You have found the homepage of Fubar Games!
My name is Pelle, and I'm also know as FurbyFubar on most parts on the web. I'm a hobbyist game designer based in Stockholm, Sweden. I design board games, card games, puzzles, computer games and I've even tried my hand at coding a game app for Android. I spend more time during the average day thinking about all sort of games, game design and the paradoxes of time travel than what is probably healthy.
Despite the simplistic look of the page this site was not last updated 1999, but rather in 2022. Yeah, it might not look like much, but having a domain and a web host means I can share my weird game ideas with the world without having to rely on some third party blogging or social media site. Just like back in the day when the web was filled with fun personal sites for people's pet interests, lovingly handcrafted in HTML.
I will use this site to talk about and show off my different game projects. What category of my projects would you like to see? Both categories have content that's playable online in different forms.
Recurring themes in the games I design are power-ups and upgrades that somehow modify the thing they are played. I tend to think that most games can be made better by adding power-ups, including chess. Below I'll describe some of the games I've designed or that I'm currently working on.
The published version of Time War(p) can be bought from Alphaspel. The game can also be played for free online for anyone who has Tabletop Simulator! The physical version includes two extra promo cards: "The Singularity" and "Strategic Butterfly Stomping".
Time War(p) was published by my friendly local game store Alphaspel for their 10 year anniversary. I designed the game mechanics together with my friend Amos Persson and we had great luck to get connected with Sebastian Myde from Alphaspel for the artwork.
Sebastian completely understood the tone we were going for and his input made the game so much more fun to look at!
Thematically the game is about winning a time travel war, and you fight as one of four factions: Apes and Monkeys, Aliens, Space Vikings, or Robots. You win by taking control of different time periods and future technologies.
Mechanically Time War(p) is based around hand management and bluffing. Each round every player assigns an Agent card from their hand to sent out into the timestream to fight for that round's Spacetime card. Some agents are strictly better than others, but spending those agents early can result in you having to lose later battles. But then again, since there's time travel involved, there are plently of ways to loop back agents you've already sent away (or even had killed) to your hand so you can deploy them again! If you can predict what agents your opponent(s) will send you can typically get the upper hand.
Time War(p) will always hold a special part of my heart as it was the first of my cardboard games to get published "for real". (I don't really count self publishing or putting out print-and-play games.) It also allowed me to make so make references to science fiction movies and other pop culture I've grown up loving!
To play Time War(p) you need two to four players and about 15 minutes (excluding the time of any weird infinite time loops you might get yourself drawn into).
Mad Science has not been picked up by a publisher yet, but the prototype version of it can be played for free with Tabletop Simulator! There you can also read the complete rulebook.
This is my Magnum Opus, the big one, the game I've been working on on-and-off since 2004. I've become a better game designer than I was back then, but I really think that it is the long iterative design progress, combined with lots of feedback from outside playtesters that has let me get this game to where it is today. I'm very happy with how it plays.
It's a card game where you're a mad scientist trying to take over Earth! Mechanically it could be described as being hand management, tableau building with a variable phase order. But that doesn't quite do the game justice. There are two game mechanics I've built the game around; the upgrade/downgrade system and the way the variable phase order works. So let me explain them a little further and maybe that gives a clearer image of the game? Let's start by looking at a sample Empire card and its parts.
Upgrades and downgrades
In Mad Science your goal is to rule the Earth a specific number of times to win the game. To rule the Earth you need domination points. To get these domination points you play out doomsday devices and minions in front of you. These devices and minion-cards are called Empire cards and they have a blue card frame. To get even more points you can play Upgrade cards on your things. If you want to mess with your opponents plans you play Downgrade cards on their Empire cards. Both upgrade and downgrades have a red card frame.
