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Still needs more thought... The game is BORING ATM!

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questccg
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So let me explain the conundrum and see if ANYONE has some GOOD advice or ideas to help me out!

questccg wrote:
The problem lies with the fact that SOME abilities like SCRY work best during a round (local resolution).

But OTHER abilities like ABSORB DAMAGE work best when all Monsters are revealed and there is interaction in the play area (global resolution).

Two important things:

1. local resolution is SIMPLER (there are a maximum of 3 Monsters per side to contemplate about).

2. But global resolution is more STRATEGIC because you can better use your Ability Pools more effective (you see ALL 6 of the Monsters in play).

So outcomes of Global Resolution is that it may lead to a bit of analysis-paralysis. But Local Resolution is less strategic and HARD to plan with (because you can't predict the Monsters the opponent will play).

Have I made this CLEAR enough??? Are my examples EASY to understand?? Do you have any IDEAS you are willing to share?

Thanking all that respond in advance... Cheers!

questccg
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Let me clarify a bit...

There are three (3) "Population Rounds":

1. Play three (3) Monsters

2. Play two (2) Monsters

3. Play one (1) Monster

So the question is... After EACH ROUND (local resolution) do I add a BATTLE Phase...? For Abilities like "SCRY 3 topmost Monster in your deck" means you take a peek at the 3 topmost cards and figure out IF you want to KEEP some of them ON TOP and which to place AT THE BOTTOM.

This could be VERY important if you are waiting on a "clutch" card in Round #3 for example... So you would play the Monster with SCRY in Round #2 and resolve it immediately before moving on to Round #3.

Very interesting, strategic and useful too!

If we go with battling at the END of all "Population Rounds" this would be like a Round #4: Battle!

This means that each player's Monsters are VISIBLE to them. There is no need to say: "Hmm... Maybe I should save some points for future rounds...?" And therefore the Planning is unnecessary because you use your points during Round #4... (During Battling which goes back-and-forth).

This makes total sense for ABILITIES which Interact with OTHER Monsters. Let's say I have a Monster who can ABSORB DAMAGE from an attack of an ADJACENT Monster...! Locally it is pretty useless as an ability. I mean at most you can absorb damage for 2 cards (Left and Right).

But globally you can expand this and maybe be capable of absorbing damage for 4 of your cards in play! So this ability is more interesting GLOBALLY.

Now I guess I could do BOTH. But again this can lead to POOR planning... IDK it doesn't "feel right" TBH. Maybe there is another alternative that I am not seeing...? Or something CLEVER that I have yet to think about which could offer me a solution to my dilemma(?!)

Anyhow if anyone has questions, comments, suggestions, feedback please feel free to ask away and I will do my best to answer you.

Cheers all!

Juzek
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Are the abilities tied to a

Are the abilities tied to a card in your hand? or are they part of the monsters?

If you are playing abilities from your hand, you could quite simply state on the card when is an appropriate time to play it such as "Reaction" or "Any time" or "Turn Start" or just add language describing it's application.

If its on the monsters themselves, I'd recommend making a symbol system that has the effect, and when and where it applies.

I do understand that a consistent ruleset will make it much easier for players. Is there a way to achieve the same sort of outcome with a different thing? like instead of a scry, maybe one monster lets you play with the top card of your deck revealed as a constant effect.

What you're trying to avoid is people forgetting to do their special things cause the particulars are too difficult to keep track of.

questccg
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No bearings on your thoughts... But...

I am thinking that the "Mathematical Equation" (Formulae) should total up to ZERO (0) Points. Otherwise things like "Minus -" or "Division /" are obviously not to be applied in the event that the HIGHEST score wins.

So if you have a Value of 9 and an Division by 3... 9 / 3 = 3 points.

Makes much more SENSE now to use a Division. Add to this a -3... 3 - 3 = 0.

Again making use of a subtraction operation. This hasn't really solved my issue. But it solved another one of my issues with various operators that seemed defunct because of the Victory Goal.


And to answer @Juzek's question: the abilities are on the Monster cards themselves. I don't want to share the card layout ATM ... Because it is a VERY Novel Card Design... The reason for me to continue with this DESIGN ... Is because every time I look at these cards, I think: "Hmm... These cards are cool and have much potential!"


I want to stick away from symbols and prefer explicitly listing the abilities on each card. It's much easier to read an ability than memorize it's symbol. Plus I have 15 Monsters each unique. I don't want 15 symbols, or one for each of the Monsters... When you view it that way, it's clearer with the ability as a description.

