November Prototype

At the beginning of November, we were ready to print another prototype. The rules and most of the cards had been rewritten. Things were coming together nicely and I was anxious to test out the changes. Cindy had also put some work into the card layouts, which made the game much more pleasant to look at and the rules easier to grasp.

I went through the extra effort to sleeve all the cards this time. Its pretty easy to just take a sleeved card and put a paper insert in front of it, but it makes a big difference when you actually play the game.

Prototype Nov 2012

Prototype Nov 2012

The cards are sturdier, easier to handle, and it makes the prototype feel more real. I’m a big believer in using higher quality materials to do your work. I think it gives what you’re doing a sense of higher importance. It helps keep me motivated and it reminds me that I really am a game designer.

We got a lot of great critiques out of our playtests, despite my poor performance at eliciting feedback. It can be really tough not to get defensive, but it is absolutely essential to focus on asking questions and listening if you hope to get any useful information out of your playtests. Never waste time justifying a design decision, even if you feel the feedback you are being given is wrong. If you go down that road, you run the risk of making your playtesters feel that their feedback is not welcome. Your game will suffer for it. This is a skill I am intent on getting better at.

The game obviously had its problems, but I think the core of the game worked well. It had strategic and puzzley aspects that were really satisfying. If we want these elements to shine, we need to cut away or rework the parts that are holding the game back.

The game being puzzley has its upsides and downsides. The main downside is known as “analysis paralysis”. This is where the player has so many options that they become overwhelmed. While it can be fun for the player to figure out what the best move is, its not terribly exciting for the other players to sit and watch them do this. There are a few ways to deal with this. One is to give players something to do when its not their turn, so the waiting is not so bad. You can add some form of trading or defensive actions, so that players remain engaged while they wait for their turn to come around. You can also make player’s turns shorter by splitting up the phases of a turn or having some phases be shared amongst all players.

What we ended up doing, was reduce the amount of new information a player had to process when it became their turn. Players now draw their cards at the end of their turn, rather than at the beginning. This way, the players can figure out their possible moves during the other player’s turns. So far this has been helpful, but I think there is even more we can do to speed up the game.

One thing I had begun to worry about was that players would settle into a strategy that worked for them and never deviate. This would grow stale very quickly, because the player would no longer be challenged by unanticipated scenarios. The plan to solve this is to add randomness to the starting setup. This way players would have to readjust their strategy for each new game. We added several new Shrines and Followers to the game. Now, when the game is set up, a subset of the Followers and Shrines are randomly selected to play with for that game. We think this will give the game longevity and creates an opportunity for future expansions.

The number one problem we had was wording. The player’s expectations about what a card did, was not always lining up with my intentions. Sometimes this was because of a situation arising that I had not planned for, but most often the culprit was ambiguous wording. The most frustrating was the inconsistent use of the word “discard” to refer to cards being removed from your hand and/or from play. This prompted yet another rewrite of all the cards to use a keyword system. I tried to identify most of the unique mechanics and give them a name. For example, “discard” now only refers to removing cards from your hand. “Destroy” is now used when you are removing an opponent’s card from play. And “sacrifice” is for when you are removing your own card from play. We are still tweaking the wording and trying to bring the keywords more in line with the theme. Overall, I think it’s helping.

The last thing I want to talk about from these tests is a problem I’m referring to as the King-Maker Problem. However, I believe our journey toward addressing that issue merits its own post. So you can look forward to that in the next few days.

3681 replies
  1. Adam Elam
    Adam Elam says:

    It’s perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s
    time to be happy. I have read this post and if I could I wish to suggest you few
    interesting things or suggestions. Perhaps you can write next
    articles referring to this article. I desire to read even more
    things about it!

    Reply
  2. Patricia Mccann
    Patricia Mccann says:

    I’ve been surfing on-line more than 3 hours as of late, yet I never found any attention-grabbing article
    like yours. It is pretty value enough for me. Personally,
    if all site owners and bloggers made just right content material as you probably did, the internet might be much more helpful than ever before.

    Reply
  3. Angela Easter
    Angela Easter says:

    I’ve been browsing online greater than three hours nowadays,
    yet I by no means discovered any fascinating article
    like yours. It is lovely price sufficient for me. Personally, if
    all web owners and bloggers made excellent content material as you probably did, the net will be a lot more useful than ever before.

