Thursday, November 23

NaGa DeMon 2017 - Part 7: Too 'Good'

And by too good I don't mean great, I mean good, just too much.

Traditionally when I design a game the first play is curtailed about a third of the way through. We agree never to talk about it again and I go away and work on the hideously broken mess that was the physical incarnation of a game that was great in my head. Later, once I've fixed the most glaring errors, we reconvene and as we play it's still broken, but not so broken. Maybe we change a couple of rules as we go, evolving things that don't work in practice. This can go on for months.

Eventually, we reach a point where the game is reasonably stable and it's only the occasional edge case where something unusual happens that requires a change to the rules. But by this point the game has been through several iterations, and lots of ideas have been tried out. Some have worked, others not so much. But there's a possibility space around the current rules where I've got a good understanding about what changing various things about the game does to the feel of the game. And I've lots of ideas about what I can change to improve it.

FlickFleet is an anomaly in that regard. I first played it (once!) in July with MDF toy food. It was fun and definitely worth pursuing.

Hmm, spaceships you say?
Hmm, spaceships you say?

After a few months I finally got some bits laser cut and played it again four times at Newcastle Playtest in October. It was definitely still fun. We made a couple of changes after the first game and then left it alone. I'd not yet ordered the wooden pieces or made the ship cards, so the bookkeeping was all done with pencil and paper, which was sub-optimal, but hey, early prototype, so who cares.

Just in time for NaGa DeMon in November I did the ship cards and the wooden pieces arrived. I've also played it a lot in November. And it works, which is surprising. It's been getting great feedback ("I prefer it to X-Wing", "It's as good as Flick 'Em Up") and it's good fun.

But it's not yet great. And with nothing obviously broken I'm struggling to see what I should be changing to see if I can get it from good to great.

Any ideas?

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