Friday, June 30, 2017

The Fatal Flaw

It was announced that "The Perfect Moment" won the Button Shy wallet game design contest. I have had an idea about making a 18 card standalone expansion to the game.

I spent a little while brainstorming ideas, and made up some of the cards. I just printed it up and played it with my wife, and it was definitely playable. We had some problems with it (like any first time game), but the game worked fairly well. 

The expansion is right now named "The Fatal Flaw". My original ideas for card abilities were fairly good (in terms of what would make the game playable with those cards), however I had to change some of the abilities after the first play through to balance them, and to make them more able to modify the state of the game. I also had to make a few changes to the original game to work better with the expansion.

One change that I had to make was to the original game colors. I needed to change cyan to blue so that I could make the other game the secondary colors (purple, orange, and green.) I also changed Keys to draw a card first, because that makes it work differently than tent, which was pretty similar to keys. Another change was that I made the love story cards red - because people really wanted that. 

Here are the original cards from the original game, and the cards from the expansion:

I haven't yet drawn icons for the expansion, so I am just using icons off of the Noun Project right now.

The expansion plays pretty much identically to the base game, but with different abilities. The real magic is when they are both combined together: instead of just building a bigger deck like in most expansions, in this game both decks are set side by side, and you can draw from either one during any draw. The cards are both used, but they are kept separate, and so the players still have the same chance of drawing a card of the color that they want.

When players discard, they can discard to any deck, and so the decks will get jumbled up throughout the course of the game. This should be fine, since the backs of the cards are going to be different for each deck.

The expansion has two new ideas that the base game did not have: one is cards that modify the public objective (which, with the expansion there are two of - the Anomaly, which is the base game public objective, and the Paradox, which the expansion adds).

The other new idea (and the more interesting one in my opinion) is cards that can score other cards directly as part of their ability. This allows players to either focus on building a good setup to score cards for a lot of points, or it allows them to try to quickly win by flooding their score pile with repetitive small points.

It remains to be seen if a player with shoes and matches both can defeat a player that is playing without any of those cards. I think that it is possible (likely?) that I will have to do more balancing.