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The Final Reformation

Intro Page

This is where I will post resources for investigating the game design process of The Final Reformation. I will provide seven areas (still under development) that you can explore to understand more of the mechanics, art, direction, theme, and even game play. Thank you, and know that feedback is always welcome.

#1 Theme

The Final Reformation (working title) is a fictional, yet scripture inspired account of the battle for truth in the distant future. The Church is corrupt, world powers are collapsing, and Christ's name is far from view. You, a team of radical modern disciples (RMD) are to minister to the world with the truth of Christ's name once more, gathering the inheritance of God from the ends of the earth. You must work together in effectively ministering to the populations of the world while also managing your own ministry. When encountering this world, we must always remember the words of Paul:

"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places." -Ephesians 6:12

#2 Major Game Elements

- High player interaction (Co-op)
- 1 - 4 players
- 20- 60 minutes
- Deck customization(pregame)
- Rodel action/turn mechanic
- Deep card/action interactions
- Personal and Communal Engine builder
- Unlimited Replay value
- Simplistic game components (cubes and cards)
- Freedom of choice; high skill ceiling

#3 Graphics: UPDATED 8/8/17

Current Designs

#4 Work Bench: UPDATED 8/15/17

Current Progress

#5 Rule Book: UPDATED 8/14/17

The Final Reformation Rules

Beta Rules Completed

#6 Tabletop Simulator/Tabletopia

*Under Construction*

#7 Print and Play

*UNAVAILABLE*

Comments

Alpha Test #7, 8

Immediately I noticed that the amount of loyalty I was losing was too much. I needed to reel it back a little. Also, the stagnant issues still were present (hardened cubes and saved/follower cubes staying there until you harvest them). So I changed a few things...

Current Issues

1). Losing too much loyalty too soon and too fast

2). Need more movement between population types to shake things up

Current Solutions

1). Instead of your interaction getting rejected when your value is "less than or equal", it is now only less than. Here is what the change looks like:

Matching Symbol (Need is met)

> +1 Softened population cube and +2 Loyalty
= Nothing
< -1 Loyalty

Different Symbols (Need is unmet)

> +1 Loyalty
= -1 Loyalty
< +1 Hardened population cube and -X Loyalty where "X" equals the amount of hardened cubes are at that population.

I also changed the faith die so that there would be more tension and less use (to shorten the action). You can now only roll up to three blanks. If you roll three you can no longer use the faith die for the current population and you lose -1 Loyalty.

2). I have changed the semantics so that all population cubes on the population are technically "lost". Instead of the saved/follower area being called what it is, it will now be called the Softened population area. This makes a lot more sense because when the Scriptures talks about the "harvest" it means people getting saved. It didn't make sense to harvest already saved people.

The mechanical change is during the harvest action. During the second to last step you will, for each population, do the following:

For Un-reached Populations (unrevealed population cards)

Place one Lost cube on the back of the card

For Reached Populations (revealed population cards)

Check to see if there are any Softened cubes:

(Yes) Check to see if there are any Lost cubes

    (Yes) Place one Softened cube in the Lost area
    (No) Place one Softened cube in the Lost area

(No) Check to see if there are any Lost cubes

    (Yes) Place a Lost cube in the Hardened area
    (No) Discard the population card and place all Hardened cubes back in the world population pile.

This causes movement and forces players to manage the populations. I will be testing both of these today.

Another Fix

Current Issue:

1). Increment of incoming disciples almost never changes. This means that the amount of victory points you acquire almost NEVER changes. That is incredibly problematic. You can still play the game and it will be fun, but wow... Every game will have just about the same outcome. That is not what I want.

Current Solution:

1). Instead of solely regarding disciples as victory points, the amount they produce at the end depends on their loyalty. For every disciple you will get 1 Honor no matter what loyalty level they are on. But each loyalty level adds more honor that they produce. The distribution is as follows:

Level X = -2 Honor for every disciple here or removed from here
Level 0 = no additional honor
Level 1 = +1 Honor for every two disciples here
Level 2 = +2 Honor for every two disciples here
Level 3 = +2 Honor for every one disciple here
Level 4 = +3 Honor for every one disciple here

Again, each level also has a special ability linked to one of the four action types, so the honor is not the only thing pushing you to go higher in level. Each of the abilities get more and more powerful and require less and less disciples similar to the amount of honor you gain.

Although, this may seem like a walk in the park, with the current change to the hardened cubes, losing loyalty will happen much more frequently. You must rely on prayer and effective outreach to increase the loyalty of your disciples. At the end of the game, everyone tally's their total honor and adds it to the End of the Age track and if you reach or gain at least half of the honor goal you win! This adds suspense, as no one really knows how much honor everyone has until the very end when the trumpets sound.

Alpha Test #6

Lots of tinkering going on....

Current Issues

1). Hardened cubes really do nothing (no sense of tension or urgency)

2). The flow of lost/astray cubes to saved/follow cubes is way to much (after you place one tactic on a population there is almost no need to place another one. I want you to balance between ministering to already reached people and those that aren't; this is currently not happening)

3). Managing disciples (gaining and losing loyalty) is boring.

Current Solutions

1). You will lose loyalty for EVERY hardened cube instead of the difference between hardened and saved/follower when your interaction is rejected through an unmet need (different symbols) and -1 Loyalty when your interaction is rejected through a met need (matching symbols). Also once there are no more lost/astray or saved/follower cubes the population is discarded.

2). Instead of gaining +2 saved/follower cubes you gain +1 cube and +1 Loyalty for a interaction received through a met need (same symbol) and +1 Loyalty for an interaction received through an unmet need (different symbols). I also changed the faith die to read: X,X,X,1,2,2+cube. This will give you the drive to push your luck because you can possibly gain an extra saved/follower cube (1/6 chance).

