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Prospector — I decided to have a dedicated BLOG for this "Expansion"

So as some of you know, I decided to DESIGN a Splendorous "Expansion"... What does that imply or mean? Well it means that my "Expansion" entitled "Prospector" is an "Expansion" for the Original "core" Game Splendor!

That's a preview of the Cardback of the game and as you can see there is an older gentleman in the process of examining a vein of gold in the depths of a mine.

I'll leave it at that for the moment. And I might post some EXTRA information in the next few days.

Just figured I'd share this with most of you. Best!


What to expect???

Although the spirit of this "Expansion" is different than the "core" game... It still borrows on the same principles. Rather than saying the "core" game is only about Mediterranean Locations of mines in and around that area, "Prospector" brings back the EXCITEMENT of the "Gold Rush!"

Yes I am fully aware this was an American historical period not sure how much prospecting was happening in Europe... But we'll put that tiny fact aside for now... And say that we are focusing on HOW(?) the "Prospector" integrates with the "core" Game.

"Prospector" is all about GOLD and how it affects the game.

I know the role of it is pretty mundane when you look at how it is used in the "core" game... "Prospector" just elevates the game to be a bit more "cat-ty" and offered incentives to both of those who reserve cards and try to PROFIT from them.

Again with the LINK back to GOLD; it makes the whole a cohesive unit which doesn't shy away from making this resource a more well thought up currency and allows for things in relation to the "Gold Rush!" theme to be more connected.

I can't wait to get the prototype to my table some time SOON!

I just got the game today!

I had time to "sleeve" the Expansion cards and ADD the five (5) Dice plus the "Bandit" Pawn and Token... I will conduct playtesting over the weekend (Friday, Saturday or Sunday) depending on how things work out (in terms of timing and availability) and see if the game has good POTENTIAL or if it needs Fine-Tuning.

I really feel as if the cards for "Prospector" are good AS-IS ... But I want to be certain that the Point Values are "reasonable" too.

The playtesting will tell me if the values are BALANCED and don't need any further tweaking... TBD.

So I'll post up news regarding this "Expansion" most probably on the evening that I manage to get "Prospector" to the table...

Kind regards.

Some rule changes ... After some more thought

Basically if you WANT to "Move" the "Bandit" off a Game Card to acquire it... You MUST pay the gem of that card. If it's a Development card, it's one of the five (5) gems/colors and if it's a "Prospect" card, you must have a Gold Chip.

This makes for all the Gems and Tokens a PURPOSE and it puts less STRESS/burden on the Gold Chips ... Because there aren't too many of them in the first place.

So by allowing ALL Chips to be useable in terms of payment ... This makes the "Bandit" Mechanic more fluid.

Not too big of rules changes... All with regards to the PAYMENT of the "Bandit".


Also regarding the BLUE in the "Prospect" Cards...

It seems like the BLUE is just TOO DARK for the "Prospect" Cards. It's HARD To distinguish between BLUE and BLACK... I'll need to use ANOTHER shade of Blue which is a bit closer to CYAN or a LIGHTER Blue... This was not done on purpose it was done by accident because ON-SCREEN the colors look different but in PRINT there needs to be some additional DIFFERENTIATION.

All things that need to be done to PERFECT the "Prospector" Expansion.

In my games most players are RESERVING Level 1 cards which is good because there have been quite a few RESERVATIONS (I think like 4 or so...) which means that Level 1 Prospect cards are almost done.

I will continue my playtest to see the impact. But for now I don't foresee an issue TBH. Much like when there are no more Gold Tokens, you can still RESERVE but get no wild token... In this case, when the "Prospect" cards run-out, that means you can still reserve using the NORMAL method of playing... And the BONUS "Prospect" cards that have "1" Prestige Point will be exhausted giving those players extra points (but not necessarily everyone or it being even either...)

Minor EDIT and some more playtesting to get a better feel for the "Expansion"!


Playtesting on-going today...

It seems like the "Playtesting" is really allowing the game to evolve with all kinds of different strategies. I just reached the point where ONE (1) Player has managed to get the FIRST (1st) Golden Nugget...

Unfortunately ONE (1) Player is also behind in his engine building while the other THREE (3) Players are moving along quite nicely. This may have to do a little bit on his buying of "Prospect" Level 1 cards which score him 3 "Prestige" Point but do not help with his engine building.

I'm just playing as I would simulate normal players and the VARIETY is what is of real value. Different cards and different outcomes. But we'll see if the player who is lagging behind a bit manages to recover or not.

One thing for certain, the player who JUST got the "Golden Nugget" is poised to collect some cards and make some additional points too!

I will have to try this with Family because they don't use the Reservation System TOO MUCH... But I DO! And I've been playing aggressively such that there are NO MORE Level 1 "Prospect" cards.

It just means EARLY scoring is DONE... Now towards the middle ground and see how that evolves into who is going to take the Victory. I really think this middle ground will be the decisive section of the game. It's just my GUT but we'll have to wait and see...

More gaming to be had ... And results; well I'll post them when the match is completed with my thoughts and notes.

Cheers all!

So I know ... I was doing a LOT with the "Expansion"

I have come to some EARLY conclusions regarding this Expansion. Here are some of my thoughts on the game:

1> While the "1" Prestige Points on the lowest level FEEL "Good", they don't add to a player's Engine. While this all makes sense for the 1st Level... They introduce a bit of a "blockage" with the "Prospect" Card.

2> The "Golden Nuggets" are VERY COOL. But are usually won in the LATE MIDDLE of the game. And so their benefit is a bit "diminished". Yes players do make use of them... But I have more ideas (I will explain later).