    Reply
  4. Adam Stevens
    Adam Stevens says:

    It is perfect time to make a few plans for the longer term and it is time
    to be happy. I have learn this put up and if I may I want to suggest you few interesting issues
    or suggestions. Maybe you could write next articles relating to
    this article. I want to read more issues about it!

    Reply
  5. Lynn Barker
    Lynn Barker says:

    Hi! I’ve been following your website for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from
    Huffman Texas! Just wanted to mention keep up the good
    job!

    Reply
  6. Jerald Marshall
    Jerald Marshall says:

    I will right away snatch your rss as I can not to find your email subscription link or newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Kindly permit me recognize in order that I could subscribe.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  7. Michael Bonson
    Michael Bonson says:

    Its such as you learn my thoughts! You seem to know so much approximately this, such as you wrote the e-book in it or something.
    I think that you can do with a few p.c. to drive the message home a little bit, but instead of that,
    this is fantastic blog. A fantastic read. I’ll definitely be back.

    Reply
  8. Phyllis Alvarez
    Phyllis Alvarez says:

    It’s perfect time to make some plans for the long run and
    it is time to be happy. I have read this put up and if I could I desire to
    suggest you some attention-grabbing issues or advice.
    Perhaps you could write next articles regarding this article.
    I want to read even more things about it!

    Reply
  9. Douglas Cruz
    Douglas Cruz says:

    Hey there would you mind letting me know which hosting
    company you’re utilizing? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this
    blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good hosting provider at a honest price?

    Thanks, I appreciate it!

    Reply
  10. Anthony Sherman
    Anthony Sherman says:

    Thanks for ones marvelous posting! I definitely enjoyed reading it, you happen to be a great author.
    I will make sure to bookmark your blog and may come back down the
    road. I want to encourage you to continue your great posts, have a nice morning!

    Reply
  11. Rebecca Cullom
    Rebecca Cullom says:

    I have learned result-oriented things from your blog post. One other thing to I have recognized is that usually, FSBO sellers may reject you actually. Remember, they can prefer to not use your products and services. But if you maintain a gradual, professional partnership, offering support and keeping contact for about four to five weeks, you will usually be able to win a meeting. From there, a listing follows. Thanks a lot

    Reply
  12. Pauline Lam
    Pauline Lam says:

    It is perfect time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be
    happy. I have read this post and if I could
    I wish to suggest you some interesting things or tips.
    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I desire to read even more things about it!

    Reply
  13. Andrea King
    Andrea King says:

    I’ve been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or weblog posts in this kind of space . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site. Reading this information So i am satisfied to express that I’ve an incredibly just right uncanny feeling I came upon exactly what I needed. I most surely will make certain to do not forget this web site and provides it a glance on a continuing basis.

    Reply
  14. Norman Carrillo
    Norman Carrillo says:

    While the secret and even the screen photographs might lead
    many to imagine that is actually a Pokemon enviornment type sport, that is not even remotely true – It’s a cell port
    of their board recreation that entails gathering figures and spinning arrows.

    Reply
  15. Sandra Siders
    Sandra Siders says:

    I’ll immediately clutch your rss as I can not
    in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service.
    Do you have any? Kindly let me realize in order that I may just subscribe.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  16. Lorraine Brinegar
    Lorraine Brinegar says:

    It is perfect time to make some plans for
    the future and it’s time to be happy. I have read
    this put up and if I may just I want to counsel
    you few attention-grabbing things or advice. Perhaps you could
    write subsequent articles regarding this article.
    I want to learn more things approximately it!

    Reply
  17. James Noah
    James Noah says:

    I have seen that car insurance firms know the motors which are liable to accidents as well as other risks. In addition, they know what types of cars are prone to higher risk as well as the higher risk they may have the higher the particular premium charge. Understanding the simple basics regarding car insurance will assist you to choose the right sort of insurance policy that can take care of your preferences in case you become involved in an accident. Many thanks sharing the actual ideas in your blog.

    Reply
  18. Patricia Perry
    Patricia Perry says:

    An added important issue is that if you are a senior, travel insurance intended for pensioners is something you must really look at. The old you are, the greater at risk you happen to be for getting something poor happen to you while in most foreign countries. If you are not necessarily covered by a few comprehensive insurance policies, you could have quite a few serious troubles. Thanks for discussing your guidelines on this web site.

