Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Week 5: New Playtesters and Corrections

This week in class, we had classmates play test our game. There were two play test sessions that provided great feedback on our rules and cards. 

In the first play test session, we identified some crucial errors in the game. First, it turned out that we needed a token to identify the round starter. Instead of adding another piece to the game, we decided the round starter would simply place the deck of event cards in front of him or her. Another problem that we noted was that some territory cards were too "godly", in that they offered both a bonus for selling a specific drug and higher defensive points. To correct this issue, any card that offered a drug-selling bonus was taken down a notch on the defensive scale. We realized weapons were a huge problem in the game because of the easiness to build an armory at a cheap cost. This was solved by weakening the weapons and adding a rule that limited a player to only buy one weapon per turn.

The second play test session went over smoother than the first after weakening the weapons. The weapons were no longer a cheap alternative to actually buying territories. Some of the problems that came up during the second play test was that the incentive to hold on to drugs for a bonus was very weak. Players stated that the event bonus about selling a drug, should apply soon as the event is triggered. This means that players cannot draw a drug on their turn and sell it for a bonus; it only applies on drugs that were being held previously. Another topic discussed was a way to have a cheap defensive weapon to help with the catch up mechanic on someone who gets too powerful weapon wise. We chose to create a weapon card that gave out more defense points and less attack. 

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Week 4: Wrapping Up The Nitty Gritty

This past week, after playing the game to ourselves once during class and once outside of class, we realized how changing some small details can really result in a different outlook of the game.

During our first play test, some changes in the game we made were the following: each player starts with $5000, territory defense points is now a new element to the game, drugs all equal to the same amount, while the value of all the territories have become neutral, introducing a star factor/risk factor (out of 3 for both territories & drugs), and there is one weapon we could only use once and that is the grenade. We were also toying around with the idea of using a die to maybe add a little chance and risk factor to the game for each person's turn. Other ideas we have introduced were to hide the money under your territory so when one is attacked, the attacker doesn't know who has what, and also that one could play an action card at any time. Towards the end of the first play test, we reached a conclusion that we didn't have enough cards, so we bumped the number up to having 20 of each card.

Our second play test turned out to be a lot better than our first play test. Along with making a couple more changes, our team really got to have a good feel for the game. During this play test, we solidified the order of operations during each turn. It is as follows: pick up a drug, sell a drug for money or keep the drug, if sold you can buy weapons. End turn. Upcoming turns: do the same as first turn but is not limited to buying a territory and/or attacking another player. Some of the small nitty gritty things we changed this second time around were having 9 territories instead of 6, introducing an attack/defense counter (being able to attack based on defense and offense numbers, making the most expensive territory $35,000, all territories under $25,000 with a bonus have a risk and defensive number of 2, no action cards (too much going on in the game already), making territories cheaper, weapon cards have an attack number along with a defense number which ranks each weapon, and changing marijuana to the common street term "weed".

We are sure there are more changes to the game are inevitable, but so far we all are very positive that our efforts thus far have resulted in a pretty good product/game. We are excited to see what our classmates have to say about the game when playing during the peer testing later on in the day!