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Author Topic: My Card Game Designs WIPs  (Read 9291 times)
Margalis
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Reply #35 on: January 24, 2012, 12:20:13 PM

I don't see why you gave up on your original idea without doing much to iterate on it. (And the iterating on it you did made it more complicated!)

You aren't going to have a great idea right off the top. What you originally presented was a bit of a mess but there is probably a cool game in there somewhere.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
lamaros
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Reply #36 on: January 24, 2012, 02:38:24 PM

Not so much giving up, just putting the current rules and cards to the side for a bit while I work out some basic interactions for the underlying objectives. I have my cards for the game to date and I'm going to take them with me on holiday still. All 160 of them.

I tend to be a bit obsessive, so this is just to clear my brain for a bit, and prototype some simpler stuff.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 03:06:38 PM by lamaros »

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Sheepherder
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Reply #37 on: January 24, 2012, 02:50:22 PM

Dystopia is a terrible name, by the way.
lamaros
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Reply #38 on: January 24, 2012, 03:02:51 PM

Dystopia is a terrible name, by the way.

That's probably why it has "(working title)" next to it?  why so serious?

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Sheepherder
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Reply #39 on: January 24, 2012, 04:45:46 PM

That's the problem, it's not working. Ohhhhh, I see.

If you ever resurrect the original concept you had it might be wise to remember that not all unintended consequences are bad.  Like your original problem: attaching an augmentation card reveals the identity of the augmented card unless there is at least one other in play.  Maybe you should just consider that the price of playing an augmentation card early.  Maybe a player could use the augmented card to feint an attack.
lamaros
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Reply #40 on: January 24, 2012, 06:16:11 PM

Hilarious. Thanks for coming into the thread and being dickhead, I really appreciate it.

Quote
Like your original problem: attaching an augmentation card reveals the identity of the augmented card unless there is at least one other in play.  Maybe you should just consider that the price of playing an augmentation card early.  Maybe a player could use the augmented card to feint an attack.

The problem is that it defeats the purpose of the cards and complicates things without adding any more depth. Also it requires more memory, or some way to fix cards together. Blah blah blah.

Expect poison from the standing water.
Sheepherder
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Reply #41 on: January 24, 2012, 09:13:21 PM

Apparently you're in no mood for jest.

The problem is that it defeats the purpose of the cards and complicates things without adding any more depth. Also it requires more memory, or some way to fix cards together. Blah blah blah.

Just keep the two cards stacked one atop the other.  Yes, if the opponent has seen your sole augmented card before you have lost the element of surprise.  But you know what?  Maybe that's what you pay for fielding a powerful card before you have the means to misdirect him.  Sometimes looking at the problem from a different angle reveals that it doesn't need to be solved.
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 09:14:59 PM by Sheepherder »
lamaros
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Reply #42 on: January 24, 2012, 09:47:28 PM

Apparently you're in no mood for jest.

I don't exactly get the humor in saying "that's a shit name" and "your game doesn't work yet". Maybe it's a developed taste.

Anyhow, my disappointingly thin skin aside:

Quote
Just keep the two cards stacked one atop the other.  Yes, if the opponent has seen your sole augmented card before you have lost the element of surprise.  But you know what?  Maybe that's what you pay for fielding a powerful card before you have the means to misdirect him.  Sometimes looking at the problem from a different angle reveals that it doesn't need to be solved.

They problem is when you return all your cards to you hand at the end of each round. You need to keep them together then, to make sure you don't forget (rule #1: people are stupid and will fuck up if there is a chance to do so) otherwise you might completely ruin the upcoming round by playing things out of turn, or not linking things that are now linked.

If it was the centre of the game it might be manageable, but unfortunately I have it surrounded by a bunch of other stuff that people need to keep track of.

I originally had combat working in a magic sort of model, with cards either dying or returning at full health next round. But that wasn't working because combat was something of a lucky dip with the bluffing added. So I thought I'd change defence to health, and give units higher health values, meaning they would rarely die in one round alone.

