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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 934802 times)

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Davio

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #250 on: December 13, 2012, 07:18:56 am »
0

Can you explain once and for all why a "Curse - X" dualtype is a bad idea? Or if you think it CAN be done, what needs to be done to make it possible? Some extra setup instructions perhaps?

How did you arrive at the "1 Action, 1 Buy" principle? Other deckbuilders let you just play all of the actions in your hand and buy as many cards as you want as long as you have money. Obviously, this is a problem with Bridge and emptying the Copper Pile in one turn, but still...
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #251 on: December 13, 2012, 08:07:09 am »
+3

Can you explain once and for all why a "Curse - X" dualtype is a bad idea? Or if you think it CAN be done, what needs to be done to make it possible? Some extra setup instructions perhaps?
Since Curse is both a card name and a type, it would be confusing to have any more cards with the Curse type. It would create the question, what are Witch etc. referring to? Can I discard this to Mountebank? And even if you say "well it only makes sense that they did this if Witch can dish these out," whatever, yuck, it's awful. If I wanted more Curses, I had to make the type and name of Curse different back when.

Then consider the case where I want to add a new Curse so badly that I do it some other way. There's a Super Witch and it says (after a dividing line) "In games using this, when a player would gain a Curse, they instead gain a Super Curse." Let's say Super Curse is -2 VP. It is not a "Curse" so no problems there. It's clear whether or not you can discard one to Mountebank.

We have Super Witch and Witch in the same game. Well why buy Super Witch? Super Witch is balanced around Super Curse and Witch isn't. Witch is way better at dealing out Super Curses.

If Super Curse were comparable to Curse - just about as bad to get, no better no worse - then Super Witch wouldn't need to be weaker than Witch, and I could buy either card depending on other factors (you could also let the player choose which Curse they took, which makes all Cursing cards weaker but if it's not by much then why not). It is far from trivial to make Super Curse comparable to Curse though (aside from making it identical), and the less it matters which you get, the less exciting it is to do Super Curse in the first place.

Even if this all worked out, it wouldn't scale unless you got 50 Super Curses. What kind of expansion would have room for that many non-kingdom cards?

Finally there is Dark Ages. I went for it, I put in 50 Ruins, They are not as bad for you as Curses but the cards that give them out are balanced around that, with the existing cards that give out Curses still just giving out Curses in those games (albeit, Curses that hurt more because now you can get 20 dead cards, not considering Moat etc.). Dark Ages had 500 cards and it seemed like I could make room for Ruins. If there are more sets in the future, they won't have that space and anyway I did it already, it would be way less exciting the second time.

How did you arrive at the "1 Action, 1 Buy" principle?
Playing one action per turn is extremely simple and opens the door for making cards like Village and Spy (and less obviously, Remodel and Vault and Bank and Gardens). I value both of those things. I made a TCG that had you just play one action per turn, as part of an attempt to make an extremely mainstream TCG, and it worked great. So I already knew it was a fine direction to go in. I wanted something simple and went for it. It immediately worked well so that was that.

In my initial notes it was going to be that some cards let you buy cards, but that seemed bad once I thought about it. It had to be that you could just buy stuff. I didn't have Gardens etc. at that point and could have just let you buy multiple cards, but again I knew that limiting you to one card was simple and would let me make Market. Village and Market were maybe the 2nd and 3rd action cards I made; they were inherent in the game premise.
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DStu

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #252 on: December 13, 2012, 08:14:13 am »
+3

Village and Market were maybe the 2nd and 3rd action cards I made; they were inherent in the game premise.

That of course raises the obvious question which card was the fourth...
« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 08:16:13 am by DStu »
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Davio

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #253 on: December 13, 2012, 08:23:37 am »
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I know you "already did this" with Ruins, but imagine Dark Ages didn't exist for a second.

How about a Curse pile that replaces the original Curse pile kind of like how Shelters replace your starting Estates.
Setup instructions could be analogous to Colony and Shelters: In games using X Attack cards, have an X in 10 chance of replacing the original Curse pile with the alternative Curse pile. Not all Attack cards dish out Curses and not all games without Attacks are Curse-less, but you need a way to determine some chance of using them.

Would this way of replacing the Curse pile have been viable? More so than adding another Curse pile? By the time Dark Ages came around we were used to all kinds of setup instructions and edge cases, so I don't see a problem with discarding a Curse - Treasure to Mountebank. It's not much different from Fortune Teller putting a Great Hall on top.

Now let me make clear that I'm glad we have Ruins to spice things up and not this alternative Curse pile, but it has been tried so often that I wondered if it could be viable.

I know you have a sort of "been there, done that, I already know it doesn't work/isn't interesting" attitude toward fan cards, but the comments you provide are very helpful to us - we don't have that kind of experience with the game -, so that's why I asked about it.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #254 on: December 13, 2012, 08:35:18 am »
+3

Village and Market were maybe the 2nd and 3rd action cards I made; they were inherent in the game premise.

