I’m finishing up the Dig Site art and will be printing everything out today. I’m very happy with the new game on paper, but am waiting to post the PnP files until I get at least one actual play test done. The new version is much simpler as I mentioned in the previous post. The game still uses a deck of hex tiles and a deck of poker cards, however the player screens, scoring chits, find markers, and action tokens have been removed. The player screens and scoring chits are gone because the scoring has been incorporated into the deck of poker cards. The find markers where just a clunky mechanic that didn’t add enough to the game to warrant its’ existence. Lastly the action tokens have been removed because the turn has been simplified and shouldn’t require a tracking aid.
The new game plays as follows:
At the start of a round the players each play one tile face down onto the map from a central deck. The players look at the top three tiles, bury one at the bottom of the deck, play one face down, and return one to the top of the deck.
Each player moves and plays cards, or plays cards and moves. players no longer receive points for flipping a room tile face up, instead they draw cards equal to the number of unique icons on the tile (1-3) when they reveal a room. Each playing card has a set of icons (1-3) printed on it. In order to play a card the player must be on a room tile with matching symbols. Once the player plays a card they choose one of the symbols on their card that is consumed and each player in turn order may play a card that matches the remaining symbols and consume a symbol. The purpose of this mechanic is two fold, players are involved when it’s not their turn, and the cards with more icons, which are stronger, have a risk versus reward mechanic.
Example: Player 1 moves and reveals a room with 3 icons on it @,#, and $. After drawing his 3 cards he chooses to play a card that has @#$ printed on it. He then decides that the @ icon is used. Player 2 chooses to play a card with a # symbol on it. Player 3 has no cards with just the $ symbol so they cannot play a card. All the cards that have been player are resolved starting with Player 1’s card.
Room cards no longer have an effect when they are revealed or while the player is in the room. which was to reduce the amount of information the player needed to look up, or try to process when taking their turn.
At the end of the round the first player token passes to the left and a marker is placed on the base camp tile. At the end of the 7th round the game is over and the players total their scores.
Scoring has also changed. At the end of the game the players score 1 point for each scoring icon that they have either in their tent (previously called bank) or in their rucksacks , a full set of 3 icons gives the player a bonus point. The set bonus may change based on play testing I’m considering making it 2 bonus points, but need more data.
If your interested in the PnP files send me an email. Thanks for reading.
With the Holidays coming up so quickly and my schedule about to become a little crazy I’m going to make this one last post and then be back in January.
Right now I’m in the middle of a few processes. Digsite has been neglected for too long and I really need to take a few days to find, or design my own icons. I’ve been putting it off for a while and really need to do it, because it’s what’s holding back development of the game. Once I have new icons I need to write a new rules set too.
I have ink again so I can print out the latest Elementary copy and start play testing it again. I’m happy with where it’s at currently but it needs more refinement before I show it to any publishers.
When Worlds Collide: the game is still on the table but has fallen beside my other projects.
Party People: I’m struggling to find a set of mechanics that fit what I’m trying to accomplish here and might cut the game in the near future.
Partners In Crime: Still in very early conceptual design here.
God game: haven’t messed with it for a while and will probably leave it until at least Elementary and Digsite are in a state i feel is complete and ready to just create as a PnP.
The rest of this month I’ll be going back to Digsite and Elementary to take care of fiddly bits that I’ve been letting build up. The fiddly bits are things like, updating artwork, updating rules, removing rules that are artifacts of previous versions, and of course play testing.
Thanks again for reading and Happy Holidays. As always if you’re interested in play testing please send me an E-mail.
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.