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[GDS] MAY 2014 "I Believe" - Critiques

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Mr.S
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Tuesday Reviews

**Dare to Defy**
First of all, I count 21 cards (5+5+5+3+1+1+1 =21). There is a lot of information on each card and think seeing the cards would help to explain the game better. I’m not sure how you intend to number dice. I think you meant to say that each die is identified by a custom icon on one side of the die.
The game play looks interesting and as much fun as most press your luck games go. I think this game can also be played solitarily. There is not much interaction between players, so downtime between turns will be a bit boring.
I liked where the introduction was going with this game and I was expecting to be immersed in a world of being a social outcast devoting your life to something bigger than yourself. What I got in the same is a press your luck symbol matching game with dice that weren’t necessary.

**Suspicious Soul**
The title makes me want to listen to Elvis (Suspicious Minds). I thought the mechanic to lie or tell the truth or either was interesting and related to religion. How many players can this game accommodate? 6? Perhaps you should put in a rule so that repeated gates aren’t selected. This game is about figuring out who is telling the truth or lying. As such, I wouldn’t trust players with a secret scoring system that each player controls on their own. How would you be able to check that they actually won?

**Religious City**
This game did a great job of identifying and using major pressures on religions. This game makes me think of ancient Egypt and how religion / power were susceptible to harvest and other outside influences.
I am glad that you added an example. It cleared up a bunch of the questions I had, but I still have more… Isn’t 12 cards quite difficult to obtain considering that there is a maximum of 15 available (3 Prophets not possible to gain)? This means you need almost all of the cards. How are the prophet cards actually used in this game? Are they needed? Can evangelists be prophets as well?
I really wanted to like this game, but having so many card names in the description made it difficult to follow.

Tahrirfirma
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Monday comments

Who is your God now?
The rules are straightforward and it sounds like it could make for a quick and fun game. I do worry though that some of the card effects while adding theme could bog the game play down. For example Loki's effect means that the game stops while all players pore over their cards to select two to give up.
The backstory felt a bit contrived and like it had been written to match mechanics rather than vice versa. I could see how this could work well well with similar, but more familiar cultural tropes, such as playing as members of the royal court of a mad and fickle king who keeps changing his faith.

The Fickle Masses
If I have understood the rules correctly I like the way masses flow between players along commonality of aspects of faith. This is a nice little sociological/historical simulation mechanic. The marketing theme jarred with me and seems like a bit of a stretch of the religion challenge. But with some further clarification of the rules and development of the theme, this is the basis for an excellent game.

Confession Booth
The combination dexterity (dice grabbing), competitive story telling (confessions) and the religious theme are solid ingredients for a party game. But the example cards sounded a bit generic and I agree with the previous comments about 18 cards not being enough. My concern would be that the cards will not provide enough unexpected and interesting starting points for players to really exercise their creativity.

andymorris
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Critique Fickle Masses

I liked this idea. I felt this was a solid game. It was really close to getting a medal. This was my fourth place submission. It was a virtual tie with my bronze choice. It came down to a fine point, small criticism about the scoring and winning conditions. Getting 12 points for two sixes, but only 9 for a six and a five when 15 ends the game just didn't seem to add up for me. But then, maybe I just didn't have a strong enough sense of the flow. It was a minor thing, but I needed something to differentiate for the bronze. Overall very good entry.

andymorris
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Critique Confession Booth

This was an interesting spin on the Apples to Apples framework that I'm sure many people would enjoy. However, I am not one of them. It's just a personal preference thing, but that sort of game has zero appeal to me. I did think this was a very creative take on the challenge.

andymorris
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Critique Religious City

This game did a good job. The use of terms all fit well and worked nicely for the theme. I think the game would work and play no problem. However, I did not consider it for a medal simply because 12 cards to win was too many.