All up-/downgrades have "..." in their name, for example "Atomic...", "Defective...", "...from the Future", or "...of Doom". So when you combine them together with Empire cards you get constructions like "Atomic Defective Androids from the Future of Doom". In addition to adding or taking away domination points, upgrades and downgrades can have special rules text that change how the card can be attacked or grant it special powers or weaknesses. Some up-/downgrades can also be played on a specific subset of the empire cards, "minions" or "devices". So a long silly card name does not just mean "this gives 8 points", but it holds game relevance, and that is something that really helps with the immersion in the theme and getting players to care about the cards they are putting out on the table in front of them.
The phase reordering system
The game has four different phases matching the four different card types:
The cards in the game typically take one or more actions to play. The number of actions each player can use in a phase depends on where in the turn order the current phase is at the moment. The first phase gives each player 5 actions, the second 3, the third 2 and the forth phase each turn is skipped entirely. The order the phases are placed in is determined in the first step of each round where players simultaneously select what what cards they want to spend from their hands to move the phase markers earlier or later. This system leads to a bit part of the strategic value in the game comes from knowing if you should either try to play a cards, or spend it the set up a situation where the phase order lets you play your other, stronger, cards.
But I am still coding, so new games will appear below.
I jumped on the Wordle craze and designed and coded my own 2D variation. The result is Squardle!
Instead of trying to find a single 5 letter word, in Squardle the object is to solve a whole 5x5 grid of six words.
The design of this game was kind of tricky. The main problem was making it possible to see all previous clues given on the screen without any scrolling. My solution was to put smaller squares inside the bigger squares. It works, but I'll be the first to admit that it's sort of confusing to read the board in the late game before you get used to the system. You can click on clues to fade them out or hide them, and clicking on a square lets you make notes for future letters to guess.
Squardle has become more successful than I dared imagine and has had 250,000 unique players since it's launch in February!
Also, there's no mobile support as the whole point of the game is to mess with your mouse. So if that doesn't scare you away, go try Cursed Cursors. The first few levels are designed to make it look to anyone observing you play as if you've suddenly forgotten how to use a mouse, while a few of the later levels offer some really tricky puzzles to solve.
TL;DR To try out my online puzzlebox, click here. NOTE: The puzzlebox does not work on mobile devices due to using right-clicking.
Puzzles and puzzleboxes have been something I've been interested in for a long time, but my interest was renewed when youtube's suggestion algorithm led me to watch hours and hour of puzzlebox solving. This led to the seemingly straightforward idea that I should design and build a physical sequential discover puzzlebox of my very own. Being both a realist and an optimist, I've given myself 10 years to make this idea into a reality.
Slightly less realistically, if I manage to build my box, building a second copy of the puzzlebox (that fixes the things that annoy my about the first box) should hopefully be easier and faster than building the first one. If this holds true it would be amazing to be able to build and sell custom puzzleboxes. But that's the bonus "fun to daydream about" part of the dream, not something I'm going to commit to actually doing. So producing more than a single box is outside of my ten year plan!
I know I have the game design skills needed to design an impressive puzzlebox. In fact, I could design a much more impressive box than I could ever hope to build; I'm not good at fine carpentry and I have only some limited experience building things with electronical components.
So my plan is to join the local makerspace to get access to both a laser cutter for plywood, and some of the building knowledge I know that I'm missing.
I also intend start out small; at first I'll just build some physical non-sequential wooden puzzles rather than boxes to be opened and then scale up the scope from there. The biggest overall hurdle I expect to have to overcome will be to design a compartment that can be opened electronically by a solenoid, say by the press of a button. If I can get that working I'm somewhat confident that I can probably design and build interesting puzzles that when they are solved closes a circuit and thus, (with the puzzle replacing the button), could open the next compartment in my then sequential puzzlebox with every compartment including the tools and/or clues needed to solve the next puzzle on the box.
My reasoning was that while it would be quite a lot of effort to create the graphics for, and code, an entire online puzzlebox, it would still be using skills I already had, and something I could do while socially distancing myself. This also meant that my