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Path of Light and Shadow» Forums » Variants

Subject: Solo variant teaser and guaging interest rss

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Christian B
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I'm currently working on a couple of solo variants. Before posting them, I definitely want to get in several playthroughs of the normal game at different player counts to better establish my benchmarks for comparison while playtesting, and at least a few good playtests of the variants to resolve any initial, obvious bugs. It's probably
going to be a while before all of that happens. But to give a preview of them, one is a scenario/AI-based variant that will require more extensive design and playtesting, while the other is a goals-oriented approach that just needs a little more brainstorming and some playtesting to balance the goals. To elaborate on this second variant, the player will have a list of goals or possible achievements, and must complete a certain number of them in order to win.

As some (untested) examples of goals/achievements:
[A] Control all 4 Realms.
[B] Gain 30+ influence from cards (promoted supporters and Allies) during end game scoring.
[C] Gain 60+ influence from structures (structures built and level 4 structure bonuses) during end game scoring.
[D] Control 45+ total defenses.
[E] Attain 12 Mercy AND attain 12 Cruelty during the game.

The idea will be something like
Village Chief (easy): complete one objective.
City Governor (medium): complete two objectives.
Stronghold Commander (hard): complete three objectives.

I would like to add a few more objectives to this list for testing, and then obviously these will need to be tested and balanced (e.g., if 30+ influence from cards is too easy or too hard, adjust that number up or down, respectively). During / after testing, I want to trim the list back down to 5 objectives, (or 7 objectives and adjust the Difficulties to 2, 3, and 4 objectives respectively). The idea I want to capture is that the objectives will have an even balance/focus on mercy and cruelty; to win on hard, you will have to complete more than half the objectives, and to do that, you will have to explore strategies related to both "moralities". To use the above list as an example, having a focus on Mercy will help get the objectives [B] & [C], but a Cruel focus will be better suited for [A]; achieving a mix of mercy- and cruelty-suited objectives like this should be required on a harder difficulty mode.

If anyone is interested in this variant and would like to help out with development/ playtesting, I'm looking for (a) suggestions for new objectives - for example "inflict X+ Ruin" or "at end game, have no more than 1 copy of each card in your deck"
(b) experienced feedback on adjusting the above objectives - for example, if 30+ influence from cards were impossible to achieve in 12 turns, that would need to be demonstrated (I am sure it is not, but just as a hypothetical example)-
And (c), anyone willing to playtest these objectives and give constructive feedback. If you want to do this, keep in mind that constructive feedback should be detailed and specific. For example, "This one is too easy" isn't specific, whereas feedback such as the following is: "In 3 of my playtests, I was able to achieve this objective by turn 5, while pursuing a different second objective each time; in the first one, I did this... in the second I did this..." etc.

Anyone interested in trying this out, or already have something like this?
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Maurizio Briosi
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I do not usually play solo, and I played 2-3 times only but the game already has some "objectives" in the form of counselors (or advisors, cannot remember which are in your starting deck, and which are player+1 on the table). Why not use those, they are randomized and not so easy to obtain...and maybe making you tend to cruel or merciful.

In my opinion the biggest challenge is to provide a good enough AI during the game, that challenge you at attacking,defending and promoting.

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Christian B
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Sorlin wrote:
I do not usually play solo, and I played 2-3 times only but the game already has some "objectives" in the form of counselors (or advisors, cannot remember which are in your starting deck, and which are player+1 on the table). Why not use those, they are randomized and not so easy to obtain...and maybe making you tend to cruel or merciful.
Good input, thanks. I like the idea of using Ally cards as an objective, for instance adding an objective to the list such as, "Gain 2 Ally cards." At this point in development, I think the objectives should be somewhat harder than the requirements on one ally, since playing solo, the player isn't competing with anyone for them.
Quote:
In my opinion the biggest challenge is to provide a good enough AI during the game, that challenge you at attacking,defending and promoting.

