Over the past few weeks, I've been bouncing around an idea for a tile revealing bidding game called Bid for the Mine (a working title), in which players are investors looking to buy mines for their miners to go and work in. Seven hexes represent the mine in the middle of the table. A couple of mechanisms to note in this first iteration of the game are,
To be clear, if you have not playtested a brand new idea before, or have not seen a playtesting session like this before, let me tell you that it is entirely normal for it to fall as flat as it did. I will also say that it's not just regular but anticipated with excitement from myself. Going into this playtesting session with Bid for the Mine, I knew what some of the issues would be. Here are the two main ones I expected, which also ended up happening.
So, you might be eager to know what solutions I came up with then. It took a day or two to rack my brain around the game's problems, but then I realised that I could solve both issues stated above by removing the limitation of having insufficient money. In both cases, players either have not enough money period, or not enough money to compete with other players. If I remove that restriction and instead allow players to go into debt, then that would open up the game more and keep people interested. However, this solution leads me to understand that it could introduce a new issue that amplifies another problem I had with the game. Remember how I said that there were two issues with the game that I anticipated? Well, there were two additional roadblocks that I didn't foresee.
Both of these issues, I believe, come from a lack of consequence. The idea behind the slowly revealing mine was to build tension. Player's might not want to bid straight away because they see a coloured hex that is a part of multiple nasty combos. Still, as the mine continues to be unveiled, players see that the pros outway the cons and then it comes down to who starts the bidding first and gets the upper hand. However, if you watched the playtest video, you can see that this did not happen at all, and the additional rule would only amplify this issue that the players could go into debt.
So, I came up with two solutions, and one of which relates to the debt mechanism.
Tune in to another blog post for Bid for the Mine in the next couple of weeks if you want to see how these changes affect gameplay. If you're going to keep up-to-date, sign up to the mailing list (I sent out a blast about once every six weeks, so don't worry about getting spammed), you can click the mailing list page on the site. It will take you to the landing page, where you can find out more info about what will be included in the emails you will be sent.
Hello, my name is Niall Crabtree, and this is my comprehensive blog showcasing all of my game development endeavors and successes, as well as essays on game design.
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