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Dueling Wizards Destroyed My Game.

I’m back working on the wizard dueling game again. I did a test with two designer friends of mind Friday. They both agreed that I have gotten away from the core of the game and focused too much on secondary mechanics until they tread all over the original idea.

Even though I like the mechanics I agree based on this and previous tests they should be simplified or removed. The game is much too slow, long and there are complexities caused by how the mechanics interact that don’t add as much as they detract from the game.

I’m going back to the core mechanic, how the spells are cast and rebuilding from there with the goal of a game that is fast, exciting & rewards clever play.


Good Update!

I had similar issues when first designing "Tradewars - Homeworld".

I had a vision that there was going to be a "Trade Wheel" with varying commodity prices (like in a real market) and such... I realized that the idea might be good - but in practice it was too much. So I simplified things and simply used "Trade Values" (like 1 to 5 points) and went from there...

Obviously if there is ONE (1) aspect players enjoy about the game, it is probably easier to focus on developing that aspect further and then you will probably end up with something FUN to play. In my case this was TRUE, except the game was NOT balanced...

So I had to add mechanics to try to balance the game out.

"Dualing Wizards" sounds like "Serpent's Tongue" (Become Magi):

They made one hell of a Kickstarter and I still don't know if the game has been made or not...! You should check it out to see if there are any similarities you are trying to design.

Serpent's Tongue Has been

Serpent's Tongue Has been made, I believe they shipped not that long ago

Serpents Tongue is a roll

Serpents Tongue is a roll playing game.

Mine is a card driven battle game with a map but even the map might be eliminated in the end if it detracts from the overall enjoyment.

The games working titles is Order of the Wand.

Card driven battle game...

Card driven battle game... Sounds COOL!

That's sort of what I did with "Tradewars - Homeworld": Sci-Fi space battle game! :)

I wanted the focus of the game to be about space battles... And so that mechanic is very well developed.

I know from the ads that "Serpent's Tongue" was supposed to be about Mages battling each other (originally). I don't know how the game has *morphed* into a Role Playing Game (RPG). When I first saw the game, it was about casting spells against your opponent (who is also a Magician or Magi).

You should talk more about "Order of the Wand"... It sounds interesting (at least to me!)

Using a *map* sounds interesting because you could have OTHER maps as "expansions" and maybe the game could play differently. Is there any *worker placement*??? Because with a map you could use placement to generate different types of mana.

This reminds me of another game that I am working on called "Titan". The project is kinda stalled since my team mate is somehow busy (with life - I guess). But we were going to use a map with tiles that produced mana (as per the tile). And you could tap into different resources...

I can picture

Serpent's Tongue was about the "Language" players would need to master in order to INVOKE spells.

I have no idea how you are designing "Order of the Wand"...

But it could be cool to use card combinations against an opponent. With cards it's the luck of the draw - but sometimes you can try to keep cards in your hand to invoke a mightier spell.

Anyhow I would personally like to hear MORE about your game! :)



(A follow-up to our T&T discussion)

One of my absolute favorites from my first gaming life was Steve Jackson Games' Wizard. It eventually grew into the Fantasy Trip et al., but the simply pocket game was the best. Two wizards enter an arena and duke it out with summoned creatures, walls, and all sorts of spells. Simple joy.

Mosker: I own a copy of

Mosker: I own a copy of Wizard but it was not my inspiration for Order of the Wand.

It took me longer than planned to do the redesign. I removed the board and time track to simplify things. Both had upsides and also down sides, mostly making the game slow to play. Since area of effect and movement were removed with the board almost all the spells had to be redesigned or replaced. There are currently only 18 spells in the game out of a planned 30 for the starter set. It’s enough to test with until I am clear whether the board should be brought back or not.

The game plays significantly quicker but doesn’t have the deep gamer feel that the previous iteration had. It’s a tradeoff.

Although I am eager to finish OoTW I have another game H.M.S. Victory that needs some serious polish. If I can get it ready I have a publisher I want to try to pitch it to at Origins. This gives me about 9 weeks to get it ready. 9 weeks might seem like a long time but my experience is 9 weeks is a very short time in game design. I know the publisher well enough that I can get by with it 90% complete yet I feel that im closer to the 60% mark right now.

No board = Card game

While I shy away from boards most of the time, they can add to the depth of a game, especially if you add resources to the mix and area control.

I'm guessing in "Order of the Wand", you have two (2) wizards fighting each other. If this is the case (and it probably is), it doesn't really make sense to introduce resource and area control in the form of a board or world tiles.

But a board can also grants you the possibility to define new areas or to add traps or barriers to prevent ranged attacks. It also adds a layer to ranged attacks, since attacks can be measured. Without a board, it's hard to define what is the possible "range" of a spell or weapon.

Just some reasons for adding a board... For some reason I think your game would be better with a board. Sort of like an arena (like a Gladiator game). but perhaps there could be things like teleportation points which transport you to different parts of the board. Obviously you could have magical barriers which could prevent spells being cast (and even certain types of spells from being cast - lot of variance with that)...

Anyhow just some idea...

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