3> One Dice Card was won and it was the White Dice which proved to be TOTALLY USELESS for the player who acquired that dice. Too bad, so sad.

There is still potential in the game. But I feel like I will need to RE-THINK the "Standard" one-type fits-all method HOW the expansion was created. What do I mean???

Well if you look at the design, it seems like the game is DIVIDED into THREE Decks and the decks go from "0" Prestige Points to "4" or "5" on the Third Level. My DICE the cool chance concept was also designed for the THIRD (3rd) Level too... So in principle there are "5" Dice and they are ALL Level #3.

Again this makes sense from a DESIGN perspective... But TBH not from a GAMERS perspective. Remember I got "1" White Dice and I've never rolled anything for it. Similarly the "Golden Nuggets" are on the SECOND Level and there is much less odds of "Prospecting" on Level #2 than on say, Level #1.

And so my thoughts are (and I still need more evaluation) is to REDUCE the "Scores". Too much "Prestige" Points for the 2nd and 3rd Levels. Secondly I think we need to MIX-IT-UP a bit and make it LESS DE-FACTO like the "core" game... Otherwise nobody gets anything of value and it feels all "pointless".

Don't get me wrong, the expansion is NOT BAD; it just needs some TWEAKING to make it more "exciting".

So what am I thinking exactly???

A> Make the Dice accessible in the lower levels (1st and 2nd).

B> Make the "Golden Nuggets" accessible in all tiers.

C> "Bonus" Prestige Points could only earn various Points and make them random in all tiers.

D> The Dice and Nuggets add "0" Prestige Points. Why because they already serve a purpose and TBH I want to make scoring a bit harder.

I'm still THINKING about it. Everything was NICE-AND-NEAT and now I am proposing a dramatic "re-shuffle". And trust me the game needs it... Because as is, it feels like LANDSLIDE Victories and not enough in game MEAT PLAY... It all feels a bit "theoretical" ATM:

1> Yes you CAN get dice... But only on Level #3 when and IF someone reserves a card... How often will that happen??? Not very often and so therefore nobody (maybe one player) will earn a dice and then it could be highly likely that it's not USEFUL because there are few cards of that color in play...

2> Yes the "Golden Nuggets" help. But currently as Level #2 rewards... the EXTRA "+2" Prestige Points is TOO MUCH.

3> Same goes for the Dice at Level #3 with "+3" Prestige Points... Again TOO MUCH bonuses leading to too easy of victory or a very lopsided play favoring one or two players (2 in my first test).

I know the SYMMETRY was there from a DESIGN POV... But it honestly DOES NOT WORK sufficiently well. Like I said CONCEPTUALLY "not bad" but still not ENOUGH in terms of draw. I wanted a more "inspiring" type of game style and right now... The game is not there - YET!

Like I said, breaking-up the symmetry is something that I am thinking about, I'm just not 100% sure on HOW to do it. It's all a bit "yucky" in terms of how I feel like I must "break apart" the design so that the game will be MUCH better.

I will conduct more analysis over the weekend. It's already Friday evening and I stuck to my "guns" and manage to playtest the "prototype" and I've learnt a LOT from the 1st official playtest (with the PRO-Prototype).

And if you are wondering had I playtested the "concept" before... And my honest reply to that is: "No... I was waiting for the prototype to arrive and take it from there..." That may seem ODD... But know that this is an EXPANSION and not a game in-and-itself. That makes a HUGE difference because the DESIGN concern is primarily HOW(?) do I make something that feels balanced and is not violating and commercial branding. So a lot of thought went into the PHYSICAL design of matter and some things were made based on CONVENTIONS much like in the ORIGINAL game...

Let's leave it there... And I'll continue some more thinking in my NEXT comment.

Idea #1: Golden Nuggets in ALL 3 tiers

So we would have "2x" Golden Nuggets per tier.

This means SIX (6) Golden Nuggets... Excellent and we've achieve a SORT-OF "symmetry" in that there are exactly TWO (2) per tier. That sounds positive.

Tier #1: 2 out of 7 = approximately 30% odds.
Tier #2: 2 out of 6 = exactly 33% odds.
Tier #3: 2 out of 5 = exactly 40% odds.

So Tier #1 seems a bit "imperfect" even if we have some partial symmetry going, it's still not 100% "perfect". I can live with that.

That sounds like a very responsible and reasonable VARIATION.

I think RGB for the dice on Tier 1 and WK for the dice on Tier 2. No dice on Tier 3...

So there are "3" dice available on the LOWEST Tier #1: Red, Green and Blue.

Tier #1: 2 + 3 = 5 out of 7, which leaves "2" "+1" Prestige Point cards.

There would be "2" dice available on Tier #2: White and Black.

Tier #2: 2 + 2 = 4 out of 6, which again leaves "2" "+2" Prestige Point cards.

Again we are seeing a bit of "symmetry" and I really LIKE that. Maybe this is a fools errand to think I can IMPROVE upon the "core" of the game... But it seems to be working so far.

What's left for Tier #3:

Tier #3: 2 = 2 out of 5, which leaves "3" "+3" Prestige Point cards.

Of course we WANT the dice to be in-play. Why else would we have them IF we never got the CHANCE to use them??? Is it a bit SWINGY??? Perhaps. A playtest with the re-sort will be necessary and we can discuss the outcome at a later time. But for NOW, this all seems GOOD (again from a balancing POV).

It may prove to be INVALID or unbalanced... We'll have to wait and see my NEXT playtest.

