Monday, August 18, 2008

Revamping the Prototype / Busy Week

Revamping my prototype ... ready to test again tomorrow night.

Last week my prototype had a pyramid of tiles: 1 on top of 4, 9,16, 25, and 36, for a total of 91 tiles. On your turn, you take any uncovered corner tile. Certain game rules apply as different levels of the pyramid disappear. The game is over when a specific tile in the bottom center of the pyramid is taken.

I borrowed this from another prototype I created, although you could call it in the same family as Mah Jong solitaire. It's nifty, and I may use it for the other prototype if I ever complete it, but it doesn't work for games where the tiles are face up and more than just a solid color. The pyramid is so busy looking that it produces paralysis when it's your turn to select a tile.

Instead, I'm trying the following: forty tiles in Bag 1, thirty tiles in Bag 2, twenty tiles in Bag 3, and ten tiles, including the "game over" tile, in Bag 4. Game over when the "game over" tile is drawn. Certain game rules apply depending on which bag is is use.

Less decision making this way, so I have to add decision making in other ways, such as giving all players a tile or two to start with, so they have a choice of what to play each round. I'm not sure everyone is going to be happy with Bag 4, however, as the game could end on the first draw, or worse, the draw right before your turn. We'll how it works out.

Last week's prototype also had a money system with too much money coming in and not enough to buy, and a poorly designed point system. I've tuned it up.

Busy Week

Sunday night I went to a Tu B'Av "party". Only, it wasn't a party, per se. It was (mostly) people older than me reading things that they've written on such jovial topics as God and the Holocaust. Another one read a prayer she was working on for rape survivors; it had been edited from the one she read last year and the year before.

Each reader took nearly an hour of conversational space, and most of it was in Hebrew, which I can follow if I concentrate, but not if I zone out. So I went off to the dining room and browsed through the hosts' son's excellent sci-fi and fantasy collection.

Monday, tonight, my daughter Tal finished her three week drama camp. They did a week of Shakespeare, a week of musicals, and a week of improv, drama, and comedy. Then they put on a 100 minute performance. Although they read from scripts sometimes, it was very entertaining, and astounding how much they did in three weeks.

Tal as Juliette

Tuesday is game night.

Wednesday is the first Jewish Blogger's conference.

Thursday I am going to learn contra dancing with Rachel, for some reason.

Friday before shabbat is a 2 hour kabbalat shabbat singing session in the moshava, before shabbat starts.

Shabbat and Sunday night is a bar mitzvah of the son of close friends (the brother of the girl whose bat mitzva party inspired my Metamorphasis post).



Greg W said...

Perhaps I'm not understanding which tiles you can pick up, it only sounds like the edge tiles? If that's the case why not build the pyramid with face down tiles and only turn up those that are available to choose? The bags sound rather abstract unless the pyramid shape isn't important to the theme. Of course, not knowing anything else about the game it's hard to judge if that's even a good suggestion. Oh well. :^D

Yehuda said...

Only the corner tiles can be taken.

Yes, one could stack the pyramid so that only the available tiles are displayed. But I was hoping to make players have to decide what to take based on what they will be allowing players after them to take.

In the first game, the pyramid fit the theme. In this game, it has no relation, so can be dumped easily.


Greg W said...

You could turn the outer 2 (or N) tiles face up then. Then the edge will still only be busy assuming a uniform backing on the tiles.

It seems like you lose most of the decision with the bags as well as the player interaction. Multiple bags seem sort of odd unless you can fit it to the theme like Thebes.

For the end game tile you could do something like Key Harvest and Ra and require multiple endgame tiles be pulled before the game will actually end.

Key Harvest even has a fail safe so that if the trigger happens too early the endgame track will throw out some of the early endgame tiles. Of course, in those games all the tiles are drawn from one bag.

You could also display a single row of tiles only. Start the game with three tiles face up. When a player takes a tile(s) move from the middle to fill the empty spot and draw a replacement. Before the first player goes again they draw another tile and add it to the middle. That way the decision space slowly expands as the game goes on. Maybe that's too fiddly and doesn't accomplish what you want however...

Yehuda said...

Thanks, Greg. Good suggestions.


Greg W said...

You're welcome!