Recommend
101 
 Thumb up
 Hide
67 Posts
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 

Dominion: Guilds» Forums » General

Subject: The Secret History of the Guilds Cards rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Donald X.
United States
flag msg tools
designer
Right around when Prosperity was due, the powers-that-be decided that they wanted small expansions too. Products that seemed more expansion-like than these giant game-sized expansions I was doing. The ideal time to do one would be next, and so Prosperity got pushed back, and Alchemy came out in its stead. I got Alchemy by breaking off a thematic chunk from a large set, and eventually reshaped the remains of that large set into Cornucopia.

I had two large expansions left after Prosperity, so this left me one small expansion short. I had to make one more small expansion to go in between Hinterlands and the last large expansion. Well I didn't have to, but you know. It was expected. So I made one. Guilds is thus the only expansion with no roots in Dominion as it existed prior to the main game being published. As it happens, the Base Cards product came out instead of Guilds, and then Dark Ages came out so we'd have a large expansion that year, so now the last expansion to be made is also the last to come out.

On my list of possible future mechanical themes, "tokens" was the easiest-sounding, so I went with that. There are a bunch of things you can do with tokens. My initial idea was to use them as money you could hang onto for later. This was simple and meant that any one card that used the tokens was useful by itself; there was no reason for anyone to insist on more than one token-involving card in the game at once, thus avoiding an issue that Alchemy had. The initial idea worked out and so there it is.

To supplement the tokens, I added the overpay cards. Overpay was a natural extension of the when-gain cards in Hinterlands, and was a good match for the tokens, since you could save up tokens for a big overpay. Two sub-themes is plenty for a small expansion, but I also flirted with a "name a card" sub-theme. In the end there's just a hint of it.

Before picking the tokens and overpay themes, I considered revisiting duration cards. I asked Jay what he thought, and he said that something new would be better than more of an old thing. Some of you are reading this and wishing I'd gone with the duration cards, but man, I have no regrets there, I am pleased with what Guilds offers up instead.

When I first made cards for this set, I hadn't picked out flavor for the set. So I gave some cards silly names, including Butcher, Baker, and Candlestick Maker. It turned out people really liked those names, so that ended up determining the set theme. There's a lesson there for all of us.

On to the cards!

Advisor: Envoy was an Intrigue outtake. If it hadn't been used as a promo, I would have eventually fixed it up. One day I decided, what's stopping me? The key thing was to give it +1 Action, so that you didn't just say, lol here are some actions you can't play. I originally made Advisor for Dark Ages, but moved it here because it seemed to fit with the emphasis on decisions this set has.

Baker: Originally it didn't have the setup part. It was just a very basic coin token card. When I thought of the setup thing, I realized that whatever card I put it on might sometimes not be bought, such that that starting coin token was all the card did. I decided that was okay though, and to just put the ability on something simple and likely to be bought.

Butcher: I wanted some other way to use coin tokens if I could get one. Butcher lets you spend them as part of a Remodel. It also gives you coin tokens, so it won't be sad when there are no other coin tokens around. For a while I considered making a simpler version of this, but ended up going with the full-on tricky version. The wording is convuluted, and not even technically correct - it says "plus the number of coin tokens," which never confuses anyone, but it should convert the units - "plus $1 per coin token." It ended up with this phrasing because a phrasing that said "per coin token" got read by some people as gaining you a card per coin token spent, rather than adding them to the cost.

Candlestick Maker: For Alchemy I wanted a single $2, with a +Buy, and tried "+1 Action +1 Buy +$1." Some people preferred this to Herbalist, but some people felt like, hey what does this have to do with Potions. And I could make that card later. So I put Herbalist in Alchemy. I next tried the card out in Hinterlands, with "when you gain this, +1 Buy." As recounted in that secret history, some people though it was hilarious that two Highways let you just buy out the pile, but some people abhorred it. I couldn't tell you why, I thought it was hilarious. But the card was just not sufficiently hilarious to live with the hate. I bumped the card out again. Then it seemed like a great fit for Guilds, where the +$1 could become a more exciting "take a Coin token." And here it is.

