Missed a one month posting deadline by a little bit, but not without news!
Game testing from the last month has yielded fantastic data:
I played with a group of hardcore gamers, and while the game flowed mechanically they did not seem very impressed with the mechanics or the aesthetic. While I had done some work streamlining the rules into the main game:
"The rules of the game can be changed if a “Break the Game!” card is drawn, or a player is removed from the game; the appropriate player draws three rule cards from the rules deck, and chooses one to go into effect."
this approach didn't really let all players take advantage of the variable rule mechanic. I decided to revise the rules once again and integrate them with the number cards, so that there is no distinction between the two in terms of the card backs; a player can make the choice of changing the rules on their turn if they wanted to!
"When playing a new rule, place it in the middle in the table in a line. New rules are placed on the left, and old rules are shifted right when a new rules is played. All players must abide by all current rules in play. Only three rules can be in play at any time. If a new rule comes into play, and there are already three rules on the table, discard the right most rule."
I tried this out on a more casual group, and I think this was the right direction to go. The game still flows well, but there is a lot more player agency and variety in strategies compared to the old way.
For those about to die, we salute you!
I must confess, I have killed.
I've been debating for a long time if the Steal cards actually belonged in the game, or served a unique purpose. Sure they are powerful cards, but I think ultimately they are just an upgraded version of the Miss card. I have since removed them from the game and it feels better off for it; ultimately they threw off the balance of the game and just turn it into a game of who draws more steals.
I also killed off the Kill card (ironic I know.) It blurred the line between what was a special card, and what was a numbered card from an aesthetic point of view; their function was "special" but they carried a funny description like a numbered card. Like all good kings, it lives on though. I have renamed it Nuke and it behaves in the exact same way as before, but now is congruous with the special cards:
I think it feels even better dropping it on other players now =)
The Road From Here.
It's a good feeling to know that every time you play your game, it gets better. I have the feeling that the game is getting very close to being mechanically complete. They art style could use a professional touch, so hopefully when the krazy glue sets, I can start looking for an artist to help me tie everything together.
I also want to start getting people's feedback on whether they would actually pay money for something like this. I would very much like to put this up on Kickstarter, or maybe even find a publisher by next year. We shall see. My original goal was to have this game complete by Gen Con in August of this year. Looking back now that seemed like a hasty one. I think I would really like to have it complete by next Gen Con though, and actually attend. There are a few gaming/nerdy conventions in Denver before then, so I need to get cracking on completing the project before I can go pimp it out.
Also, it goes without saying, the new beta build is up here: Beta!