While Ragnarol’s being going through constant development and upheaval, Hedron’s been slowly evolving. I’ve been playtesting and iterating on it, but I just haven’t made any big, dramatic changes until now. Over the last few tests and subsequent changes, I’ve been able to get Hedron to run smoother and smoother but I haven’t been 100% happy with the direction it’s been heading. So, back to the design goals, which I had been sticking to.
- Hedron’s key concept is the chain, creating the right chain to meet a specific outcome feels like puzzle-solving and solving puzzles is rewarding
- Hedron is a brain-burner, you need to think about what you’re going to do
- Hedron has entropy, the game inevitably heads towards an end game state
- Hedron rewards skill and offers enough depth for repeat players but is still accessible for new players
- Hedron is print and play
Now, I’m happy with most of those goals, but I’m not sure that the 2nd and 3rd goal guide the development in a satisfying way. Developing a brain-burner is a fun and challenging puzzle but it isn’t the type of game I’m naturally drawn to and I’m not sure it’s the type of game I want to be known for (me personally or me as End Game Games). A game heading towards entropy is a concept that involved out of tweaking Hedron. Changes that extended the game weren’t preferable so keeping in mind that the game needs to end was important to guide it’s development. I wanted a 20 minute game that offering a quick dose of strategy and 1-on-1 challenge, not a 40 minute game that dragged on, but entropy (and the one-by-one) elimination dice inevitably leads to a game state where the winning strategy was essentially dice elimination, and athe first player that was able to make a single move that eliminated 2 hedrons for the price of 1 was almost guaranteed to win the game.
So, with the new version of Hedron, I eliminated those goals and tried to push Hedron in a different direction. The problem that I’ve been having and was pointed out to me at a recent test was that Hedron is an abstract game that doesn’t appeal to abstract gamers and, by extension, a dice game that doesn’t to people who like dice games. With the latest version, I’m pushing Hedron towards the dice game crowd with the elimination of elimination and the introduction of a new points system. I’m presenting the basic engine for now but they’ll be some more developments (which you can see on the revised grids) to follow very soon.
The changes, both recent and from gradual development, are below. You can download the latest files (grids and rules) here. The current version is a little shaky. I’ve tested it through once but it needs a lot more rigorous run throughs. If your familiar with the game, give it a go and let me know what you think, but if you’re new to Hedron, I’d recommend waiting for a more stable release. So, I’d love to hear your thoughts on the latest changes, but what I really want to know is what draws you to Hedron and whether you like the new direction.
- Hedrons are no longer permanently eliminated, just temporarily destroyed. At the start of your turn, you simply reroll any destroyed hedrons and place them back on the board in your starting area
- The game is won by points, which you count with your percentile d10. The d10 starts on 00 and the game ends with immediate victory when a player gets up to 90 points. Points are awarded for eliminating enemy hedrons and for taking position in the centre of the board.
- Venting has been replaced by exploding. This is now an all out attack. When a hedron is at maximum energy instead of transferring energy at the end of its move (or after absorbing) it can explode.
- No more free absorbs. You can move or absorb.
- You can now also simply transfer energy between adjacent hedrons, so actually you can move, absorb or transfer (or explode).
P.S. Anthony, mines are certainly not forgotten. I hope to get them in the game system very soon!