Monday, December 18

FlickFleet Level Up

As I mentioned last week, FlickFleet has been pretty much static for a few months now. I've been playing it quite a lot and it's been getting great feedback, but I don't want to just throw it out the door as soon as people start enjoying it, I want to make it awesome.

To do that requires trying out new ideas and keeping those that improve things, while discarding those that don't. The problem up until now has been what ideas to try. Usually in the early stages of designing a game it's so hideously broken that it's obvious what needs improving. With FlickFleet, it's been perfectly playable almost since the beginning and there's been nothing obviously wrong with it. People have said 'It's great fun', 'I prefer it to X-Wing Miniatures' and 'I prefer it to Flick 'Em Up'. All of which is nice, but doesn't really help improve things.

Can you spot the new stuff?

I took it down to Paul's this weekend and I was keen to play it with Paul and see if he had any ideas. Paul's been instrumental in the original idea and several early improvements, so I was hoping to rely on him again for more inspiration.

There were a couple of things about the game as was that were a bit weaker than the rest:

  • The turn order was a layer of complication, and led to things like Dreadnought-launched fighters often getting destroyed before they could act.
  • The game turned into a bit of a grind when you were down to your last few ships as you battered away at each other without doing much damage.
  • The destroyers were a bit boring as all they really did was move and shoot.
  • Once a ship lost its Engineering location it potentially became a floating hulk quite quickly.

Paul and I played a game with the existing rules, talked about a couple of ideas I'd had (free turn order with activation tokens, giving the destroyers shields) and then spent a good half an hour talking about some other options, before trying a new version. The new version was a lot more fun, so my task now is to get the new rules written up and order the bits to make a few more prototypes - one for Paul, a new one for me and a couple for some people who are interested in playtesting for me.

I also need to get some more Zombology sales. December has been very slow, despite my charity donation offer. What I need to do really is put aside some time to go and play it with people, as that has definitely been my best route to sales (whether among friends or strangers).

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