Welcome to the first development update from Lost Treasure Games. I am planning on writing an update once per week (or fortnight), with the aim to discuss developments in War of Supremacy, other designs, playtests and future direction and progress.
War of Supremacy
The core design and mechanics of WoS I feel is complete. I consider these as the battle mechanics and general gameplay of trying to remove the Creature cards from your Hand. Because the core mechanics are done, I have mainly been recently working on the game balance and background work.
Although WoS is an unbalanced game (different cards have varying strengths), I needed to get the correct cards in the starter set (and potential first expansion). This was difficult as it needs to have a balance of basic cards, while still having the interesting player dynamics and interactions. From the big list of test cards created, I cut and changed them till each race had equal amounts of creatures (and type) and spells.
At this current stage, the balance is quite good, but may need a few tweaks. I have had several games of playtesting with different amount of players and seemed to have the right balance. However, I definitely need to test and get feedback from more players (especially new players). So, let me know if you’re interested in having a game.
The other balance change was altering up the strengths and rarities of some of the creatures. This was to get the attack values approximately equal across the whole set.
The other work I have been doing is creating the rules document. It is a lot harder than it looks with every little thing needing to be written. I have previously always had half rules and I explained the rest, so it definitely is a challenge. Luckily there is good resources online to point you in the right direction.
I am also writing up a script for a how to play video. Hopefully will be able to create this in the near future to showcase the main game mechanics and “battle” system.
Art is coming along nicely with most of the starter set plus expansion images done. I have also started a contract to do the graphic design layout of the cards which is also looking amazing. Will showcase some of these in a future update.
Last weekend I had a test day with a few friends that came over. We played two games of my latest designed game Heroes of Mahlor (working title), and then a few rounds of WoS.
Picture HoM like snakes and ladders in a fantasy world with heroes and spells. Players have to race their Hero to get the treasure at the top. They must avoid whirlpools and events while collecting spells and artefacts to defeat opponent players. Each Hero has unique abilities, so players must use their skill and a fair bit of luck to win.
This was the first time I played with multiple people. The games were really fun and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves. The balance needs to be slightly tweaked, but it generally felt stable. A few changes for next time:
1: Players ran out of spells quite quickly. While this made it quite scary and threatening at the top/end of the game, it reduced the player interactivity. I will be changing it so that players pick up two spells instead of one when they land on a spell tile.
2: Trap spells. These have been tricky in the past to balance. Initially I had these only trigger if a player landed on them. With players having spells to move, it was found that traps did not trigger at all unless a player got unlucky at the top when they ran out of spells. I then added the functionality whereby if you move normally past a trap, you have to roll to avoid and keep moving or get trapped (50/50 chance). This worked well, but with less limitation on trap placement, go annoying as they were all at the top and stalled the victory. I think I will keep the second implementation, but have a limit of 3 times per trap and then they go away.
3: Dying. The balance of this is hard and also determined by the amount of players. In our first game, there were 4 players with not many high damage Heroes. The current rule was that if you died, you moved back 1 fountain. If it was the second time dying, then you moved back 2, etc. You also remove all damage and lose a turn. What happened in the first game, 2 of us died, but with full health, limited spells and not much interaction, the death didn’t really feel much hindrance. In the second game, we played with 5 and also you only regained half health. Problem with this is that Heroes once dead only had 5-8 health left and with higher damaging Heroes died a second time much easier. I think for now I will go back to full life regained (especially with more spells and interactivity).
4: Health Fountains. I will be changing the board layout slightly and placing Health fountains on the side of the board. This allows players to go to them if they wish or just keep going. Health fountains regain 3 health if you land on them. Now I think it would be cool if players can choose to lose their turn so that they can’t be targeted and lose 3 more damage per turn.
We had a couple of quick rounds of WoS. May need to learn to better explain the rules as some people were a little confused about the attack modes and attacking. It may also have been because it was after the long games of HoM. Either way, I have to learn to give an easier explanation for new players and while looking at rules.
As stated above, the balance seemed good with a mix of rarity, basic creatures and interactivity cards.
I have another test day next weekend. Hopefully a few more players will be there to test. I will have a table set up for each game: War of Supremacy, Time of Ascendance and Heroes of Mahlor. Let me know if you are in the Sydney area and wish to have a game.
One of the biggest tasks needed is to research the whole development, kickstarter and production process. There is a lot of information online, but it is quite overwhelming to try and learn it all. I am still struggling to understand some areas (like production and delivery), but it will come. As I have read, you do not need to rush Kickstarter projects. If you or the project is not ready, there is no need to start it. I originally had a deadline for later this year (November), and I still hope to make it, but we shall see how all the research goes.
As per https://losttreasuregames.com/2017/03/14/the-road-to-board-games-and-kickstarter-1-get-a-following/ I have been trying to get my social media and following. Still very much a slow process, but I have made the website, facebook page and twitter account. I have joined many board game facebook groups (both development and recreational) and have started to interact in some posts. I have written a few blogs and reviews as well as post up links to other people Kickstarters. It’s a slow process, but hopefully it will only keep going up.
I have been thinking of a few other designs which I would like to explore. This includes a survival game (maybe zombies or aliens); choose a character and help out your teammates survive against the waves. Also thought of a new combat system with dice which I think works quite well. Still thinking of what game to trial that in (hex game, one card dungeon, arena style battle).