3). I added another disciple level. The levels now cater to each action type. The actions read as follows: Level 1 = +1 refresh during the watering action for every (three or two not sure) disciples here;
Level 2 = +1 free draw (does not affect the passion/action track) during the grow action for every two disciples here;
Level 3 = +1 free faith roll (does not affect the passion/action track) during the plant action for every one disciple here.
Level 4 = +1 disciple from any population during the harvest action for every one disciple here.

These changes are starting to streamline the game a bit more. There was a crazy change in the watering action when allowing both fruits to be used on a card when you exhaust it. This made building your Spiritual fruits engaging and very fun. Also with the last update of the grow action, I moved the refresh step from the grow action to the watering action. Makes more sense and focuses the grow action A LOT more.

I'll be testing these changes more tomorrow!

memorization

Is there any mechanic that deals with memorizing Bible verses? Like, your spiritual growth grows when you verbally respond with the correct verse, 1 point for part of the verse, 2 for most of the verse, and full points for all of the verse. And the vice-versa, you are given a verse and you must recall what book of the bible it is from. 1 point for the book, 2 points for the chapter, full points for book, chapter, and verse number. That was just something that came to mind. :)

My Goal

There are Bible verses on most of the cards (Tactics and Sin cards). My desire is actually to stay away from the traditional Christian approach to board games which is Bible trivia haha! (In some for or another) There is a "Study" step under the Grow action which essentially makes what you suggested more of a thematic mechanic rather than an mechanical mechanic if that makes sense? You draw cards into your hand so you can use them to minister (thematically when you study the Word of God, you are more equipped to minister the more you do so). Have you taken a look at the rules at all? That might give you a better understanding of where I'm headed. I will be updating them tomorrow.

Although, there may be a identity called "Theologian" where as a pre-action you could guess a book in the Bible and if you draw a card with a verse on it within the book you chose or any surrounding book, you draw that card and gain +4 Loyalty. That would be interesting.

Thanks for the suggestion Trepid!

Alpha Test #4,5

Some significant obstacles have been removed and polished. I noticed that there was an unhealthy tension between drawing more cards (Studying) and placing down cards to gain loyalty and action changes (Prayer). Instead of your prayers coming directly from your hand, they are drawn from the top of the deck. This streamlines the whole process: you either draw and place in your hand or draw and place down in front of you.

I still need to tweak the Plant and Harvest action so that hardened population cubes are more dangerous (something you really don't want). There needs to be more tension. It is to the point where when all lost/astray cubes are gone, the cubes just sit there until you harvest all of the saved cubes. This = boring. Not sure what to do yet.

Slowing down my progress because I need to start taking time away from the game so I'm not drained of ideas. Some more testing to come!

Alpha Test #1,2,3

It works. Its interesting. Even without all of the cards. Its fun. That is a good sign. I still want to test a few more times. I changed the faith die so that it is more risky. It adds a lot more tension. Instead of (blank,blank,blank,1,2,3), it is now (blank,blank,blank,1,1,2). A tiny change, but it fixed A LOT of things.

I am noticing the tension between passion/action, -loyalty/+loyalty, drawing cards/playing cards. All I need to do is find the balance. The base design is nice, all I need to do is continue the polishing stages.

More to come...

keep it up

Keep up the good work. Glad to hear that it is fun, even without the cards.

Alpha Testing Commencing

Took a Sabbath off of game design. It really is time consuming when you're incredibly passionate. All graphics are updated: new population cards, location cards, tactic cards, and identity cards. Just enough to do some quick trials. I will post tomorrow about how I think it played.

New Graphics Updated

Started designing more cards tonight. Messed around with the Tactic card layout, giving more room for the scripture reference. Added a symbol for the rarity of the card (common, skillful, or blessed). Designing the Sin cards were interesting (whoops). The theme of the Lust weakness is discards. Messing with the different ways discards could be manipulated was fun. You'll have to cling close to cards that offer card draw. Integrating flavor into each card will be challenging and stimulating.

Rules Finished (for now)

Rules are completed to the point where anyone can read them and know exactly how to play. Of course, it will definitely need polishing, but all mechanics are expressed. The layout is pretty and I really like the color scheme. The rules only came to 6 PAGES??? Praise God. For how deep this game is, there isn't too much to cover. This is encouraging as it exposes how streamline it really is. Hopefully it stays that way.

Next step: Design.

Big Rule Update

Did some work on the rules today. I will be finishing it up tomorrow and then on to designing the cards for testing. I have found a way to get some good alpha testing in with only designing 18 different cards. Not bad... It really won't take long either as there is barely any specific art that I need to hunt down on google images. Just icons and text. Very excited to move on to the next step.

Very Cool

Looking forward as well to seeing what else you do with the game. Btw, I really like the graphic design. What program(s) are you using for the design?

Well...

Just Word to be honest. Its actually a wonderful resource. I have always wanted to move to something more efficient, but it has worked wonders so far.

Subscribed

Very interested in what you do with this--especially given your use of Biblical text calls to mind the differing strategies, challenges and compositions of Paul's communities as touched on in his letters. (How one values faith and deeds could also be quite an issue in a future society where "right" or "wrong" thinking might be evaluated through technological means...

Hello Mosker

I appreciate your encouragement. This has been a recent development and I am super excited. I'll be keeping things update in the Work Bench. Rule book finalization is next. I will get it to a place where people will know exactly how to play so feedback is easier.

Thank you again!

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gamejournal | by Dr. Radut