~Development and Tracks
When Carl and I first sat down to work on creating Endeavor together we decided we would like to make something with a strong sense of development. Our goal was to create a game where the natural goal of developing your empire coincided with the points that you would earn at the end of the game without ever feeling like your primary objective was points gathering. This proved to be quite a tricky task. This is what we ended up with.
Mechanics: Track Development
The above image is the player board. Each player has their own and everything on the player board is owned by that player. One of the major feature of the player board is the 4 tracks. In Endeavor these tracks relate to basic gameplay and as you develop them you receive greater benefits.
As I said before we wanted a mechanic that was game driven, not victory point driven so while you do gain victory points at the end of the game based on your success in developing each track, the primary goal of improving your tracks is to gain game advantage.
Each of the 4 tracks has a different effect on the development of your empire. From the top down there is;
* Industry affects the buildings that you may take. Better buildings provide better actions or better combinations.
* Culture affects the growth of your population. More population means you can take more actions.
* Finance affects how fast you can reuse your actions and combines well with culture to drive the action based engine of the game.
* Politics affects how many cards you can hold. As cards are one of the biggest factors in developing your tracks, being able to hold more of them can be essential to a long term strategy.
The game is about expansion and trade but there isn't actually any trading in it. Developing your tracks is designed to represent the growth of your influence and the development of your empire through trade with other parts of the world.
You can develop your tracks in 3 ways. The most common is by playing to the board and collecting a token. The symbol on the token will push up that track. These can never be lost even though your position on the board may be compromised. Buildings and cards also provide ways to develop your tracks. Some buildings have symbols which push tracks up and again once gained they cannot be lost. Cards on the other hand give greater rewards but you are limited by what you can hold. As the game progresses you will likely discard less valuable cards in favour of more lucrative ones.
The track development in Endeavor and the interactions between the tracks, actions and board are probably the most unique feature of the game. Suffice to say that this mechanic went through a lot of iterations to get to where it is today, and in an upcoming post Carl will hopefully talk about the numerous stages.