Doctor: Again as recounted in the Hinterlands secret history, I tried several "when gain" trashers for that set, and was not happy with any of them. The main problem was that you would buy the card just for the trashing, and end up with whatever other effect in your deck randomly. The solution was to make that other effect also trashing. Doctor gives you three options per card you see on the overpay in order to make sure you're as happy as possible with the outcome. The when-play part gets in the name-a-card thing I mentioned.

Herald: The top is an old card, a less-crazy relative of Scrying Pool that I tried out long ago. The bottom was just something else I could do with overpay that would feel different. I tried it first on Duchess's top, then moved it to this card.

Journeyman: I took this from Dark Ages, when I thought I might push a mild "name a card" subtheme here. I didn't end up pushing it enough to make it really visible. Journeyman and Doctor have you name a card, and then Taxman kind of does, and Advisor has you pick a card. Some playtesters called this card Bigot Parade, because you know, they don't like some particular card. "No Estates!" they chant, marching through the streets.

Masterpiece: This was just the most basic possible overpay. Early on Ben bought one for $10 or so and said "achievement unlocked." It turned out to be a fine play though.

Merchant Guild: This started out thinking it could cost $4, like Bridge. As it turned out, it could not.

Plaza: Originally this also let you trade a coin token for +1 Card. The card was plenty good without that, plus I wanted to cut complexity wherever I could.

Soothsayer: I had tried "gain a Gold, they gain a Curse" in Alchemy, but it was a poor fit for a card with potion in the cost. I tried it out again here with the Council Room penalty. It worked fine, but some people complained about how bad the card got when the Curses ran out. Wei-Hwa suggested having it not give them a card unless they got a Curse, and there you have it.

Stonemason: Some work went into this one. I tried the top with several Remodel-family overpay bottoms. The first one was, per $2 you overpay, Expand the top card of your deck. The most promising one was, per $2 you overpay, draw a card, then Remodel a card from your hand. In the end the crazy huge overpay turns were fun but too random. Meanwhile I tried the printed bottom with Develop on top and liked it. The bottom wanted to go on a super-cheap card, so I paired it with the printed top and moved Develop into Hinterlands.

Taxman: This started in Cornucopia, based on an idea that didn't go far in Alchemy. For the Cornucopia version, the discarding was not limited to players with five+ cards in hand, and the treasure you gained didn't go on your deck. It was painful and not good enough. In Hinterlands I tried a version that gained you two cards. Finally it moved here and I fixed it up. It's a lot of words, that's like a theme of this set. It does a fine job of feeling like a new attack though, and well that's what that takes.

Outtakes:

I tried overpay for coin tokens, that was pretty obvious. It was predictably crazy. Another overpay card was a VP card that was a twist on Island - shuffle all but 2 cards per $1 overpaid from discard to deck. That direction hadn't worked out in Hinterlands and still didn't here. I had a Village for $2 with a penalty, and per $2 you overpaid, you got another one. Foosh, a pile of Villages. It sounded good but was not exciting enough. Stonemason does a better job there.

What about granting overpay to other cards, so to speak? There was a Village with, while this is in play, when you buy an action card, you may pay $2 for another copy of that card. I liked it, but there was only so much space, and again, I had Stonemason.

I tried +$1, take a coin token per card the player to your right gained on their previous turn. Then I flipped it - take a coin token, get +$1 per card they gained. Both were too random in an unfun way. I also tried +$1, take two coin tokens, everyone else gets a coin token. As is sometimes the case with such cards, people just did not want to hand out presents to the other players. And I tried +1 buy, discard cards for coin tokens.

For the name-a-card sub-theme that I didn't so much end up with, I had a Cellar version of Journeyman, also from Dark Ages. You named two cards, discarded two cards, and drew two you didn't name, with +1 action. It was fine, it was totally fine. A little more memory-rewarding than some players like but whatever. But again, there's only so much space, it did not make the cut.

