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Critique the June 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

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Jpwoo's picture
Joined: 03/26/2009
Critique the June 2006 GDS Challenge Entries

Yeah I feel I need a bit more experience before making worthy critiques, but partly I just suck as critiquing...

Don't be shy, the best way to learn is to dive right in. I think this is a good crowd to critique as nobody takes things personally.

I thought that Kaiso would pull many more votes than it did, I gave it and Irrigation Aggravation 3 points each.

Thanks for the vote of confidence Lime. I think that Kaiso like Gaslight Agents suffered for its complexity.

Seo made a comment about how these games were designed for the GDS but if they are developed on beyond zebra obviously those limitations no longer apply. Which got me thinking about what would I change about Kaiso.

I think I would want to give it a shot with most of the complexity intact. I would however change the way upgrading would work. Instead of buying the individual cogs of production a player would just buy a single card that upgraded capacity, or a single card that made their house bigger, giving two avenues of upgrade. I think this is a bit more elegant.

Actual Kaiso is harvested year round, and only takes about 30 days to grow. So I would like to add a way to harvest in Spring, summer and Fall, and still give winters off.

I would like the turns to go quickly so that many years could be played out, I really like the idea of a long term game where you build a family and business. Playtesting would show I bet that an individual turn may be too long and lots may end up on the cutting room floor.

The market system might have to be revised to cut out the book keeping. I would like the players to have some effect on it, so that some long term planningn would matter.

Joined: 12/31/1969
Re: Thanks to all reviewers

Seo wrote:
DavemanUK wrote:
I agree the crop rotation part could be developed some more.

Unless you feel crop rotation really requires improvement to improve the game, leave it as it is. While most voters considered a good solution for crop rotation as positive in this GDS, I bet none has ever considered it as a deciding factor at the time of purchasing a game. ;-)

Agreed Seo and thanks. The crop rotation improvements I had in mind were in the order of replacing rules for laws (of which Zaiga gave an excellent mathematical example).

Outsidelime wrote:
On a production note… you don’t need to make the board out of tiles… it could be a normal board with “soil quality” chits face-down.

Thanks for the suggestion. I prefered tiles because it gave flexibility in the opening board layout (4x6 or L-shaped layouts would be interesting). However, 25 chits could still be arranged on a large blank, say 6x6, board to create varied starting configurations. We'll see :)

Yogurt wrote:
The auction mechanic was okay, but adding a twist to it would strengthen the game.

I do love games with psychological twists in the auction system hence I provided the '3rd land tile is not auctioned' rule. This could create an amusing situation where one player auctions a previously un-auctioned poor tile and bids high for it, raised by the player who also knows its value which suckers in the unsuspecting third player with the final bid to raise again :)

Ypwoo wrote:
Players can scatter their farm lands out at the cost of paying more to the bank, which could result in a death spiral.

Agreed and therein lies a challenge to avoid that occuring to oneself (I do like the tense threat of early bankruptcy as present in 'Age of Steam'). However, similar to 'Medici' where players bid with their VPs, it would take some huge early bids (and quite bad play) to reduce one's total to bankruptcy. I only plan for it being a 45-60min game over 8-10 rounds though so any early eliminations shouldn't be too painful :)

Thanks again all,

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