Israel Waldrom
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This was mentioned briefly in the DIY kit, but I also have been putting some independent thought into how it could work.

First of all, some background groundwork:

For intents and purposes, playing with 2 characters solo or playing 2 player co-op are the same (the only difference is who is moving the player piece and making the decisions), which makes it easy enough to develop and test.

There are two categories to look at - modifying the existing maps and the creation of new maps. Modifying the existing maps is the more difficult one (due to balance and fixed map layout), but whatever method is used can be easily applied to new maps (which of course allow for the creation of custom rules and situations to suit the map), as the fundamentals will be the same. I suspect that some maps (such as the tutorial maps) will be ill-suited to multiple characters, but they aren't much of a worry.

Alright, onto the mechanical side of things:

There are 3 things to be considered:

1 Order of movement for characters and monsters
There are 2 options here. Either
1Evy / Evy-2 / Monsters, or
2Evy / Monsters / Evy-2 / Monsters

The second option, while in theory would maintain the balance, I suspect would be quite brutal. If the characters are apart and one finishes their turn beside a monster then they would take 2 HP damage from it before they get a chance to react, and that's the best case scenario. In a worst case scenario, they would get surrounded from the first monster movement and then take 3-6 HP damage on the next one. Would make for a very short game.

This leaves the best option as Evy, Evy-2, Monsters.

Monster movement rules themselves would also need looking at, but the easiest solution is that monsters move towards the closest character, and you start with the monsters that are closest to each character. That would mean that in some circumstances all the monsters would move towards one character or the other, but most of the time they will attempt to swarm both. A little more thinking, but would be easy enough to get the feel for.

This of course leads to
2 Number of dice for monster movement.
and
3 Rate of monster spawn.

Given that the characters get 2 turns for every 1 monster something needs to change to maintain the balance. On new maps, the one option is to increase the number of spawn points, but that by in itself wouldn't be enough, and of course it also isn't an option for the old maps.

Changing the number of die rolled for monster movement is easy enough, and allows for a near equivalent amount of monsters to chase the characters when they are apart (3d6 instead of 2d6 seems like a good choice), but even in standard maps you can end up (especially at the beginning of the game) where there aren't enough monsters on the map to use.

So the second option, used in conjunction with the first, would be to modify the spawn rate. I would propose that each spawn point produces 2 cubes instead of one (stacked on top of each other). Most spawn points have enough room around them for both to be able to exit off the spawn point, and if they don't then the second one just sits there until the first one moves clear of the exit point (makes the rules simpler than having to add exceptions).

So after all that waffle, my proposal at the moment is:
Evy, Evy-2, Monsters; double spawn; 3d6
My testing map of choice is the Park - plenty of open space and spawn points to play around with.

[The other main consideration will be starting locations for the characters, but that is a map by map decision].
 
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Israel Waldrom
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Three rounds of playtesting down on the Park map. First round was as above with [EEM, x2, 3d6], second was [EEM, x2], and third was [EEM, 3d6].


I tried for a symmetrical setup on the map, so started Evy2 (you know, the one from the alternative timeline, where things are just a little bit different) just off the map on the opposite side to Rvy. Once she had moved she of course couldn't return to that spot.


[EEM, x2, 3d6] Early game wasn't too bad, although the monsters came thick and fast. Gave a decent challenge, and required some hard decisions - there wasn't a lot of chance to collect too many cards between the two characters with the population of monsters on the board, and deciding when to attack the boss and when to escape instead (when able to do so) was crucial to survival. I don't think I would have been able to complete the map if I didn't get some movement/weapon items, but I will say that in this session I rolled very high on the dice. I was averaging 12+ on most rolls! The board was getting quite crowded by the time Evy2 managed to land the final blow.


In comparison, when I played with either double spawn only or 3d6 only:


Those sessions were much easier and a lot less monsters on the board (I also rolled much more reasonable on the dice, but the overall feel is still prominent).