But of course that can only be tracked with counters of sorts (or cards you can write on) so then you need to go back to the 'every card is played face up and has a stand in card played from the hand' solution.

And it's all fast becoming a bit of a confused mess, because that makes the resolution phase even less clear (as you have to refer back and forth between each stand in card to the one it depicts every single time you resolve something). And a lot of this problem comes from the bluffing added to complexity, so either I get rid of the bluffing (or do it in an entirely different way) or I get rid of the complexity (damage tokens, augmenting, etc).

So I'm going to strip out the damage tokens and augmentation for now and see what works that way. Then maybe strip out the bluffing and put the other stuff in and see what works that way.

Anyhow. Another thing I wanted to have was movement. In the end I cut that because I couldn't really find a simple way to do it and have bluffing, but now I am re-thinking the lot, so I am going to fiddle with my domino-like land cards, to see if I can get a solution there. (The hope being that movement restrictions would make up for the lack of bluffing).
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 09:50:25 PM by lamaros »

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lamaros
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Reply #43 on: January 24, 2012, 09:57:30 PM

On a completely unrelated note, I wonder if it might be possible to make a deck-building game (dominion or ascention like) with some of the capture mechanics from Scopa.

Ascension has some elements like this, in that you play cards from your deck to destroy cards in the shared zone, but unlike scopa you don't lose the use of your card in your hand when you do that. I wonder how it might work if each turn you had to play a card from your hand into the middle, but that card then had to stay in the middle or leave the game for good (trash pile or victory piles), while in return you added cards from the middle to your hand or they left the game for good (trash pile or victory piles).

Scoring would either related to cards left in your hand once the draw deck was empty and/or cards in your victory pile.

Scopa is a pretty simple game and mostly luck based, but there is a bit of thinking involved in working out when to capture cards or when to play to protect the middle. As someone who likes games that have more direct conflict between players I wondered how to add something like this to the (personally) boring deck-builders.

(Been playing a bit of scopa recently with the GF.)
« Last Edit: January 24, 2012, 09:59:57 PM by lamaros »

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lamaros
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Reply #44 on: January 25, 2012, 06:07:25 PM

I have thought about my simple card laying card game a bit more. The current idea:

Components:

You have a deck of 50 land cards. These are a varied of cards from the following: http://dl.dropbox.com/u/193068/Dungeon%20Battle/Visible%20Print.pdf These cards are double sided. One side signifies it is neutral, the other signifies it is occupied.
You have a deck of 25 unit cards. These are half sized cards (would fit into the middle space when played on the land cards). These cards are double sided, identical apart from a colour marker.
You have a few dice.
You have a number of red and blue markers.

Setup:

Each player starts with one land in front of them. This card is turned on to its back, with a red/blue marker at the top/bottom to signify that those players control it.
Each player starts with one unit card on their land card. This card is turned over to the red/blue side, depending on the owner.

10 unit cards and 10 land cards are selected at random. These cards are turned face up on the table. Each player takes turn selecting one card each to add to their hand. Once all players have 5 cards each the remaining cards are returned to their card piles.

The rest of the land cards are shuffled and placed face down in a draw deck.
The rest of the unit cards are shuffled and placed face down in a draw deck.

Gameplay:

Each player takes turns to do an action. On each turn they may elect to:

A: Draw card(s) from either the land or unit deck.
These cards are added to the player's hand.

B: Play a card from their hand.
Lands may be played adjacent to any other land that is connected in some way with their starting land. Lands may not be played so that any point of the card is closer to the player than their starting land. Land must be played so that at least some part of the card played forms a valid path with an existing piece of land. Units may only be played on a land that player controls.

C: Move a unit card over the land.
Units may move to any adjacent land connected to their current land by the path. They may not move through walls. No two units may occupy the same piece of land. If a unit moves into the same piece of land as an enemy unit they enter combat.

D: Take control of a piece of land.
Players may take control of a piece of land if they have a unit on an unoccupied piece of territory.

E: Active a plot or unit power.
Some cards will have will have a special effect that a player can activate.

