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An option that is usually unproductive, but critical to win

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maltezefalkon
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Is it okay to have an option for a player that is only useful as the last move of the game?

I am at the end of development on a 2-player, asymmetric game. The game is basically done, but there's something that's bothering me.

One player gets 3 moves each turn and the other gets 2 moves each turn. Each player moves in different ways, so this normally works well, but one of the options for the "slow" player is to move the same way the "fast" player does. The problem with this is that if the fast player chooses to, he can simply undo the slow player's 2 moves and then still get one extra move to advance his own position. So normally, this is a pointless move for the slow player.

However, this option is critical for setting up the slow player's basic win condition. If it were not an option, there would be lots of situations where, due to the variable setup of the game, it would be impossible for the slow player to win in that way. While there are other ways for the slow player to win, the threat of that win condition has an enormous effect on the way the fast player plays.

So, do I wrack my brain to try to come up with a similar option for the slow player that is more generally useful? Or do you think people will be okay having an option that is only useful as the last move of the game?

andymakespasta
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Joined: 07/26/2015
I don't know the details of

I don't know the details of your game, but I'm sure creative players could find uses for the move even in normal play.

For example two different actions would take the fast player 3 moves to achieve, and would also take the slow player three moves to block/ get first. The slow player could take one move towards each goal. Even if one move could be cancelled by the fast player, this slows the fast player down enough to guarantee at least one success.

Also, I believe some games have an action that brings about the end, so no worries there.

amilsan
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Joined: 10/31/2015
last move

That last resource helps the tension and the climax until the end, I also think per se its not bad at all. It’s a legitimate and good tool. I see as the if the slow player had a gun with one bullet, so if the fast player is winning and is in the line of sight the slow player will use that resource that otherwise he didn’t want to employ (except in case of extreme necessity). :)

But, as it might happen to you, one cannot stop the temptation to look for alternatives. I don’t know the details of the game, but here I go anyway:
The slow player could have different types of no renewable resources. The one mentioned he could use at the end has a value of 5, for example. But he can choose to use some others weakers, but that well played can be very useful. That resources could be choosen at the beginning or during the game. So the slow could “psicologically torment” the fast with his hidden cards, but cannot be too liberal using them, cos not only he cannot replace them but also gives info about what he has. On the other hand, the danger of a bad choice could be determinant and perhaps an unnecessary risk in the design.

I love asymmetrics games, hope to see yours soon. Best regards.

adversitygames
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Joined: 09/02/2014
> The problem with this is

> The problem with this is that if the fast player chooses to, he can simply undo the slow player's 2 moves and then still get one extra move to advance his own position.

That sounds like a serious balance problem. Anything where one player can just negate the other player's turn and still get to do something is broken.

I'd suggest making this action that the slow player can do have *some* value throughout the game, so it's extra valuable at the end of the game but has some sort of purpose for the rest of the game too.

adversitygames
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An alternative approach: Work

An alternative approach:

Work out how to change the victory condition so this move isn't needed at all to meet it. It would feel more self-contained without a one-round-only action.

amilsan
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Joined: 10/31/2015
type of options and how many

?
1 - fixed effect, something like "doubles the victory points"
2 - secret effect, revealed only at the end

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