But I'm just going to RE-SORT the cards in the piles and see where it leads! I will reset the area of play and resume in about 30 minutes time and see what happens with this RE-DESIGN. I'm excited because that's what brings me to the table is seeing the game GROW from the initial CONCEPT to the FINAL PRODUCT.

This re-sort is pretty significant and we'll have to wait and see.

Of course, I will report back what happens once the game is OVERHAULED with this NEW order of "Prospect" cards.


Note #1: I am using this IDEA to order everything from there moving forwards. So given this basic assumption that all THREE (3) Tiers will have the same amount of "Golden Nuggets", the rest balances out as explained above (given some further analysis and playing with the cards/numbers).

I feel VERY positive about this RE-SORT and will try it SOON. We'll have to wait and see how things play out. I will be CORRECTING the piles and will NOT create new cards just yet. I'll just use a Dry-Erase Pen and correct things MANUALLY and see how things work out.

If they go well... Well then maybe Sunday might be a day that I allocate for FIXING the game (making it more and more closer to that production-ready product that I am so diligently working towards)!

I have enough experience designing games to know...

That most of the time, your FIRST (1st) ATTEMPT on making you Design IDEA a REAL Game ... Hardly ever works out. There are always issues which make it that for some reason the CONCEPT sounds better and the overall game experience does NOT match-up to expectations.

But with over 10-Years of making games, I know ... What is required is to RE-FOCUS and RE-IMAGINE the aspects of the game that are NOT 100% correct.

Just like I've done with the "Golden Nuggets", they've RE-BALANCED the game a bit... And yeah... Dice at Tier #3 sucks sh!t. You'll hardly ever get a dice and it will hardly affect the game... And it will just down your overall expectation about what this Expansion is meant to be.

Don't worry we'll do some rectification tonight and see where that leads!

Again positive thinking and being energized that we have a FRESH and NEW distribution of cards! And so we'll wait and see...

Keeping you all in the loop.

So now the decks have been re-sorted...

And "re-configured" and now it's a matter of seeing how things play out during this 2nd Pass. I'm going to take an Hour break and come back to playtesting after I have something for supper. I'm leaning heavily on a "Sandwich" that hopefully will be enough although I haven't eaten much today.

A good healthy Ham & Cheese sandwich sounds good. I'm not in the mood to make anything more "elaborate"! Hehehe.

Maybe it's because I want to TRY another ROUND of Playtesting tonight and have a CONCLUSION for the readers! Haha.

No worries... I will get to the 2nd playtest with the NEW changes and we should see how all of that works out. Stay Tuned!

The "Bandit" works SORTA...

But from my playtesting so far... The "Bandit" sometimes prevents a player from acquiring a card but it's a temporary delay. Usually most players wait a round and get the card that was held and do not have to pay any tokens to the Player who was acting on behalf of the "Bandit".


The Black Chip let's everyone know who is first during a Round and that yields a huge amount of variability. It even has changed the odds of getting a "Prospect" card such as the "Green" dice in this re-boot (2nd official playtest).

It really matters a LOT. It makes simple clock-wise order a bit obsolete and with the Black Token you know who is FIRST and who will be LAST. And play goes from FIRST to LAST, meaning if in a Round you were the FIRST Player, the very NEXT Round, you will be the LAST Player.

That impacts the flow of the game and makes it just a BIT more CHAOTIC and LESS predictable. Let me tell you always going around clock-wise as the default Turn-Order sucks... Once you TRY the "Bandit" and adopt this method of managing the Rounds, you'll never want to go back to clock-wise play...

Remember the "Bandit" Role means clock-wise play but when you reach the player currently assigned the "Bandit" Role, the Token is passed to the NEXT player in-line and he must change the current position of the "Bandit" (Pawn) onto any card except the current one (meaning the "Bandit" MUST change his position). And subsequently that player is now the FIRST player in the Round.

It may seem a bit NON-SENSICLE just reading it... Or maybe frivolous or trivial ... But trust me, once you start to experience the game using this sequencing, you'll quickly adapt and not want to go back. It makes the game all that more "Chaotic" and less predictable...

Trust me... It's VERY COOL!

It makes my life harder to PLAYTEST ... But at the same time, it makes the game harder to predict so even when I'm playing all 4-Players oftentimes I will not know who will get what card based on the re-shuffling from First to Last.

This simple change makes a big impact.

More on the playtest as it continues... I've played only a couple Rounds but already ONE (1) Player has BOTH the "Green" Dice and the "Red" Dice is too... So two (2) out of 3 dice have already been flushed out. And one player has BOTH of them already. This is a bit extreme ATM, but know that's how the game is more chaotic... And remember a player may only use 1 Dice at a time. So even in a Player has 2-Dice, he has NO "Prestige" Points and can only use one of the dice per turn when matching the remaining gems to acquire another card from the area of play.

BTW if anyone has any comments, feedback, suggestions, concerns or anything else they'd like to share with regards to my efforts to "perfect" this design, feel free to respond.

Okay ... I've seen some Dice-Action!

So there is a Tier 2 card worth "5" Red Tokens... I rolled and got a "1". And that ends my turn. Some things to observe:

1> It's not good to do random rolls when there is too low probabilities to succeed.

2> A missed roll is a loss to your Engine-Building momentum so it should be used in combination with other cards.

3> Have multiple dice with low values of those colors gives you a chance to get ONE (1) of them earlier and then it sort of "Boosts" your Engine-Building.

Granted my roll for the "5" Red card was a bit foolish... The Luck-Factor had to kick-in and see if I could nab a "2" Prestige Point card in the 3rd Round only. Unfortunately it did not ... And so my earlier momentum has a bit slowed...

