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  #91  
Old 02-27-2018, 07:58 AM
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New Paladin, much better than old Paladin.

I offered no input on the character designs -- originally, I had indicated that I wanted a male and female version of each character, but I ended up needing the reverse side of hero cards for the damage trackers -- so I'm happy with the representation that I got out of them. Two out of five heroes are female; two out of five are POC. I have heard from several people (one of them black) who could not positively identify the Paladin as black, though, likely due to the lighting. Oh well -- the Ranger is very obviously dark-skinned.
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  #92  
Old 02-27-2018, 02:47 PM
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Oh by the way: the game is publicly available as a TTS mod now. I am floored that it already has 32 subscribers. I wonder how many of them have played the game.
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  #93  
Old 04-12-2018, 07:02 AM
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Votes are in.

Short version: Deck of Many Dungeons did very well, landing near the top of all of the many categories it was eligible for with the exception of "Most Unique" and "Best New Designer." (Maybe I seemed too experienced.)

Either I severely underestimated Dolphin Overlord, or they did some serious votebombing: it wound up first or second in every category it appeared in. I'm going with the latter, since there's no world in which it has better art and graphic design.

The voting only awards GeekGold; the final results aren't in yet. The host says:

Quote:
The Side Room Games team is working on picking our jury prize winners. We've narrowed it down to a top 5-6 games and we're going to meet this weekend to pick our top 2. I've played all of the games but the other gents on the team missed out on a few during the testing and we want to get a good consensus. We should have the final jury prize selections posted by Sunday night. (On top of that, I'm confident that we want to try to sign a couple of games beyond the top 2!)
That's not a guarantee, but it's pretty promising.

I'm planning a follow-up release now that the contest is over. There are a couple rule tweaks I'd like to make, and now that we're not beholden to a strict component limit, I can also do things like make alternate versions of the heroes, giving them different starting abilities.

I'm very happy with the voting results (especially if you take Dolphin Overlord out of the equation), and I'm optimistic about our chances for signing.
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  #94  
Old 04-13-2018, 07:23 AM
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Grats! Good luck with the selection!

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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
or they did some serious votebombing
I mean, we could have done that if someone had let us know that voting was open.

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Originally Posted by Mogri View Post
now that we're not beholden to a strict component limit, I can also do things like make alternate versions of the heroes, giving them different starting abilities.
I'd make coming up with an alternative HP-tracking system a high priority. Yours was elegant within the confines, but the game could definitely benefit from something a bit less fiddly/cumbersome.
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  #95  
Old 04-13-2018, 07:28 AM
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I mean, we could have done that if someone had let us know that voting was open.
I am glad that you did not. To hit top 3 in most categories as voted by total strangers is much more impressive than determining who has the most friends.

In any case, a prerequisite for voting is to have played some of the other games.


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Originally Posted by JBear View Post
I'd make coming up with an alternative HP-tracking system a high priority. Yours was elegant within the confines, but the game could definitely benefit from something a bit less fiddly/cumbersome.
Yes, that's on the map.

The damage tracker was not nearly as fiddly as the tracking for multiple opponents. "Grab an extra card, I dunno" was definitely the weak link in the rules.
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  #96  
Old 04-13-2018, 07:35 AM
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In any case, a prerequisite for voting is to have played some of the other games.
We could have done that too! Loki always used to ask folks to play a bunch of other entries when it was time to vote on the Windhammer prize.

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The damage tracker was not nearly as fiddly as the tracking for multiple opponents. "Grab an extra card, I dunno" was definitely the weak link in the rules.
Yeah, I'd forgotten that, but you're absolutely correct. That's more obviously fixable, though (have dedicated generic tracking cards for additional monsters).
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  #97  
Old 04-25-2018, 01:41 PM
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Deck of Many Dungeons didn't place in the jury's top two. The contest organizer sent out his feedback today:

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Here are the major notes we had on your game. If you have any questions just let us know.