    Reply
  19. Farrah Steiner
    Farrah Steiner says:

    Good blog! I truly love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well written. I’m wondering how I might be notified whenever a new post has been made. I’ve subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a great day!

    Reply
  20. Ali Riley
    Ali Riley says:

    Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up.
    The text in your post seem to be running off the screen in Opera.
    I’m not sure if this is a format issue or something to do with web browser compatibility but I thought
    I’d post to let you know. The style and design look great
    though! Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Cheers

    Reply
  21. Lisa Kaplan
    Lisa Kaplan says:

    It’s perfect time to make a few plans for the future and it’s time to be happy. I have learn this submit and if I could I want to recommend you some interesting things or suggestions. Maybe you can write subsequent articles regarding this article. I want to read more issues about it!|

    Reply
  22. Kenny Goodrow
    Kenny Goodrow says:

    I just couldn’t go away your site prior to suggesting that I actually enjoyed the standard information a person supply on your visitors?
    Is gonna be back incessantly to check up on new posts

    Reply
  23. Susan Aoki
    Susan Aoki says:

    I’ve been surfing online more than thtee hourss today, yet I never found
    any interesting article like yours. It is prett worth
    enough for me. Personally, if all website owners and bloggers
    made good content as yoou did, the net wil bee a lott more
    useful than ever before.|
    I could not refrain from commenting. Very well written!|
    I will right away grasp your rss as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription link or e-newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Please allow me recognize in order that I could subscribe.
    Thanks.|
    It is the best time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.

    I have read this post and if I could I wish tto suggest you few intsresting
    things or advice. Perhaps you can write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read more things about it!|
    It’s the best time to make a few plans for the long run and it’s time
    too be happy. I’ve leaarn this post and if I may I desire
    to cunsel you few interesting issues oor advice.
    Perhaps you could write subsequent articles regarding tuis article.
    I want to learn even more things about it!|
    I have been browsing on-line more than three hours
    as of late, but I bby no means discovered any interesting article like yours.
    It’s beautiful worth sufficient for me. In mmy view,
    if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you probably did, tthe
    net will probably be a lot more helpful than ever before.|
    Ahaa, its pleasant conversation regarding this podt at thbis place at
    this web site, I have read all that, so now me
    also commenting at this place.|
    I am sure this piece of writing has touched all the internet users, its really really
    good article on building up new webpage.|
    Wow, this post is nice, my sister is analyzing
    such things, so I am going to inform her.|
    Saved as a favorite, I like your blog!|
    Way cool! Some very valid points! I appreciate you
    penning this write-up plus the rest of the website is vvery good.|
    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent web site. I stumbledupon it 😉 I will reviksit once again since I book-marked it.
    Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may
    you be rich and continue to help others.|
    Woah! I’m really enjoying the template/theme of this website.
    It’s simple, yet effective. A lot of times it’s challenging to get that “perfect balance” between superb usability
    and visusl appeal. I muust say you’ve done a excellent job wth this.
    Also, thhe blog loads super quick for me on Opera.
    Outstanding Blog!|
    These are actually wonderful ideas in regarding blogging.
    You have touched some good thinbgs here. Any way keep up wrinting.|
    I lijke what you guys aare up too. This sort of clever work and coverage!
    Keep up the fabtastic works guys I’ve included you guuys to my
    personal blogroll.|
    Hello! Someone inn myy Faceboook group shared this site with uss so
    I came to look it over. I’m defintely enjoying thhe information. I’m bookmaking and will be tweeting this tto my followers!
    Outstanding blog and great design and style.|
    Everyone loves what you guys are up too. This kind of clever work and coverage!
    Keep up thhe fantastic works guiys I’ve incorporated you guys to blogroll.|
    Hi there would you mind stating which blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m planning tto start my own blog soon but I’m hving a tough time choosing between BlogEngine/Wordpress/B2evolution aand Drupal.
    The reason I ask is because your design seem different then most blogs and I’m looking for something completely unique.
    P.S My apologies for being off-topic but I had tto ask!|
    Hey would you mind letting me know which web host you’re working with?

