26 April, 2013

Making a game more interactive

The first round of feedback for Town Guard was great.

There were a few interesting points raised. One of which stated that the game looks pretty cut-throat and competitive, but very random. This can lead to some ill-will at the table beyond the control of the players, but which ends up getting focused between the players...a bit like Monopoly.

A way to remedy this could be to make gameplay co-operative as well as competitive; change the game in such a way that the mechanisms challenge the players. This means that the players can lose, and if the game takes certain twists the players will need to cooperate to prevent this happening. Then they can compete once they have things under control.

This works thematically within the game because there is always the chance that the criminal elements of the town might take control while town guards are busy fighting among themselves.

It wouldn't take much to tweak the game in this direction.

Another factor that has come up is the way various modifiers work within the game. With a hand limit of five cards, the modifiers might end up being too small to make a difference. I can't really expand the hand size because there is a limit to how many cards I can include in the game (at least at the initial cost restrictions imposed by the contest). So it might be better to enhance the level of modifiers in various situations. Instead of a default +1/-1 with an increase to +3/-3 in certain situations, it might be better to increase it to +2/-2 with an increase to +4/-4). It also been raised that the various locations don't really modify gameplay enough to justify the text on them...a +1 difficulty really isn't all that much, but a +2 or +4 might make things interesting.

There are a few other changes that might improve gameplay, but I don't want to overcomplicate things for starting players. A booster set with new missions, special events and alternate rewards is certainly on the cards.

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