Greeting super advanced energy space beings,
At the time of writing this, I’ve just finished three full days of demoing, both for Hedron and my new game Ragnarol. I’ve also got some more copies out there and a few questions floating back to me. I’ve added some rule clarifications (the major one is Ram), and I also wanted to give players a little bit more guidance about how to approach the recommended maps. After the list below, I’ve included a little brief for each map, but if you’d prefer to discover the strategy of each maps, you can just go through this list in order. Skip all the way to the end for some guidance on how to design your very own battle galaxies. Continue reading
Hedron is launching on Kickstarter today, and I’m happy to say there’s been no changes since the last designer diary. Hedron’s stable and ready for some public scrutiny. This is going to be the first in a series of diaries that I’ll post throughout the campaign, looking back at Hedron’s development and focusing on my 5 design goals, but first… Continue reading
Hedron’s been almost finished for quite a long time now. I’m in that final 5% that seems to be taking twice as long as the last 10%. The last few iterations have seen no major design changes, the system is working really well and I’m finally getting the climatic end game that I’ve always aimed for.
The Final Finish
I arrived at the final end game and scoring mechanic after being pretty happy with the current state of the game. Everything was working well, the game felt balanced and even, rewarding strategic play but with enough of a risk element to make catch-up viable. After being happy that the game played well with normal people, we decided to push it a little further and give the game an extra good shove to see if anything fell out, and one thing did. With the Flux mechanic, players were open to a variety of viable strategies but we discovered one strategy shut the others down and led to a slightly miserable end game. Continue reading
Since diary no. 6, I’ve been able to spend a couple of weeks holiday tweaking the game and got even more tweaking done after a day of demoing at TAGE. Thanks to the involvement of many people, the game is progressing well and I believe is very closed to being finished. Hedron seems to be engaging new players and providing a reasonably unique gaming experience. There’s been almost 2 diary entries worth of changes, so let’s get down to business (we’ll do design goals next time). Continue reading
Just when you think you’re out, they drag you right back in. The latest playtests have been growing pretty well, the game feels tight and is proving to be engaging to pretty much anyone I can convince to sit down and play with multi-sided dice, but it doesn’t feel quite finished yet. I was hoping (and trying very hard) to get the game done and dusted before the Toy and Game Expo in July, but it doesn’t look like I’m going to make it. Anyway, let’s get back to those design goals.
There’s been a fair amount of happening under the hood with Hedron in the past month or so. The latest iteration brings a pretty dynamic change, as well as a complete overhaul of the rule book, some player aids and some online prototyping. I’m trying to get as many minds on Hedron as possible right now, to help make the game the best it can be and bring it to a final stage. Continue reading
This is really just a follow up to Designer Diary 4 as there hasn’t been any huge changes. Following up on the latest version, I’ve been getting the game on the table and seeing what happens. It’s holding up in some areas but taking a bit of a beating in others. Continue reading
Okay, let’s race out the gate with some design goals!
- 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
I’ve got the latest version on the table with new players as 3 player game and with my superstar playtester as a 2 player game, in addition to a lot of solo testing. It went a lot better in the 3 player game, but its hard to say whether that was a general impression of a new concept or an actual appraisal of the refined system (I’m guessing the former). It felt a little diminished in 2 player form. The points system creates a drive to the middle and eliminates much of the blow-for-blow tension of piece elimination. There was also a tendency to just take little hits at one another in the 3 player game. The puzzle of the chain didn’t really grasp the new players. There may also be a 1st player advantage and 3rd player disadvantage but I need more tests to be sure. Continue reading
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. Continue reading
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