Okay so yeah, it’s been a good long while, hasn’t it? At least I did sit down and play my last iteration of the game with real humans!! Wonderful ladies from the board game community here in Toronto. It was a heartwarming experience, and I got amazing feedback. Which I wrote down and sort of forgot about, then did a bit more at some point and now I’m sitting here tonight looking through scraps of notes, print outs of new things, and trying to sort myself out over the written stuff in notebooks versus the typed stuff I have saved online. Good work, self.
I think the two biggest things to come out of the playtest were: scrap the ‘timer track’ and just use the depletion of the food cubes used for bidding to pace the game – and have a game end condition based on # of public goals completed. That, and to have upcoming polyominoes available before you can bid on them, to plan ahead a bit – rather than fishing around in the bag to grab the polyominoes, I’ve made some cards with the shapes on them, and they’ll get flipped to determine which come out for bidding (Castles of Mad King Ludwig style). Otherwise I just needed to come up with more goals, which – by the looks of a Google Doc I just found haha – I have mostly!
I think streamlining the setup and turns has come a long way, I think just after looking at it so much. And I guess I took a step back and looked at the procedure of the game as a whole, because I’ve thought to add some round bonuses throughout, for people to rearrange their bowers slightly. This is how it’s going to roll:
- Deal out 3 public “optical illusion” goals, set the rest aside
- Deal 3 mates to each player – they keep 2, discard one.
- Distribute one set of food to each player (valued 1 through 5)
- Set up tiles for auction this round and upcoming – number of tiles is # of players +1.
- If you have one food token left, refresh your supply to full.
- Players simultaneously bid a value of food
- Winner of bid selects their tile, and the rest of the players select theirs by bid amount (ties resolved by player order); bids are spent. Tiles do not have to be placed adjacent to existing pieces.
- Check public goals for successes, and score. If someone has completed 3 public goals, the game ends.
- Start player passes
I suppose it’s time to get my goal cards and mate cards all together and put this in front of people, again. Honestly, my next biggest stumbling blocks are: do I hate this and think it’s not fun, and how can I overcome my impostor syndrome! We’ll see what happens. In the meantime, here I am trying to keep myself accountable. And also mildly panicked about taking part in a board game design panel later this week!