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Getting too complicated?

3 replies [Last post]
portalmouse
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Joined: 05/04/2011

Hello boardmembers! I'm just joined. Started working on a new card game kind of like Apples to Apples/Fluxx/Munchkin. Been working on it for a week or so now. And I'm afraid I may be making it too complicated.

I've got 6 maybe 7 different category variables. I just keep running into problems when working out the gameplay logic/mechanics, and end up adding more. I haven't even really worked on the card design or thought much about the content yet...

My deadline is Memorial Day. I guess I was just wondering, how do I know when I'm going too far and should start to minimize and simplify?

rvkrause
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Joined: 05/15/2010
Lane of development

Portalmouse,

When I develop, the parameters for a game establish my left and right lane. These are either self-imposed guidelines/restrictions or those of some higher group. I keep my "guidelines" next to me as I work to ensure I keep some focus. The other end of it, for me, is that when I feel it is to much then it probably is. I look to see what is most important to maintain the feel, theme, and basic mechanics. I believe that what makes Fluxx and Munchkin so great is the rules are simple and the game changes based on the play of the cards and what each one brings to the game flow and rules. I believe that the development of the cards versus the rules is where games like these become more challenging.

Get to the basics and let the cards speak for the game. I wish you the best of luck.

Cheers,
Ron

CloudBuster
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Joined: 04/14/2009
If YOU (the developer) thinks it's too complicated....

....then it probably is! It's great that you've recognized that even before playtesting! Here's something I try to do: I take myself out of the developer role and try to see it from a player's perspective. If I were playing this, would I think it's too complicated? Is it cumbersome to have 7 different category variables? The current game I'm working on has been changed, many, many times. I've changed things even as I type up the rules because I could see right away that explaining a certain mechanic was too difficult. If you can't explain it properly, you should probably take it out. OR....get somebody else to read it, then tell them what you meant. Perhaps they'll be able to help you clarify things.

-CB-

t0tem
t0tem's picture
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Joined: 04/21/2011
My most important advice:

My most important advice: theory isn't worth a whole lot.

The sooner you make a playable prototype the sooner you start seeing what the real problems are. Until then you're just guessing and in my experience (probably because I'm crap) what I thought would be the problem isn't even noticable because so much other stuff isn't working as i thought they would.

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