EthosGames
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Dare to Defy:

Dare to Defy:
I think I would enjoy playing this game no matter what the theme. The press your luck mechanic looks like it would work well. This lost my vote simply because I felt that the mechanics themselves were a little distant from the theme. If there had been some mechanical difference between Miracles, Healings, and Teachings I think this game would have become much more interesting to me. For the sake of brainstorming, what if three of the same card in a row has some happy effect?... three Miracles lets you view the next draw without risk, three Healings allows you to remove one flipped over card, three Teachings lets you covert one villain card to whatever type you want. I think the game would be fine as is but I would probably add some house rules to my copy. :-)

andymorris
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Critique Dare to Defy

I really like the description of the cards and having a bible verse on each card. I think it has potential as a biblical family game dealing with some of important teaching, healing and other miracles of Jesus. I think it could maybe use a different title, as all you are trying to defy are the odds and you certainly don't want to imply anything about defying Jesus. From the perspective of the challenge, I did not consider voting for it since it has three dice per player. I think the idea of drawing progressively more cards is interesting. It seems a shame to have custom dice and not roll them at all. Overall I really like the basis of the game.

Zorblag
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Tuesday Critiques

#7 Dare to Defy

A fairly straight forward press your luck game that has the religion theme in there somewhat lightly, but that’s OK. Choosing which category to score makes a nice decision, but in this case, you always need to get two scoring rounds for each deck, so the degree to which you’re pushing luck is diminished (three of a kind is probably a bit too easy to get to be the ideal stopping place in the first rounds which I think it is now.)

#9 Suspicious Souls

This game gave me more trouble than most when I read through it and tried to figure out how it would play. I guess I think this is for 3 players? It seems like the bluffing doesn’t matter with 2, but the number of gates in the game (and out of the game) only leaves 3 as another option. If that’s the case I suspect that there would be many cases where the public questions should give full gate information to some or all of the players. I’m also not sure how the passing mechanism is supposed to work for the first soul. If a player does pass a card how are they sure to get one back? I guess player order does that in some way? If a player with the limbo gate has one card face up and one face down do they just not score? Can scores drop below 1, and if so, can you choose which order to score your two scores in? There are some interesting ideas here, but I don’t fully understand how they fit together I don’t think.

#3 ReligiousCity

Starting player seems to have a big advantage as attacks seem to have a decent chance of success and players only start with 3 worshipers (taking one away is tough.) I’m not sure I see the point in excommunicating given that you need 12 cards to win (which strikes me as high.) Indoctrinate also seems less valuable unless it lasts till the end of the next turn or some such; it can only be used to boost defense, and then only by one as I’m reading the rules. I think that the component limit probably hurts this game as it looks like it would probably play well with larger card counts or a way to keep track of more permanent changes to the traits on the cards.

-Zorblag R`Lyeh

andymorris
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Critique Suspicious Souls

My comment is similar to Zorblag. There are lots of interesting ideas here, but I'm not 100% sure on the details of everything. I noticed one thing about answering which gate you have. If you have heaven you must tell the truth, so you can't say hell. If you have hell, you must lie, so you cannot say hell either. Therefore, someone with limbo would not say hell as it would be an obvious lie. Also, if you say limbo it is immediately clear you do not have heaven. As a result it is likely that everyone would just always say heaven. Maybe I'm missing something or oversimplifying, but something to think about.

Corsaire
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Tuesday reviews

*** Dare to Defy And dare you did with both card count and dice count. The description lacks a gameplay overview, which in this format is highly useful (imo, in any format.) I just couldn't quite grasp what the game is. I kinda see the flip card, but not sure I get the effect of it.

*** Suspicious Souls Another big need for an overview. Diving into setup leaves me very lost. I like the attempt to embody knight or knave into the game, but it isn't clear this would be fun to play.

*** Religious City This was my wildcard bronze as scores were pretty close. Good presentation structure, totally lays out the concept upfront. The play has interesting sense of depth in both theme and strategy, nicely done. I do think this is needing more than 18 cards to sustain and the goal will need fine tunng as twelve seems too extreme. Combat, building, luck, nice set of features. Definitely take it to the next level, maybe use 18 for your first playtest and see what happens.

