Aug 19, 2008

GenCon Fallout - Part 1

GenCon was exhausting. For most of Friday and Saturday, I was running the Star Trek CCG World Championships. Here are pictures, if you're curious.

I also did manage to get two of my games playtested. On Friday night my friends Doug, Anni, and John (from the Origins playtest) played Privateering, joined by Norm from the Quixotic Games crew.

They all said that they had problems determining which cards were the "best" to draft. This is a non-trivial problem. I am aiming this game somewhere between Coloretto and Ticket to Ride on the complexity scale. If players are thinking too much to determine the best card to draft, then the game is too hard for its relatively light mechanics.

They did like the game's "built-in catch-up" mechanic. So a tip of my hat goes to Jeff on this one.

Right now, only the Spanish are different from the other bounty-types. The rest each need their own special rules, such as discarding two cards when capturing, or favoring/requiring one crew member type.

Speaking of crew types, a concern was voiced that it was too difficult to play all four crew types for the bonus and that I should reduce the number of types to three. I am against this. I think it will make the bonus too easy and worthless, because everyone will always get it for their crew.

A couple of the testers felt that a filler game needs to accommodate more than four players. Is this true? Anyone out there have an opinion?

They also suggested that some of the cards in the crew not not be crew at all, but special effect cards. I find this idea interesting.

None of them really ever split up their crews. They usually picked one pair of bounties and just threw everything at it. This is not what I want.

They felt that by the fourth round, the game had gotten a little long and repetitive with too much math. An opinion was voiced that I should ramp up the game (increasing and varying groups of bounties), give it an arc, fairness be damned. This I will definitely implement.

Lastly, there are changes I need to make visually concerning the layout of the cards to make them more readable while in a player's hand. Oh, and more "piratey", whatever that means.

Tomorrow I will write up the most important and morale-devastating event of the weekend, the Saturday night test of Titans of Industry.

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