Griller Z Off to the Races

Whew a lot has been going down in the past month.  Griller Z’s latest print test was just sent to the printing company, and a fresh copy with the new box art should be arriving in a few weeks.  The final rules are still being flushed out, but it feels like it’s getting really close to production ready great.  That of course will be left up to whoever gets the first review copies (yikes!).

I wanted to take a moment to discuss some of the challenges I’ve learned over the course of a year of Griller Z development (wow it really has been that long).  One of the most interesting aspects about designing a board game has been the constant state of flux everything is in.  From the beginning until the end of development (and I’m not even done yet) really anything can be cut or added.  Perhaps this is because I’ve been doing most of the heavy lifting alone (Art & Design), but I think it’s important to be adaptable.

Griller Z is still version 1.0, but honestly that’s 3 complete overhauls with new art (to some degree) in each release.  It’s been a real labor of love and sheer will power to get it this far.  It feels really funny/terrible to be so completely certain that you have a winner to then have players take and break your hard work in seconds.  Complicated is only good if it’s simple?  What does that even mean, I’m not sure but I’ll tell you that Griller Z biggest lesson learned was that even the most amazing system in the world is probably too complicated.  People play games for fun!  You’ve got to make your players use their brains, but make it simple enough to be fun first.


Apologies for not continuing to post news about Griller Z, product reviews or anything new for a few days.  Getting Griller Z to print was a huge priority, and managing some of the other Flux 6 Studios initiatives always suffers when I’m pulled into Griller.  I sure hope it’s a year well worth my time.

More soon, Frank.

Dev – GZ Internal Alpha Testing

Griller Z had an intensive play test last Friday night (6/12/15). Many important features and ideas were put through their paces.  Parts of the game worked flawlessly, and made the cut, but there’s still a lot of fat to trim (pun intended), and work to do.

Things that worked:

shop_card_1.0Spoil Checks – spoil checks may be the most functional component of the original rules. The difference between the Human’s and Zombie storage architecture relies heavily on this concept, and it’s great that it feels significant.

Shop Cardsshop cards worked very much as intended. There was some fear that giving players to little, or to much control over the cards would break the game quickly. Players seemed to easily get part or all of the food they needed, and EVENTS (even hard ones) were completed.

Working on it:


Inside Rulebook 1.0

Event Cardsevent cards felt either easy, or way to hard to complete. This was amplified because the player event draw was significantly lopsided in favor of Zombies, and most players chose Human characters. A new system is in the works to fix some of these glaring issues.

BurnersThe rules for turning on burners did not convey to players well. Resource management, and order of operations needs to be drastically tightened. Scope creep is a likely culprit, and simplifying how Burners operate is the most logical fix. The GAMEBOARD/grill is getting a much needed overhaul.

Rule BookOh the poor rule book.  Moving and shifting rules so that they flow naturally and function is tough stuff. Scope creep again is a likely culprit for the difficulty players had grasping certain concepts. The rules were read by each player prior to testing the game, with no advice or direction was given (with the exception of suggestions for where to find specific rules in the book).  By in large players were able to play the game without help from Frank (the designer).  Simplifying the rules and rule book is at the top of the stack of things to accomplish.


The first internal Alpha was by in large a huge success. Super important problems were highlighted, and fun was had by all. When the ball got rolling, players were rapidly completing events.  There’s still a lot to do, but for a first run, we couldn’t be happier with the results.