Tahrirfirma
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Tuesday comments

Suspicious Souls
Overall a clear rule set for a social deduction game. My only concerns are that:
1. The heaven and hell gates aren't thematic enough for players to get into role playing which is a big part of the fun and theater of games in this genre like Werewolf
2. Hidden scoring is unlikely to be trusted in a game which is based up deception

Dare to defy
The combination of push your luck mechanics and the politico-religious persecution theme would make for a suitably tense game experience. While I understand that backstabbing and screw you mechanics would not fit thematically, I do worry that the lack of player interaction could make for an unengaging experience for players while waiting for their next turn.

Religious City
This game made me think of the recent trend in civilization building microgames. I really like the event dice, which provide a simple way of injecting a sense of epic history into a short game. I also really like the context specific actions. These would make for dynamic tactical challenges and also a nice relfection of the ways in which historical actors make history, but are also constrained by their circumstances. Where I got lost on this game was the explanation of the card powers, which were not clear to me, and seem to have the potential to add an unnecessary layer of complexity to a nicely simple game. But further development of these cards would help clarify this.

Tahrirfirma
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Wednesday comments

Theocracy
This sounds like a fine two player game, but lacks thematic depth. The naming of each game mechanic after a biblical verse or phrase did not help to convey theme, and instead just made the rules harder to follow. I would suggest cleaning up the rules using more straightforward language and providing a bit more of a backstory about our prophet kings to hook us in.

Sancti et Malum
To me this felt like a push your luck combat game with a biblical theme rather than a game about religion. The re-roll mechanics and card stats sound solid (but would obviously need a fair bit of play testing for balance). Game play could get a little repetitive though, and it may be that (freed from the component constraints of the challenge) it could be more engaging as one mechanic in a bigger game (i.e. area control or skirmish).

Wrath
Again thematically this game seems to be a combat game with a "gods" theme, not a game about religion. That gripe aside I like the creation in the setup of unique gods using a a combination of elements. As a combat game it sounds interesting - particularly having to blindly choose whether to defend or attack each round, which with multiple players could make for a range of different strategies being pursued. The many power combinations could be great, but will be a massive job to get balanced!

Mr.S
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Wednesday Critiques

Theocracy This game was difficult to understand due to issues with English. I found it really hard to follow. Also, does this game change at all without using names for each phase? ...Not really, and thats where most of the ‘theme’ comes from in this game. So, I’d have to say this game lacks a religious theme. This game is essentially a guessing game with hidden information. Nothing here that really brings me into the theme.

Sancti et Melum Great game for people who like rolling dice. I don’t think this game delves into the role of religion and how it affects lives. It was basically a good guy vs bad guy shootout with biblical names. So, the theme was pasted on and didn’t feel like a religious game. That being said, I like this game (got my bronze). My biggest question is how do you choose someone to roll for the evil side? Can that person be involved in the battle? Is this game cooperative, or do you choose sides? How many players can this game accommodate? Also, your game lists 5 regular dice, but “each card indicates a number of dice to be rolled (two to six)”. Other than that it’s a nice pick up game that I am sure is fun and easy to learn.

WRATH This game is not about religion, it is about tribalism. The description of the challenge was to focus on religion… it feels far more like a basic war game. This game’s theme does not bring about thoughts of religion, etc.
The god randomizer is the best and most fun part of this game. I’m sure half of the fun will be trying to justify the two powers being together. "I am the god of healing and venegence. I'll stab you and then sew up the wound... JUST TO STAB YOU AGAIN". "Yeah, well I am the god of beauty and the beasts". The rest of the game is just rolling dice.

Fred MacKenzie
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Dare to Defy

Thanks for the feedback everyone. To be clear, I used only 18 cards, not 21. That was a formatting error that I expected would end up causing problems for me. The last three cards listed were describing the 3 Authority cards.

But it looks like my adding an extra die per player caused me more problems. Fair enough.

I hope this doesn't come across as sour grapes, it's not. I had a lot of fun entering my first game design showdown and look forward to entering many more.