Not the greatest of worries. For sure I will resume normal play and see where that leads.


Also ...

I feel like the "Dice Play" isn't as OVERWHELMING as I thought it would be. My original thoughts when putting them into the Tier #3 Deck was because I was thinking: "It'll make things too EASY and a player that acquires a Dice would rule the game..."

But even with 2-Dice the game is still not overly consumed by what I thought could have potentially been a "run-away leader" issue. So far it is NOT and from what I see, I doubt it. Yes, it does inject an element of chance but the cards in play must also match the dice you want to roll.

And for now, it seems like there are NOT too many Red required Development cards in-play and so ATM there doesn't seem like a REASON to roll (other than that stupid roll for a "5" Red Tier #2 card...) But I've proven that you need far better ODDS when using the dice.

It simply is NOT TRUE that the dice create any OVERLY POWERFUL synergy ... From what I have seen so far.

Maybe later in the game when we reach the Middle of the Game ... Maybe the dice may have a TAD BIT more influence. However from what I am seeing is that the one player who has 2 dice has no Engine-Building cards (so far...) Meanwhile the other three (3) players each have THREE (3) Engine-Building cards so far!

So I can feel reassured that mixing things up the way I did has not yet led to any type of game-related problems (with the "Prospector" Expansion). And there is so far little to no interference with the "core" game itself.

I'm going to wait until I get a bit further along and see the impact at the later stages of the game (middle or so...)



There was also the QUESTION about HOW(?) to use the Dice.

What I mean is that let's say you OWN the "White" Dice and you want to ACQUIRE a Tier #3 Development card which is "7" White.

So there are three (3) possible was of seeing this:

1> Since the White Dice only has a MAXIMUM of "6" you CANNOT roll for this card.

2> You include whatever White cards you have and COMBINED with a ROLL ... That gives you the number to get (or beat).

3> You include White Tokens, White cards and then COMBINE this with a ROLL ... And again you see if you get or beat the number.

Those are THREE (3) VARIATIONS that I need to test out. Originally Point #1 only rolling was my "cautious" approach because as I said in the earlier comments, I was CONCERNED that the dice would be OVERLY powerful and make too much of a striking influence.

My playtests so far have shown that NOT to be a problem. So maybe Approach #3 allowing "everything" to add-up might be possible. If not it would need to be Point #2 which is Cards and Dice roll. So this is something that I will test out to analyze the impact ... But clearly it has to be ONE of these TWO approaches. Rolling alone isn't enough.

And I'm pretty certain that EITHER of those two (2) options will not actually break the "tightness" of the "core" game. It might be simply a question of which is the MOST "Balanced"! I like things that are nice and logical and make sense, go figure how I'm not a "Ladies Man"! Haha.

Some observation this time around

Well it definitely FEELS more "Solid". The experience in the previous playtest was very disappointing. But like I said in the earlier comment, it is most probably very RARE that a design "crystalizes" and is "production-ready" in the first playtest.

This second playtest feels MUCH less "Random"... Because all the Tier #1 were "+1" Prestige Points they really did NOT ADD much to the game. Now that you get a variety of cards per Tier... They are many times more attractive.

I'm really feeling confident that with some of the minor issues (like the Blue Color, the Dice and Golden Nuggets...) the game is feeling more "cohesive" and things are working better together.

The "Bandit" is still being played but has not really had that much of an impact except for delaying a round or two the acquisition of a card in-play. The reason that I like him (the "Bandit") is because he is very THEMATIC. But in some cases I wanted to PAY the "Bandit" but did not have the correct Gem and so therefore that's something TO CONSIDER:

It may be just simpler to say the player must PAY one (1) Gem or Gold Token to the acting "Bandit" to move the "Bandit" (Pawn).

I know we like things to MATCH and LINE-UP with things like: "Use this Gem only ... Because that's what is on the card..." But sometimes you need to COMPROMISE and make a mechanic just a bit more FLEXIBLE. TBD. I'm just putting this "out-there" and see what happens as the game goes on.

That MAY be something to consider if the "Bandit" is just not working out as planned because of TOO RIGID rules (sticking with symmetry and the "core" game...)

Also there is a 2nd VARIATION: Pay the Destination Gem to the acting "Bandit".

So there are TWO (2) OPTIONS:

1> Pay ANY Gem/Gold Token to move the "Bandit"

2> Pay the Gem/Gold Token at the destination location to the "Bandit".

Always something that needs to come up with the original design. It's how we improve the OVERALL "Gaming Experience" by playtesting and playtesting some more... Can I not stress how important it is for PLAYTESTING (LOL)!

More to review and re-think. Definitely a design which is coming together rather nicely (but NOT "perfectly"). I always give up on perfection because nothing ever is. But if the DESIGN is "tight" well then players will appreciate the time and effort put in to make an improved game in the end.

So be it... More to tackle maybe on Sunday!

For now I want to finish this 2nd Playtest... I takes like 3+ Hours to play especially because I'm not playing Turn after Turn after Turn. I'll play a Round or two and then break. Maybe BLOG about some of what is happening LIVE (well sorta) and it helps me gather my thoughts together to ensure I'm working on resolving ALL ISSUES not only the pressing ones.

Small stuff like the Blue Color and such all need to be handled. I will definitely be making a new prototype SOON. Maybe even get it before 2024... Maybe... We'll have to wait and see.

Note #1: Again doing a COMPROMISE between symmetry and something more functional. So I think the DESTINATION "location" will be the Token that gets paid to the "Bandit" to move.

We really don't need a random Gem/Gold Token... It's sorta like Monopoly: the property you LAND ON you pay RENT for. Similar in that vein sort-of-way.