The game ends when a player gets a unit card in to the opposing player's starting land, removes all the units of the other player from the game board, or either the unit or land draw piles are depleted. In the later case the winner is scored as follows:

1 point for each piece of land controlled.
1 point for each unit controlled.
1 point for each card left in their hand.
« Last Edit: January 25, 2012, 06:38:56 PM by lamaros »

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Paelos
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Reply #45 on: January 27, 2012, 09:35:42 AM

Ok I have two questions. Bear in mind I'm a card game noob. Played some MtG a long time ago.

1 - What are half cards? Does this ruin flow? Wouldn't I lose or get these damaged trying to keep track of them. Are their continuity issues?
2 - Do the units support each other? If the goal is to strike into my land, what's the point of defending? Wouldn't the game just turn into a mad rush? Are there penalties or advantages to the defenders/attackers as they get deeper into the land?

CPA, Sports blogger, Mount and Blade enthusiast
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lamaros
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Reply #46 on: January 27, 2012, 03:45:14 PM

Ok I have two questions. Bear in mind I'm a card game noob. Played some MtG a long time ago.

1 - What are half cards? Does this ruin flow? Wouldn't I lose or get these damaged trying to keep track of them. Are their continuity issues?
2 - Do the units support each other? If the goal is to strike into my land, what's the point of defending? Wouldn't the game just turn into a mad rush? Are there penalties or advantages to the defenders/attackers as they get deeper into the land?

Half sized or small sized just means that the dimensions are smaller. Ie normal cards 63x89mm, small are 41x63.

For this game they are small because you place them on the larger cards, and still need to be able to see the exits.

The units somewhat support each other. Currently I have 5.

Scout. 1/2. If this unit moves into a land with any unexplored exits you may add a land to one of those exits for free from either your hand or the top of the draw deck.
Commander. 2/3. If this unit moves into a land with any adjacent connected friendly units you may move each of those units once for free.
Soldier. 3/3. This unit may attack any adjacent enemy units for free.
Spy. 2/1. This unit may attempt to control a land for free once each turn. If this unit takes control of a land you may draw one card. This unit gains a control bonus equal to its defence.
Citizen. 1/1. This unit may move between adjacent controlled land for free. This unit may activate a land's ability for free once each turn.

The point of defending is to make it harder for the other player to strike you, or to build a winning score and win that way. There is a natural opportunity cost every turn because you have to choose between moving, building or influencing. So the player that rushes out for the base attack might find the other player blocking them by building every turn and not letting the lands connect up. Or controlling a strong square and defending through it, etc.

I have ideas for lands as giving attacking or defensive bonuses, movement bonuses. Extra actions per turn. Etc. some will be harder to control than others.

I anticipate that towards the end of the game players will be activating special abilities and using unit combinations to do more complicated moves than in this first, depending on the strengths and weaknesses of the units and land the control, and the shape of the board.

New idea is to have the starting cards facing back to back in the middle, with three exits from each leading away from each other. As follows:

-|-
|_|
|  |
-|-

With the crosses being exits and the others being closed. So even though you are close and connected, you can't get to each other for a bit, and you can sort of block each other off.

(on an iPad. Will post an example with my cards when I get to my pc)

Expect poison from the standing water.
Margalis
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Reply #47 on: January 27, 2012, 04:20:50 PM

Hmm..where do the starting lands start in relation to each other? Like can we sit 50 feet away from each other?

Also what guarantees they align properly? If I have my land in front of me and you have your land in from of you and we build towards each other where they meet can't they be off?

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
lamaros
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Reply #48 on: January 27, 2012, 08:17:13 PM

Hmm..where do the starting lands start in relation to each other? Like can we sit 50 feet away from each other?

Also what guarantees they align properly? If I have my land in front of me and you have your land in from of you and we build towards each other where they meet can't they be off?

I'm thinking (as mentioned in the end of the above post) to make them start adjacent to each other in the middle, rather on the extremes of each player's side. However they would be facing in different directions, so to establish a connection you would have to build around the side and it would take a few turns (at least three), even if both players were working towards it.

