or Industry Discard Pile until the last card from the Pile is drawn. That pile is then reshuffled.

When the Calendar turns to January, all Lasting Effects are assumed.

Film and TV Series Roles in Recent Resume are moved to Past Resume.

Role Cards remaining in hand and Project Cards remaining in Recent Resume are reshuffled into the Role Card pile.

All players are dealt seven new cards and play resumes.

Winning the Game
First Player to 100 Presence wins

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