Category Archives: Elementary
Over the break I got a chance to catch up on a few things and rehash the priorities for the different projects I’ve started. Digsite is getting a large overhaul after a couple of play tests over the break. I was not satisfied with some of the mechanics and felt that it needed to be more streamlined in order to be the game I was trying to make. The Elderhaven Setting that I worked on in November will use the Savage Worlds system, eventually I’d love to get it published, but for now it will just be a project that people can download and use. Elementary is still being playtested and will likely go on hiatus until I finish the rework of Digsite.
The new Digsite is much simpler, number of different actions in the deck have been cut way down. Traps, reactions, and tricks are all gone. Instead all of the different types of cards have been rolled into one dynamic mechanic that give the players a risk verses reward choice when they play cards. Cards that give more advantage allow other players the chance to play bad cards.
I’ve been wanting to make the scoring system a little deeper and was able to add an element of set collection to the scoring system that will give players a reason to try and cover a large section of the game map and reward clever play. The hex tiles no longer have specific affects that happen when the card is flipped instead that’s handled by the players and the tiles have one to three different symbols that the player takes and scores at the end of the game. Each set of three is worth four points and each individual symbol is worth one point.
The artifacts are also receiving an overhaul, but I have not finished working on the concepts involved with those cards yet. Each artifact will have a scoring symbol to allow them to be a part of the set collection mechanic.
Thanks for coming back after such a long break. I’ll be updating on a regular basis, but may not do one a week.
This weeks play testing went well. I’m very happy with the new buying mechanic for Elementary. The other minor adjustments worked well and the final score was more manageable. The other projects are still being worked on but Elementary has the majority of my attention. When Worlds Collide is a gigantic project and I’m giving my self some space from in order to return with some fresh ideas. Dig Site is in the same spot as When Worlds Collide, even though it’s much more finished than WWC is. the couple of other projects I’ve mentioned are still in their formative steps. These games are the burger builder, and the adventuring guild games.
Playtesting is one of the most important parts of game design. There is definitely a hierarchy of playtesting, with experienced playtesters at the top and family toward the bottom. However regardless of who you have access to for playtesting, no playtesting is far worse than non-ideal playtesting. There have been weeks that I didn’t get playtesting in and I can tell it seriously impacts the development of the games I’m working on. Even if you have to set out places for each player and play each of them your self, do it. I know every game designer has said repeatedly that playtesting is vital and I’m sure anyone reading this has heard what I’m saying before, but I really cannot stress enough how important playtesting is. The games stagnate and it’s very easy to lose track of the tone your trying to set in your game if you spend to much time just working on the development and conceptual side of a game and don’t play it enough. I’ve had several game mechanics that were amazing on paper, but just felt like a horrible fit when i tried them out in a playtest.
As always thanks for reading. The Elementary print and play files have just recently been updated to the latest build, so if you’re interested in playtesting or just want to have a better idea of what I’m talking about in these updates send me an E-mail and I’ll add you to the mailing list.
This week was spent updating the Elementary rules to the latest build. I still need to add more game play examples to the rule book, but the core rules with very little illustration are ready. The rest of the week was spent updating the PnP file to the latest build and working on a new project. I haven’t gotten to playtest the new build yet so there’s no updates about the game play. The new project I’m thinking about involves the players playing as adventuring guilds and trying to become the best guild in all the land. The core concept for this new game is drafting adventurers from a fluid pool, any time a player discards an adventurer they go back into the pool and are available to other players again. the way players score points is by sending their adventurers on quests, I’m not sure exactly what type of quests or how you win them yet though. Like I said the game is in very early conceptual stages.
Thanks again for reading and if you’re interested in the PnP files send me an E-mail and I’ll get them out to you.