The last weeks have been a bit slow for progress on BotM. My dayjob has taken a lot of time and I also got some feedback which made me rethink some aspects of the game. Because of this, I’ll soon release a new PnP to test these changes.
For those that are more familiar with the game, these are the areas that I’ve reworked:
- Complicated effects
I got the comment that there was a lot of randomness in the game, and when I kept thinking about it, the meteor card drawn at the end of the game could be quite game changing and there was no way for the players to adapt to it. Originally, the point of the cards was to make the end of the game less predictable, so that losing players wouldn’t feel that it’s game over just because of being behind. However, I think that the effect was instead to give the feeling of a die roll deciding who wins at the end, which is not really what I wanted.
Because of this the meteor cards are now removed, and instead the meteor segments now grant and subtract points in different directions. This means that there’s still a risk/reward aspect with being close to the meteor, but also that the player who draws the segment can choose how to place it and affect the result. Additionally, when the segment is placed all players have the rest of the game to play their tiles in relation to it and only the third and last meteor segment will be impossible to react to.
Another issue with the randomness that I’ve been thinking about for a while is that you always have to play the tile you draw. This is particularly problematic if the player draws a tile with a powerful effect early in the game that she’s unable to make use of. To make this less frustrating for players I’m now testing a variant where the player has a “hand” with one of her faction tiles at all times and can choose wether to draw another faction tile and play one of the two, or to draw a meteor tile and play it directly. This allows for some adaptability regarding when to play which tiles and will hopefully make annoying scenarios, like drawing the wrong tile at the wrong time, less frequent.
The point calculation in the game is something that I’ve worried about during the whole development process. I’ve felt that there’s a risk that the calculation gets complicated and hinders the fun of the game. What I’ve done in the latest change is to remove some of the more complicated tile effects. In particular many of the effects that move or rotate already placed tiles, since these caused the need to recalculate points which easily became confusing. After this change these situations will not be as frequent.
I’ve also added a new symbol to some tiles called “extract”. This will grant extra points for placing the tile adjacent to the meteor segments or other tiles from the meteor deck.
This new Print-and-Play is almost finished. I’m going to make sure to test it some more times before I upload it here and then I’m going to share it on as many board game forums as possible together with a little survey to collect more data. Hopefully it’ll be up here early next week.
If you came all the way down here reading my wall of text: thank you! I’ll keep the updates coming. Have great day!