Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Another playtest of "The Madness Place"

We played a four player game of The Madness Place at the Board Game Design Guild meeting last night. Here are my notes (with my current thoughts in bold):
  • Perhaps the current draft mechanism should be revisited.
    • Should we keep all of the untaken cards from the draft? (instead of wiping them each turn)
    • Should each player have their own draft which they can work on during other player's turns?
    • Both? I think that the mechanism definitely wants something to change. Having two players makes the down time pretty small, but with four players it was too long. Having cards to think about during other player's turns would help, but the real problem (I think) is that a turn might take too long.
    • Perhaps I need to restructure turns to make one action per turn? that would be a huge change
  • Why are "green glowy things" yellow? Hmm that has to change. They should perhaps be green.
  • How does using another player's device work when it comes to meeples? This was not well defined, but I have decided that the player that is using the other player's device should provide a meeple in order to do it.
  • Turn order should be nailed down on the randomizer mat. Agreed. What is possible when?
  • Empty hand should perhaps trigger a draw or two. I am fine with that. Slim games would be faster if that were the case.
  • Should the back of the cards also tell what is on the front? Seems like a lot of info to me. People rarely want that info from the back of the card. If other people bring it up I will consider it.
  • Infinite loops are fun. Yay! I think so too.
  • Make it very clear that you don't have to balance every turn or every run - only when you modify. This is a persistent problem.  I need to do this even more so than I have done before.
  • Perhaps a new character that can freeze certain draft cards as an ability. Consider it done.
  • Revisit building and activating in the same turn. I have given this a lot of thought in the past, but perhaps the game has changed so much that this is viable now. I am willing to give it a try.
The other people liked the game - it is becoming pretty good. I just need to make sure that the rules are easy enough to understand, and that the new cards do not break the balance. If I decide to reduce turns to one action, then I will have to do a lot of balancing, but perhaps that would be better than what we currently have for four players (when turns are thoughtful, and take some time.)