Some early conclusions...

As I have been playtesting and going from turn-to-turn seeing what is an issue and then taking the time to reflect about what could be possible solutions has really allowed me to ADVANCE with this DESIGN.

I say this with NO HESITATION:

A> Dice + Cards >= To beat value. Tokens would make the matter too complicated as you could introduce Gold Tokens as wildcards and then the whole design would just get all messed up because it would be too easy to "Win" a card.

I use WIN because when you ROLL and succeed... It really feels like you've hit the jackpot or something like the "Luck-of-the-Irish"!

Never got to kiss the Blarney Stone... Maybe that's all for the better ... Kissing some kind of stone brick in some Castle seems like too germophobic for everyone nowadays with COVID-19... It's back AGAIN! My cousin, she's gotten it TWICE already. When I'm in public I ALWAYS wear a MASK.

I see some people in malls when shopping wearing them. We're in a minority now but the TRUTH of the matter COVID-19 is still around and you need to take some precautions. They say a mask only lasts for 4-Hours... My bet that is MARKETING BULLSH!T so that people go and waste their money on more masks than what is required. I rotate a few (like 3 of them) and when they've done me for a couple weeks, I get newer ones.

I had a blood test today and I was surprised that the Nurse asked me to "Clean my hands" (Purell disinfectant).

Anyhow enough distraction ... Back to the playtesting. Cheers all!

After thoughts (the results are in...)

Clearly this "Expansion" ROCKS!!! It's gone from ZERO to HERO in a single NEW playtest given all that's been worked on.

But CRAZY as all this "Expansion" ADDS ... The winner won by NO "extraordinary" results: No Dice, no Golden Nuggets ... Just some more "Prestige" Points to squeak up to 14 points and then one color grab to win in the end.

The rest was just SET collection as usual. No Nobles visiting, not even ONE (1) Tier #3 Development card was bought... (Ergo the dice being badly designed in the original concept!)

So the two (2) Golden Nuggets in Tier #3 were not used...

And clearly the improvements make the game more EXCITING. I enjoy the NEW rules for ROLLING the dice and I must admit it did help a bit to acquire like 3 cards in-a-row using dice rolls. Same goes with the 3 Golden Nuggets that another player had... They too manage to start collecting more cards but... it was just too late.

Super stoked ... It really means what I was TRYING to accomplish:

"Prospector" is a Splendorous Expansion which doesn't alter the "core" Engine-Building experience but rather COMPLIMENTS it by adding factors which improve the odds for success. Even if sometimes they are NOT needed! (Wow)!!!

Sounds super to me! Haha.

Well it's almost 11:30 PM over here. I'm glad I finished the game when I did and this time I knew that the corrections were what was needed and I will FINE TUNE the cards on Sunday! AMAZING!!!

Can't wait to share this Expansion with the OTHER "Hard-Core" Splendor Gamers. Will they be like me and embrace the added flexibility or will they shy away from the glitz of all the gold in the game??? TBD.

As a follow-up...

I went shopping in the afternoon for groceries and I got home around 5:00 PM. This gave me some time to sit down after the shopping and edit the game with all of the various Card Edits that were necessary.

So first thing was changing the BLUE matches to the right color (otherwise you would all have a HARD TIME figuring out the BLUE from the BLACK!) Next I made some adjustment to the SIZING of the "Prestige" Point on some cards (at least those that have them). I also enlarged the white border for all the Card Backs and tweak that just a bit (for all 3 Tiers). And lastly proceeded to REDO ALL of the cards because the order is different, the matches are different and all-in-all there was a substantial amount editing that was required.

Took me a couple hours to get it all done.

Then I had to Upload my edits to "The Game Crafter" which took about 30 minutes; it's rather easy with the quantities that I am working with... Then I proceeded to create a copy of the game and mark it as "Cards Only" and purchased that Deck for ~$15 USD at the end of it all... I made the order RUSH because I didn't want to wait until End of December (1,100+ orders in queue). It should get shipped by the end of November and should probably arrive around the 20 December...

And so I have to wait to see if the game is PERFECTED or not.

Once you physically hold the game and see if it is SOLID (and all the errors that I had logged are all "fixed") ... Well then I can proceed to more PLAYTESTS again.

Always good to TRY one more time... Probably somewhere near Christmas or just before...

Good Read

It's been fun and interesting to read your discovery and testing process here, quest.

Best of success on a finalized design...! :)

A revision to the "Bandit"

After much thought about the "Bandit" ROLE and what I was trying to accomplish with the role, I've come to some interesting CONCLUSIONS:

1> I want the fact that on whatever card the "Bandit" Pawn is located on means that players CANNOT "acquire" that card during the Round of play.

This being a BLOCKING method to ensure that ONE (1) Card cannot be obtained.

2> I wanted the PLAYER who is acting as the ROLE of the "Bandit" collects some form of tribute or currency.

This was trickier because I was thinking that Rule #1 would get violated and that there would be a COST to MOVE the "Bandit". I wasn't very happy with that since it took away from the primary method of using the "Bandit".

So instead I have made a REVISION and it's something like this:

When you PLACE the "Bandit" on a card in-play, the GEM indicates that each time a player "acquires" a card by paying with GEM CHIPS, the "Bandit" STEALS ONE (1) of the GEMS from the Bank upon payment.

Let me explain, it's hard to write (I'll need to work on it for the rules).

Example #1: If the "Bandit" is placed on a White Diamond Development Card, this means that DURING the entire ROUND, each time a PLAYER "pays" to acquire a card using a WHITE GEM/CHIP, one (1) WHITE GEM/CHIP goes to the player who is acting as the "Bandit" (ROLE).

