Saturday, May 23, 2015

Further reflection and design revision

Following my initial thoughts on the first playtest of my boardgame design, I've been reflecting on the revisions necessary to my boardgame. As pointed in my earlier post, I highlighted the core tension that I hoped to elevate in this game.

In order to focus on this central tension, there are a number of questions that I need to ask myself about this game:
  1. What is the nature of the resources that players need to acquire?
  2. How will players acquire this resource?
  3. How will players utilise this resource?
  4. How will the acquisition and expenditure model simulate demand?
  5. How will the game simulate the degradation of this resource?
Nature of the resource
Is the resource inert and passive, and serve no other purpose than to be moved from one location to another? Or perhaps the resource itself can impact the game (through the use of dice, or other means of affecting odds)?

In my original design, the resource was passive, other than to be moved from the marketplace, onto to players board, and then recycled.

Resource acquisition
In the original design, players obtain resources through open auctions. Further consideration needs to be taken on whether this mechanic is best suited to my game. Perhaps other methods might be better suited, such as closed auctions, random distribution, or a purchase model.

If I decide to maintain the open auction mechanic, further refinements will need to be introduced. This includes varying number of available resources, or introducing minimum bids.

The trade mechanic from the first design will need to be scrapped, to increase the tension, impact and consequence of acquiring resources.

Utility of resources
Initial feedback suggested that using resources to satisfy customer cards might be highlight of the game. But I remain unsatisfied by the initial design. At present, players only move resources from one location to another in order to resolve customer cards. But this process is ephemeral. 

Demand for resource
The nature of the resource, the acquisition model, and the utility should inherently simulate the demand for resources. But maintaining a balance will be key.

Degradation of resource
One mechanic I am keen to maintain is the degradation of resources. Meaning players will lose resources if not properly utilised. This mechanic has two purposes: 1) building into the theme of a restaurant, whereby unused food will be wasted, and 2) increase the scarcity of resources, which should loop back into the central tension of acquiring resources.

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