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Spheres of Influence: Struggle for Global Supremacy» Forums » General

Subject: Expansion stuff and design input rss

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Josh Lamont
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So I haven't posted on the forums for a bit - we've actually been working on the expansion for a while now, and until recently I haven't had the confidence with some of the things we've been working on to discuss them at large, but now I finally feel like "OK - I've got something to say with 95% certainty". So here's the rundown:

WHAT WILL BE IN THE EXPANSION:

1. 2 new factions:
a. Hindu Nationalism - ORANGE - previously Hindutva, but I think HN is more inclusive umbrella term for what I'm imagining. I redid the design on this, and am trying to decide between these 2 looks, let me know if you have any opinion on it (click on them to see a larger view):




b. ROGUE NATION* EDIT (formally terrorist state which was probably in too poor of tastes) - GREY - previously this was going to be Oligarchy, however, I felt Oligarchy overlapped Fascism too much, plus I felt like most people couldn't imagine an entity that they were playing as when they choose Oligarchy, which made them less desirable. With terrorism, there were some thematic abilities that I really wanted to introduce that also helped guide my decision. For the design, I wanted to avoid any proximity to any specific terrorist organization (which I thought would be in poor tastes given the international climate), and given the variety of their aims, I wanted to come up with something entirely new, but that could serve as a "catch all" kind of symbol:



2. Faction abilities - You all already know about this, but I've also updated a number of the ones we've been working on but haven't yet posted them yet - partly because a fair number of the updates integrate with some new ideas in the expansion that I haven't formally introduced to you guys yet. I'll post these in the next couple of days. That said, I think you'll be pleased with the updates as some of the weaker and less interesting abilities have been switched out and made much more useful/fun.

3. Generals - After a fair amount of play testing, I'm moving away from "great people", which was beginning to add too many layers of complexity, and instead am just going to focus on generals. These will be represented on the board with gold cubes (I'm trying to price out if these cubes can be metal or not, which makes them more distinct). Each faction will begin the game with one, and they act as a passive unit who provides a bonus special die to any army it battles with.

4. Policies - This is probably the thing I'm actually the most excited about, and I'll post more about it during this next week, but we're introducing Policies. Basically, whenever a faction passes or completes a sphere, it'll be able to invest points towards various policies (Policies are things like War, Industry, Technology etc). They can then spend these counters in various situations to get various bonuses. What this does is adds some really great decisions to the game, while also helping factions who find themselves in very crowded parts of the world and feel like they don't have any options/need to pass a lot, something very interesting to do. Before I introduced it to you guys, I wanted to play test it a fair amount to even see if it would work well, but I can now say that everyone who has played with it thinks that this is the defining concept that the expansion will be remembered for.

5. New special cards - You guys have already seen (and helped develop) most of the special cards, but there are a couple more that tie into policies and generals, and some that I've further tweaked.

6. More special dice - I know this isn't as sexy as some of the other things, but the game will definitely need them with the introduction of some of the above concepts. Don't quote me on this, but I think the expansion will come with 3 more.

7. Tokens for representing Nuked spaces, Cease Fires, Start Locations, and Pillaged territories (pillaging relates to one of the terrorist's factions powers and a couple of special cards).

THINGS I'M NOT INCLUDING OR
THINGS THAT MIGHT END UP AS STRETCH GOALS:


1. The event cards - while these cards have been pretty fun, the more I've played with them the more I felt like this was moving away from the type of game that I really wanted to build. Again, its not that they're bad (and there's been plenty of times we've gotten a good laugh out of them), however, as time has gone on I've felt like they were just "there" without actually making the game a deeper experience. That said, between this and the below, its the more likely option to find its was into the game as a Stretch goal or something.