    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different browsers and I must say this blog loads
    a llot faster then most. Can you sjggest a gpod web hosting provider at a reasonable price?
    Kudos, I appreciate it!|
    I love it when folks get together annd share thoughts.
    Great website, keep it up!|
    Thank you for the good writeup. It in fact was a amusemeht account it.
    Look advanced to more added agreeable from you!However, how could we communicate?|
    Hello just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your content seem to be
    running off the screen in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a fomat issue oor something to do with browser compatibility but
    I thought I’d post to let yyou know. The esign look great though!
    Hope you get the problem resolved soon. Kudos|
    This is a topic which iss near to my heart… Many
    thanks! Where are your contact details though?|
    It’s very straightforward to ind out any topic on web as compared
    to textbooks, as I found this paragraph at this
    web site.|
    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having troubl locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an email.
    I’ve got some creative ideas for your blog you
    might be interested in hearing. Either way, great blog and I look forward to seeing itt grow
    ver time.|
    Hi!I’ve been following your weeblog forr
    some time now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you
    a shout out fom Kingwood Tx! Just wanted to
    say keep up the great job!|
    Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored to death at work
    so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch
    break. I love the innfo you present here and can’t wait to
    take a look when I get home. I’m amazed att how quick your blog
    loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G ..
    Anyways, very good site!|
    Its like yoou read my mind! You appear tto know a lott about this, like you
    wrote the guide in it or something. I feel that you can do with some p.c.

    to force thee message house a bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog.

    A great read. I will definitely be back.|
    I visitfed several sites howwver the audio quality for
    audio songs existing at this web site is truly marvelous.|
    Howdy, i read your blog occasionally aand i own a similar one and
    i was just curious if you get a lot of spam remarks?
    If so how do you reduce it, aany plugin orr aything you can recommend?

    I get so much llately it’s driging me insane so any assisrance is very
    much appreciated.|
    Greetings! Very useful advice in this particular post!
    It iss the little changes that produce the largest changes.
    Thanks a lot ffor sharing!|
    I seriously love your blog.. Excellent colors & theme.
    Did you make this web site yourself? Please reply back as I’m wanting to create mmy very own website
    and would like to know where you got this from or what the theme is named.

    Thank you!|
    Howdy! This post could not be written much better! Lookingg through this article reminds me of my previous roommate!
    He always kspt talking about this. I’ll send this article to
    him. Fairly cerain he’ll have a very good read.
    I appreciate you for sharing!|
    Incredible! This blog looks just ike my old one! It’s on a entirely different topic
    but it has pretty much the same layout and design. Excellent choice of colors!|
    There’s certainly a great deal to leaqrn about this issue.

    I like all the points you have made.|
    You have made some good points there. I looked on the web to find out more about the issue and found
    moxt eople will go along with your views on thi web site.|
    Hi there, I read your new suff daily. Your humoristic style
    is witty, keep dooing what you’re doing!|
    I simply couldn’t depart your site prior to suggesting that I extremely loved
    the uual informtion an individual supply in your guests?
    Is going to be back incessantly to check out new posts|
    I want to to thank you for this wonderful read!! I absolutely loved
    every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked
    to look at new things you post…|
    What’s up, just wanted to say, I liked this post. It was inspiring.
    Keep on posting!|
    Hi there, I enjoy reading all of your article. I wanted
    to write a little comment to support you.|
    I every tijme spent my half an hour too read tis weblog’s articles or reviews all the time along with a cup of coffee.|
    I for all time emailed this blog post page to all my associates, since if
    like to read it next my friends will too.|
    My developer is trying to persuade me to move to .net from PHP.

    I have always disliked the idea because of the costs.
    But he’s tryiong none the less. I’ve been using Movable-type on various websites for about
    a year and am concerned about switching to another platform.

    I have heard excellent things about blogengine.net.
    Is there a way I can import all my wordpress posts into it?
    Any kind of help wuld be greatly appreciated!|
    Hello! I could have sworn I’ve besen to this site before but after looking at some of thhe articles I
    realized it’s new to me. Nonetheless, I’m certainly pleased
    I found it and I’ll be bookmarking it and checking back frequently!|
    Wonderful article! This is the type of info thawt are meant to be shared across
    the net. Disgrace on the seek engines for now
    not positioning this put up upper! Come on over and visit my site .
    Thanks =)|
    Heya i am for the frst time here. I found this board and
    I find It truly useful & it helped me out a lot. I hope
    to give something back and help others like you helped me.|
    Hello there, I do think your site could possibly be having
    web browser compatibility issues. When I loook at your site
    in Safari, it looks fine however whdn opening in I.E., it’s got some
    overlapping issues. Imerely wanted to profide you with a
    quixk heads up! Other than that, wonderful blog!|
    Somebody essentially assist to make severely posts I might state.
    This is the first time I frequented your website page and up to now?