So let's say it was 1 White, 2 Red, 2 Blue and a player pays 1 White Chip, 1 Red Chip and has 1 Red Card and 2 Blue Cards... That ONE (1) White Chip would go to the PLAYER acting as the "Bandit" (ROLE) instead of to the Bank...

Therefore YES the "Bandit" STEALS a CHIP but not from PLAYERS but from the BANK instead! This would means that AT MOST he/she could collect THREE (3) WHITE CHIPS (Per ROUND) from the Bank...

This is definitely MORE COOL and seems to be BETTER in terms of a MECHANIC of how(?) to use the "Bandit" to acquire more tokens.

Remember we had these options previously:

1> The player who pays the GEM at the current location can move the "Bandit".

2> The player who moves the "Bandit" pays the GEM at the destination location.

3> The player pays the acting "Bandit" ANY GEM he wants to pay.

None of those SEEM to make it that the player may collect more that ONE (1) CHIP per ROUND. And they're all a bit BORING too - TBH!

This NEW method of play will allow players to COLLECT MORE GEMS from the Bank and act as REAL BANDITS "stealing" profits from the source of the monies. Haha...

Please let me know what you think?! I personally feel this NEW method of using the "Bandit" ROLE is better and can be enriching in terms of gaining more gems to play the subsequent round... (Next turn)


Note #1: Another point is that I was thinking the "Bandit" ROLE has a limit of TWELVE (12) GEMS/CHIPS. Which means he can collect +2 more gems/chips and then during his next turn (when he/she is LAST), they must either spend some chips to go down to TEN (10) or return the extra chips to the Bank... Something along those lines seems to also make some more sense too...

Waiting for BOTH Prototype #2 and Prototype #3

The key difference is that #2 was a mock-up made from Prototype #1 and it was ME hand-writing values on the cards and playtesting with that. Although it WORKED in that it SHOWED me HOW(?) I was supposed to DESIGN the expansion... It wasn't quite SCIENTIFIC.

What do I mean???

Well if you look at the Splendor cards and the gems, you'll see that there are probabilities around the various GEMS. Meaning that there is some MATH in terms of which COLORS are being used.

When I RE-DID #1 and made #2 (crudely) ... It was just an attempt to re-shuffle the cards a bit and do a quick 2nd Playtest to see if the game was IMPROVED. And as I stated it WAS (Thankfully)!

Version #3 was me looking over the source material for the various MATCHES and going through all the possibilities and outcomes.

So there are a Total of 21 Red, 18 Blue, 18 Green, 18 White and 18 Black gems.

Therefore this 3rd Version is more accurate in terms of the COUNTS. It also had a "2 Matches" for "Prestige" Point Cards, "3 Matches" for "Gold Nuggets" and lastly "4 Matches" for "Dice" Cards. Another form of mathematical outcomes which is more coherent also.

The reality is that I went through all the cards from #2 to #3... To ensure that the outcomes were more EQUAL and that even though there are a bit more RED matches ... For the most part it's 18 matches (except for RED = 21).

All and all... A very productive exercise.

I'm waiting for Prototype #3 to arrive. It was MADE TODAY! So it should be off by the end of the week hopefully (in 3 days or so...)

Cheers all.

Have some components that I ordered from China...

Looks like they were supposed to be delivered THIS WEEK... I will wait until the end of the week to confirm shipping. But from the Tracking Information it seems like the item NEVER cleared Customs in Canada. Which is a BAD SIGN and usually means that the package was LOST while being unloaded from the Plane that was responsible to deliver the package.

Sometimes this happens with "small packages" and so I contacted the SELLER to see what can be done to rectify the situation. I also ordered 2x the "Black" Pawns seeing as this is a 14-Day delivery period: 2 Business Weeks (14 Working Days).

The previous package did NOT have the 14-Day Delivery Guarantee and so I expect the seller to tell me the package is underway. But I ordered it on Oct 31, 2023 and it's been 15-Days since there have been NO UPDATES concerning delivery.

So I will wait this week and the re-contact the SELLER to see where my package of 100 Black Pawns currently lies... Where oh where art thou???!!!

Not the first time that something gets lost in transit or that it arrives astonishingly LATE!

Let you all know on the progress of said package!

More thoughts on the REVISED "Bandit"

Clearly there are two (2) distinct purposes for the "Bandit". Even thought they stem from the same LOCATION meaning that "Blocking" and "Pilfering" are from the same card in play ... The two (2) purposes are AT ODDS. Let me explain...

So firstly we said that whatever card the "Bandit" is ON, that card cannot be "acquired" during that ROUND. No more of the "You can pay to move him..." No that is his permanent location for the entire ROUND and that card cannot be claimed.

But if you think about the second (2nd) purpose for the "Bandit" which is to collect the matching GEM anytime a card is acquired use a GEM Token on the same color as the one the "Bandit" occupies.

And so here's the deal:

You DON'T want the "Bandit" to be on cards that can be easily bought unless you are trying to reserve one card so that you may purchase it on your next turn (even though you will be LAST to play).


Well because it could lower the amount of GEM Chips you collect and so there may be a reason to place it on one of the Tier 1 cards (to hold it until the next round) or you are simply losing possible GEM Chips that another player may allow you to collect from the Bank!

And so I THINK(?) the primary purpose is to BLOCK and then it is to PILFER GEM Chips from the Bank... But most of the time, you will want to PILFER rather than BLOCK.

So there you have it: a bit of a dichotomy.