There is a card with a long history that had its last stand trying to get into this set. Once, the main set had a card, look at your top four, put one in your hand, discard the rest. I dropped it from the main set for being too boring. It resurfaced in Prosperity with +1 Action, and well it was crazy powerful. It cost $4 and I thought it might work out kind of like Throne Room, but it was way better. It really wanted to cost $4, so I tried several versions of it with different tweaks before giving up on it. Then I brought it back in other sets a few times and tried to get a good one. The version in Guilds was +1 action, could only get actions, but played the action it got. Anyway I did Herald instead, hooray.

For a bit I kind of wanted a new action-victory card, and tried +1 Action, reveal a card from your hand for the corresponding Ironworks bonus, 2 VP, for $4. It was fine but I mostly just liked that it was an action-victory card.

Walled Village is an outtake from this set. As a village you can keep around until you need it, it sort of fits in with the coin tokens. I couldn't actually give you something like action tokens because that would have been another kind of token to include. I also couldn't put coin tokens on piles, because Trade Route ate up that space.

Two cards used Spoils, which I stole briefly from Dark Ages but then gave back to it. Wandering Minstrel got worked on some here before moving to Dark Ages.

I hope this has been informative!
115 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Jaeppel
Canada
Montreal
Quebec
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
Thank you.

As always a great read, thanks for really being here with your community.

Ive been along for the ride since Seaside, enjoyed every new release, and love Guilds too. Now the game is finished?? So many strange interactions never explored, infinite combimations. Looking forward to playing Dominion for a long time.

And please, do consider putting out a deluxe hardbound rulebook with all of these secret histories. People like me will meed something Dominioney to buy next year too....
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
The Compulsive Completist
United States
Indiana
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Always an interesting read. I'm glad the name-a-card theme took,a bit of a back burner. These cards always seem the most off-putting to me.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tables
United Kingdom
Coventry
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'm interested to hear the +coin token per $1 overpaid was too good. I guess I can kind of see why though, and I guess there's not really an easy way to balance it - $2 per coin token is too weak, and $3 for 2 coin tokens seems far too situational - can you really not use $3 now?

So... is this it, for Secret Histories, and Dominion (as we currently know it)? Kind of sad to see it end, but at the same time, lots of exciting discoveries to still make with Guilds. I think it should keep us excited for at least this year, and I for one will probably continue playing the game for years to come.

Donald, if you don't mind answering, do you ever intend to go back to F.DS? Was nice having you around there.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mark Judd
United States
Wright City
Missouri
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Looking at the history/outtakes, I was reminded that this is the first expansion that does not have any victory cards.
shake

We need a new promo victory card to make up for this expansion's lack of victory cards!
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Interesting read indeed! Dare I say, as interesting as playing the game itself, if not moreso! wow

If possible, such articles about your other games would be appreciated too! Preferably ones I've played, but if that's the case, I can always try to remedy that
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Beaveman wrote:
Looking at the history/outtakes, I was reminded that this is the first expansion that does not have any victory cards.
shake

We need a new promo victory card to make up for this expansion's lack of victory cards!
Prosperity didn't "sort of" have a VP card, but if you're going unconventional, there are VP chips and Colonies.

Intrigue had 2... Harem and Nobles.

Hinterlands has Tunnel, Silk Road, and Farmland

Dark Ages only had Feodum, and that was a large set of 35, so it probably should've had 2 or 1.5. And no, Overgrown Estate doesn't count

By my count, we're still averaging 1 Victory card per major set minimum [shrug]. I will admit I would've liked to see more Victory cards, simply b/c they're all so interesting. Perhaps the community could come up with our own?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tables
United Kingdom
Coventry
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
ackmondual wrote:
Beaveman wrote:
Looking at the history/outtakes, I was reminded that this is the first expansion that does not have any victory cards.
shake

We need a new promo victory card to make up for this expansion's lack of victory cards!
Prosperity didn't "sort of" have a VP card, but if you're going unconventional, there are VP chips and Colonies.

Intrigue had 2... Harem and Nobles.

Hinterlands has Tunnel, Silk Road, and Farmland

Dark Ages only had Feodum, and that was a large set of 35, so it probably should've had 2 or 1.5. And no, Overgrown Estate doesn't count

By my count, we're still averaging 1 Victory card per major set minimum [shrug]. I will admit I would've liked to see more Victory cards, simply b/c they're all so interesting. Perhaps the community could come up with our own?