I also want to have a DESIGN that is "tight". What I mean is having operators for NO REASON blows. If you are NOT going to use some of them and only boost your deck with Additions (Plus +) for achieving the HIGHEST possible score is a bit TOO FAMILIAR.

But achieving a ZERO (0) as a form of balance... Sounds much better!

Let me think about it some more... And of course, other comments welcome too.

questccg
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Instead of ZERO (0)

I have another approach that may be more sensible: roll 3d6s (White) to determine the TARGET score by the formulae. This means 16 values starting at 3 all the way up to 18. That could provide more variability between ZERO (0) and HIGHEST score because it's in a RANGE. Otherwise players would never use MINUS (-) or DIVIDE (/) operators because this obviously LOWERS one's score. And WHY(?!) would you want to lower your score if the goal is getting the HIGHEST possible score?!?!

My new list of operators are now: Add, Subtract, Multiply, Divide and Exponent.

No values of zero (0) are permitted. If a Monster has zero or less health, that card gets flipped over avoiding the DIV/0 (Undefined). Same goes for MULTIPLY by 0 (= 0) which is also very bad in most cases (since it equals zero). So all those cases have been resolved.

So this is the positive outcome from yesterday's rehashing of my problems with this DESIGN. More to come, next is the discussion about COMBAT. What's come out of the possibilities to think about how to work the mechanics.

questccg
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More about the operators

While Add and Subtract are VALUE-Based operators, Multiply, Divide and Exponent are NOT. Meaning Multiply, Divide and Exponent by 1 all result in a stalemate of the VALUE (as computed in the formulae). This is good because they are NEUTRAL when it comes to using them for computing; meaning worst case you make your operand "1" and nothing changes.

That's very cool and valuable in a game where you are trying to compute a specific VALUE (in the 3 to 18 range). Sometimes lower scores impact the game LESS in that there are less resources to go around and therefore impacting the Monsters less ... What I mean you can impact the opponent's stack less because you don't have sufficient resources to make a deep impact (like exiling a card because it has dropped to 0).

BTW exiling means that the Monster gets flipped over and no longer has an impact on the formulae (scoring round). Simply that "Monster is exiled" and has no value or consequence when computing the overall score given the remaining Monsters/cards.

questccg
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Exponent operator

More on this... This is a NEW addition because it falls into y^1 = y or y^2 = y x y. With relatively low numbers the exponent operator is MANAGEABLE. But in the context of getting the "HIGHEST" possible score, that operator is too extreme because of things like y^3 or y^4 = y x y x y or y x y x y x y... Plus Players would load their decks with THREE (3) of cards and have them CHAIN to make impossibly HARD to compute values. I want simple MATH!

Not ((5^4)^3)^2+1)!!! Aghh! So complicated! = 59,604,644,775,390,626... Hahaha!

CRAZY SHIT! Would BREAK the game. Impossible to compute without a calculator. And just NOT REALISTIC either! But 4^2 = 16 or 2^3 = 8 ... Small values are manageable. So things like (2^3)/4 = 2... Are reasonable computations!

So this was a bit of look into this NEW "operator" because I felt like MULTIPLY and DIVIDE, this operator can be used for low computation fairly easy too!

questccg
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Okay so maybe I have some good ideas, maybe not!

My IDEAs are something like this:

1. Play 3 Monsters into Level 1 Position (first row).

2. Play 2 Monsters into Level 2 Position (second row).

3. Battle between all 10 Monsters in play (5 each side).

4. Play 1 Boss Monster into Level 3 Position (third row).

5. That Boss can attack the opposing two (2) rows (Level 1 & 2).

Now for some observations.

When the Battle Round first ensues, there already is a MAJORITY of Monsters in play (5 out 6). The only one left is the BOSS. This is a bit more flexible and perhaps not as "straight-forwards" as my original concept. But it does impact the game and make it MORE strategic.

Next when the Boss is played... The Boss CANNOT be attacked directly. He also has the capacity to attack ANY of the opponent's Monsters on the first two (2) Levels (1 & 2) but not the opposing Boss.

This using something like a SCRY can give your Boss a lot of POWER to make an impact into the opposing player's stack of Monsters. Again the majority (5 out 6) which is pretty reasonable IMHO.

