Context: Dauntless Hunters
Following on from last week's approach I've developed the three player game further. Now the hunters start with a smaller portion of their force on the table and will only sometimes be able to bring all of it to bear - the goal is to have a tighter three player experience that doesn't overstay its welcome.
On one level that was successful, turn length was more manageable and the game was indeed closer and more interesting. The downside was that each player had less to work with - while it was interesting for me trying out the rules using two teams I was aware that the small number of pieces meant that after one player had had a particularly unlucky turn they would've had a lot of downtime to very little play time with what they had left on the board.
Still - the overall improvement is noticeable, so I think I'd like to keep it but find a way to make more progress in this direction. Perhaps tying the reinforcements to casualties suffered somehow, so the player with less on the table brings theirs in first or in greater numbers?
I also got to have a shot at the "Unstoppable Slime Demon of Rage" which worked pretty well. The unstoppable prefix causes the monster to shuffle a card back into the deck every time it had a chance of doing damage, but fails to deliver (due to bad dice etc) making it overwhelmingly likely that the monster will dish out some pain each turn and working out who can take the hits and how becomes a strategic choice.
"Of rage" didn't work as nicely as I'd have liked. In principle the monster getting bonus actions when it took damage could lead to some strategy in only damaging the monster at the right times - but you simply don't have enough control over the position of the monster and your pieces to realistically prevent it from taking free swings with its best attack. That one needs some work.
Finally I'm aware that the "free year" I'm spending working on this project is running out. Sooner or later I need to actually launch the page properly and ask for supporters to make this project a long term reality. I'm increasingly confident that I'll have a great game to offer people when it comes to that - but there are also some practical things to do:
I need to change my process so it's suited to monthly updates and is capable of having a dual release of "free game" and "for supporters" that rolls along, releasing new content for supporters and gradually building the free one up once they've had it for a bit.
I should try to work in viable support levels. While the PnP is pretty minimal it might be worth having a level that'd let people be mailed the materials rather than having to make them themselves. It wouldn't be too hard to implement.
Some art would be nice, the game doesn't *need* it per se, but it'd be really good to have.
Once I'm getting close to needing to make the push to fund this project long term I'll also want to have videos and reviews and the sorts of things I use for launching Kickstarters, that all needs doing too.
It's a daunting list, but I've got started on it today in talking to an artist who wants to do a couple of trial pieces and splitting my work process into two versions that can be released sequentially.
There's still a lot to do over the next few months, but it feels like it's getting there.