I’m going to start out with a special shout out to Yaoban who’s given me 2 solid nights of playtesting in one week., and is also a fountain of game knowledge. We iterated a few different ideas. What I wanted to get out of the playtest session was
- An acceptable bad roll solution
- No clear dominant strategies
- Possibly getting the d20 back to starting on a 10
- An idea of whether venting was good or bad
This was the first time I introduced venting beyond initial playtests, and it very quickly turned into a game of “How can I power up my guys the fastest and most efficiently?” which lacked both interaction and fun. We also found out that strategies that enabled powering up multiple dice tended to result in a low-interaction game.
We also introduced a few of the negative aura ideas, suggest by Ant in the previous designer diary comments. Our first run-throughs had the aura costing more to run through but having the end energy transferred equal to the amount of total energy spent (that is, no energy was lost), which actually made long range attacks more powerful as you could generate more energy.
The changes we landed on were:
- Negative aura. An enemy hedron projects interference in each adjacent hex and it costs 1 additional energy to move through (paid upon leaving the hex). That additional energy does not count towards energy transferred. If you can’t pay the energy, you stop.
- A new starting position in a diamond formation. This allows you to protect your d20, letting us start with it on a 10. It was also a more interesting start as it encouraged you to use all your hedrons, not just a single flank.
- If you dislike your generate result, you may move the rerolled hedron up to 1/2 energy, but you end your turn. If you like the result, continue your turn as normal.
The one change that we came on at the end of the session and haven’t tested yet was a solution to the venting turtle play (that is, not moving, just venting between your own hedrons). You can now only vent when you’re at max power. You still vent at the end of the chain, but you must choose between passing the energy acquired as part of the chain OR venting, you can’t do both.
I’m going to give the last change a run through before redoing the instructions, and then have a good look at all the revisions and make sure it makes sense as a cohesive whole.