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Subject: Designer Notes 10 - Who Tells Your Story? rss

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Bryan Yeager
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http://www.plaidhatgames.com/news/726
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Edward Haag
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Doesn't seem like much to talk about for this one. The entire article is stuff we already know.
 
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Keith Pishnery
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The one standout bit for discussion would be:

Quote:
The world itself slowly grows and transforms as islands get explored and new areas come onto the board (being deliberately vague here).


We've speculated about continents before, and "new areas" could mean that, of course, but maybe it could be other things as well. Underwater cities?

However, I did enjoy hearing more of the development history in the beginning section. Very interesting stuff about how chasing new ships derailed progress quite a bit.

Thematically, the part about buildings going away works for me as provinces need to refocus every couple years as needs change. Businesses are replaced by other businesses depending on demand, etc.
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Sterling Wright
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You could also argue the structures aren't the actual building, but technology improvements in the buildings that give you an advantage over the other players. Slowly, that technology would be acquired by the other provinces.

For example, all the provinces would have ports. Where else are they going to unload goods from their ship?

So at the start of Game 1, everyone has a basic port. During the game, someone builds the Port structure which gives them a technical advantage over the other players and they can fix ships quicker than the other provinces.

Between games, all of the provinces have learned this technology and starting game 2 every one starts with this technology (Basically a Game 1 port) and the playing field is level again.
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Bryan Yeager
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kpishnery wrote:
The one standout bit for discussion would be:

Quote:
The world itself slowly grows and transforms as islands get explored and new areas come onto the board (being deliberately vague here).


We've speculated about continents before, and "new areas" could mean that, of course, but maybe it could be other things as well. Underwater cities?

However, I did enjoy hearing more of the development history in the beginning section. Very interesting stuff about how chasing new ships derailed progress quite a bit.

Thematically, the part about buildings going away works for me as provinces need to refocus every couple years as needs change. Businesses are replaced by other businesses depending on demand, etc.


"Other areas" leapt of the screen at me. Yet another clue indicating a continent!

As to the underwater cities idea, Rob HAS been calling it "Indiana Jones in the Age of Sail". Getting to find this world's version of Atlantis... *Shiver of anticipation*

And for some reason I am suddenly I'm thinking of the city in "At the Mountains of Madness"(which Rob IS familiar with, given his party game that is coming out) and how awesome it would be to have ancient cities to explore, beyond the exploration on islands and whatnot. And Shoggoths. Can't forget the Shoggoths.
 
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Keith Pishnery
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I have a feeling he will shy away from Cthulhu stuff, but wholeheartedly believe a sunken city will rise at some point and there will be some combatants on it.
 
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Bryan Yeager
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kpishnery wrote:
I have a feeling he will shy away from Cthulhu stuff, but wholeheartedly believe a sunken city will rise at some point and there will be some combatants on it.

I agree, he probably won't go there in name. However I do think that Lovecraft is an influence for him, so if there is any imaginantive leaway, that's where my mind will be headed. looking at RL and PL, and the manner in which things go off the rails in those, I really would be shocked if we did not encounter any sea monsters.

Also, I like the explanation of the buildings as abstractions for advancement.
 
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Keith Pishnery
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Oh definitely sea monsters, but I keep imagining they will be more the traditional kind you see on old maps, etc. Krakens and leviathan's and what not, not necessarily outer gods.
 
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Becq Starforged
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EdHaag wrote:
Doesn't seem like much to talk about for this one. The entire article is stuff we already know.

It reminds me of a question that I forgot to ask previously, but will now:

We know that new milestones will be introduced in at least some of the unlocks. Do these milestones take effect immediately (ie, players can pursue them the same game they are unlocked), or are they set aside to be introduced at the beginning of the next game?

There's also some room for speculation that seems unlikely to get confirmed until the campaign starts. In particular, this quote:
Quote:
The ones marked UNLOCK will open a new treasure chest, introducing new rules, cards, stickers, effects, story, etc. into the world. But almost every one also gives a benefit of some sort to the province that completes it. Other than winning, milestones are the biggest way to change your province for the better.