The thing I love about my little game is there are so many themes that could be applied to it. The religious theme won't get bought by anybody, but this could be themed fantasy, farming, fireman, space, sci/fi, pirate and many others, even zombies :)

Zorblag
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Wednesday critiques

#6 Theocracy

The uncertainty when the game will end is nice, but in this case, I think that you want to try to make as much progress as possible in each round, so I don’t know that it has much effect on game. Beyond that it looks mostly like a bluffing game, with the reset after three rounds turns helping stop it from getting too imbalanced over time. Going last seems like a big advantage as far as the bluffing aspect goes; you can ensure you’ll get a tie if you want (both wrong or both right) or go for a win if you have better information.

#11 Sancti et Malum

I do like cooperative games, but this one might seem a bit easy. It probably depends on how bad the cards are that the evil side gets to work with. It seems like a strategy that would probably be worth pursuing as written would be to hold onto any particularly tough cards and never play them, leaving the remaining 6 cards to be the easiest possible confrontations as much as can be arranged. I might like not being able to draw new cards into the players hand and forcing players to decide whether to contribute to the fight or not each round a bit better (it’s managing resources that diminish over time.) Keeping the hands private in a game like this doesn’t seem to add that much in my experience, though if there were the possibility of a traitor it becomes more meaningful.

#5 Wrath

Nice light game that would probably be fun enough as a quick party game. I wonder if there would be a way to have the attacks happen simultaneously or if turn order could be determined by those with the lowest life left or some such thing? The tie to religion as a theme is pretty minor in this case, but in some ways that’s true of the monster theme in King of Tokyo as well (which this reminds me of.) If the goal of the contest this month didn’t include depth of game this would have had a very good chance at medal contention.

-Zorblag R`Lyeh

Masacroso
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Theocracy, Sancti et Malum and Wrath

#Theocracy:
This was my game. Thank you for the feeback guys and sry for my english (Idk how bad it is). The game is a tweak of goofspiel with a second dimension linked to the first (material resources linked to human resources that must support their existence), trying to represent the power of faith to obtain power (as a pharaoh). Next time I will try to put more attention to theme in the weakest parts and, ofc, I will try learn a bit of english :D

My own critic about my game, that I noticed after the prices were given, are:
1) The draw of 2 dices is redundant cause the probability with 2 dices is 6/36=1/6, what is the same that drawing only 1 dice.
2) I dont knew the mechanic of use dice as counters so I could change the resources to dices (instead of cards) and I could increase the number of resources, powers, believers and turns by 1 (cause this I may change condition to stop the game x2, i.e., 54 points).

#Sancti et Malum:
It seems a fine party game for childs (maybe not just for childs). Its ok but I liked more other games more complex and with less presence of randomness.

#Wrath:
Funny tweak of a CTG. It is ok but for my taste I prefer other type of game... I would did a tweak to make the potential less hidden (potential is the plays that you can do but the opponents dont know what they are) so opponent can figure a bit more what you can play and what you cannot (opponent can figure what cards you hold in this case). This would lead on a deeper game imo.

P.S.: there is a place where submit games that someone has created?

bike
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Tuesday reviews

Dare to defy

There was a lot to read this week. When I read "Press your luck" I stopped to search for games with more depth. Since I found them, I did not come back to this game.

Suspicious souls

I read more of this game, and I do agree that some depth is needed for a limbo, but of a different type. I did not consider this game for a vote because the theme was not prominent.

Religious city - gold!

This was the game with the most depth of the theme for me. Rolling dice for the changing times I liked, the fact that conversion may need several attempts as well, and, well, much more. I only think the winning condition (12 cards) is a bit high to archieve. But playtest will learn.

bike
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Wednesday reviews

Theocracy

Decent on the theme. I did not like the game, or I did not understand it. It seems that players must make a prophecy without any information beforehand. There are simplere games that do just that. (It could make a nice oracle-theme.)

Sancti et Malum

Good game, just outside my medals. Since I looked a lot at the depth of the theme (is that the first time I say this?) I would prefer another mechanic than using dice to decide the outcome.

Wrath

Some of the comments of the previous entry apply here as well. Nice on the theme, good game but too many dice rolls for a medal.

Corsaire
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Wodin's Day

Wrath
I read this as three dice per player which is outside the challenge. My basic criticism is taking a generic monster combat system and calling the cards gods does not a religion game make. Now nuns, and maybe. I'm not sure if the hidden play give enough tactical conent to keep this from being competitively dice rolling.