    I surprised with the research you made to creeate this actual post amazing.
    Magnificent activity!|
    Heya i’m for the primary time here. I found this board and
    I iin finding It realloy useful & it helped me out much. I am hoping to giive something back andd help others lik
    you aided me.|
    Hi there! I simply wish to offer youu a huge thumbs up for your excellent information you’ve got right here oon this post.
    I’ll be coming back to your web site for more soon.|
    I every time usrd to study paragraph in nes paprrs but now as I am a user of net thus from now I am using net for aarticles or
    reviews, thanks to web.|
    Yoour means of describing the hole thing in this
    post is in fact nice, all be able to without difficulty be aware of it, Thanks a
    lot.|
    Hi there, I discovered your web site by means of
    Gooogle while looking for a similar subject, yur webb siite came up, it appears to be lkke
    great. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.
    Hi there, simply becasme aware of your blog through Google, and found
    that it’struly informative. I am going to be careful for
    brussels. I’ll appreciate in case yoou continue this in future.
    A lot oof peope shall be benefited out of your writing.

    Cheers!|
    I am curious to find out what blog system you are utilizing?
    I’m having some small security problems with my latest site
    and I would like to find something more safe. Do yyou have any suggestions?|
    I’m extremely impressed with your writing skills as well as with the
    layout on your blog. Is this a paid themme or did you modivy
    it yourself? Either way keep up the excelleent quality writing, it’s rrare to seee
    a nice blokg like this one these days.|
    I’m really impresssed with your writing abilities aand also with
    the format in your weblog. Is this a pazid topic or did you customize it your self?
    Anyway stay up the excellent high quality writing, it is
    uncommon to peer a great wwblog like thiis one today..|
    Hello, Neat post. There is a problem together with your web site in web explorer, woulld test this?
    IE nonetheless is the market chisf and a huge ekement of people will omit your great writing due to this problem.|
    I’m not sure where you’re getting your information,
    buut good topic. I needs to spend some time learning more or understanding more.
    Thanks for fantastic information I was looking for this
    info for myy mission.|
    Hello, i think that i saw you visited my blpog so i
    came to “return the favor”.I’m attempting to find
    things to improve my website!I supose its ok
    to use a few of your \

    Reply
  24. Alene Santiago
    Alene Santiago says:

    Magnificent goods from you, man. I have understand your stuff previous to
    and you’re just too great. I really like what you have
    acquired here, really like what you’re stating
    and the way in which you say it. You make it entertaining and you still take
    care of to keep it wise. I can not wait to read much more from you.
    This is really a great website.

    Reply
  25. Tammy Landa
    Tammy Landa says:

    I have been browsing online greater than 3 hours nowadays, yet
    I never found any interesting article like
    yours. It’s lovely price enough for me. Personally, if all webmasters and bloggers made excellent content
    material as you did, the web can be much more useful than ever before.

    Reply
  26. Bret Jameson
    Bret Jameson says:

    I will right away grasp your rss as I can not to
    find your email subscription hyperlink or newsletter
    service. Do you’ve any? Please permit me recognize in order that
    I may subscribe. Thanks.

    Reply
  27. Shirley Vandyke
    Shirley Vandyke says:

    I have been browsing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours.
    It is pretty worth enough for me. Personally, if
    all website owners and bloggers made good content as you
    did, the net will be much more useful than ever before.

    Reply
  28. Kirk Herron
    Kirk Herron says:

    I will immediately grab your rss feed as I can not to find your e-mail subscription link or newsletter service.
    Do you’ve any? Please let me understand so that I may subscribe.
    Thanks.

    Reply
  29. Mark Gist
    Mark Gist says:

    Thanks for your write-up on the traveling industry. We would also like to include that if you are a senior considering traveling, it’s absolutely important to buy travel insurance for older persons. When traveling, seniors are at greatest risk of having a professional medical emergency. Getting the right insurance policies package in your age group can look after your health and provide peace of mind.

    Reply
  30. Sandy Billings
    Sandy Billings says:

    I have been surfing online more than 2 hours today, yet I never found any
    interesting article like yours. It’s pretty worth enough
    for me. In my opinion, if all site owners and bloggers made good content as you did,
    the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

    Reply
  31. Romaine Geach