By my count, we have 12 non-base victory cards, plus 3 VP token generators (also, Dame Josephine, Overgrown Estate and Colonies). So, yeah, counting those first 15, it's an average of about 1 per 13 cards, which nicely works out as about 1 expected per small box, 2 expected per big box and 3 expected per DA box. Of course the distribution isn't really that. I'm fine with Guilds not having an alt-VP, would have been nice if there was one, but at the same time, if there wasn't anything left interesting enough to do, well, fair enough.

There are huge numbers of fan cards out there, and a few of them are even good. But the issue with making fan cards is one that Donald has talked about before - the obvious ideas are obvious to him, and the non-obvious ideas often take a lot of playtesting to get right, or otherwise not work. Alt VP is even worse in that way - it's even harder to gauge the right power level, or get it so that it's interesting a reasonable amount of the time but rarely totally dominating (or at least interesting even when it is), and sometimes not worth considering.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Reis
United States
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmb
ackmondual wrote:
Interesting read indeed! Dare I say, as interesting as playing the game itself, if not moreso! wow

If possible, such articles about your other games would be appreciated too! Preferably ones I've played, but if that's the case, I can always try to remedy that


http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/722955/the-secret-history-of...

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/793127/the-secret-history-of...
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
United States
SoCal
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Luce wrote:
ackmondual wrote:
Interesting read indeed! Dare I say, as interesting as playing the game itself, if not moreso! wow

If possible, such articles about your other games would be appreciated too! Preferably ones I've played, but if that's the case, I can always try to remedy that


http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/722955/the-secret-history-of...

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/793127/the-secret-history-of...
Moooaar!
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald X.
United States
flag msg tools
designer
Beaveman wrote:
Looking at the history/outtakes, I was reminded that this is the first expansion that does not have any victory cards.
:shake:

We need a new promo victory card to make up for this expansion's lack of victory cards!

The Secret History of the Nonexistent Dominion VP Cards

I feel like, when people say, why aren't there more kingdom VP cards, they are thinking there is some magical simple compelling "1 VP per 3 Action cards" that I missed somewhere. There are a few things left to try, and then the general large category of "it happens to be worth points but really does something else," but I did the classic VP cards, they are in sets already. That's how it looks to me.

But hey let's look at this in more depth, see what there is. There are four categories, based on how the VP is determined: 1) cards that care about your personal position, 2) cards that care about other data in the game, 3) cards that don't care about anything, 4) cards that care about stuff outside the game.

#4: Care About Outside Stuff LOL

I like these lists to be complete. #4 is obviously a non-starter - in a strategy game, it is not so great to do "worth 3 VP if it's Tuesday" or "worth VP equal to your age in years divided by 10, rounded down" or "worth 2 VP this game and next game."

#2: Care About Non-personal Game Data

There are piles of cards, there's the trash. You can try things like:

- worth 1 VP per 3 victory cards in the trash.
- worth 1 VP per 2 estates left unbought.
- worth 2 VP if the provinces didn't run out.
- worth 1 VP per province in the deck of the player with the most provinces.
- worth 2 VP for the player to your left.
- worth 1 VP per attack card opponents have.
- worth 2 VP if you have more of these than any other player.

I tried the first of those in both Seaside and Dark Ages. The Seaside one was called Landfill, and also trashed cards from supply piles. Since you can profit from it being built up, regardless of who does it, what would happen is, we'd fight over them, and then the player with more of them would build it up while the other didn't. Only, if we split them 5 to 3, the difference isn't enough to make it exciting. At first it seemed like it had promise and was a shoe-in, but it was just no fun, it had no fans whatsoever. In my mind City is a fixed version - City is something we can all build up and/or profit from, but plays much better. Forager and Trade Route are in this family but play much differently from City. Anyway you might think it would work as a VP card but man it didn't. I revisted it in Dark Ages; there another key issue was how much caring about the trash varied in power level from game to game.

Caring about piles like the next two do is something I tried briefly without actually making up a card image for it. I didn't give it much of a chance, but it sounded bad and didn't dazzle me when I tried it.

