Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Dividing by 2

While mucking about on TheGameCrafter.com to figure out how to publish Camp Nightmare I have learned many things.  All I have been doing for now is figuring out what various parts cost and how to enter them because I don't have finished images yet but this has still been quite the education.  I discovered that adding a game board to my game raises the cost by $8, which is an enormous chunk considering I am trying to keep the cost total close to $20.  (These are costs for single units, they drop by ~40% in bulk.)  Tying up 40% of my cost in a single piece that isn't strictly required for play seems like a terrible mistake.

Instead I figured I would just use chits, mostly 1x, but with a mix of 5x as well.  Doing this for the Food, Wood, and Fun resources would mean that I could do away with the board entirely and rely on a few printed cards for rules and chits for recording things.  However, Food regularly goes up to 40 and Wood and Fun to 30 and that seems like too many chits to be dealing with.  I don't want to inundate players with a shower of tokens to record things because I know how much time is taken up in games like Sentinels of the Multiverse when keeping track of damage.

However, I have the power of mathematics!   (Imagine me standing shirtless in a thunderstorm raising a slide rule up into the air above me, surrounded by a halo of lightning.  That, friends, is the way the power of mathematics looks.)

What the power of mathematics tells me is that I can simply divide every instance of Food and Wood by 2 and reduce the number of chits I need by, say, half.  This looks good at the outset because Food and Wood come into the game via Gather Wood and Forage by default in groups of 2 so I can just reduce those to 1.  Some Gear adds odd numbers to those base values though so I will need to tweak the cards that do that a little to make sure they still work.  The Saw that adds +3 Wood to Gather Wood has to be rewritten to add +1 Wood to Gather Wood and also grant 1 Energy, for example.

These sorts of changes are things you have to play with carefully though.  At the moment swapping Day/Night costs 5 Food and gains 1 Fun.  Under the new paradigm it costs 2 Food and gains 1 Fun.  This is a superior ratio and means that rapid swapping of Day/Night to convert Food to Fun is more efficient than before.  I altered a few things so the extra Food in the game from this change is sucked up by other sources but it still has the potential to change the way people play.

Another more serious change is that when you cannot pay Food/Wood for something you have to pay Fun instead.  It used to be that Fun was roughly 5 times as valuable as Food/Wood so doing so was disastrous.  Now though Fun is only 2.5 times as valuable so it is a lot more plausible that you would want to make that trade when in a difficult situation.  When that comes up it probably means you are doing something terrible or at least you are in a bad situation so it shouldn't matter at all for high scores but it will change game decisions when the squeeze is on.

This is an interesting part of game design, where my theoretical notions of how the game should be run into the monetary realities of actually producing things.  Overall though this is likely to be a great change because it means that the pieces for Camp Nightmare fit in a much smaller area.  I won't be able to get Camp Nightmare down to the size of Hanabi, but I might well be able to get it to that same size but double the thickness.  At that point it would be something you could put in a big pocket or a purse.  That kind of portability is probably a decent selling point, I think.

1 comment:

  1. Mats seem significantly cheaper than boards and would still perform your basic function... (similar to Legendary's mat I'm guessing)