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Doctor Who and the Doom of the Daleks» Forums » General

Subject: Basic Impressions rss

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Sean Franco
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Just some basic impressions from reading over the rules and looking at all of the components:


It looks like a Doctor Who twist on Arkham Horror style co-op. The clever part is that the players are each companions, and the Doctor moves around providing bonuses to whoever is around. This neatly resolves the issue of "How are all of us playing the Doctor?" (Yes, I know the show is about time-travel. That doesn't means it translates right away to game mechanics.)

A lot of the aspects of the game are very generic. There are different companions you get to be a the start of the game, but instead of "Jack Harkness" or "Liz Shaw", you get companions like "Time Agent" or "Mechanic", with no art and no flavor. However, this is a prototype, so maybe flavor, art, and names will be added in the next version.

Similarly, the board is even more bland. It's functional, but not very interesting to look at. A great way to add flavor and mechanics would be to give these different time zones an identity, maybe with a special rule on each one. Hell, you could come up with more than seven and make it modular as well.


Overall, the basic mechanics of the game look solid, and I look forward to play-testing this.
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Don Riddle
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This PnP is in no way how I expect the final game to look.
Because this is an established property I kept the pieces as generic as possible to avoid "angering the gods."
As far as the Eras, playtesting showed that keeping that part of the game more straightforward was a good thing. All the Eras having special abilities made the game clunky. Also, there did indeed used to be more of them, but testing whittled them down to 7, as this makes the Dalek threat more imminent and combustible.
The Companions' and the Eras' lack of more specific identities are both on purpose as the intention is that YOU are the Doctor's new Companions; and, as far as the Eras, I didn't want to tie them to human eras, nor to show-specific ones as that's a slippery slope as fans say I left this one or that one out. The game is through ALL of time, so there's really a lot of ground that could cover. In my head, I'd like the Eras to look like Clocks and the whole thing to be done in a style that mimics Gallifreyan calligraphy. But that depends on how much interest I can drum up.
The art may be currently bland but I think the gameplay is solid.
Most everyone who's played the game has said they would buy a fully-produced version of the game.
I wanted to create a base game that could be easily built onto. New enemies, new Companions, new board layouts... are all possible probable! I already have expansions already designed that add more to the game, specifically Cybermen and Weeping Angels. These are meant for an extra challenge, once you've mastered the base game.
 
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Sean Franco
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If you could touch the alien sand and hear the cries of strange birds and watch them wheel in another sky, would that satisfy you?
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Like I said, the game play looks solid. Don't take my initial comments negatively.

riddle13 wrote:
Because this is an established property I kept the pieces as generic as possible to avoid "angering the gods."

Have you seen The Twelve Doctors? That has images from the show all over it, and you have to buy it (though not from the designer), and nothing has happened. The BBC isn't going to sue you for all you're worth.

riddle13 wrote:
All the Eras having special abilities made the game clunky. Also, there did indeed used to be more of them, but testing whittled them down to 7, as this makes the Dalek threat more imminent and combustible.

You might have misunderstood me. I'm not proposing more than seven eras at a time. I was saying if there were many flavorful eras, you could draw seven and play those, giving each experience even more variety. If you aren't going to do specific eras, this idea is obviously meaningless.

riddle13 wrote:
The Companions' and the Eras' lack of more specific identities are both on purpose as the intention is that YOU are the Doctor's new Companions;

I understand this from an RP point of view, but if I'm going to be playing something for the theme like a Doctor Who game, I'd rather be someone from the show. Connecting flavor to mechanics is everything here.

riddle13 wrote:
and, as far as the Eras, I didn't want to tie them to human eras, nor to show-specific ones as that's a slippery slope as fans say I left this one or that one out.

You won't be able to please everybody, but that doesn't mean that you can't try to please somebody. I'm more concerned about Daleks landing forces on Skaro or in 1970 London than I am Daleks landing forces in zone 3 or in zone 6. Fifteen popular locations with integrated mechanics ("Skaro: Whenever you place a Dalek here, place one extra", "Gallifrey: whenever the Doctor moves here, current player draws a card", etc.) that you choose seven from randomly at the beginning of the game could go far.

I'll trying to have some more concrete thoughts after play testing.
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Don Riddle
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This game puts the gameplay first, and specific show call outs second. It's a PROTOTYPE. Please just play it first before commenting further. I spent a lot of time crafting it, and it feels unfair of you to jump on it and say "it's not enough" before you've even played it.
 
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Sean Franco
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If you could touch the alien sand and hear the cries of strange birds and watch them wheel in another sky, would that satisfy you?
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I will play it, and I'll let you know how I feel after. However, I have noted that this was an early version so I know it's not complete. I'm also explicitly expressing pre-play thought, which ever other player will have some sort of before they play. They aren't useless or invalid; they are the first impressions that will make people ask if they want to PNP something.
 
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Don Riddle
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I was going over some notes for the game and found a nugget I had forgotten about that you might appreciate. As I mentioned before, the Eras used to all have different abilities, but I found the gameplay clunky and took them out. The "21st Century" remained because an Event card referred to it, and I thought it a nice reference point for the game. That Event has since been replaced but I still liked having the "21st Century" on the board, so i left it. However, this bothered me so one day, on the edge of sleep, I came up with a reason for it and jotted it down... and fell asleep and forgot about it. Today, I found it again. It's an additional rule you can play with to add complexity/difficulty to the game.
"If the Daleks ever control the 21st Century, they win immediately. If a Companion is in the 21st Century at the start of her turn, she gets +1 FREE Companion action of her choice on that turn."
I have added this as a comment to the File page. Let me know what you think of playing with this rule.
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