Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Day 67: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 67 - Lens 57: The Lens of The Pyramid
Pyramids fascinate us because they have a singular highest point. To give your puzzle the allure of the ancient pyramids, ask yourself these questions:

Is there a way all the pieces of my puzzle can feed into a singular challenge at the end?
They do. Creating a strong end game was an early focus and all of the elements of the game come together in the final challenge. Paths placed to allow access to the city, bases to control the territories and your warriors in the final fight for the city itself.

Big pyramids are often made of little pyramids - can I have hierarchy of ever more challenging puzzle elements, leading to a final challenge?
Each recruitment and placement and battle and challenge both leads to and echos the end of the game.

Is the challenge at the top of my pyramid interesting, compelling, and clear? Does it make people what to work in order to get to it?
I think that the 'clear' is what I have been lacking. I think that the 'taking of the heads' mechanic is the weakest part of the game and that it is no longer necessary since the advent of the territories added a second more meaningful set of points to the endgame. The only part of the endgame that I am still unsure of is whether ally tokens should count for points, or subtract from others points. I think that the subtraction is more interesting but it is problematic to do synchronously. They could also not count for scoring. The question then would be whether allying is still a strong enough option in the prisoner's dilemma. It's been overpowered lately so perhaps...

Also, should the challenge for the City still be a formal challenge where you 'could' ally... the problem with that is that there is that I can't think of a reasonable outcome for everyone allying. 'You all win' seems pretty weak!

All of which is to say that the tip of the pyramid could still use some work. But at this point it feels close to correct and only minor balancing changes are needed.