So I don't think I was as clear about this part as I could be, but I am working on two separate variants. The variant I described in detail above doesn't involve any kind of AI or opponent, it is simply a "sandbox" for the player to explore and try to complete objectives. In other words, how much can you achieve in 12 turns, with no other players standing in your way?
(Since there is no opponent competing for the objectives, that's part of why I want them to be harder than the requirements on one of the Ally cards.)
I am also working on a variant that includes AI opponents, but just like you said, that's going to be a big challenge. I won't be ready to share details for that variant for feedback for a while.
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Tony Graham
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I am definitely interested in helping out. This is one of my favorite games but I dont get to play many multiplayer games anymore. My boys are grown and my youngest is heading out for college this year.

I am interested in testing out the objective variant as well as using allies as objectives. I am also interested in creating an automa deck in lines with scythe, viticulture, and gaia project.

I think several variants could be viable. I like the option of either being able to play to optimize my deck (gaining as much VP as possible or completing objectives) or playing more competitive against an AI.
 
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Dana Olson
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JavaGammer wrote:
I am also interested in creating an automa deck in lines with scythe, viticulture, and gaia project.


YES! I wish more games had these. I saw your AI variant, but I'm interested in the more simplistic approach of an automa deck. Are you still thinking of working on one?
 
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Tony Graham
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danaolson wrote:
JavaGammer wrote:
I am also interested in creating an automa deck in lines with scythe, viticulture, and gaia project.


YES! I wish more games had these. I saw your AI variant, but I'm interested in the more simplistic approach of an automa deck. Are you still thinking of working on one?


The automa deck I created created is pretty simple. It reads way more complicated. Basically, if you draw a promote card you upgrade the automa hand, build then you build, conquer then conquer. It really is very simple and I really love it.
 
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Dana Olson
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JavaGammer wrote:
danaolson wrote:
JavaGammer wrote:
I am also interested in creating an automa deck in lines with scythe, viticulture, and gaia project.


YES! I wish more games had these. I saw your AI variant, but I'm interested in the more simplistic approach of an automa deck. Are you still thinking of working on one?


The automa deck I created created is pretty simple. It reads way more complicated. Basically, if you draw a promote card you upgrade the automa hand, build then you build, conquer then conquer. It really is very simple and I really love it.


Oh. I guess I misunderstood your other variant. I haven't gotten to play Path yet, I just got it, so I thought I was having to play actual game cards for the AI opponent. Didn't understand you meant actually create the cards myself. I will read the rulebook, then re-read your variant, make some cards, and give it a try.
 
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Tony Graham
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danaolson wrote:
JavaGammer wrote:
danaolson wrote:
JavaGammer wrote:
I am also interested in creating an automa deck in lines with scythe, viticulture, and gaia project.


YES! I wish more games had these. I saw your AI variant, but I'm interested in the more simplistic approach of an automa deck. Are you still thinking of working on one?


The automa deck I created created is pretty simple. It reads way more complicated. Basically, if you draw a promote card you upgrade the automa hand, build then you build, conquer then conquer. It really is very simple and I really love it.


Oh. I guess I misunderstood your other variant. I haven't gotten to play Path yet, I just got it, so I thought I was having to play actual game cards for the AI opponent. Didn't understand you meant actually create the cards myself. I will read the rulebook, then re-read your variant, make some cards, and give it a try.


You do play game cards from the AI hand based off of the "automa cards" (the cards I made). But the AI only has 5 cards so it is very fast and easy to play. Think of like actually moving the workers and mechs in scythe automa. You still have to do some stuff for the automa. So the automa will only do 1 action each card. So if the card is build. You will build based on the current AI hand. Very easy and quick.

With that said, I could probably replicate those actions all in 1 Automa deck. Hmm, I may do that after my current project. I think I would still keep an AI hand of game cards but the automa card would be something like this:

Promote highest card possible
Replace lowest card with Promoted Numerai
Build next level of green AND black faction building
gain 1 vp

I think i like that. That way the Automa still has a chance to take the highest promotable cards as well as some numeri.
 
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