Theocracy
Fit the constraint of components, but not so much the depth into the religion theme. There is an interestng mechanic in the bid and prophecy combination with win win scenarios. The heavy handed parentheses make things a bit rougher to interpret as you know your language is off, maybe give the reader a small break? In essence, outside of the challenge theme I think you have an interesting mechanic concept.

Sancti et Malum
The up to six dice for a potentially one player game goes outside the bounds. Thematically this is visceral combat game set with a religion based theme. I see the push your luck and the competitive numbers, but despite the interesting opening writing presentation, I think the game itself is not deep or engaging or particularly mechanically fresh.

BubbleChucks
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Suspicious Souls Thanks to

Suspicious Souls

Thanks to the people that left comments.

I think Andy grasped the core of the underlying principle that fuels the game very well, but the players don’t answer heaven, hell or limbo. They simply answer yes or no when questioned, whatever gate card they have. Although as Andy quite rightly deduced, if a limbo player answers yes to “Are you the devil?” they would give themselves away. So no player in their right mind should ever admit to being the devil, but that’s sort of how the devil works.

The first stage is centered wholly on a “cold calling” mechanic. When a player answers can they convince you they are telling the truth or are they a convincing liar. However, the attention is firmly focused on each player as they answer.

The second stage is where the deductive process starts to develop. Based upon their observations the players begin to form opinions of what the other players may or may not have. When the players reveal information about what they think the other players have their restrictions determine the accusations they can make. However, the discussion is more free flowing and less focused so it’s harder to devote attention to one player.

The devil players are trying to obtain information and influence the opinions of the other players by telling lies while the angels are doing the same by telling the truth.

Naturally, the limbo players are free from any such restrictions. Their restriction is probably the most difficult. They have the greatest scope for saying what they want to influence the opinions of the others, but it comes at a price. If they shift and change too much, and without reasonable cause, they can easily give away the fact that they have a limbo gate. Too many poorly supported reasons for changing the direction of their accusation at the drop of a hat can give them away.

The opinions the players form have a direct bearing on the cards that they subsequently give to the others and whether they give them face up or face down. Giving a card face down means only the giver and receiver have access to the information. However, a face down card can earn the receiver more points, so it’s a risk.

Face up cards risk giving an opponent fewer points, but everyone has access to the information. More importantly if a player is given a face up card they are forced to play their next card face down.

If a player ever has 2 face up cards their subsequent revelation of a gain or loss in respect to their overall score will highlight the gate they have. This can result in a person playing a face down card that negatively affects their score when the combination of the two cards is considered, just to protect the secrecy of their gate.

Although the option always exists for a player to deliberately sustain a loss in order to deceive the other players and increase the mystery around what gate card they have.

This situation also results in another choice for the players, do I play my first card in front of me to avoid exposing myself to the card allocations of others.

If a player chooses to do this they will probably play a card that matches their gate in order to increase their chance of scoring, which is information the other players can exploit. Suspecting this another player can probe by playing a card on them face down, to gain the information alone, or face up for everyone to share.

If a player chooses to leave themselves exposed and wait, giving them more opportunity to scuttle another player, they place the choice in the hands of others.

Finally, they could choose to play a card face up on themselves, but this isn’t likely to happen because it’s akin to shooting yourself in the foot.

The increase/decrease score reveal is probably the most important part of the deductive element.

This simple declaration, in combination with the cards a player has in front of them, can provide a great deal of speculative information that can be carried into the next round.

At heart its social/deductive a game about influencing what the other players “believe” about you, what they “believe” about the other players and forming your own “beliefs” about the other players.

It’s a subtle game that doesn’t shout out its theme or provide the players with obvious roles. The theme doesn’t reveal itself through the components but through the social experience the players are exposed to. They experience a quick 15 minutes of being a devilish liar, a truthful angel or an indecisive soul playing both sides of the fence.

The key to winning is protecting the secrecy of your gate while being the first to work out what the others have, so you can give them cards that hinder their score instead of helping them.