So the Boss is a bit special and we have two "combat" rounds in the game. This is very much a COMPROMISE in terms of what I had originally and what I am now proposing. As you can see, it is a rather CLEVER solution which is sort of a HYBRID of Local vs. Global Resolution. And it makes some sense cases to leave some Mana for your Boss (if you have a good idea which Monster you will play into that position ... And therefore understand his impact) or ignore the Boss altogether and focus on the 1st Round of Combat (Level 1 & 2) only.

To me this solution seems like the BEST possible "compromise".

It allows for a more sensible population of the Monsters (5 out of 6) and gives you much forethought into what YOUR Boss is going to be in the 3rd Population Round. Battles are more strategic and also allow for planning with the Boss Monster.

This seems like a solution to a "complex" problem... It is not too "out-there" but it does take into the fact the model (Monsters, Levels and Abilities) for the game and makes it a less RANDOM solution. I get the impression that much thought was put into this "outcome".

What do you think???

Does this all sound more reasonable? Do you think there are other options?? And if you do, please feel free to share with me your feedback and comments.

This is rather NEW as a solution, so it's going to take me some time to absorb it and see if there are any issues with it.

Cheers all!

questccg
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Some additional ideas

Well I was thinking about how the HEALTH of a Monster impacts the "Operand"... One of my thoughts were that as you battle an opposing monster, the health lowers and that would mean you could have 1 to 2 as an Operand, instead of 1 to 3 (for example).

I thought about this for the last couple days... And it clearly meant that the opponent could "prevent" his opponent from using HIGHER SCORING values. But this wasn't enough... Basically I could use all "1"s and then there would be NO point in the "battle" rounds and the effect upon the Monsters.

Today I came up with a NOVEL idea:

Why not allow for points to be removed from either side of the health meters!

So "1" and "2"s can be removed ... But a "3" can REMAIN as the sole "Operand"... Meaning a player would be forced to use the "3" Value for that Monster...

This makes 100% sense... As the value vary in importance as per the OPERATOR!

For example, let's look at some cases and see their impact:

1. Add Operator (+): If I have values 1 to 4... It makes sense to work on the RHS and lower the effectiveness of the operator. Meaning "4" could be removed, allowing values 1 to 3 to remain.

2. Multiply Operator (x): Again if I have values 1 to 3... I may want to trim off "3" and then "2" to limit the efficiency of the multiplicate to only "1"!

I'm not saying that this will prevent the opponent from reaching the designated Score Total ... But it presents an interesting opportunity to the Players to "mess" around with their opponent's Monsters.

My earlier assumption was that the opponent could "damage" an opposing Monster. Let's say it was a "3" value Operand. So the opponent could force it to be "2" OR LESS (as per my earlier thoughts). If the opponent was wanting to use that monster as a "1", the ATTACK would be for nothing as he would need to reduce the monster to "0" if he wanted to limit the use of this monster.

And that seems "DUMB".

But now having the opportunity of removing WHATEVER Point Value you want... Make so much more sense... If I have a "6" and my opponent is looking to get a "5", I can attack and deal a "5" of damage... So my values would go 1 to 4 and "6" ... no "5".

Again this is CLEVER thinking... And was not apparent in the original design. But NOW it makes much more sense! I will try to figure out how to DOCUMENT this new way of "battling"... Because it adds to an interesting outcome.

Cheers all!

Note #1: The COOL thing about this NEW method of "Battling" is that it allows you to TARGET a SPECIFIC "Value" you want to remove from your opponent's CHOICES! This is GREAT because let's say you've been doing a LOT with "3" and you have a lot of "3s" and "9s", and then you have a DIVIDER. The opponent could TARGET the "3" forcing you to either use "1" to remain the same.

And if your opponent targets your "1" TOO... You have a "2" or a "4" that remain... Neither of which WORK for your "3s" or "9s"... Meaning you would need to figure out some ALTERNATE scoring and maybe dump your planning and go with something completely different (when scoring the formulae).

To ME, that sounds COOL! I like games that allow you to MESS with your opponent's plans and force them to re-think their strategy!

questccg
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Anyone else agree with that sentiment???

Do you also like games that DIRECTLY MESS with your opponent's plans??? Not like Ticket To Ride where you might stumble upon a track that your opponent required, no this is actually battling the RIGHT Monsters and leaving the opponent in quite "the pickle" where he/she needs to re-adjust their strategy to comply with the odd nature of the Monsters in-play!?

Please let me know in a comment other games that do something similar! Or give me some questions/comments/feedback concerning the approach and if you see any ways that it could be problematic.

