Recommend
5 
 Thumb up
 Hide
4 Posts

Aether Magic» Forums » General

Subject: Designer's Thoughts: Clever Spell-Casting in Aether Magic rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Matt Worden
United States
Minnetrista
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
www.mwgames.com/JumpGate ... check it out! ;-D
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Hi again folks ...

Another post on my website, this time about how the spell-casting in the game allows player to show off their cleverness. You can see at my website here: http://www.mwgames.com/?p=2724

As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts!

-Matt

===== FULL TEXT OF ARTICLE =====

As I mentioned in my previous post, the Happy Mitten team has really focused on a handful of clear goals with the games they want to publish: easy-to-learn, engaging player interaction, and allowing players to be clever. That "Magic Sauce" post focused on the player interaction, so I thought I’d write another to explain how player-cleverness comes into the game.

For those who noticed my answers to the “Foxhole Fiver” at the The Meeple Mechanic website, you’ll see that I brought up the Spell Cards as an answer to a design challenge while developing the game. They weren’t in the game at first, but shortly after switching to the spell-casters theme, we got some incredible feedback from playtesters at one of the many cons that the Happy Mitten folks played the game at. Originally, the turn cycle ended after your Aether produced some Elements. The collection of Elements were then scored at the end of the game. But players (rightfully so) wanted something more … they wanted to be able to actually cast spells — and the spell cards were born.

The spell cards do a number of things in the game … They use up the supply of Elements you generate and/or gain from bids, they have an immediate game effect that you carry out as soon as you cast one, and they are the points that you score throughout the game. Also, one type of card — the Master Spell, which each player gets 1 of in their hand — triggers the end of the game.

Primarily, the immediate game effects are where the opportunities for cleverness lie. Typical effects include allowing you to swap the Runes or Elements you have with those in the central supply, to gain new Runes/Elements from the central supply, to gain new Aether, and even to move a spell that is available for all players into your hand, making it only available for you to cast.

What comes from this is the ability to purposefully cast certain spells that will give you the materials you need to cast other spells — even on the current turn … making it possible to chain-cast a number of spells that you wouldn’t normally have had the materials to do. Cast that power spell in the picture above and get 2 new Runes — make sure you grab a mis-matched pair of other players’ Runes — and immediately trade the new Runes in for an Element that’ll let you cast another spell … maybe that one lets you trade a couple of your Elements with the central supply, which could give you the combo needed for a third spell. It’s fun to watch a player make that sort of swing work (especially if *you’re* that player)!

Finally, the Master Spell, with its ability to trigger the final round, adds 1 more way for a player to be clever. If no one casts their Master Spell, the game will just end immediately when the Portal runs out of Aether … but, a well-timed Master Spell makes it so that each of the other players only get 1 more turn to try to cast spells. And they don’t gain any more Aether or make any bids in that final round, so they’re going to have to work with what they already have setup before that turn. It adds a nice “I’m going out!” type moment to the game and a way to challenge all of the other players to try to match what you’ve done.

Put the two together — chain-cast a bunch of spells that no one was expecting *and* cast your Master Spell — and you may just grab a surprise victory that no one else saw coming. I really love that kind of thing!
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Paul Cork
msg tools
Fantastic article. Really getting me excited for this one. Thanks so much for everything.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Daniel Theuerkaufer
Germany
Freiburg
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Matt, in another post you mentioned that there are minor, major and grand spells for each category. Did I get that right? So will there be i. e. minor/major/grand Illusions all with the same image of the turquoise, white haired female (first picture in your post)? But all with different costs and effects?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Matt Worden
United States
Minnetrista
Minnesota
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
www.mwgames.com/JumpGate ... check it out! ;-D
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
snake2shake wrote:
Matt, in another post you mentioned that there are minor, major and grand spells for each category. Did I get that right? So will there be i. e. minor/major/grand Illusions all with the same image of the turquoise, white haired female (first picture in your post)? But all with different costs and effects?

I'm not exactly sure how Happy Mitten is assigning the art for each of the cards as I'm not part of that process, but the rest of what you said is correct.

For Illusion, Conjuring, and Enchantment, there are Minor/Major/Grand versions of each. (There's also Balance and Power spells, but they do not have different versions.)

The Minor spells are the easiest to cast, give the fewest points and have bigger instant effects ... the Grand spells require the most Elements, give more points and have less powerful immediate effects. The print-and-play doc has all of the spells and their exact effects in it.

And then there's the Master Spells, which cost the most, give a boat-load of points and only have a single game effect -- triggering the final round.

-Matt
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.