Really liked the ideas in the game. The ability to maneuver through encounters, equipping successfully defeated enemies/encounters, and the progression to bosses are all well thought out

The idea of the mini deck with attack values & suits is cool, but there is a ton of shuffling and the ability to fish through the deck multiple times to get the cards you need may be too powerful

One major issue we had: I picked a set up of the bard and warrior and got wiped out in every encounter we had. Im not sure if this was a fluke or not, but I was hitting as hard as the warrior could, plus I fixed an attack ability on the bard. And we still lost every fight. It appears that there are some balancing issues; might need to pump up the heroes & nerf the enemies a little bit. I think the game should be challenging but it currently feels impossible

Great work on the art! And the graphic design on the encounter cards is well done.

Overall we liked the game but it felt like it needs some tweaking to balance it out. Id even suggest taking it from only cards to cards with a couple of dice & maybe a few counters. While you did a great job making it fit into the contest parameters it feels like you need to expand it slightly component-wise to make it really shine

If you continue to work on it keep us posted. It definitely has potential and there is a market for this type of game. Thanks again!
First, this strikes me as overwhelmingly positive feedback. It sounds like the one major issue he had was the difficulty.

Second, doesn't it sound like he played it wrong? He says he picked the Bard and the Warrior, but if he's playing solo, he should have three heroes.

I replied as follows:

Quote:
Thanks for the feedback. You said you picked the Bard and the Warrior, but you should have three heroes in a solo game. Did I misunderstand? If you only used two heroes, it's very understandable that you found the game too difficult!

Designing within the limitations of the contest was fun, but I'm definitely planning on expanding out the components. The game really wants damage counters instead of the tracker and extra cards to track minions/extra targets. The current plan is 60 cards and a handful of chits -- still small enough to fit in a larger tuckbox.
I haven't heard back from him yet. I doubt he'll slap his face, give the game another try, and award us an honorary first place when he finds out the game isn't impossible, but he did ask me to keep him apprised of any updates, which suggests that he is interested in the game.

Meanwhile, my brother and I are exploring our other publishing options. I'm in the process of revising bits of the game here and there -- for example, Bull Rush has been replaced with Reckless Charge, an attack that does X+3 damage at the cost of X-2 health. Once that's done, we'll probably send out pitches to a few publishers, falling back on Kickstarter if nothing else pans out. One way or another, we're gonna do our best to get this printed (ideally not going bankrupt in the process).
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  #98  
Old 04-25-2018, 07:36 PM
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He replied:
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Wow, I feel dumb.

Out of curiosity, even with three whats your survival rate? It seems like it would still be tough.

I think our major thoughts still apply with the exception it might not be as impossible as we thought. Again, great job on the design. Keep us posted on your progress!

I told him:
Quote:
With a full team, I get a ~80% win rate on the standard difficulty (two minor bosses, one major boss), although even that's deceiving, because the other 20% is mostly when I get sloppy and the Mage dies before the first boss -- in that case, I concede rather than play it out.

Even with two heroes, it's really surprising to me that you would have so much trouble with the regular combat. Ideally, with a full party, you should get through many combats taking only 1-2 damage; if you anticipate taking 4 or more, you should run unless there's a really important ability up for grabs. Of course, estimating that ahead of time requires more familiarity and understanding than you'll get when you're trying to print and play 40 different games inside of a month

In earlier iterations, the game was much easier. I went through two rounds of making everything hit harder across the board. I think the Cryohydra and Kobolds are still just a little too hard, but the difficulty is for the most part in a really good place. The nature of the solo/co-op genre is such that it's better to err on the too-difficult side, but then I'd also rather not have players strike out on their first combat.

The game is currently undergoing revisions -- you can read about some of the changes in the WIP thread -- and I'm working on getting everything publish-ready. You should subscribe to that thread if you're not already, especially if you think Side Room might like to pick this up when it's gotten a few more layers of polish.

I want to say that out of all of the playtesting groups, only one or two of them lost a game. Of course, many of those plays were before I bumped up the difficulty, but even the losses managed to beat a boss or two.
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