Cheers all!

questccg
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Over the weekend...

I have cut the cards for 2-Player Decks of Fifteen (15) cards each. I've got one last sheet to finish and then I will begin the playtesting of this new version, with all of the above mentioned corrections and nuances.

I will report back when I get some progress with regards to playtesting.

These are dramatic changes... So be prepared to have more than one (1) round of the game. I may need to play like 3 or 4 times to validate each of the rules that were mentioned above.

Obviously I hate cutting my own cards (for the prototype) ... But it is necessary as the design is NOT final and for sure I want to keep it under wraps until such a time where it is STABLE enough to share with the public (and my fellow designers).

Cheers!

questccg
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Playtest #1: Mixed results

While the two (2) "Population" round were cool, the first (1st) "Battle" round was less intuitive. I have it going back-and-forth between both players and ... It's less than overwhelming. Even with five (5) cards, everything that is going on them, leads to "confusion". I won't say "Analysis-Paralysis" but things that are less than intuitive.

Like Dealing 1 Power of Damage then the opponent HEALS it and then we repeat the exact SAME steps (1 Power of Damage followed by a 2nd heal)... Not at all what I need and expect from this "game".

Each Monster has a Primary Attack and a Monster Tactic. But due to the nature of the cards, some have multiple "Primary Attacks" (like 2 or 3 attacks) and that too is very misleading.

I'm thinking there should be some SIMPLIFICATION to reduce the "back-and-forth" of the "Battle" round such that each Monster ONLY have one (1) Primary Attack and one (1) Monster Tactic. I'm not 100% sure about this... but ATM this is the direction I will go in...

And then we'll see how it all plays out. The new Scorecards are GREAT! So that's a PLUS with this prototype.

I'm going to sleep on it... That is leave this prototype AS-IS. And see what I get as ideas overnight. I know I should be working on the "Crystal Heroes" (CH) rulebook... But I wanted to "tighten" MK's design. Oh well, we're not there quite just yet!

Sincerely.

Note #1: There needs to be re-focus on "Resources" (Power, Skill and Magic) to determine the VALUES per Monster. And then how the are combined to make HEALTH (or the values used for formulae computing).

Some noteworthy things to mention are as follows:

A Monster built up of all three (3) "Resources" is the HARDEST to defeat. It is possible but HARD.

Secondly I think the ATTACKS should be limited to ONE (1) Per Monster. So if you have FIVE (5) Monsters, you get FIVE (5) Attacks. And then we ADD the Monster Tactics, again ONE (1) Per Monster, giving FIVE (5) Tactics AT MOST.

This is sounding a bit A LOT AGAIN! But that's the whole point of the game is to have interesting Monsters with COOL abilities... Otherwise what will be the point of this "design"?!

Clearly more thought about how to SIMPLIFY the "design" a little to prevent too much "Back-And-Forth" and the ability to neutralize certain attacks with various decks. This is a Deck-Construction Game ... So you can perfect your own Deck off-line (and outside of matches).

Like I said, I won't do anything tonight... I'll just let it "sit there" and review the cards and see what I can do to IMPROVE the "Battle" round with some simplification. Just thinking what can be done.

TBH ATM the game is BORING! Because of the "Back-And-Forth" makes for crappy Take-That sort of mechanic when I was hoping for something MORE "organic". I really wanted something that FEELS "natural" and intuitive.

The current design is FAR FROM THAT! Much too much going on... And even if the cards are COOL LOOKING ... They still don't radiate some kind of amazing aura when you PLAY.

Step #1: Make the "design" look COOL = Done 100%!

Step #2: Make the "game" feel FUN to play = TODO!

Definitely more to work on and think about. Keep you all in the loop as I will focus on this design this next WEEK. I need a break from CH... We've been working on it for 1 Year and I need some time to just relax and focus on a design which is LESS intuitive.

Believe CH is WAY COOL as it looks and PLAYS. But the RULEBOOK needs a TOTAL overhaul and that's what is getting to me ATM.

So let's just relax with MK and see where we can take this "design"!

questccg
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Missing Reach may be a part of the "problem"?!

I had decided that the "Reach" would be used for COMPUTATION reasons with Values 1 to 3 and determine the order of the "formulae". Now I know I could RESTORE the "Reach" to it's initial purpose which was to restrict cards to ATTACK their corresponding opponents.

Right NOW with NO "Reach" it's much too OPEN. Anyone can attack anyone else and it is a virtual FREE-FOR-ALL!

