Monthly Archives: August 2013
Progress continues on Elementary. After some serious thought I decided to remove the worker placement mechanics and replace that part of the game with a different set of mechanics. The players will now have a spell book that functions similarly to the lab space accept that it is limited by number of cards, rather than a stat on the cards. Spells are the play players interact. They allow the player to take the Teacher’s Pet Token, steal resources, gain merits, sabotage other players equipment and a plethora of other useful interactions.
I’ve also removed Favor for now. The reason for this was two fold. Favor was primarily in the game to create a balance for some of the more powerful placement effects and since the placement is gone the favor was less useful unless it powered spells, which is still a possibility I’m considering. Secondly I felt that the second part of favor, it’s use as a bidding mechanic to choose the next professor, tended to favor the player in the lead and was not necessary. Right now the spells run off of the same resource the equipment does and unless it doesn’t work well I’m leaning towards leaving that resource out of the game.
Other than Elementary reworks not much else has happened. I’m looking into a smaller size tile for Dig Site, but the sizes offered cheaply are either too big or too small so far.
Thanks again for reading and if you’re interested in helping play test send me an E-mail and I’ll add you to the list.
This week was productive. I got a few more play tests of Elementary in and have some more tweaks to try out. The revisions did not get as far as I had hoped which was good and bad. Good for Elementary since I’m making adjustments and would have to revise again, bad for Dig Site because it is in dire need of attention.
Something had been bothering about Elementary for a while. When I designed the game initially I put several mechanics in that were designed to help players that had fallen behind, however after a few games the mechanics seemed to help the players in the lead more than the players that had fallen behind. My theory on game design is that games should be a synergy of mechanics and concepts. If a game is about wizards at a school I believe that the mechanics should reflect that feeling accordingly. This design mentality sometimes gets away from me and I add things that make sense for the setting, but might not be the best idea mechanically which is what the issue was. There where a few mechanics that I put in because of the “flavor” of them that slowed down the game and made it clunky. I also had also done the opposite and made a mechanic that was cool but made little sense in the setting. I was essentially rewarding the wizard with the biggest resource and not rewarding the players that were doing things in their labs. Somewhere in the middle of those mechanics was the unruly problem of players in the lead staying in the lead. So after a great talk with my wife about the game and some wonderful insight on her part I have a much better, in my opinion, scoring mechanic and a solution to another part of the game that wasn’t a problem but was unsatisfying.
Instead of rewarding players for what they had accumulated and then having to make the players discard down and build in hard caps so that players in the lead couldn’t runaway with a ridiculous score I believe it would be better to award players for each resource they have invested in their lab. So the professors will award merits based on the total costs of the equipment in a lab, rather than how much stuff you have stockpiled int he corner. To me this also makes way more sense for the setting.
Hopefully I’ll be able to make these changes and take a copy to game night tonight and get a game or two in to try out the changes. As always thanks for reading and if you are interested in play testing send me an email.