Caring about other players' decks is a non-starter, it's too hard to count your score. The last one is maybe easy enough but not super compelling.

#1: Care About Your Stuff

We can further subdivide this into caring about your final deck, about other normal information about your game state at the end of the game, or about something else that normally isn't tracked.

Something like "Worth 2 VP if it's in your hand at the end of the game" is not going to be loved, and so much for that.

You can add data and refer to it, but you'll need components to do that. Prosperity did it directly with VP tokens. A VP card could have cared about coin tokens - "worth 2 VP if you have at least two unspent coin tokens at the end" - and possibly I would have tried to find a good card there if Guilds had been large. It didn't sound exciting and space was limited. You can add counters and count things with them - worth 1 VP per time you shuffled, and you pile up the counters. That requires including specific components and well that's a hurdle, components cost money. In general it's better not to need them. Anyway it's not normally an option, it requires committing to the components, sometimes it will be too wonky (for that example we have to count shuffles in case you buy this card but maybe you won't even), and Guilds in particular was not getting more than coin tokens, it was them or nothing.

So then there's caring about your final deck. This is what the classic exciting VP cards do. Gardens cares about the total number of cards. Silk Road about VP cards; Vineyard about actions. Feodum cares about Silvers and Duke cares about Duchies. Fairgrounds cares about variety.

Counting treasures seems too much like Gardens. It's different, if there were dozens of expansions I would do it at some point and not feel bad about it, but man, it's unexciting. Counting attacks or reactions or some other type only works if the card ensures the type is out ala Young Witch or by being the type, and then it's too likely to just be counting itself; I tried a card that just counted copies of itself, it didn't work but turned into Duke. Counting Curses is really a non-starter. You could count Estates; that's one of the better ideas I'm listing in this essay, but again I am going to use that word "unexciting;" I already have Silk Road. It seems silly to count Provinces or Golds, although I tried a prize VP card that counted Golds. Counting Coppers again seems too much like Gardens though it isn't identical or anything. Like, for any card, that card is in a set instead of some other card. A VP card that counts Coppers or treasures is in a set instead of whatever else. They may not have nonzero merit, but whatever else is probably better. People think of adding up the total value of your treasures, and I playtested such a card, but treasures worth varying values kind of put the kibosh on that.

Cards have other data. There was a VP card long ago (called Gardens at the time) that looked at cost; it counted cards costing $2 or less. That's even more like Gardens than the other things like Gardens. You could just care about expensive cards. Part of the issue with counting Provinces or Golds or expensive cards is that you aren't pushing hard in a new direction; Fairgrounds says "get one of everything!" and Gardens says "big deck!" and those aren't your normal battle cries, but getting Provinces and Golds and $5's is something you already wanted to do. There are card titles; as a complement to Fairgrounds you can care about having a lot of copies of one action card, doesn't matter which one, and I playtested that in Dark Ages (it had no fans). Expansion symbol is a non-starter, and referring to card text is both probably not great and possibly trouble for a game in multiple languages.

More complex math is not great. There's min: "1 VP per Estate or per Gold you have, whichever you have fewer of." That's on this list I'm going through but I never tried it. I dunno, I'm not dazzled but it's a top contender. You can subtract: "worth 10 VP, -1 VP per Duchy or Province in your deck." There might something there although I'm less convinced there. Inverting Vineyard - VP for not having actions - doesn't sound fun at all; inverting Fairgrounds is no fun; inverting Gardens encourages a deck people already build when they can. Inverting Silk Road sounds kind of interesting but I'm not optimistic that it would play well.

You can check a condition rather than have a "per." "Worth 3 VP if you have no Silver." This kind of thing is simple and would be a good area to look at. Probably requiring you to have stuff is going to end up too much like existing card-counters, but not necessarily, and requiring you to not have something is more different. I haven't tried anything in this category. If I needed a pure VP card today (not an action etc.) I would start here.