Arrangement is end on end, or side by side raised or lowered 50%. So tiled, so to speak.

Here is the current playtest layouts of the land cards, by way of example. They are all designed to fit together in this manner (apart from the one that has no openings/exits, of course):

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/193068/Dungeon%20Battle/Land%20Cards.pdf

I am considering allowing it to just be straight up side by side as well, though I'm not sure on that.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2012, 08:18:53 PM by lamaros »

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lamaros
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Reply #49 on: May 05, 2014, 12:44:06 AM

Ok! So I have played a lot more board games in the past two years that I had prior to that, so I new have quite a few ideas on how to resolve some of the things that were going on in my designs. Hopefully this time I can get through to finishing the prototypes to a fun level (though this will likely be after I have moved).

At the moment I'm going back to the original game, a sort of Chaos Overlords, experience. As per my current notes:

It will be a card game, with a grid board which can randomized through tiles. The card aspect will be similar in some ways to Race for the Galaxy, but it will be much more interactive.

There will be broadly three types of cards, action selection cards (like RftG), building/area tiles, and unit and development cards that go into a players hand.

Units are purchased, either directly or through auction, and are added to a player's hand when acquired. They have a number of values: attack, defense, influence, and upkeep. Some may have special abilities. I may also add in a 'tech level'.

Development cards are either played in combination with other cards in combos or modifiers, or do other such tricky things.

Players will choose 2-4 actions simultantiously (like RftG), then reveal and play them in turn one at a time. They may or may not be shared among all players like Race or not.

Actions will be: Recruit, move, control, collect income, develop, reorganise, and produce.

Board movement and card cycling will play similar to the game City of Remnants.

The game will be entirely symmetrical to start with.

There will be cubes to signify units, and discs to indicate players control of the board.

There will be engaged and and unengaged units similar to the game of archipelago.

The base board will have a fixed setup, but the main game will consist of varied setups determined by shuffling the tiles and playing them face down over areas or the entirety of the base board. (I have considered having the backs of these laminated in some way so that they can be marked to indicate which players have 'discovered' them and are allowed to check what they are if currently hidden).

Game Phases:

Reset
Actions
Upkeep (penalties for not being able
to pay)

Components:

Board (8x8ish)
Building titles
Unit cards
Development cards
Unit cubes
Control discs
Upkeep dials
Money tokens
Scoring tokens

Expect poison from the standing water.
lamaros
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Reply #50 on: February 25, 2015, 05:58:07 AM

Necro...

New wave of inspiration. Not that much like it was previously... But progress.


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lamaros
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Reply #51 on: February 25, 2015, 08:46:26 PM

And here are the new rules to date. If you care please comment, as any pointers as to what I can help make clearer are much appreciated.

If you have any design comments I'll also appreciate those.

Link to rules here, also spoilered below.

« Last Edit: February 25, 2015, 08:55:37 PM by lamaros »

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Margalis
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Reply #52 on: February 26, 2015, 06:50:15 AM

You need to contextualize these rules and present them an inverted pyramid fashion.

What is the game? It's very hard to understand this without parsing though it with a fine-toothed comb because there's no theme or metaphor. You've presented a long list of procedures but a procedure for what? And to what end?

Describe what the game is about ("it's a game of building and espionage" or whatever) along with some plain-english description of the basics, and maybe a less in-depth listing of the rules that doesn't include everything but sets it up and describes the overall flow.

Stuff like exactly how many cards you draw is only relevant if you're playing - when someone first reads the rules they won't be playing, they'll just be reading to try to understand the gist of it.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
MahrinSkel
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Reply #53 on: February 26, 2015, 08:11:23 AM

Yeah, something like:

2-3 sentence description of the game theme and style.

6-10 sentence executive summary of the phases of play.

all that stuff you just infodumped, minus the pieces inventory

pieces inventory

The player is starting with no clear idea of what the game is about or its general structure, and you're throwing them in the deep end with detailed instructions that they have no context to provide meaning to. Like a lego set that comes with instructions for Ikea-style stepwise directions (attach red 2x8 block to red 2x8 block... ... ... ... ... You have a fire engine!

