Vicente Sivera Catala
So the moment came to throw our rules down the trash bin and start over again.
In the link below you can check our first BGG post ever about Overtaker: Overtaker original thread
Here you can check our artwork so far (I hope you will like it): https://boardgamegeek.com/article/17589505
After half a year playtesting intensively, it was obvious that our game was broken. For some iterations I tried to fix the mistakes keeping what I though it was good. But in the end I realized that the core of the game itself was bad.
The objetives I had in mind when developing the game where:
- Fast and easy to learn.
- Interaction between players, lots of throwing cards to each other.
- About 1hour of playing time.
Instead I had:
- Hard to understand, convoluted rules.
- Playing times over 2 hours.
- Lots of dead times, boring gaming experience.
- Mechanics that didn't relate at all with the concept of the game.
Several problems lead us to this point, but mostly it was a problem of not playtesting enough in the early stages of the game. This lead to core mechanics that were bad. But mistakenly we thought that by streamlining some parts, getting used to the rules, etc, the game would improve enough.
Another problem was getting emotionally tied to some mechanics. You know how it works, you are writing at home and suddenly a mechanic comes to your mind that sounds so good, it HAS to work. So even when you test it and it doesn't work, you refuse to change it.
WHERE ARE WE GOING FROM HERE?
For the past weeks I've been messing around with a new paradigm that involves simpler cards and less rules.
Some of the main concepts:
Sets: Actions in the game (overtaking, attacking, etc) require the player to play a set of appropriate cards. The more cards are included in a set, the more powerful the action will be. However, the added cost of the cards cannot be higher than the player's related attribute. That means that players with higher attribute values will be able to put together more powerful sets easier. A player can use some of her "fuel points" in order to make up for the extra cost, in case her attribute is not high enough.
Ready sets: Once the player has all the appropriate cards on her hand, she can play them down on the table as a "ready set". If the player wants to play a set which is not ready (i.e. from her hand) she needs to pay "fuel points".
Card exchange: Each turn, a player can choose to get rid of one or more cards, putting them in the "offered cards" area. In exchange she can draw new cards or take some from the "offered cards" area.
"Ready sets" effectively reduce your hand, since you cannot draw cards again for those cards until you use the set. So you have to be careful since not having ready sets is costly, but commiting to a ready set (specially one with lots of cards) can reduce your possibilities.
Locations: Location cards keep appearing and disappearing during the game, simulating the players advancing in the race. In order to use a Set, a player has to declare a location where she will use it. Some locations are more demanding for certain kind of sets or trigger some special effects. Preparing sets of cards so they are ready when you reach an upcoming location will be an important part of the game.
Dangers: As game progresses, dangers will appear. Some of them will affect only one player and their effect is instantaneous. Other dangers will be placed ahead "on the road" and as the players approach them they will have to prepare the appropriate sets to face the danger when the moment arrives.
Actions: Available actions are divided into three kinds.
- Combat actions: include shooting, raming, etc. The inflict damage on other players. If a vehicle receives too much damage its performance will be reduced.
- Driving actions: include overtaking, dodging, etc. They are used to advance, overtake other vehicles, redirecting attacks to other pilots, etc.
- Arcane actions: this group of actions is miscellaneous and instead of a especific function, they alter the normal rules of the game. You can thing about them as MTG's instants.
Other elements: "Fuel points" are used to play unreadied sets and pay for expensive sets. "Supply points" are lost during the game because of harsh conditions, dangers, etc.
I still need to solve lots of problems but so far it already looks a lot better than the last version.
- Last edited Fri Jan 16, 2015 3:43 pm (Total Number of Edits: 3)
- Posted Fri Jan 16, 2015 2:49 pm