#3: Don't Care About Anything

This is really the big category of remaining space. You can make an action card and stick 2 VP on it and bam, a victory card. The main problem here is that that's only a central idea once, and I did it in Intrigue; any future card that just has 2 VP slapped on it, the rest of the card is the idea, the new exciting part. The 2 VP is just along for the ride, although the card text can involve victory cards to at least make it specifically relevant. You can make cards that do exciting things and also happen to be worth points, and it's fine, but in general I want a good reason for the VP part, and complexity is an issue too; the rest of the card has to be simple, since the dividing line and big shield are taking up part of the text box.

Here are more ideas from the list, that are worth fixed amounts but where there's not just an irrelevant action part.

- worth 5 VP. instead of paying for this, you may trash two cards from your hand each costing $5 or more.
- worth 4 VP; the cards in the stack have different costs and are probably sorted.
- worth varying VP, again the cards in the stack vary ala Knights.
- worth 3 VP. may pay $3 and trash it to gain a province.
- action that may be trashed to gain 2 estates.
- worth 1 VP, one-shot action.
- worth 2 VP, set aside when bought.
- worth 2 VP, Scout

I tried an alternate cost in Cornucopia. I never tried the varying stack but it never sounded great, and I had Knights, they were doing that trick. At one point Minion could also be trashed for 2 Estates; that idea continued to sound cute but never made it anywhere. I never tried the inverse, a VP card you can trash for an effect; it sounds cute although unlikely to be popular. I already did Island, and probably like that way more than an automatic Island; the related Guilds / Hinterlands outtakes that did Inn-like things didn't work out, man they got their chance. You can do stuff like Scout or Crossroads or whatever as a VP card, that's an okay space.

Hinterlands had a when-gain VP card, and Dark Ages a when-trashed one (that was also a formula based on your deck, although I did playtest a when-trashed VP card that wasn't). These are VP-reaction cards in disguise. Farmlands has value despite being dead, because you can turn it into a Province by buying another Province. Tunnel is a blatant VP-reaction; there it's part of the concept that the card is dead without the reaction (and the non-reaction part had to be really simple). So that's a thing: a sufficiently simple reaction that's specifically interesting on a dead card can go on a VP card.

So...

So I could try min, or a threshold that wants you not to have something. I haven't praised these ideas so much but really sometimes you have to try the card to know what you're dealing with; they might be good. I can do stuff with counters but only if there are new counters provided. I can put VP on a card that refers to VP cards, or on a reaction where the dead quality of VP cards is relevant; there are totally reasonable things to do there. And in the end I can just slap VP on whatever new card that's already exciting and simple enough, for the sake of having a victory card, although that's never going to sound that compelling.

For Guilds I playtested two cards in the "care about VP cards" category, as described in the Secret History; an action that referred to VP cards, and an overpay card that got you a deck temporarily somewhat free of VP cards, in an Inn-like fashion. The overpay card wasn't good enough. The action was okay but I wanted something better.

Overall you can look at this as a specific example of one of the general virtues of not doing more expansions. There are VP cards left to make, if you have to make more, but I already did the simplest most compelling ones.

I try to be thorough, and maybe I missed something anyway, but this post isn't a clarion call to post fan cards; take it to the variants forum guys.
68 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald X.
United States
flag msg tools
designer
I Eat Tables wrote:
So... is this it, for Secret Histories, and Dominion (as we currently know it)? Kind of sad to see it end, but at the same time, lots of exciting discoveries to still make with Guilds. I think it should keep us excited for at least this year, and I for one will probably continue playing the game for years to come.

I continue to have big plans to make a spin-off - a standalone game reminiscent of Dominion. I expect I will continue to write secret histories for my other games, as I have been doing, and I am tentatively going to post an overall secret history of Dominion, the origin story and then how things played out after that, since the original interview at BoardGameNews is only visible in the Wayback Machine now.

I Eat Tables wrote:
Donald, if you don't mind answering, do you ever intend to go back to F.DS? Was nice having you around there.

You don't need Donald X.; the real Donald X. was inside you the whole time.