--Dave

--Jello Biafra: "If evolution is outlawed, only outlaws will evolve."
lamaros
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Reply #54 on: February 26, 2015, 04:03:02 PM

Cheers for the feedback. Yeah I was just writing them up for myself, so I forgot to put the preamble in. Didn't remember that when I shared it.

Quick and dirty description follows. Note all the names and etc are placeholder.

General:

The aged overloard, ruler of the realm for over a generation, has died, and the power they controled and held in order has fallen apart in to chaos. New upstart players have seen their chance for glory and are seeking to step in to the power vacuum. But only one can win this competition of influence and power, who will step up and become the new overlord?!

Overlord is a game for 2-6 players that sets them in competition against each other to fight for power within the lands of The Realm. Over ten years players will recruit, deploy and manuver a team of agents throughout the lands to attempt to lay claim to positions of power. After ten years whoever has control of the most power points in areas under their control will see themselves crowned as the new overlord!

Players compete by assembling a team of agents and sending them throughout the realm to exert influence, gain money, and expose and compete with enemy agents. After ten years of competition whomever has gathered the most power fr themselves will be crowned as the new overlord of the realm.

Expect poison from the standing water.
lamaros
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Reply #55 on: February 26, 2015, 04:05:00 PM

Simple game structure to follow.

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Margalis
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Reply #56 on: February 26, 2015, 08:24:22 PM

It is worth mentioning that writing good board game rules is hard and something even many good games get wrong.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
lamaros
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Reply #57 on: February 26, 2015, 08:36:52 PM

Basic, sequence and flow of the game:

The board of the game is made up of a group of different hexagonal map tiles. These tiles have a number of enterances on them and when placed next to each other form the board on which players will play agents and move around. Each tile will be part of a certain map 'area' and when combine these tiles will form one board with a number of different connected areas.

Each map tile is further divided in to a number of sectors, which all have a power value. The aim of the game is to have control of a number of sectors which together add up to the greatest power value at the time the game ends.

The game is divided up in to a number of years (or 'rounds'). When the end of the final year is reached the game ends, and the player who controls the most power points in sectors they control wins.

Each round is further divided up in to a number of steps, which have the following basic flow:

1. Upkeep

In this step players pay and or receive money for the upkeep of their active agents.

2. Event step

In this step an game event will be drawn that will cause a special event or restriction of take place.

3. Agent auction

In this step a number of new agents will become available for players to recruit, via an auction. Each player will recruit one agent in this step from the available pool and deploy them on to the map.

4. Action steps

In this step players will take turns to take an action. Actions will involve basic actions such as further direct agent recruitment; agent actions such as moving agents and placing influence on board sectors, and special agent actions from the agents they control; as well as special area actions if they control the majority of sectors in a map area.

There are two action steps, one after each other.

5. Refresh and move year forward

Finally there will be a step where agents and other elements are readied for the next round, and the round will move on.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2015, 08:39:54 PM by lamaros »

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lamaros
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Reply #58 on: February 26, 2015, 08:38:55 PM

It is worth mentioning that writing good board game rules is hard and something even many good games get wrong.

Yeah. I like to think I will get this one done ok, its not that complicated a game really. But I've been writing them for myself so far, and done it very quickly, so its a good exercise to post them here and then look at them through outsider eyes and make adjudtments and changes.

I appreciate any feedback!

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Margalis
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Reply #59 on: February 27, 2015, 12:23:07 AM

So my understanding is that you make a map out of tiles, then as the game goes by you collect and use agents, and each agent has special powers.

Two things seem a little weird to me:

1. What's the point in the players customizing the map? It seems like you would build the map out to favor some strategy, but you don't have any agents yet (?) - it's not clear to me that the map-building phase would be meaningful. It seems like it would be a lot more interesting if the player had some events or agents in hand already, so that they were building a map in a way that benefited them.

2. The idea that you have map tiles, but then each map tile is itself divided into sectors. It seems kind of weird to have map tiles, but then have something that exists at even finer resolution. This isn't any sort of dealbreaker, it just sounds a bit odd reading it.