While you may WANT to BLOCK, you also WANT to collect GEM Chips too. So BOTH of these are AT ODDS from each other. If YOU BLOCK, you might not collect any GEM Chips that are of use to you. And if you PILFER Chips you cannot BLOCK a specific card because you are focused on the GEM and not the CARD ITSELF!

Note #1: It may happen in some instances that BOTH Blocking and Pilfering may be possible given the SAME card. But in most cases this is NOT the situation. It may occur 25% of the time (and this is a guestimate for certain)... So in some cases both purposes of the "Bandit" may come together but for the most part it is either one or the other.

Received the FIRST of TWO (2) Prototypes (Cards only)!

I got one of them today ... And I've sleeved the first set of cards ... But I already know that I am going to replace this set with Prototype #3. That version has the cards with the PROPER matches. Version #2 was a quick playtest to see IF I mixed things up a bit, would the Expansion be more FUN (and the answer to this is YES it DEFINITELY is).

But I wanted to RESTORE some of the BALANCE to the game and re-worked the matches to ensure that the colors used was closer in proximity with better counts.

Prototype #3 will have the CORRECT cards and point matches. Already the cards look much IMPROVED... I reworked them just a bit (design-wise) and when I get the next set/prototype ... I will test out the NEW the "Bandit" ROLE to see if it is more FUN acting on behalf of the "Bandit"!

Cheers all.

Note #1: Just as a QUICK reminder ... The "Bandit" ROLE plays as follows:

1> The player acting as the "Bandit" must position the Pawn on any card in PLAY.

2> That card cannot be acquired (Claimed) this ROUND.

3> Any opponent who acquires a card by PAYING with a Gem Chip MATCHING the location of the "Bandit", allows the "Bandit" Player to steal a Chip of from the Bank (of that color).

4> Any "Prospect" cards represent a Gold Chip and if an opponent uses a Gold Chip to pay, that Chip will be stolen from the Bank.

It is a MAXIMUM one (1) Chip per PLAYER during the Round. So for 2-Players, it's one (1) Chip, for 3-Players, it's two (2) Chips and for 4-Players, it's three (3) Chips.

And also you probably don't want to place the "Bandit" on Tier 1 cards since most of those will be acquired using Chips. So it's more FAVORABLE early on to place the "Bandit" on Tier 3 cards with the Gems that you want to steal from the Bank.

Looks like the 3rd Prototype has arrived...

Waiting for a confirmation. Why do I say this? Because I got an e-mail at 9:30 AM today saying the package was delivered. But when I checked the website for UPS, it still did not have a delivery confirmation. Just checked it 5 minutes ago and ... Yes! It says that the package was delivered today at 9:30 AM.

So I will probably receive that package tomorrow... I know that sounds weird it's because I have another mailing address for all my official mail and I have an apartment which I live at but get no mail.

This means that I can PLAYTEST the NEW Prototype THIS WEEK! Yay...!

Super excited about that. And I can't wait to have a look at the cards to see if they are cut WELL... The last prototype (#2) was OKAY, but there were some die-cutting at the top of the cards which was a bit short (Drift).

I know this is also TGC's warning that "Drift" is possible and I understand that. But we'll see with Prototype #3 how things look and PLAY. I will KEEP Prototype #2 just in-case. But for now, my priority is to playtest Prototype #3...

Keeping you all informed.

I've got appointments tomorrow ... This is good since I will...

Manage to get the 3rd Prototype TOMORROW! Super excited about this ... Because it will be time to playtest. And even if something is WRONG with Prototype #3 (which I seriously doubt... But there could be something that may need ironing out... TBD!) I can iron it out with some additional playtests.

One "action item" this whole NEW method of the "Bandit" stealing from the Bank.

IDK if the "Bandit" COULD be moved after a gem is collected or whether the "Bandit" should REMAIN on that space. IDK. TBD during the playtests. I am always going to LEAN on the option which is more ENGAGING... But that doesn't always work out the correct answer. So we shall see with AT LEAST two (2) playtests tomorrow.


More playtesting and I have come to SOME conclusions

What are they??? To be specific, I've been playtesting the "Bandit" ROLE and to see how it affects PLAY.

Some of my early conclusions are that:

A> I don't feel the "Blocking" Mechanic of the "Bandit" to be relevant.

Yeah sure you can block someone from purchasing a card at a later time ... But it did NOT feel GOOD. It's not purposeful enough TBH. So ATM I'm OKAY with the removal of that Mechanic and I feel like RESERVATION of Development cards are an OFFICIAL way of screwing over an opponent.

B> The "Bandit" as stealing chips for the BANK is exciting but needed "fixing".

This second Mechanic of earning bonus CHIPS is very interesting. But I figure that the "Bandit" should be placed NEXT to the CHIP STACK he will be stealing from to avoid any confusion as to WHICH COLOR of chips that round will produce some additional income for the player acting an the "Bandit" (ROLE).

I just not INTERESTED in "A" anymore and "B" needed to be MORE prolific and OBVIOUS. It felt much too RANDOM to place the "Bandit" on a card and it tended to lean HEAVILY on the "A" Mechanic which I am doing away with.

So you block someone... Big deal, bravo ... You still won't get to buy that card before someone else beats you to it... It's not of VALUE! It doesn't IMPROVE the game in any way either.

Now it's OBVIOUS: If the "Bandit" is next to the WHITE CHIPS, each time a WHITE chip (or more) is used to acquire a card, the player acting as the "Bandit" earns ONE (1) WHITE chip...

That's some of the lessons I've leant from the current game. I've got about 2-Hours of gaming to do before making too many conclusions ... But I think this is definitely a STRONGER outcome!