The comment about the scoring being dependant on the players honor and integrity is a valid concern.

It’s a quick game, but no record of the score exists so players can easily cheat if they want too. Ideally the players would have 6 tokens (or cards) each and they would select 2 of them to place in the draw pool at the start of each round (influencing the draw odds and providing a further way of manipulating the information flow).

The players would keep the tokens they receive and reveal them at the end of the three rounds as a check and balance.

Unfortunately the 18 card limit scuppered this, requiring the less than ideal play and take back plaster. It was a risk entering a subtle game of intrigue with a theme that only reveals itself through the type of experience the players are exposed to during play.

In answer to Zorblag, its def a game of the more the merrier, 2 players wouldn’t really work. Each player has two soul cards to give and no player can be given more than 2 souls, so each player ends the round with exactly two souls (face up or face down). The addition of a rule that prevents the players from giving the same player more than one of their souls is a good idea.

The score can’t drop below 1 due to the use of a dice for scoring, with a different marker record it could. In respect to the scoring the souls a player receives each round work together in pairs to determine the score. The limbo players can only score if the souls they receive are different. So while the heaven and hell players are attempting to attract souls that match their gate the limbo players are trying to attract a pair of souls the differ from each other, which provides them with a different experience.

In my own opinion the weakest part of the game is the “cold calling” in the first stage and the restriction of one answer per player. That certainly needs addressing along with a couple of other things that could be improved on. The main change I would probably make is the theme. With a different theme the issues with the game would be a lot easier to correct.

All told I’m really happy with the result I got in a showdown that featured so many excellent designs. Deciding which three to award medals to was probably the most difficult part of the challenge, because every submission had something in them worth voting for.

I’m a bit pushed for time this week, but I will certainly provide feedback for the other entries. 22 is a lot to get through so they will probably be quick and short.

Corsaire
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Suspicious Souls

Under wordy to over wordy. It was the lack of an initial summation of play that hurt your entry. As you say twenty two is many entries, too many for me to mentally play through a full game in my head. Interpreted from above, a simple summation like:

"This is a game of deception and social manipulation aimed at misleading your opponents about your identity while gathering information about theirs. Religious thought is explored through the inherent sequence of moral delimmas."

Would've significantly aided it.

Clue for anyone on future challenges: a line describing how your game fits the theme can be very helpful.

andymorris
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Critique Theocracy

I like the idea of what's going on here. It seems like an interesting head to head battle. The biggest thing that stopped me from voting for this was the game end conditions. I didn't understand why the dice were added. I think it might take a while to get to 27 points. Maybe each round could simply have a winner and loser and then it is just a best of 5 rounds. I was also a little concerned that since you know half of the equation it might not be too hard to correctly prophecy, but I could be wrong on that. Playtesting would sort that out I'm sure.

andymorris
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Critique Wrath

For voting I was stopped at 3 dice per player, but there are several creative ideas here. What I liked is how the different cards are mixed and matched to create different scenarios and how the bonuses are only applied depending on how the card is played.

andymorris
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Critique Sancti et Malum

I really like the title and the introduction, but I wasn't sold on the roll-off co-operative game. The theme might play better as a two player head-to-head conflict between the Sancti and the Malum.

Masacroso
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Short earth battle

#12 A short history:
This was one of my candidates for a medal but, in a random decision, I put the medals in other games. The theme fit very well on the names and design of elements but Idk how strong fit the mechanic to religion. Idk how the mechanic evolve exactly but my intuition says that it seems to rest too much on luck... but Im not so sure cause this maybe countered by accumulation and filtered of value-dices. Anyway my main critic is that mechanic doesnt seems to fit in a concrete way to something of religions... but this is a matter of interpretation.

#On earth as it is on heaven:
I give my gold medal here... I really liked this game a lot: abstract concepts and some deep play through simultaneity. And, the most important to me: the mechanic fit strongly to some political conflicts that are related to religions, this was the main source of ideology wars on the past (I tried represent some thing similar in my own game with a different mechanic and perspective of the power of religious ideology on the past).

