Apr 12, 2010

Municipality - Week 22

I finally got a chance to test the drastic changes I spoke about previously.

Over the 4+ years I've been designing games, I've gradually gained a sense of how far away from being "complete" a particular design of mine is. And something I've learned is that while minor changes reduce the amount of time remaining until a game is mechanically complete, large changes reset the clock. The larger the change, the further back it is set.

Version 6.0 of Municipality marked these major changes, and I was prepared to have my mental clock set back from 2 months to 4 or 5 months.

Andrew Parks and his team were the first ones to test this version of the game. While Andy tested Municipality version 3.2 back in December (and I had since incorporated his suggestions from that test, the other testers had not seen this game before, so I was prepared for some pretty strong feedback.

The test went much better than expected. Reactions were quite positive. The new mechanics, especially for growth were a fantastic success. Most of the negative feedback I received were things that can be easily dealt with by simply tinkering with the math of the game. The rest concerned the art and graphic design of the game. Mechanically, I believe it may be only balance tweaks from here on out.

My new over-under on "finishing" Municipality? 10 weeks.

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