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
lamaros
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Reply #60 on: February 27, 2015, 12:41:54 AM

The map building is just for a varied board. The elements will be the same every game, just not always with the same connections.

I like this because I like games that require board analysis as a strategic skill, rather than fixed boards that tend to encourage rote plays. The goal is to have a similar outcome to something like Railways of the World, where you have general ideas and strategies, but have to adjust and take advantage of the opportunities the varied setup presents.

It also lets experienced player build and share a custom map for specific strategic implications.

And it also lets me design expansions that can easily swap in and out by including area sets with associated agent card sets.

Regarding the sectors division, this is partly to limit the board size while still having a large number of sectors. The alternative would be to have about 3x as many tiles of one sector each, but the exacerbates setup times and requires them to be smaller and more fiddly.

Secondly large subdivided tiles allows me to design them for certain purposes to some extent, so the game is not completely random each time. You'll always have a tile that has a high value sector surrounded by a few no value ones, for example. Which adds to the strategic elements for repeat plays. You won't know how everything connects each game, but you will know what will generally be in each region.

It is a little less than ideal in some ways, but I'm not keen on building a 60 tiles map, or having a fixed board. Will see how it goes in playtests.

TLDR

1. This is not really much skill in setting up the map, its just for variation and as setup. It could easily just be set up by one individual.

2. I need about 15 sectors per player to make the world large enough I think, so the subdivision is a means to do this without making the board setup too long and the board too fiddly. Also it allows more fixed designed strategic elements.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2015, 12:51:13 AM by lamaros »

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lamaros
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Reply #61 on: March 01, 2015, 01:52:08 AM

Had a playtest today and a few things came from that which have me trying to go with just one sector tiles. I think I can get away without having to build 60 tile maps.

Expect poison from the standing water.
lamaros
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Reply #62 on: March 04, 2015, 04:22:57 PM

Feeling better about how things are coming together now. Having just one scoring area per tile has allowed me to simplify some things, which is always good, and focused the area control elements. Also bringing more emphasis on spatial relationships, movent, and terrain evaluation. In turn I'm hoping these increase the significant of the agent auctions and tighten the play up.

Previously I had a bit of an idea about teams of agents comboing together, but I'm strippng that back to synergising instead, and getting a clearer idea on what kind of play styles I want the game to allow.

At the moment I'm trying to add in the agents that allows these styles: spreading broadly or locking down key spots, focusing on denying the other sides or accelerating ones own game, etc

I've got another 15 (of 40) agents to do, then there will be more play testing. Feeling good, but the proof of the pudding...

The economy is likely still a mess.


Expect poison from the standing water.
Margalis
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Reply #63 on: March 11, 2015, 07:50:17 AM

Had a playtest today and a few things came from that which have me trying to go with just one sector tiles. I think I can get away without having to build 60 tile maps.

"I told you so."  awesome, for real

I'm curious what range of abilities the agents have. That's really the core of the game no? My guess is that coming up with agent abilities such that there are an interesting number of viable strategies is going to be the tough part.

You also want to avoid a situation where everyone's strategy becomes clear after one or two rounds of drafting and then there's no real competition for agents because everyone is on a different path. So you probably want agents that are applicable to more than one strategy.
« Last Edit: March 11, 2015, 07:58:02 AM by Margalis »

vampirehipi23: I would enjoy a book written by a monkey and turned into a movie rather than this.
lamaros
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Reply #64 on: March 11, 2015, 03:13:15 PM

Yeah second playtest had some stuff come out of it. At this point I have two directions I might take it which are pretty much two different games. I'm tempted to try and make both of them.

Keeping the agents transparent enough to other players but still flexible and creative and fun is the real balancing act. But I'm still ironing out economy issues which make the auctions lack something too. The game isn't as dynamic as I'd hope yet.

One other problem being the tests so far have been two player, and I think that will possibly be the worst player count. But if I can get it working there it should shine with more, as it really tests the basic mechanics.

Expect poison from the standing water.
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