We've gone through several iterations of design, and several play tests to get an initial feel for balance.
We ran into a negative feedback loop where a player may become impoverished for resources if they have a less-than optimal start, and so we had to revisit the state of the beginning resource allotment, and provide some regular income to players, so that they cannot find themselves permanently behind the 8-ball.
Attached is a screenshot of a recent play-test using paper-printed parts, and bits that are hand-crafted or pirated from other games.
Many playground games will allow players unlimited time or turns to achieve the game objectives. Classics like risk or diplomacy have open-ended playground style structure allowing great freedom (and sometimes very lengthy games).
We want to create player tension in our games, and one way to do this is to create limited public objectives.
Auctioning is one way to go, but I wanted purchasing features to be a little more free-form, and objective based on costs and resource gathering/management based on the dynamic map and player decisions.
On the Bazaar mat is a Tavern Section where some Knights are available for hire. Any player may hire any knight in the Town Phase of their turn, but each knight is slightly different and adds differing perqs to the player who hires her.
I like the idea of a modular map and a fog-of-war effect, where parts of the map are not available until players have explored them.
In project KQ I'm using a medieval fantasy knights theme, so the map is prototyped as hex tiles with several features on them.
As I said in my first Blog Post, I'm a very visual thinker.
I'm working on a project and I have to feel the 'pretty' or a vision of the end product, so sometimes cardboard cut-outs with pencil drawings just don't cut it for me.
I have a copy of photo shop and have been practicing with it extensively. Below are some prototype sketches of major components of my game, code name KQ.
Working Title: KQ
2-6 Players, 60-120 Mins, 11+
What: KQ is a robust game of exploration, area control, resource management, and character development. Each of 2-6 players takes possession of a Home. From that Home all activities of the game spring. They may construct improvements within their castle, providing game-benefits to their play – additional resource generation; magic spells, additional defenses, etc.... Players may construct dwellings for fantastic creatures that can aid them in their cause.