Hey there, haven’t updated in a while, got busy with life and the little spare time I had got promptly sucked into Elden Ring. It’s nice to stop the design work for a while to just relax and come back with a fresh state of mind.
Anyways, since I changed the game from having hexes to having “hex-flowers” the frame that held the hexes together became unnecessary: the hex-flowers are big enough to roughly stay wherever you put them down. Thus, I needed to think about some alternatives. I was considering having nothing at all – since hexflowers provide a nice modular play surface I could perhaps circumvent the need for a board or frame. Well, I still might go that route but right now I’ve made simple board to control the placement of hexflowers and starting positions for the players. It looks like this:
The board depicts an overhead view of the planet. Each outlined space on the board makes up an unexplored part of the planet. The number in the middle of the spaces indicates how many players you have to be in order for the space to be used during the game. In a two player game you only use the spaces with a 2 in the middle, in a three player game you use all the spaces with a 2 or a 3 in the middle, and so on.
Some spaces have smaller numbers inside of them which indicate the starting positions for players. Just like the number in the middle of the space the smaller numbers are dependent on the number of players. In a two player game the players start in the two spaces with a two inside of it, in a three player game the players start in the spaces with a three inside of it, and so on.
The idea behind this setup is that I want a smaller playing field when there are fewer players in the game. If it takes a long time to reach each other then you run the risk of having dead turns in your game. This was an early lesson from playtesting and some of the best (paraphrased) advice I got from a fellow designer was this:
“Where do you think the fun in your game is? Identify where it is and get to the fun quicker.“
That advice might warrant a whole post in and of itself but I’ll say this: almost a year later I’ve realized how important those few words were. Chipping away the parts that don’t bring out the fun in the game, streamline, and try to make it so that players don’t have to wait around for the fun. Like having a smaller board so that players get into conflict quicker.