Kind regards.

Other noteworthy thoughts...

The "Prospector" Expansion seems to be holding it's own! Which is great because the First (1st) Playtest I did was sheer garbage. It was so horrible. Lucky that I did not give up on the Design as it has seen a lot of Development over the last few playtests.

I'm 75% done for the current playtest and "Prospector" is holding its own weight in gold (Haha — Pun intended!) No seriously the Expansion is FUN. Yeah I've still got to decide further on some DETAILS with the Wildcard Dice. Namely I had said earlier that the dice only include the CHIPS and not Development Cards...

But I'm starting to Back-Pedal on that and think it should be use everything you need... Especially when you try to win a "5 Green Match" with only a die roll. It seems DUMB that if you have "3 Green Cards", all you would need is a "2" or higher.

Still working on the design and hopefully get through the game tonight. I will play until 12:00 AM. And if I'm not DONE, I'll conclude that DEVELOPMENT was the KEY factor and not playtesting until the END of a game.


Some additional thoughts

I've since concluded the Playtest which lasted until 12:50 AM... Yeah it's getting late... But I so much wanted to FINISH the playtest and just as things were going to take a TURN, one of the player steals an easy win given a 1-Point card. And he got a Visitor too which also gave him big points, but he was NOT the only player who managed to get a Visitor (2-Players got visitors).

The "Bandit" is now MUCH more interesting ... In that you can play it for your OWN benefit to KEEP one (1) CHIP per Round (if you plan to acquire a card from the area of play) and see if that translates to more CHIPS later in the round.

Nothing is OVERPOWERING, I like that. The Gold Nuggets do HELP while the Wildcard Dice can be a mixed bag (meaning you don't collect the DICE that you WANT to have... You get the Dice the cards says you get...) and that can be a little frustrating too.

You've got a TON of GREEN and you get the GREEN DICE! Haha.

The game is still very FUN and the Expansion does what it needs to do. It's a bit more interesting with the CHANCE elements that have been added but OVERALL it seems like your "average" game of Splendor!


Here are side-by-side comparisons of Border vs. No Border

So I'm pretty sure everyone will AGREE 100% that the version WITHOUT the White Border is best, since you cannot see the "drift" (if any). And the version with the White Border looks like garbage and not sellable AS-IS. Meaning that there is no choice, I MUST go with NO BORDER.

I personally HATE this compromise because from an aesthetics POV ... When cut correctly the version with the White Border is NICER (in terms of overall appeal). But I cannot JUSTIFY the drift for customers as everyone would not buy such crappy looking cards.

It is what it is... Sigh!

I plan to run another playtest to see how the "Expansion" Plays

This week I will reserve some time later in the week to PLAYTEST the "Prospector" Expansion ... Just want to see how a game plays out with the NEW cards. There are really no changes except for the Borders being "removed" (aesthetic changes only...) but I still want to get another PLAYTEST to feel things out a bit.

I'm pretty confident that I will encourage the "reservation" of cards just to be able to collect the wonderful "Prospect" Cards which are all very exciting and serve a purpose.

This playtest will allow me to SOLIDIFY the rules and then allow me to work on the ruleset in 2024 ... On weekend when I am back from Technical Boot Camp. Yeah I'm on a 6 Month Self-Training ... We'll see how things go, I might need another 6 Months depending on how things move forwards but as of Today, I am only planning on attending for 6 Months. The division of time looks like this:

1 Month: Evaluation of various Technologies and see what I want to prioritize in terms of learning. This will include reading up on documentation and various web Technologies that are relevant to development in 2024 for Full Stack Development.

2 Months: Mapping out my project. This is where I try to see how to fit the various technologies that I am interested in Learning and perfecting. It's another Planning Stage that will I will go from Passive Learning to actually mapping the Technologies that I have chosen to use and do more Hands On in the next phase.

3 Months: Trying to use said Technologies Practically. Meaning working on using the tools that I've learnt and see how long it takes me to put something together given the Planning in Stage 2 and the Technologies in Stage 1. Again this is 100% Hands On and will be a fixed time limit to how much I explore. If I am unable to finish what I start in 3 Months... I will consider extending the Boot Camp for another 3 to 6 additional Months. TBD...

We'll see how adaptable all the Technologies are and how COMPLICATED they are. No doubt from what I have seem... They all seem very daunting TBH. But it is what it is ... And I understand what I have to do. We'll see where that leads down the road (Maybe some Contractual Work...) That'll be later after the 6 Months and maybe into 2025 ... Depending. We'll have to wait and see.

However I will dramatically reduce my time THINKING and IMPLEMENTING Games. It'll be reserved for 1-Hour each day after my Day's Training and maybe the Saturday or Sunday for priorities that come up (like doing the "Prospector" ruleset and so forth...) I'm going to treat the Training as if it was a Day Job and focus 7 hours per day on the Technical Boot Camp. And then 1-Hour at the end of the day for moderation, administration and posting. I will be severely cutting back my time invested in making games...

IDK how things will go. But I'm pretty serious about this Boot Camp. It's not something that I take lightly. ATM I'm more serious than making games which means this is TOP priority in 2024... Games will take a back-seat until after the Boot Camp and then we'll assess where I am at 6 Months down-the-line and what I can work and/or what I must work on...

Cheers all... I will be also working on the "K2 Games" website too this week and we'll see how that comes along and when it will be READY. Lots of plans and we'll see what happens as I seriously invest well needed time in learning some NEW technologies to advance my knowledge in developing software...

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blog | by Dr. Radut