I am here if anyone wants to chat with me about whatever; you don't even have to switch chairs. At dominionstrategy I found that I was spending time on pointless arguments with Dominion fans, and it was good times when I stopped doing that, so I'm not really looking for more of it.
38 
 Thumb up
0.02
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald X.
United States
flag msg tools
designer
ackmondual wrote:

There's also one for Gauntlet of Fools, and you can see a full set of links on my page: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgamedesigner/10525/donald-...
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John O'Brien
United Kingdom
Reading
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Thanks for the extended secret history for VP cards. I agree with what you mean when you talk about too many VP cards turning into kind-of Gardens if you're not careful. Did you ever consider a "xVP per odd-number cost card" or similar? Something like that would rule out copper-hoarding and also avoid cross-over with Gold/Province grabbing which you're doing anyway. Maybe it's too much like Feodum, since Silver would probably be the best candidate. Might do some interesting things with Duchy/Duke though.

On the lines of "slap points on a different card", I always liked Victory/Reactions like Tunnel. It's like "Oh, this card is worth points which is cool, but it might even do another thing instead of being a dead card." Did you consider other V/Rs at any point?
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald X.
United States
flag msg tools
designer
strayjohno wrote:
On the lines of "slap points on a different card", I always liked Victory/Reactions like Tunnel. It's like "Oh, this card is worth points which is cool, but it might even do another thing instead of being a dead card." Did you consider other V/Rs at any point?

Intrigue had one that turned into Market Square; Dark Ages had a few. And then like I said, things like when-gain and when-trashed are like reactions but without being blue, and there were a few more of those.
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tarjei Aasen
Norway
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Regarding #2, did you ever consider something like:

[title] - Victory
At the end of the game, worth 4 - [number of empty supply piles] VP?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald X.
United States
flag msg tools
designer
TarjeiAasen wrote:
Regarding #2, did you ever consider something like:

[title] - Victory
At the end of the game, worth 4 - [number of empty supply piles] VP?

You aren't so much asking a question here as you are suggesting a specific card. I knew that post would be seen as a call to post fan cards and well again, that is not the intention, there is a subforum for variants, such posts are welcome there.
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
John O'Brien
United Kingdom
Reading
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
donaldx wrote:
On my list of possible future mechanical themes, "tokens" was the easiest-sounding, so I went with that.


Just out of interest, what other mechanics did you consider? Did you have a favourite that you wanted to use but had to dismiss?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tarjei Aasen
Norway
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
donaldx wrote:
TarjeiAasen wrote:
Regarding #2, did you ever consider something like:

[title] - Victory
At the end of the game, worth 4 - [number of empty supply piles] VP?

You aren't so much asking a question here as you are suggesting a specific card. I knew that post would be seen as a call to post fan cards and well again, that is not the intention, there is a subforum for variants, such posts are welcome there.

But, but, but... oh, well. cool

Thanks for the secret history.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Donald X.
United States
flag msg tools
designer
strayjohno wrote:
Just out of interest, what other mechanics did you consider? Did you have a favourite that you wanted to use but had to dismiss?

If there were anything amazing on this list I would have used it; it could have been a sub-theme at least. There's one that's my front-runner for if I needed to make more cards, but it could also go into a spin-off, so overall it's the mechanic I am least interested in telling people about.

This list wouldn't actually be so fascinating if you could see it. Some of the entries are things I did on a card but could have instead done as a theme, like how Mint was just the only card like that and then I did it as a theme (in that case because Mint originally came after that set). Some are like that only the card I did them on is itself an outtake, meaning it probably wouldn't work as a theme. Some of them I would be unlikely to ever do because they have the Alchemy issue of making you want to play with multiple cards from the set or zero cards. Some are really a subset of something else; some just don't sound great. And some I did; I didn't cross them off the list. Anyway it seems better not to post stuff from this list so I won't.

I can tell you the themes that I actually tried, or at least penciled in, but then abandoned; you can read more about them in the various other secret histories.