The only critic here is that Idk a easy way to implement simultaneous play on double sided cards... maybe better one-sided cards with this side divided in 2 zones, top and down. A similar problem to simultaneous play is supporting, support being denoted by a number of a dice instead of a position on the table seems work better by example.

#13 Battle between the good and evil:
I really liked this game very much. This was a candidate for a medal but finally I chosen others games. My main critic here is that, im not so sure, that maybe too much luck in the game cause the restrictive conditions from some high score and the wide range of score (1 to 15). I would put 2 values on any card: a value from 1-15 (or a smaler scale, e.g., 1-10 with some repetitions) that is the strenght and a different value for score with a smaller scale, e.g., a scale from 1 to 5. I think this change must create a deeper game. Anyway I must test to know how the game works.

Mr.S
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BubbleChucks wrote: ...its

BubbleChucks wrote:

...its def a game of the more the merrier...

I always like to hear responses and clarifications from the designers. Though, this one might have been a little long winded. I just found it funny that in such a long spiel, the only word that was abbreviated was definitely. I don't know why, but it made me laugh.
I look forward to having you in the next comp.

Mr.S
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Joined: 01/05/2014
Thursday Critiques

A short History How many dice are there? Are you reusing the 7 dice in the middle of the table for rolling during the game? If so, why is it important to have 1-6 represented if they are just getting rolled right away? Also, how do the dice represent population? Is there a population of 7, or an ever changing population based on the dice being rolled? Furthermore, the mechanic that gives and takes dice does not make much sense to me. I don’t see how they fit thematically… Do you believe there are that many people switching between Islam, Hinduism and Christianity? Also, it doesn’t make sense for the gameplay… are all the players using dice at the same time? How many dice do you need for this game? I really need to see some better examples of actions and goals on each card to understand how this game is going to work. The goals seem like an easier version of Yahtzee. As it reads, I don’t really see much of a game there. Even if I extrapolate as much as possible, I don’t see it fitting a religious theme. Gaining populations is just random. You are also encouraged to steal other populations, switch religions and the numbers on the die don’t make sense to me. The odd/even doesn’t seem to make any sense to me, especially with three players. Do you lose if you finish with a 5? Finally, the game was called a short history, but there was nothing that represented anything historical in the game.

On Earth as it is Heaven This game adopts a monothesiastic view of religion and assumes that heaven is the ultimate destination for all of those religions. Furthermore, if you are trying to elude to the way that society has adopted monothesisim across the globe, you may not want to use the word cult. People who are part of those religions will not be happy about it, and it is the incorrect use of the term as well. The term arose in the 20th century to distinguish ‘true’ religions from those that are considered counter-culture. Of course, this is not the only game to use cults, it just happened to be the first on the list of entries and I thought I get it off my chest. Taking the religious aspect of the challenge and using ‘cult’ in it’s place is an indication of the rise of atheism and agnosticism in modern society. The connoctations of which make me a bit worried about the place religion has in society.

I like how you used the die, mostly because I also used it for tracking progress (Sunday Worshipers). I did not understand how this game works thematically. The ascending vs descending points don’t seem to have anything to do with growing a cult. This game is more about chosing a correct group to follow (peace, rulers, opposition) based on popularity. I also don’t understand how “old” fits in thematically or in gameplay. Overall, I think there is decent game there, but it’s too hard to find. An example or learning by playing would give me a better idea of how this game actually works. Right now it just seems that you could make an alliance with another player and screw over the third player.

Battle between the Good and Evil A major flaw in this game is having all fallen angels being revealed. How is that possible with 4-6 players? Also the odds of it happening in the three player game are roughly 1/216 (unless Im reading it wrong). I don’t see much game here. It’s just selecting a card at random. Do you keep the same cards for the whole game? What if you are playing the 6 player version and you have all three fallen angel cards? It seems the scoring would require a pen and paper (if not a calculator). Also this game has nothing to do with religion. I didn’t feel like I was choosing between good and evil or being forced in either direction.

