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Subject: Replayability of scenarios rss

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Alfonso Martin
Ireland
Colorado
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Hi,

This game looks like a really nice co-op. It looks to mix nicely euro and ameritrash (I love the Robinson Crusoe).

I am however a little big worry about the replayability of the scenarios. If I got it right, each scenario has 4 personal dreams, which will dictate the actions to follow for the character to beat the scenario. So even if the city tiles changes, replaying an scenario with the same personal dream means to have to do the same tasks already known beforehand, am I wrong? are this task at least random in its order or in their results?

Thanks.
 
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Trent Y.
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You have a solid scope of the game. I'm backing it but I did bring it up that the personal dreams won't change. The designers response was to the effect that throughout their playtesting, there was enough variety in the gameplay to make things interesting.

 
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Trevor Taylor
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FARINGDON
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Well I imagine that since the tiles are randomised every game and the characters you choose are separate from the personal dreams, there is a reasonable amount of variation to be had, even if you've seen a personal dream before.
 
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Alfonso Martin
Ireland
Colorado
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Actually, to me looks that the shared dreams plus the personal dreams configures each scenario in itself. I will clarify, let's say that you plan to play mainly 2-players (my case), for each shared dreams there is 4 personal dreams, that makes 2 plays of each shared dream using "fresh" personal dreams, that makes in my opinion 8 scenarios, because the personal dreams looks to lead the narrative as much if not more than the shared dream.

Afterwards among this 8 scenarios the variety comes from random events, enemy spawning and random starting tiles.I am wondering if we are underating how much the plans will have to change from one session to other of the same scenario due to these factors (can anyone give any data about this, please). If the three random factors has a high feedback among them, even trying to follow the same steps in an scenario could require totally different strategy.

Or maybe I want just to convince myself to back this game.....XD
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Matt T
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alfonso_martin wrote:

the variety comes from random events, enemy spawning and random starting tiles


^This. To quote myself when asked this question by a backer:

"Many of the personal reflection decks have some amount of variability written into them, such as having to randomly draw from a group of cards that represent the same location, passing or failing a test sending you to different locations, and having to face enemies.

The modular city and character variety also helps with this. Even if the first card of a Personal Reflection deck always has you go to the Library, the Library could be 2 spaces or 5 spaces away, and your movement could mean you could get there in 1 turn or 3. A lot can happen in 3 turns!

From a storytelling standpoint, eventually if played enough, you will read every personal reflection card and know all of the story beats. Even if you included thousands of Personal Reflection cards, that would only delay that eventuality. And if you made them more randomized, it'd be hard to make the storylines at all compelling or consistent."

We've had each scenario playtested multiple times by the same people to different reactions. Some playtesters, after having gone through a couple of times, more or less stopped reading the personal reflections out loud and just used them as gameplay directions - go here, make this test, fight this enemy, etc. Others insisted on reading the cards out loud and talk about the story each and every time. Others still decided to build upon the story of each card, roleplaying out little conversations and describing the events of that card in greater detail. (To be fair, those who did that are hardcore roleplayers already familiar with the ODAM RPG, so YMMV.)

The one constant is that we honestly did not receive any complaints about playing the same scenario multiple times, as everyone found enough gameplay variety to keep them satisfied.

Hope this answers your question!
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Alfonso Martin
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Colorado
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Hi Matt, it does, actually.Thanks you for your answer.

It looks to me that you came with a very nice system to balance the story telling and the resource management with a nice randomization to avoid you can stick with the same strategy full time.

Did you run any test with any hard euro-gamer? Could you share their opinion, please?

Thanks again and congratulations! I believe you have a hitter for several years here.
 
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Matt T
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We were able to do a lot of testing at Metatopia (a developer-focused playtesting convention) this past November, and I would argue that Metatopia itself draws a pretty hardcore crowd.

While many of the people we played with obviously came to the table with a lot of board game experience, no one self-identified as "hard euro-gamers."

We specifically didn't screen for any one type of gamer, simply because the goal is for TSD to have a pretty wide range of appeal, with a little bit of something for everyone.

Also, thank you very much for your kind words, your feedback means a lot!
 
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Phil Schmidt
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I would think adding one or two reflection decks would greatly increase replay-ability. It would make for multiple combinations in addition to just having a different one of the 4 (assuming you are playing with 4 people all the time). It seems like you could since playing with less than 4 people means you aren't using all of them, so it seems that no specific ones are essential.

I think those would be good stretch goals.
 
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Trent Y.
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skies wrote:
I would think adding one or two reflection decks would greatly increase replay-ability. It would make for multiple combinations in addition to just having a different one of the 4 (assuming you are playing with 4 people all the time). It seems like you could since playing with less than 4 people means you aren't using all of them, so it seems that no specific ones are essential.

I think those would be good stretch goals.


I like this idea.

My suggestion, although it would probably require exhaustive play testing, was to have each dream have more cards than required to get to the end. So each deck would have 15 cards but only 8-10 used to complete the narrative. That way, each dream could be performed several times in different ways.

All of this reminds me of Android when it first came out. The storylines for each detective was fascinating and rich. The first time you did it. Then, not so much.

Regardless, I've become critical of how many times a board game actually hits the table as of late (what with so many board games out there). I've found that a game is lucky to hit the table 10 times.

With The Shared Dream, there are 4+1 base scenarios (1 unlocked as a SG). There also 1 expansion scenario, 6 solo scenarios and 1 add-on scenario. That's a fair bit of content right there. So whether or not this has a lot of replayability, it has a lot of base playability right now. Thus I am satisfied.
 
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Matt T
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Sarimrune wrote:


My suggestion, although it would probably require exhaustive play testing, was to have each dream have more cards than required to get to the end. So each deck would have 15 cards but only 8-10 used to complete the narrative. That way, each dream could be performed several times in different ways.


Funnily enough, this was the first design. The problem with this is that it made individual sessions of the game last WAY too long - a 2 player game was lasting 3 hours because there were so many steps to get through a Reflection.

I'm sure you've seen me say (and will see me say again!)that design is a matter of balance. While having such a large Reflection deck did add a few more twists and turns, we felt the overall game actually suffered for it because game play just took way too long. So we reduced the number of cards in each deck to bring the gameplay time down where we wanted it.

That being said, the concept still exists, just in smaller numbers. Looking through some Reflection decks, the first one I grabbed can be completed in 4 cards but contains 6. The next can be completed in 5 but contains 7 cards.

In a vacuum, that may not seem like much, but remember that you're not Reflecting every single phase. You're travelling, resting to manage your Nightmare, dealing with enemies, using location tiles, etc.

I'm not opposed to eventually releasing more Personal Reflection decks for the existing scenarios, but I wouldn't add it to this current Kickstarter. While component wise a Personal Reflection deck only contains a few cards, content wise they're pretty dense to create. They each have hundreds of words of fiction, need to be able to branch in ways that are both interesting and internally consistent, contain interesting choices, and have to tell a story related to the main scenario that is unique from the ones already being told. Regardless of where the Kickstarter finishes, including more Personal Reflection decks would necessitate delaying the game's delivery, and I honestly couldn't in good conscious promise to add something to the game that I knew would cause delays.
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Russell Corbally
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North Carolina
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Glad to hear that you are conscientious of delay factors. I'd rather have future add-on/expansions that would add to the content (assuming the game plays as fun as I expect it to). Get a solid base game; expansions can follow.
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