Sunday, March 12, 2017

Day 105: FotLC through the 113 lenses from The Art of Game Design

Day 105 - Lens 27: The Lens of Time
It is said that "timing is everything". Our goal as designers is to create experiences, and experiences are easily spoiled when they are too short or too long. Ask yourself these questions to make yours just the right length:

What is it that determines the length of my gameplay activities?
The game has a built in timer in the form of the resource pool in the center of the board. There are 30 citizens per player. Players can draw from 1-3 items from the board each round. They may not draw every round so the game would take 20 rounds on average per game, on average.

Are my players frustrated because the game ends too early, or bored because it takes too long?
I have tried adjusting the number a bit. The game runs fine at 20 per player, but it does not have much middle or room for players to be aggressive toward each other... and with more than 30 the game gets kind of repetitive in them middle.

Setting a time limit can make gameplay more exciting. Is it a good idea for my game?
The overall time limit works well. Having a per turn time limit turns out to be a bad idea. I wanted one very badly, but it just makes the game stressful and un-fun. I allow a timer to be activated by any two players in order to break deadlock situations where two or more players do not want to move first. This does not happen often but does require a rule to resolve it.

Would a hierarchy of time structures help my game?
There is one, and yes they were necessary to make the game flow as desired.