It's been noted by others that there are quite a lot of stickers on the game winner upgrade sheet -- 74 of them, and the campaign is supposed to last 15 or so games. In addition, some of them (the bottom 11, which appear to be advisor or leader advances, glory bonuses, and starting gold or income bonuses) aren't listed as available choices for the game winner. I think this quote makes it very likely that milestones will grant some of these upgrades. If there are, say 4 milestones in each unlock box (plus the four for the first game, and not including the 4 from the prologue), then that could account for up to another 24 upgrades.
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Becq Starforged
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kpishnery wrote:
Oh definitely sea monsters, but I keep imagining they will be more the traditional kind you see on old maps, etc. Krakens and leviathan's and what not, not necessarily outer gods.

Atlantis (or a surrogate thereof), anyone?
 
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Keith Pishnery
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I'd be shocked if there wasn't.
 
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This part of today's article jumped out at me the most:

Quote:
SeaFall is, obviously, a legacy game. From the very beginning, I knew that some actions would carry over from one game to the next. The whole idea of the game was to write a living history of a world and slowly reveal the world’s past as players write the world’s present.


They've already alluded to a past empire of the seas in the rulebook, when they mention tombs, ancient statues, and strange temples. The above quote got me thinking about the significance of the game's title. Some thoughts on the possible significance of the word "Seafall"

- Will the game come to revolve around the discovery of knowledge/treasures of a long since fallen sea empire?
- Will players get to explore a kingdom that has quite literally fallen into the sea?
- Will the sea level itself fall, revealing an ancient continent and its many mysteries?
- Will players encounter a still-powerful sea kingdom and have to choose whether to band together to bring about its fall?
- Is it simply a play on the word "landfall"?

I think the first option is the most likely. Given the centrality of the sailing action in the rulebook, I actually doubt that we'll see another continent before the westernmost column is revealed, if at all. I definitely expect some huge surprises though!
 
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Becq Starforged
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Sterling Wright wrote:
You could also argue the structures aren't the actual building, but technology improvements in the buildings that give you an advantage over the other players. Slowly, that technology would be acquired by the other provinces.

For example, all the provinces would have ports. Where else are they going to unload goods from their ship?

So at the start of Game 1, everyone has a basic port. During the game, someone builds the Port structure which gives them a technical advantage over the other players and they can fix ships quicker than the other provinces.

Between games, all of the provinces have learned this technology and starting game 2 every one starts with this technology (Basically a Game 1 port) and the playing field is level again.

This is exactly the way I've been thinking of it, for what it's worth. Though some of them are harder to justify this way that others.

A gun tower? Well, everyone has gun towers, but my province has the latest model, and makes it more difficult for ships to raid the province. Over time, raiding tactics evolve to negate that bonus. That makes sense.

But the port example is harder to justify. Last year, we developed new port technology that allowed us to repair ships fast enough that they could sail again the next month. Now everyone has that technology, so ... it takes longer for everyone to repair until they further develop an advantage?

Ah, well, its a game, and sometimes realism needs to take a back seat to playability and game balance. And as discussed in the developer notes, I can certainly see how persistent buildings could be highly unbalancing over time.
 
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Becq wrote:
We know that new milestones will be introduced in at least some of the unlocks. Do these milestones take effect immediately (ie, players can pursue them the same game they are unlocked), or are they set aside to be introduced at the beginning of the next game?


Really good question.

Quote:
There's also some room for speculation that seems unlikely to get confirmed until the campaign starts. In particular, this quote:
Quote:
The ones marked UNLOCK will open a new treasure chest, introducing new rules, cards, stickers, effects, story, etc. into the world. But almost every one also gives a benefit of some sort to the province that completes it. Other than winning, milestones are the biggest way to change your province for the better.

It's been noted by others that there are quite a lot of stickers on the game winner upgrade sheet -- 74 of them, and the campaign is supposed to last 15 or so games. In addition, some of them (the bottom 11, which appear to be advisor or leader advances, glory bonuses, and starting gold or income bonuses) aren't listed as available choices for the game winner. I think this quote makes it very likely that milestones will grant some of these upgrades. If there are, say 4 milestones in each unlock box (plus the four for the first game, and not including the 4 from the prologue), then that could account for up to another 24 upgrades.


