Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Wanted: a faster infinity

I tentatively made changes to The Madness Place recently, but haven't tried the game out until tonight. Here are the new rules:

  • Turns are now one action each (With the exception of balancing a device, which happens as part of modifying the device)
  • After players pass, the player who passed first goes first the next round.
  • Get energy from the castle only at the start of each round.
  • storing keeps energy between rounds.
  • draft and rooms repair refill every round.

We tried out the new rules at the BGDG meeting, and it went fairly well. Here are my notes from the playtest:

  • Make sure to note that Any modify requires balance
    • Balance only the worst balanced device on a swap
  • Using time should be a free action
    • Gain access to another player's device too?
    • Store energy too?
    • Add energy to the castle's output too?
    • Balance a device too?
  • Turns are too small
    • Perhaps group actions?
    • Perhaps spark increases actions per turn?
    • Perhaps minions left on your mat increase actions per turn?'
  • Make a connection between Modify and Balance on the randomizer.
    I thought that the playtest showed some really cool emergent behavior that came from the new changes. The players were worrying that the other player would grab things before them, and this was really fun to see happen. It made the game less of a multi player solitaire, and more of a dynamic interactive game.

    Additionally, there are better and worse flavors of infinite. The player that won had a better infinite engine than the other player. Making something that can net 1 energy of any color in 6 actions is worse than something that nets 1 energy of three different colors every action.

    I think that I want to try and increase these aspects of the game even more.

    Other thoughts:
    • Double color cards? now that all of the effects are on the randomizer, do the cards need effects at all?
    • I need to change how using another player's device works. Perhaps the player can place a pawn on the device to mark it as their own, and then activate it with a meeple. Perhaps the pawn can be moved with another use of the "mind control" ability? Now that infinite speeds matter, this might be fair.
    • Do I want to limit the number of minions that can be drafted a turn? Everything else is limited
    • Should the room cards replenish all the time? NO.
    • Should storing stuff be time always?
    • We played that creating a device created three cards of the device... is this good?
    • Should players be able to pass as their action to only reset their personal stuff? That might be fun to try out.
    I am really happy with how this game is working out. I hope to get it ready for a contest soon. Perhaps even this next Ion award.

    I was planning on playing a 6 player game of Grab the Loot instead of The Madness Place, but we didn't have 6 extra people at the meeting, so we ended up with TMP.

    Finally, I am about to retheme the game as a generic mad scientist steampunk game because it has been nearly a month, and the Foglios have not replied to my email asking for permission to use their setting.