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PoA — I "streamlined" the design

I know I already sent Stephen (@let-off studios) a message concerning "Plains of Aria" (PoA) and it is VERY important.

I have a spreadsheet with over 200+ tiles and realized that this was TOO MUCH. I was having a hard time doing the production sheet for the Manufacturer because honestly there were too many possibilities.

But a couple nights ago, I "streamlined" the design and have come out to a TOTAL of 75 unique tile designs!!! This is a BREAKTHRU... Because now things seem much more MANAGEABLE.

I need to work on packaging NEXT... And I will do this during this week.

I've always had my mind on PoA... But had to run with what I had at that time. Now that I ONLY have 75 unique tiles, this has dramatically INCREASE the ODDS of being able to do SOMETHING with PoA.

Previously I had been interested in "FCE" by Stephen and that started the whole collaboration. I will re-work the packaging and send along information to Stephen maybe on Friday (17 November 2023).

Cheers all!


The packaging is GREAT also...

Because it allows players to SEE what it is they are BUYING! That's also very important and I've had to re-price the "core" tiles ... And will continue to do the 3 Tiers next... During this week!


I reworked all the numbers too!

But the more interesting part is the off-line Layout designing. Because this is an off-line activity, it's really NEAT to see HOW(?) you can BUILD a more precise Layout. And with this Next Generation streamlining of 75 unique tiles is REALLY a BONUS.

As I mentioned, I also reworked the NUMBERS too: royalties, materials, retail, wholesale, etc. I need to work on how the sales will work. This is very much another point of contention. It's nice that I have 75 unique tiles... But, for example, how do I handle Barcodes??? IDK ATM and that is troublesome.

So more to think about tomorrow and see how it all moves forwards.


I designed an Excel and Google Sheet analysis doc

I figured that my MS Word document was NOT "user-friendly". So I decided to work on a Spreadsheet to see if that works BETTER! Indeed it DOES!!! So I made one in MS Excel (2007-2013 .xls) and created a Google Sheet (Online only) for people who prefer Google Freeware over MS Payware.

Which ever you prefer... You can have the version handy that you use.

Barcodes (the actual ones); I bought 25 Barcodes for about 20 different Items. That means that each packaging will accept a 1 1/2" x 1/2" Barcode STICKER which I also priced a ULine (comes out to be 0.4 cents a sticker). There are 10,000 sticker to a Box of 100 Pages. Not too bad ($41.00 CAD).

I figured it would be best to leave the stickers to the Manufacturer. Have a "reserved" area on the packaging (Back) and it's a done deal.

That's it for now... TTYL. Best!

Point Totals...?

I've been thinking about this for a week now and I still have not came to a definite conclusion on how to handle the following:

Basically if you yield "x" points via gems, how does that impact score and ultimately lead to a "Victory" Condition???

So let me explain with some examples:

Example #1: The lowest point score = 10 points.

If you have 20 tiles and you can AT MOST score 10 points ... There is a bit of a question on how to compare this with a Layout which can score 25 points???

So the question is HOW(?) can you MATCH these two (2) opponents...

There is a fundamental difference between those two (2) Point Scores. Clearly it's much EASIER to score 10 Points than it is 25 Points because there are more interdependencies with 25 Points than the 10 Points which amounts to gem-less tiles.

So What's the problem?

Clearly it's a question of HOW to EQUATE this two (2) different scores and come to some other alternative goal.

One EARLY thought is that I should go back to the PoA Cards which act as a REFERENCE card. If it's GOAL-ORIENTED, the Point Values can be IRRELEVANT?!

Points are not the DECIDING FACTOR on which the game is centered around. Instead with a series of STRICT rules towards constructing a Layout means that the points don't really matter. It's MORE about HOW(?) you build your Layout.

Given we've got a SUPER TOOL with the Spreadsheet ... I think there could be some specific rules which govern how a player Wins over his opponent.

Realistically this needs some DEFINITE REVIEWING!

But it's interesting in that it REMINDS me(Hello???) of Stephen's "Four Corners of the Earth" (FCE) small game design and the BONUS system is not necessarily good (but in all truth it is probably BAD!); this means that thinking in terms of the rules followed by FCE mean that PoA can have similarities in process and not pure execution.

What I mean is that REWARDS work for FCE but in PoA they could be the rules about HOW(?) a victory is WON!

I'm going to ponder this FURTHER... But know that these ramblings makes a LOT of sense and restore my Faith in believe that FCE held some of the IMPORTANT keys to making the game more challenging.

In our particular scenario ... It comes to MINIMUM requirements and how that affects the outcome of both a MATCH and the Layout victory!

I'm definitely liking the NEW "Direction" (yeah it probably seems like I am going in circles) because it's a set of RULES versus just scoring. Even IF the scoring has an impact on the game, I guess MASTERING the "perfect" Layout is just not what I want the game to be. Rules = YES, Perfection = NO!

And so you'll have probably RULES like:

A> One set of Tiles is DOMINANT (meaning you have MORE of these).

B> One set of Tiles has to be RECESSIVE (meaning you have LESS of these).

That's only two (2) rules and are examples of what kind of RULES must govern the Layout/Game.

Another rule could be as follows:

C> The DOMINANT set of Tiles MUST have the MOST Gems.

And then we have a rule for 2 types of Tiles. A third (3rd) rule could be:

D> Of the remaining Tiles, two (2) of those must be connected.

This is just me thinking things thru... That cover 4 Types of Tiles and there would be one last tile left.

E> For the remaining Tile type, all those tiles MUST be connected to each other.

And there we MAY(!) have it... Well at least it's something to WORK WITH and maybe yield various combinations based on COLOR. I will work on this on Sunday and see what comes of it.

For now I can say this is VERY ABSTRACT but also VERY EXICITING as things START to FINALLY "crystallize" with PoA.


You can use Excel to

You can use Excel to calculate things. Also, just keep the calculations as a log.

I do the same.
If you need help with setting something up. Let me know. But often, when you explain what you want to do. You are already able to do it yourself. (at least, that is my experience)

And yes, sometimes you are stuck on the same issue for weeks.

That's my problem right now!

X3M wrote:
And yes, sometimes you are stuck on the same issue for weeks.


Right now the "Spreadsheet" is COOL but it doesn't make any calculations. And that's okay... Because it's more of a DESIGN TOOL. And I've got it working on BOTH Google Sheets and MS Excel. If I start doing too complicated processing, well then the Google Sheet is not sophisticated enough to do too complicated Analysis. So I'm leaving it MANUAL. But still handy from a DESIGN purpose.

I've had to RE-THINK what I am going to do with Victory scoring. It's NOT obvious TBH. I want the game to be FLEXIBLE. And with that comes some kind of DYNAMIC "scoring" system. IDK TBH ATM... (Haha - so many abbreviations)!

I will ponder it some more as I WAIT for "Prospector" to be delivered!

I'm still actively working on this design ...

One of the DESIGN TOOLS (The Spreadsheet) has turned out to be a FANTASTIC TOOL! I really feel like this helper will allow players to become more involved with the design of Layouts outside normal gaming hours (OFF-LINE).

I've designed some standard Layouts like the following:

1> Heart
2> Wheel
3> Star
4> Plus
5> Giraffe
6> Maze

"Maze" is one of the tiniest Layout with only 8 Gems. Whereas "Wheel" favors one color with a WHOPPING 20 Points (for that one color!) Right now it's a bit of experimentation as to what can be done, achieved and to be a source of real inspiration for the players also!

It's pretty neat so far... I am still "thinking" about the Gems and Totals what all that means in terms of the game.

Stay tuned!

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