It's possible the "change your province" line is purposely vague to not give a hint about what you get from milestone entries. It may be things like "gain a Reputation/Fortune token" or "you find a bag with 20 gold in it" or "your feat has improved your reputation, take back 1 enmity from anywhere on the board."

Quote:
In addition, some of them (the bottom 11, which appear to be advisor or leader advances, glory bonuses, and starting gold or income bonuses) aren't listed as available choices for the game winner.


The bottom 11 are Appellations, definitely listed as improvement options for a game winner.

 
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Bryan Yeager
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Becq wrote:
kpishnery wrote:
Oh definitely sea monsters, but I keep imagining they will be more the traditional kind you see on old maps, etc. Krakens and leviathan's and what not, not necessarily outer gods.

Atlantis (or a surrogate thereof), anyone?

Definitely Atlantis, Definitely sea monsters. If wishes were fishes we'd be eating kraken.

I think the Darkness Awakens milestone is what has me so fixated on this outer gods/supernatural evil bent. It just SOUNDS outer-god-y. Plus, as long as we've got mystersious temples, sea monsters and cities rising from the sea, why not R'lyeh? ; P

Alright, I'll drop the Lovecraft thing. But Rob's got so much dark and mysterious woven into this, I really do expect some kind of supernatural menace.
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Bryan Yeager
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drewhauge wrote:
This part of today's article jumped out at me the most:

Quote:
SeaFall is, obviously, a legacy game. From the very beginning, I knew that some actions would carry over from one game to the next. The whole idea of the game was to write a living history of a world and slowly reveal the world’s past as players write the world’s present.


They've already alluded to a past empire of the seas in the rulebook, when they mention tombs, ancient statues, and strange temples. The above quote got me thinking about the significance of the game's title. Some thoughts on the possible significance of the word "Seafall"

- Will the game come to revolve around the discovery of knowledge/treasures of a long since fallen sea empire?
- Will players get to explore a kingdom that has quite literally fallen into the sea?
- Will the sea level itself fall, revealing an ancient continent and its many mysteries?
- Will players encounter a still-powerful sea kingdom and have to choose whether to band together to bring about its fall?
- Is it simply a play on the word "landfall"?

I think the first option is the most likely. Given the centrality of the sailing action in the rulebook, I actually doubt that we'll see another continent before the westernmost column is revealed, if at all. I definitely expect some huge surprises though!

Each of those options gives me chills, but yeah definitely a play on making landfall, and probably just finding the treasures and remnants... But I really hope the sea empire is still around to fight.
 
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kpishnery wrote:
It's possible the "change your province" line is purposely vague to not give a hint about what you get from milestone entries. It may be things like "gain a Reputation/Fortune token" or "you find a bag with 20 gold in it" or "your feat has improved your reputation, take back 1 enmity from anywhere on the board."

The phrase "change your province for the better" makes it sound more lasting than "take X gold from the bank". I could see removing enmity (in particular, enmity stickers) as being a long-term benefit, though. Or I could be reading too much into it. But I plan to find out for sure in the upcoming months...

Quote:
Quote:
In addition, some of them (the bottom 11, which appear to be advisor or leader advances, glory bonuses, and starting gold or income bonuses) aren't listed as available choices for the game winner.

The bottom 11 are Appellations, definitely listed as improvement options for a game winner.

To clarify, I meant the *other* 11 upgrades. That is, the image in the designers notes was, as indicated in its caption, "part of the upgrade sheet". The rules show an upgrade sheet with additional options:

On *that* sheet (click through for a higher resolution), the lowermost 11 upgrades on the sheet include what appear to be advisor or leader advances, glory bonuses, and starting gold or income bonuses, and these aren't in the list of upgrades a game winner can choose. Perhaps they are milestone upgrades! (And it may be that some milestones allow you to apply a "normal" upgrade, or a bonus advisor upgrade.)

Back to the upgrade sheet's caption:
Quote:
Part of the upgrade sheet for the game winner to choose from at the start of the campaign.

Confirmed that unlock boxes will contain other, different winner upgrades to choose from?
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Keith Pishnery
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Ah, *those* 11. It's been mentioned in some places that some advisors give glory so I wonder if those glory stickers are for that. (complete a milestone, add a glory sticker to advisor used to gain milestone, etc.) The section in the rule book that talks about setting up the glory track indicates there will be ways to start a game above 0 glory, too. Hmmm.

