Dear Jamey – expanding the worlds of Stonemaier Games

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Throwing in the towel – or at least exchanging it for a smaller one

Morten Monrad Pedersen
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As some of you know, I’ve been working on an ambitious expansion for Euphoria since late February 2015 (called "Burn a Bigger Dystopia"). In August that year I started external playtesting and the responses ranged from “meh” to “there’s potential here”.

That wasn’t particularly encouraging, but I felt that the criticisms could be addressed with some tweaks.

So, I made the tweaks and went into the next round of external playtesting where the responses ranged from “meh” to “there’s potential here” with a bit of “good” thrown in.

Once more I believed that I knew how to address the criticism and tweak the expansion to make it great. Thus, started a second round of fixing and tweaking.

The playtester response to this new version ranged from “meh” to “there’s potential here” with a bit of “good” thrown in.

After another (fouth) round of changes, the playtester response to this new version ranged from “meh” to “there’s potential here” with a bit of “good” thrown in.

I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to figure out what the playtester responses were during the playtests that followed after more revisions .

I have now tried every change I can come up with and repeatedly thought that I had fixed the issues, but every time it came up short. Stonemaier Games is not about “meh”, “good”, or “there’s potential”, it’s about “great” and I simply wasn’t able to make the expansion great.

So, “Euphoria: Burn a Bigger Dystopia” is dead.

The towel is officially thrown.

Prototype game board for revision 7.51.0 of Burn a Bigger Dystopia.

Giving up after having worked on a project for three years is not fun but at some point you have to admit that you can’t get it to work and that the sunk cost fallacy is just that, a fallacy.

The world is full of towels, though, and some of them have “Euphoria” written on them . So, I’ve picked up one carrying the words “Euhporia: Ignorance is Bliss” and am working on an expansion carrying that name.

The scope isn’t the grand one I had for Burn a Bigger Dystopia, which replaced the game board and added lots of major new mechanics. Instead the scope is closer to the original plan of creating new recruit and market decks.

I don’t go all the way back, though, I’ll keep some of the smaller, but well received changes. In addition (and very importantly for me personally) there’ll be dual Automas (artificial players) so that you can play solo and the plan is to allow two human players to up the player count to four using the Automas, since there’s been a lot of requests for that.

I’ve expanded the team for the project and hope to start playtesting of the multiplayer parts soon. I also hope to have the Automas in playtest soon after that, thus making the latter go into playtesting soon after soon .

For those who’re already on our playtest forum for Burn a Bigger Dystopia, I’ll post an update there. I’ll also reach out to those I have on a list of people who have specifically offered to playtest the expansion. If you’re in neither of those groups, but want to playtest, then the way to go is to sign up for the Automa Factory newsletter - don’t worry I won’t make your inbox overflow and you can unsubscribe as soon as I send out a call for playtesters.

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Subscribe sub options Fri May 11, 2018 5:08 am
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