Masacroso
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Joined: 05/05/2014
andymorris wrote:I like the

andymorris wrote:
I like the idea of what's going on here. It seems like an interesting head to head battle. The biggest thing that stopped me from voting for this was the game end conditions. I didn't understand why the dice were added. I think it might take a while to get to 27 points. Maybe each round could simply have a winner and loser and then it is just a best of 5 rounds. I was also a little concerned that since you know half of the equation it might not be too hard to correctly prophecy, but I could be wrong on that. Playtesting would sort that out I'm sure.

Well... the dice was added just for fun. I tried they had a little effect on the game, wanting a probability of 1/6=16.6%. In a binomial distribution the probability to end is about 34% on the 3rd round and 40% on the 5th. Maybe I must try with a probabilty of 10% or so... Idk. This just was ambiental to reproduce the effect of end of the days with no advice (like a thief in the night) and, at the same time, preventing the game was too long. In a first time I was searching for a numeric condition that stop the game with a 666 involved :p

27 is the quarter of 108, that is the sacred number of many asiatic religions that are based or have the wheel of karma as concept. So I said even a quarter stop the wheel on reference to budism (samsara being stopped by nirvana, or something like this). Why 27, why a quarter? Because I think this number fit for a non too long number of rounds... knowing that at maximum, per round, a player can score a amount of 4+3+2=9 points (at maximum, what is not the normal with a mechanic that let people with no resources play with no risk). 9x3=27... in 3 rounds, for a very fortunate or good player (I think is near impossible to do 9x3, no matter how good you are), the game ends. A way to evade any need to surrend if there is a big difference on score.

With a profecy you can win a human resource (believer) and, at the same time, lose the material resource on play (on the bid). The prophecy can work as a bluff too, or to neutralize the profecy of the first player (copying him, by example). I tried let some "good" probabilities on the game leaving one degree of freedom as minimum...this is why a round have 3 turns but resources and power cards are 4... so last turn isnt completely determined... at least not completely determined by definition. A tweak to add more freedom is to do that the value 1 beat the value 4 (something like a ouroboros) but I dont know exactly how this can work so I preferred simplicity and, anyway, I had only 500 words :p

DanielGarcia
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Joined: 04/08/2014
Tuesday and wednesday

Dare to defy - It seemed like a pretty regular press your luck game, a twist would have been nice.

Suspicious souls - I liked the mechanics but their thematic cohesion was a little weak, and during discussion it would be hard to enforce the rules, so it didn’t make it to my top 3.

Religious city - The game suffered for having a lot things going at once and too much die rolling, it wasn’t clear what added to the game the changing times die.

Theocracy - The mind game that prophesy add to bidding is nice, rolling a pair ending the game was weird and random.

Sancti et malum - Not a fan of cooperative games, so i don’t know what to say but that it seems easy.

Wrath - My silver. Combat is really simple, using dice for damage resolution is too generic, but who can resist playing as the God of Something and Something Else.

Zorblag
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Joined: 12/26/2013
Thursday critiques

#12 A short history

Theme is a bit light here, but that’s pretty par for the course. Going first seems to be a big advantage here to either take advantage of the 7th die or spoil someone else’s advantage. It looks hard to stop the first player from getting 2 cards down within the first two turns and they never seem to lose momentum after the start. I think there could be a fun back and forth game in here with slightly modified costs for having the cards up. Maybe I’m not thinking through the penalties for returning dice quite enough.

#1 On Earth as it is in Heaven

I worry that there’s not so much play as clear correct choices each round, especially after the first though I like that no one will start with the perfect ruler match on turn 1 (everyone needs to move at least 1 condition to support something other than peace.)

Peace is tough as written as you’d only ever be able to roll 1 die (and I’d expect the other options to be rolling 3 dice most times.)

Wouldn’t you need 9 conflict dice?

Use of ascending to mean lower the die result and descending to mean raising the die roll was confusing, but easily cleared up in the future.

#13 Battle between Good and Evil

The ability to pass instead of playing a card makes this a much more interesting game than it would have been otherwise. I don’t know that I love the first player staying first for the entire round; that seems to make a huge difference in how playable some hands are going to be. The theme is light, but I like the interaction between guardian angels and the possibility that fallen angels will be played.

-Zorblag R`Lyeh

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