Saturday, June 9, 2012
Hey everyone, So, I playtested Illeria again recent with my old roommate. He always pushed to make the game as simple as possible, although, this time for some reason the point sunk in more than usual. I guess it was this: During my early days of playtesting, a friend commented on one of the more complex aspects of the game (the old order system). He said that with all of its flaws, it made the game unique. And I guess I thought about that again: What about Illearia is unique, and what has to be kept? Above all else, it is a game about a battle across two dimensions. IS that enough? I have always liked how flexible the character creation system is, and I am hesitant to let that go. Additionally, this game is one where the kind of characters you play can change your game experience. That the rules for playing an archery party are different than the rules for playing a wizard party. And I think that is a really neat aspect of this game. It gives the game a really interesting feel to it. But beyond that, do I need any more additional complexity? Here is an example: players only get to make 7 actions each turn. The order system, as it stands, was built to make the game feel more strategic. I guess a good comparison is the difference between the games Magic: The Gathering and Netrunner (two collectible card games). Netrunner always seemed to require so much more strategy, and I think the reason was because every turn, you could only do 3 or 4 things. In Magic, you weren’t really limited, you could attack with everyone, and the only thing that stopped you is how much mana you could draw. With Netrunner, every turn needed to be carefully planned out, to make sure you had exactly enough energy to make an attack (and not too much, because that would waste time). This is why I limited the number of actions. But now I worry that it leads to unnecessary complication. Not only that, but it is kind of annoying only getting to act with half of your party, and it’s probably not realistic that in a party-based combat game, only half of the characters get to move. Maybe it would be better if one team got to act with all of their characters, and then the other did the same. Other than that though, I’m not sure how much simpler things can get. There are lots of little changes that could be made (Mike suggested using d6’s instead of d10’s, and simplifying what happens when you lose control of your summoned creatures). I’m not sure if those are enough, and if they are, if they’re worth the loss. I mean, I guess what makes a game complex is a lot of little rules, so the more little rules that can be erased, the better. Maybe I just need to go over things again with a fine-toothed comb, and really pare down the number of actions that can be made. I don’t know, Mike, I’m sure you’re probably going to read this. If you have any thoughts on what could be simplified, I’m all ears at this point. Simon PS Next post: the new morale system.