Monday, February 13, 2017

Day 89: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 89 - Lens 31: The Lens of Action
To use this lens, think about what your players can do and what they can't, and why. Ask yourself these questions:

What are the basic actions in my game?
Place/Pick-up Path/Base
Place/Pick-up Guards
Move Pawn

What are the strategic actions?
Increase warrior count size by recruiting
Control movement by placing/picking-up paths
Collect Paths to limit movement control of other players
Control territories by placing bases
Increase recruitment capacity by controlling more bases
Take warriors from bases to increase Tribe size
Place warriors on bases to control them
Place warriors on bases to support allies
Weaken opponents by taking their bases
Ally with opponents to gain warriors
Ally with opponents to gain victory points
Ally with opponents to gain passage through their territories
Betray opponents to take their bases and warriors
Fight opponents to take their warriors
Capture the Last City to secure control of territories.

What strategic actions would I like to see? How can I change my game in order to make those possible?
I have made many iterations of changes to end up where I am now. I think I have it close to right. I think that iterating on this question was probably the primary driver for most of my development.

Am I happy with the ratio for strategic to basic actions?
Yes. I think that the limited number of basic actions creates a satisfying number of strategic actions.

What actions do players wish they could do in my game that they cannot? Can I somehow enable these, either as basic or strategic actions?
Players have wished many things! Some would have made the game worse, and I know because I tried them. For instance placing warriors on paths. That made movement much more complex and didn't provide the territory control stability that players wanted. I ended up limiting the total warrior number to achieve that effect. Players wanted to do more on their turns, I end up letting them do everything, or recruit. That gave them a meaningful choice, and also a lot of strategic freedom. There are a thousand (or several dozen) design choices like those!

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