2. The customizable abilities - so as I've play tested this with larger groups (outside of my core gamer friends), I've discovered more and more that, while it seems like a great idea on paper, it invariably becomes just too much for most people. It just seems that consistently people were forgetting one of their abilities, and this was compounded in games where players controlled multiple factions (which, I should note, are some of my favorite games - so this was particularly painful for me). As I've been working on the expansion more and more, it also seemed to me that I wanted everything in the expansion to integrate (that is, the expansion was less "modular" and more "total"). This has become more true with the development of the policies and the generals, as certain faction abilities interact and require these ideas to be in play. That said, the very nature of the customizable abilities was already at odds with the faction abilities, as it needed to be an alternate choice, and so I've decided to move away from them, and just to focus on getting the faction abilities right. Again, maybe I'll throw this in as a stretch goal, but I haven't decided on that yet.

Anyways, I don't know if anyone will actually read that massive wall of text, but I wanted to share with you all where I was with everything. I'm still cleaning some things up design wise (I haven't even touched the box art yet... and I don't even have a name for the expansion either), and am still working some things out with the manufacturer, but we're getting pretty close now.
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Raf B
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All sounds great - and the evil octopus is a nice design for he terrorist state. I like the *first* lotus without arms better (less busy).

edit: just saw that the arms in the first one are there, but don't disrupt the design as much.
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Muhammad Na'im
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The ideas sound great. Looking forward to the campaign.
I prefer the first image (without the hands) to represent the HN faction.

Here's an idea for the title-
Spheres of Influence: Ascension To Supremacy
I'm trying to capture the idea of leaders and policies contributing to the struggle. Also, the idea that the expansion brings the game to the next level.
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The Apostle Green
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I prefer the image with the black hands - even though they readily blend in with the rest of the design, and thus aren't noticeable until one looks closely, I think the image with light hands looks busy and cluttered compared to the more 'monotone' version.
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The War Chief
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And just when will the KS campaign start? Immediate pledge.
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Springheeledjack wrote:
And just when will the KS campaign start? Immediate pledge.

Also looking forward to more of this!

-M_R
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Ryan Hanson
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Just post the Kickstarter and you've got my pledge immediately. This game has been a huge hit with every group I've played it with.

For the Hindu graphic, I prefer the more simple lotus without arms.

While I enjoy the terrorist faction art, I think that would be a poor choice of name and I hope you can come up with something a little more fictiony and less controversial.

Very excited to learn more about policies, generals, and the new cards!

And believe it or not I'm super excited about getting the tokens and extra special dice, too, they may be a small thing but that is exactly the kind of thing I was hoping to get out of the expansion.

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Chris Quickfall
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Very glad that this is happening, I have been anticipating this!

I actually quite like the glowing arms version of the Hindu nationalism faction - but glowing arms may not be what you were going for and might be considered distracting.

Definitely not a fan of the 'terrorist state' - I don't know if anyone would much want to get in character as a terrorist state given current international politics! I'm afraid I don't have any better suggestions though, but I think oligarchy might be one.

Looking forward to my first piece of kickstarting! Chris.
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Raf B
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Hansolo88 wrote:
While I enjoy the terrorist faction art, I think that would be a poor choice of name and I hope you can come up with something a little more fictiony and less controversial.

+1

It makes me think of a Bond villain or SMERSH. Josh, have you considered Rogue Nation, Pariah, or something of that ilk?
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ChrisQuickfall wrote:
Definitely not a fan of the 'terrorist state' - I don't know if anyone would much want to get in character as a terrorist state given current international politics! I'm afraid I don't have any better suggestions though, but I think oligarchy might be one.

While not a fan of conflating oligarchy with terrorism, I think that a term like insurgent or "Anti-Globalism Guerrilla" (AGG) would work much better to convey a "terrorist" vibe. Whatever term you think of, if you can make it into a fun acronym for it, so much the better.

-M_R
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Josh Lamont
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Thanks guys, between the input on here and from my friends who've seen it, I think I'll definitely use the darker Hindu Nationalism icon.

@Ryan, Chris, Raf - good input on the terrorist state name, and Raf, Rogue Nation is a stroke of genius! Seriously, I've had a list of other names I've been toying with but none of them were really landing in my mind, but I think Rogue Nation is the right idea while avoiding the immediate connotations implicit with terrorism. Great call!