Some other concepts is CARD COPIES: meaning if the SAME card exists on BOTH sides with the SAME "Reach", both cards are removed from PLAY. This is like a double-edged sword but I think it could work... Based on the first (1st) Row, you can see if you can automatically "blow-away" some cards using the "Reach" value given your second (2nd) Row selection.

More thinking in the SIMPLIFICATION of the "design" and make it much more TIGHTER with some overall arch-ing strategy.

I'll get back to this some more... As I look at the cards and ponder the more fitting OUTCOME as I PLAN to see what is MISSING and what it will take to BREATH some new & fresh cohesion to the design. Something that is badly missing ATM.

Like I said in my previous comment, the game is well ... BORING!

And I'll be the first one to say what designs are FUN and which are LACK-LUSTER and which completely MISS the MARK (and are BORING)! It's just so COOL looking it just deserves something COMPATIBLE in the gaming department...

questccg
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More thought on combat/battles...

Fundamentally this is a "Card Game"... And while "Reach" may be a part of the solution, I am not yet 100% convinced. See the thing is if we think that there may be TOO MANY CHOICES this may be a form of "Analysis-Paralysis". So a player doesn't know what he/she should do FIRST given FIVE (5) cards in play. Sure by adding a "Reach" which may LIMIT the interaction between the cards may SEEM TO FIX the problem... It just sort of "masks" it by LIMITING INTERACTION.

And that to me, sounds BAD!

Why would you want to play a game that is designed to limit your choices because the game's designer could figure out a BETTER method of resolve combat/battles???

Honestly, that to me SOUNDS like BAD DESIGN...

I was going to take the "generalized" version of stats and dumb it down also. What I mean is INSTEAD of players CHOOSING the Power Level of their attack, I was only going to offer options for example: 1P, 2P or 3P damage. Which means that AGAIN this is a form of LIMITING INTERACTION by forcing certain cards to interact BETTER with others (by design, obviously) and make it a more CLOSED system which sort of GUIDES a player into making the RIGHT DECISIONS.

Okay... So while it's not as GOOD as an OPEN-SYSTEM, it doesn't sound as BAD as the "Reach" concept (which forcibly limits interaction by design). Yes, it does serve to LIMIT INTERACTION A BIT but it's generally LESS forceful. So while a DAMAGE of 1P can interact with about 80% (12/15) of the card pool, if you go UP to 2P of DAMAGE that drops to about 50% (8/15) making that less useful. Of course, one thing important to note is do you WANT a damage of 1P for ALL the cards or only specific cards. Again a form of limiting the choices available to each card...

Like in our two (2) samples, 1P affects 80% and this could be good or it could be BAD. In theory, 1P is the most BASIC of operands (ie. the VALUE "1"). Most operators do little with this operand:

1. Multiplication (x1) = Same amount

2. Division (/1) = Same amount

3. Exponent (^1) = Same amount

Addition and Subtractions are also relatively low in term of impact. If you think in terms of GAME PLAY, -1 is less dangerous than -3 or -4. Same goes for Addition, +1 has less impact than +3 or +4...

So DAMAGE 1P is like a FILLER amount in almost all cases. It leads to little change... And this can be important in a game where your score is say 6 points in total. Filler operands & operators are KEY to be used in these contexts.

While 80% have a 1P Damage... I think 1P should NEVER be an option. Maybe this seems like too contriving: you can't remove the operand "1". Meaning that the WORST possible VALUE available to players as an OPTION is EQUAL to "1".

And the result of this is that WE DON'T CARE about the "1" operand. It is a permanent fixture on 80% of the cards and nothing can be done about it. I think this is a LOGICAL conclusion. If it's so STUPID that everyone wants to eliminate a player from using the VALUE "1" ... Let us REMOVE that choice and see what's left to players aside from the general need to remove something that causes so little IMPACT, yet is so very essential with decks using the stronger operators which have "0" impact on an equation.

This is sort of like a PART of several thoughts on WHAT I need to REALLY think about and not just implement a DUMB solution considering that what we want is something TIGHT and ELEGANT in terms of a design. We also want to eliminate the "Back-and-Forth" between players for reasons that are DUMB (like trying to eliminate all of the "1" OPERANDS)...

I'll post up another comment when I have more thoughts to share.

Right now... If you have any thoughts, feedback, ideas you feel like sharing, don't be hesitant... Feel free to express yourself!

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