Nearly there (hopefully)!

Again, been doing some playtesting and finetuning of my game.

I playtested the game again, and came up with these rules:

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1. Players starts with five cards each, soldiers and rations, each with a value between 1 and 4.
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2. Players simultaneously play one soldier and one ration. Rations power up the soldiers, so if you have a solider of 2 and a ration of 1, you have 3 power. 
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3. Players simultaneously roll their die, with their die’s value trying to beat the value of their opponent’s soldier and ration. So, in this instance, both die are higher than the opponent’s soldiers and rations, so both players win. 
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4. If players win the die roll, they win a tile to be placed on the map number that corresponds with the tile number. Each player has their own pile of tiles, so that each player has their own colour.  If you draw a tile that has a number that has already been played, players roll their dice to determine who gets influence over that area. 

 

5. Play ends when the map has been filled, with the person with the most tiles on the map being the winner!

So, these were the rules that the playtest bred. We played around with different rules like each player having ten dice each and if they lose a die roll battle, they would lose a die. If a player lost all their die, the game would end. We found that this stopped people from wanting to roll their dice so the game did not progress. We also found that the dwindling resources made the game end too quickly. We also played around with the idea of building the map cooperatively but realised I would have to rethink the battle mechanic if I took that route, because battling other players makes no sense if you are cooperating to build the map,so the competitive nature of seeing who has the most tiles on the map stayed as is. We also found that we had to weaken the power of soldiers, because there were some in the deck that were power of 4, and teaming them up with a ration of 2 meant that they could not be beaten at all with a six sided die.

These mechanics worked and made sense but my playtester and I thought the game missing something that would bring the whole experience together and make it more fun. We looked at the game Fluxx, and looked at the types of cards that this game had. One type we liked the idea of was the Action Cards, that allow players to draw more cards, swap their hands with other players, etc). So, I thought that maybe in the next prototype, I would implement this, but we weren’t really sure if this would be enough to improve the game. This is the point where we were a little stuck with what that ‘something’ was that the game needed.

Actions
Fluxx’s action cards. These action cards assist the player in progressing as well as impeding the progress of other players. I would use similar cards in my game. Source

So, admitting defeat (kinda) I got Chris to playtest my game. The suggestions that were given were:

  1. To have players maybe try to ‘block’ each other’s attacks, or weaken attacks somehow
  2. To have players still working on building the map, but allowing players to place map tiles where ever they like on the map, with the game rewarding players for making certain shapes on the map (eg. if a player makes a T shape on the map, they would get 6 points). Individual tiles would still be worth one point.
  3. He agreed with the idea of using some Action cards to make play more exciting.

The new map building mechanic, with players building shapes on the map is like the game Blokus, where players are given shaped tiles to place on a board to gain influence and mess up other peoples’ progress, so I liked this suggestion, because this is a game I have played before and enjoyed the strategic nature of.

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Blokus. Source

 

I feel like the mechanics of the game are nearly there, but I will need to prototype and play test the game again with the Action Cards and new mechanics. At this point, it seems that this game would work best as a two player game.

It seems that the art and themes of the game have taken a ‘backseat’ because the mechanics of the game have taken much longer than I have anticipated because apparently designing games is very hard! Perhaps I would take a leave out of Fluxx or Cards Against Humanity’s books and have the design/style of the game be very simple and easy to understand. Maybe I would stray away from the dystopian theme and have just colours or textures instead. I guess it depends how much time I have left (not a lot!)

Fluxx
The Fluxx cards are simple, with simple illustrations and a colour scheme, so that each different card type has a different coloured stripe, so that you can instantly tell what type of cards you have. Source

 

That’s about it this week. I welcome any comments or suggestions to help get this game over the line! 🙂

6 comments

  1. I love the simplicity of the game and I feel that this would be a good way to ease people into playing board games who haven’t done so in the past. When I saw the tiles and the numbers on the paper, it actually reminded me of bingo. Rather than filling the whole board, maybe there could be a potential rule that if someone has five in a row they could win. Because this wouldn’t happen very often, when no one received five in a row then whoever has the largest amount of influence over the board could win. Also, rather than taking out the soldiers who have a power of 4, you could potentially have one or two in the deck for a potential trump card – kind of like the joker in some card games. I like the idea of including block cards to help defend against attacks, they could potentially be called “Shield” cards and possibly increase the defence of a soldier. I’m liking how your game is coming along, it’s easy to learn so you don’t have to waste too much of your time getting used to the rules.

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  2. Hey Emily!

    I really like the game mechanics you have come up with for your game so far! I think all of the work you have done through play testing, well documented in your previous blogs, is paying off! Just keep plugging away until you find the right combination of rules. I had a thought about a mechanic for your game which could be ability cards. Say you have a side deck of abilities that is shuffled at the start of the game which each player takes a card from, this card grants them a passive ability for the duration of play, for example, the points received from a player making a shape on the map board could be doubled. Also, if a player rolled a six, they could draw a new ability from the deck and decided whether to replace their current ability or keep their old one. This idea might be something you’ve already considered and discarded but I just thought I’d tell you. Overall your game is coming along really well!

    Awesome work!

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  3. I really love all the elements and how you have explained the rules of your game. You have done heaps well! I think that placing the fact that in order to win you need to capture a lot tiles however there are other elements that need to be attend to in order to achieve them.

    I think with Chris advise is very good, blocking is a great way to help their team and maybe the benefit of maybe even placing more power onto the solider somehow might be good as well to deal with higher ranks. I do also like the fact of building and creating in a way barriers to stops others from coming in.

    I see your dilemma, I think a game like Legendary might help contribute to your game in the way you need to battle villains and work together to do so which makes it more fun. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SFJxgEsmQVE But really great work!

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  4. As someone pretty unfamiliar with this style of game, I think it’s looking fantastic and look forward to seeing what other improvements are made. Agree with the others and Chris; using ‘Action’ cards would help shake things up a bit, otherwise I’m liking the deceptively simple premise of the game. Not sure if there’s enough game board space to make shapes like he suggests, but an additional mechanic to block or buff could be neatly inserted into the game cycle and produce vastly different game outcomes.

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  5. I love love love the idea of having players work to block other people on the map, it’ll require players to use some strategy which is always fun. Blokus is my family’s favourite game and it always gets so competitive and it doesn’t get boring or repetitive, unless I lose a few games in a row. The action cards are great also and I agree that they would help shake things up a bit. Other than that, the rules are really easy to follow and even I might be able to understand it enough to play! Which is a miracle.

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  6. I love how the rules are very realistic and playable. I think this game would definitely suit friends and family to play, which is awesome because it could include a very board audience group. I guess the only element that could improve is there’s too much consistence, I mean it looks like if a player managed to have a good early start that dominance will continue until the end of the game. Therefore, maybe more Action Cards that will allow player bad start to turn around would add in some dramatic element into the game.

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