- events - considered as an expansion theme at the very beginning but never done, because you get plenty of variety from changing the set of 10, and another player attacking/interacting with you is like an event already
- one-shots - original intrigue theme, people just don't like one-shots enough so they split up or died
- player interaction - original dark ages theme, every set needed those cards so it couldn't be a set theme
- attacks - a later dark ages theme that didn't survive basically because Dominion players don't tend to like the attacks best
- counting things - a sub-theme of the original large alchemy set; those cards just went their separate ways
- the top of your deck - in the 7th expansion when I briefly tried having all of the sets be small during work on the main set for publication; this theme is no good because it's invisible
- your hand - original Cornucopia theme, also invisible
- weird stuff with costs - in the 8th expansion at the same time there was the above 7th expansion; you don't want that much of this, or that much of it in one place
- confusion (a blank card) - these were spread out when confusion was in the main set, then I put them in one set when I had small sets, then I abandoned them, then did ruins which is similar but better
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Champagne
United States
Mobile
AL
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
TarjeiAasen wrote:
donaldx wrote:
TarjeiAasen wrote:
Regarding #2, did you ever consider something like:

[title] - Victory
At the end of the game, worth 4 - [number of empty supply piles] VP?

You aren't so much asking a question here as you are suggesting a specific card. I knew that post would be seen as a call to post fan cards and well again, that is not the intention, there is a subforum for variants, such posts are welcome there.

But, but, but... oh, well. cool

Thanks for the secret history.


As a rule of thumb, don't ever share your design ideas with a game designer. No matter how pure your intentions or noble your aspirations, doing so will likely send one of the following two messages:

a) "Your job is so easy that I, someone with no experience in the field, can and will do it for free! Isn't that kewl?"

--or--

b) "I love that game you make. Here's a really cool design that you can never use ever, now for legal reasons! Oh, wow. Did I just make your job harder now, lolz?"
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tarjei Aasen
Norway
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
JorduSpeaks wrote:
As a rule of thumb, don't ever share your design ideas with a game designer.

Hey, I was just asking. If he'd tried something like that and found it too dull, but I don't find it too dull, I could have a go with the spare blanks.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Champagne
United States
Mobile
AL
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
donaldx wrote:
Walled Village is an outtake from this set. As a village you can keep around until you need it, it sort of fits in with the coin tokens. I couldn't actually give you something like action tokens because that would have been another kind of token to include. I also couldn't put coin tokens on piles, because Trade Route ate up that space.


Personally, after playing with Walled Village some, I'm kind of glad it ended up as a promo. It's effect is cool when it happens, but more often than not it feels like a Village from the Base Game, only $1 more expensive.

That said, I'm usually perfectly willing to spend $4 on a vanilla Village, and having a vanilla Village essentially show up twice as often is worth the price of the promo to me. The fact that it puts 1-2 Villages in your next hand if you should happen to completely whiff is just gravy on the cake.

(We have really weird birthdays at my house.)
7 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
James Champagne
United States
Mobile
AL
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
TarjeiAasen wrote:
JorduSpeaks wrote:
As a rule of thumb, don't ever share your design ideas with a game designer.

Hey, I was just asking. If he'd tried something like that and found it too dull, but I don't find it too dull, I could have a go with the spare blanks.


You're missing the point. If your idea is stupid, then it's really no big deal at all. It could come off as a little offensive if the designer is having a really crummy day, but usually he or she will know you meant well.

No, the danger is that your idea could be secretly TOTALLY AWESOME! If you do happen to have a totally awesome idea, and you share it with the designer, you've basically guaranteed that a legitimately totally awesome idea will never get printed. This is bad for the designer because, if he already had the idea, he might have to scrap it and do extra work unless he can PROVE that he came up with the idea before you told him about it. It's bad for the community at large because your totally awesome idea might have occurred to the designer eventually, but now we'll never get that card.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Tarjei Aasen
Norway
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Digging this up from the secret history of Prosperity:

"- $6; Action7. A card in the Remodel family which didn't work out but seems promising enough not to spoil yet."

Presumably this just died? What did it do?




JorduSpeaks wrote:
No, the danger is that your idea could be secretly TOTALLY AWESOME! If you do happen to have a totally awesome idea, and you share it with the designer, you've basically guaranteed that a legitimately totally awesome idea will never get printed.

There are no more expansions after this...
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
1 , 2 , 3  Next »   | 
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.