Overall conclusion thus far - [EEM, x2, 3d6] works well, and is probably more of a challenge than with just Evy by herself, at least for the Park map (it will vary from map to map I suspect). Thematically I could argue that Evy2 has dragged along something with her when she came to see Evy, but it all depend on what story is weaved.

As a note, I would rule that the players lose if either Evy dies. Makes sense after all.

Now to try it on another suitable map.
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Israel Waldrom
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The best thing about friends is that you get to go shopping with them...

...but there's always something that gets in the way.




Played the Parking Lot map using the same rules as above [EEM, x2, 3d6], starting both Evy's beside each other, and having them run up different sides of the carpark (I suspect it would be a lot easier if they were walking side by side, so I deliberately chose the more difficult route).
Rolls were much more reasonable this time, but even ignoring that the map seems to handle the two characters well enough. There is a decent challenge, with swarms of monsters chasing the girls down as they poke around the parked cars.
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Martijn van der Lee
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Great work! It really makes me feel good to know you're so engaged with this game.

Sorry for the delay in replying; I've been putting some time into a little game for the mint tin contest, playing other games from the solo contest and in general catching up with some unrelated projects that have been lingering in the final weeks of Evy's production.

Evy was explicitely intended to be a solo game, but there's no good reason it couldn't be adapted to multi-player may be possible. Perhaps even competitive (i.e. first to complete a task) or PvP. I haven't put a lot of thought into it, though. The intent of the text in the DIY kit was to have custom maps made for this mode of play as I agree with your suspicion that the current maps will be unsuitable for a "standard" two-player mode.

I think it would be wise to distinguish between 2 player on the current maps and 2 player on new maps, as basing new maps on a system designed for the current maps will just make new maps unnecessarily restricted.

As a "generic" 2 player mode using the existing maps, I think your right on the money. The game balances number of monsters vs speed of movement. With EMEM, the speed difference disappears and the monsters will be overpowered. With EEM there will be an unbalance the other way around, but this could be countered by having one or two extra D6 and possibly upping the 25-monster limit somewhat higher (keeping in mind the risk of overflowing the space on the maps).

The monster rules are mostly intuitive as it is, and having them choose between the two Evy's is just more of the same intuitive movement and shouldn't take too much more time. Double spawn seems like a good idea for the current maps. That might even be a nice idea for single-player maps as it saves space. In particular the current "Supermarket" map depends on a large spawn rate and wastes a lot of space on spawn point to achieve that. As for starting point of the Evy's, you could probably do the same trick as double spawn points if you use cubes.

I do have to wonder though; is the current game less or more enjoyable with 2 players? My biggest fear here is that it doesn't really add anything except complexity. New maps could actually make use of the fact that you can split up the team. I think you'd need physically bigger maps though. This was also something I ran into with the current maps; there's not enough space to combine multiple ideas on a single map.
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Israel Waldrom
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Tynes wrote:
I do have to wonder though; is the current game less or more enjoyable with 2 players? My biggest fear here is that it doesn't really add anything except complexity. New maps could actually make use of the fact that you can split up the team. I think you'd need physically bigger maps though. This was also something I ran into with the current maps; there's not enough space to combine multiple ideas on a single map.


That is the million dollar question. ^^ (and not one that I can really weigh in on as I've just been playing solo with 2 characters for these tests - same results but without the extra person).

As you have mentioned, the best 2 player maps will be ones dedicated to that purpose, as they will allow for more flexibility (and two-page ones could easily be made utilizing stairs, teleports, etc, which would also allow for multiple objectives to be carried out at the same time as well), and there is a lot of potential there. I am looking at putting together a dedicated 2 player map (Park Redux - essentially similar to the earlier version of the Park map, but with 2 bosses and 2 characters) which I should get to at some stage. Not sure how pretty it will end up tho - my art skills aren't very good (I did try recolouring the gymnasium one with crayons but threw out the result as it just wasn't working).

I don't know if I would dedicated an entire book to 2 player, but having some multi character maps spread throughout one would be good - it could be considered a special rule ^^
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