@War Chief, Midnight Reaper - if I can get everything together in time, I'm thinking August.
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JoshLamont wrote:
@War Chief, Midnight Reaper - if I can get everything together in time, I'm thinking August.

You heard it here first - Josh is promising August delivery!

Truthfully, I am looking forward to seeing what you have for us. cool thumbsup

-M_R
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James Drury
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Hey Josh, I'm loving what I'm seeing so far in this expansion. Any chance of having cubes for the Pink and Teal factions included?

Keep up the great work.
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Josh Lamont
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@James - Let me see what I can do... the challenge will be whether or not the manufacture will let me do a small run for those cubes or not (typically, they make you order 1500 minimum runs whenever you get something produced). If they let me do a fairly small batch, I wouldn't be opposed to offering it as a side option, but if the minimum quantity was too great it would just cost me too much to pull off.
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James Drury
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JoshLamont wrote:
@James - Let me see what I can do... the challenge will be whether or not the manufacture will let me do a small run for those cubes or not (typically, they make you order 1500 minimum runs whenever you get something produced). If they let me do a fairly small batch, I wouldn't be opposed to offering it as a side option, but if the minimum quantity was too great it would just cost me too much to pull off.


I understand... I appreciate your considering it.
 
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Ryan Hanson
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JoshLamont wrote:
@James - Let me see what I can do... the challenge will be whether or not the manufacture will let me do a small run for those cubes or not (typically, they make you order 1500 minimum runs whenever you get something produced). If they let me do a fairly small batch, I wouldn't be opposed to offering it as a side option, but if the minimum quantity was too great it would just cost me too much to pull off.


But just to be clear, new cubes would be in the expansion for the orange and gray factions?
 
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The War Chief
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blipadouzi wrote:
Hey Josh, I'm loving what I'm seeing so far in this expansion. Any chance of having cubes for the Pink and Teal factions included?

Keep up the great work.


You can easily obtain those cubes through the BGG Geek Store.whistle
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Josh Lamont
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@Ryan - yes, the expansion will have the grey and orange cubes
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Springheeledjack wrote:
blipadouzi wrote:
Hey Josh, I'm loving what I'm seeing so far in this expansion. Any chance of having cubes for the Pink and Teal factions included?

Keep up the great work.


You can easily obtain those cubes through the BGG Geek Store.whistle


I have already bought proxies from Meeple Source, but I'm assuming there will be cubes made for the Hindi and Rogue nations, so was curious if they'd be made at the same time.

That said, Josh, I am grateful for anything you try, but do not go out of your way nor in debt for this. I was just wondering if they'd be made at the same time.
 
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Cool stuff - looking forward to it!
 
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Vadim Deylgat
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For the Hindu faction I prefer the top graphic.

Love the Rogue Nation, though Hydra could have been a match (though I suppose that is trademarked by Marvel

I'll be there to back the expansion.
 
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FWIW: I like the top graphic better, as well.
 
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James Drury
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I concur... top graphic
 
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Jamie Woodhouse
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ChrisQuickfall wrote:
Very glad that this is happening, I have been anticipating this!

I actually quite like the glowing arms version of the Hindu nationalism faction - but glowing arms may not be what you were going for and might be considered distracting.

Definitely not a fan of the 'terrorist state' - I don't know if anyone would much want to get in character as a terrorist state given current international politics! I'm afraid I don't have any better suggestions though, but I think oligarchy might be one.

Looking forward to my first piece of kickstarting! Chris.


Hi Chris,

It's Jamie from Sheffield. I was going to suggest doing a multiple order combined shipping thing, but guess you're too far from Sheffield to collect it from there?

Cheers,
Jamie
 
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Jamie Woodhouse
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All looks great Josh, nice to see you've include counters for Cease Fires, Start Locations etc.

Also, I often find there are ambiguous situations that arise with the special cards, for example, can you paratroop across a sea space, or, when you play an intercept to cancel another played special card, when will it cancel that players turn? So, some kind of FAQ to clarify any ambiguity with the special cards, would be great.

All the best,
Jamie
 
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