The end of game upgrade section in the rule book doesn't have any spots for stickers, so I don't think there will be different kinds of upgrades, but there may be different ways to upgrade the existing kinds.
 
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I thought "Seafall" was a reference to the edge of the world where the sea just falls off in a big waterfall, as in Terry Pratchett's Discworld series. Or at least I feel like there were allusions to that concept early in development. (No spoilers here, just idle speculation.)
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John Nichols
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Becq wrote:
...the lowermost 11 upgrades on the sheet include what appear to be advisor or leader advances, glory bonuses, and starting gold or income bonuses, and these aren't in the list of upgrades a game winner can choose. Perhaps they are milestone upgrades! (And it may be that some milestones allow you to apply a "normal" upgrade, or a bonus advisor upgrade.)

I think the 5 action improvements are just that, improvements to one of the basic guild actions for one player. They have the same formatting and color as the player aid, which is different from the advisor upgrades. There are five of these, so maybe everyone gets one, or you get them from milestones that have to do with that guild.

While I'm speculating wildly, it's possible that the glory and gold bonuses will be applied to the title cards as a bit more of a catchup mechanic, but I think the advisor bonuses sound more likely.
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Keith Pishnery
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jpnichols9 wrote:
I think the 5 action improvements are just that, improvements to one of the basic guild actions for one player. They have the same formatting and color as the player aid, which is different from the advisor upgrades. There are five of these, so maybe everyone gets one, or you get them from milestones that have to do with that guild.


Wow...yes, I didn't even consider these would be going on the player aid. Very cool possibility.
 
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jpnichols9 wrote:
I think the 5 action improvements are just that, improvements to one of the basic guild actions for one player. They have the same formatting and color as the player aid, which is different from the advisor upgrades. There are five of these, so maybe everyone gets one, or you get them from milestones that have to do with that guild.

While I'm speculating wildly, it's possible that the glory and gold bonuses will be applied to the title cards as a bit more of a catchup mechanic, but I think the advisor bonuses sound more likely.

I was actually thinking along the same lines (with regard to the player aids) but one small detail argues against that. I was hoping to see that the player aids went into the province box, but it doesn't look as though they do. Actually two small details -- every other known spot where a sticker is placed has a marking for it. Rules, advisor cards, islands, etc. The player aids don't.

None of this makes it impossible, of course, and I definitely like the idea. I also like your title card catch up mechanism, too (though the lack of a sticker target adopts to that, too.)
 
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Keith Pishnery
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Possible answer on page 5 of rules:

Quote:
Beginning with the player with the least-prominent title and continuing in turn order (clockwise), have each player follow the instructions on their Title card and gain bonuses if applicable (there are no bonuses on the title cards you have at the start of the campaign).


I'd always wondered about this, because I see no instructions on the title cards or places for bonuses. However we haven't seen the back sides of the title cards. arrrh
 
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Becq Starforged
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I missed that entirely. I'd say you have the answer, or at least part of it. Now that you point it out, I'm not sure I've seen any title cards other than the lead player card (Prince/Princess), so it's entirely possible that others have sticker outlines. Or they don't, and you put the sticker on anyway.

So the next questions are:

Are both sets of mystery upgrades (the text ones and the glory/gold ones) title upgrades, or is one of them for some other purpose? There is an indication that some advisors grant a glory bonus, so the glory stickers may relate to that, but the same rule uses the wording "printed glory of the advisor" which might argue against that.

How many title cards get upgraded over the course of the game? There are three "Research (2 cards)" stickers, which argues for at least three getting upgrades. If the glory/gold stickers are for title upgrades, then the fact that there are four +1 glory stickers could mean that all four of the non-leaders eventually gain the glory bonus -- or it might be that these stickers are eventually doubled up.

Heh. It'll be interesting to see how well our speculation compares to the actual game...
 
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Keith Pishnery
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Pretty sure glory stickers have to do with this from the same page of rules:

Quote:
Your glory total resets to zero each game, though in later games it is possible to start a game with a small amount of glory from items that will carry over from game to game.


So what can you start a game with? Leaders, Titles, Research cards. 1 Advisor. Your province board.
 
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