That of course raises the obvious question which card was the fourth...

And the first.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #255 on: December 13, 2012, 08:41:17 am »
+3

Village and Market were maybe the 2nd and 3rd action cards I made; they were inherent in the game premise.

That of course raises the obvious question which card was the fourth...

And the first.

Clearly that was Scout.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #256 on: December 13, 2012, 08:52:28 am »
0

How did you arrive at the "1 Action, 1 Buy" principle?

Donald already answered that, but I would like to elaborate on what I think.

Taking Magic as a source of inspiration. The number of cards in your hand is a valuable asset that carries over to your next turn. Curbing the number of actions wouldn't do much as playing three Enchantments in a turn meant that your future turns would be very limited. In Dominion, your cards are discarded and shuffled anyway, so the more cards you play this turn, the more power to you. So thinking about the number of actions as a resource in itself only would occur after implementing the rule "draw up to ... cards at end of turn".

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Captain_Frisk

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #257 on: December 13, 2012, 08:56:02 am »
+1

How did you arrive at the "1 Action, 1 Buy" principle?
Playing one action per turn is extremely simple and opens the door for making cards like Village and Spy (and less obviously, Remodel and Vault and Bank and Gardens). I value both of those things. I made a TCG that had you just play one action per turn, as part of an attempt to make an extremely mainstream TCG, and it worked great. So I already knew it was a fine direction to go in. I wanted something simple and went for it. It immediately worked well so that was that.

In my initial notes it was going to be that some cards let you buy cards, but that seemed bad once I thought about it. It had to be that you could just buy stuff. I didn't have Gardens etc. at that point and could have just let you buy multiple cards, but again I knew that limiting you to one card was simple and would let me make Market. Village and Market were maybe the 2nd and 3rd action cards I made; they were inherent in the game premise.

Since donald hasn't played the other dominion spinoffs, the ones that let you play unlimited actions / unlimited buys all are providing something else to do.

Ascension lets you have unlimited buys / actions, but you have the dual resource thing, and all of the cards are like buying from a black market - so you don't have to worry about having 2 similar cards come up...

Nightfall has limited actions via chaining, and while there are unlimited buys, you need them because the game is so short. 

Resident evil is a straight dominion ripoff that redacted

Puzzle strike has unlimited buys, but limited actions.  Because you aren't buying victory points, the value of +buy isn't particularly useful.

Having limits on actions and buys not only simplifies the basic gameplay, but also expands the space available for cards. 

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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #258 on: December 13, 2012, 09:14:20 am »
+1

How about a Curse pile that replaces the original Curse pile kind of like how Shelters replace your starting Estates.
Setup instructions could be analogous to Colony and Shelters: In games using X Attack cards, have an X in 10 chance of replacing the original Curse pile with the alternative Curse pile. Not all Attack cards dish out Curses and not all games without Attacks are Curse-less, but you need a way to determine some chance of using them.

Would this way of replacing the Curse pile have been viable? More so than adding another Curse pile? By the time Dark Ages came around we were used to all kinds of setup instructions and edge cases, so I don't see a problem with discarding a Curse - Treasure to Mountebank. It's not much different from Fortune Teller putting a Great Hall on top.
The crucial difference is, Curse is named Curse. There is no card named Action or Victory. When a card says Curse, does it mean the card with that name or a card with that type? It's ambiguous. I don't need you to care about this but I do. And I knew this was an issue with giving Curse that type, I just didn't have a better type for it or a reason it was going to matter. It was originally "token." Of course if it were still "token," you wouldn't be changing what Witch did by making a new "token," since Witch would still say "Curse."

Cards change how good other cards are. Witch isn't as good in games with Gardens and so on. So it's not strictly bad to have something that changes how good Witch is, although it's not exciting if it ends up, Witch sucks or is unbeatable. But whatever; is it worth 50 cards? The main set had a second Curse-like card originally, Confusion (a blank), and it was not worth the space it took, and that would have only been 30 cards.

You always have to weigh the cost vs. the benefits. Is it worth confusion and doing fewer kingdom cards in order to have a new card that Witch can give out? Man, no, it isn't.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #259 on: December 13, 2012, 09:16:48 am »
0

Village and Market were maybe the 2nd and 3rd action cards I made; they were inherent in the game premise.

That of course raises the obvious question which card was the fourth...

And the first.
In the early days I did not keep everything - I put new cards in the image files where dead cards had been. The oldest sheet of cards goes "Dungeon," Village, Market, Smithy. I know Dungeon and Smithy weren't in game one, and that Village and Market (in worse forms) were. Mine is next and was in game one, so it was probably the 5th card. You can read more about these pages at http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=5905.0.
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Davio

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #260 on: December 13, 2012, 09:29:45 am »
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How was the decision to allow up to 6 people made and is this something you regret?

The original game just plays 2-4. Coupled with Intrigue this could go up to 6, but this meant that any subsequent expansion that had some new "basic" cards (like the Ruins mentioned earlier) would have to support this number of players.

Do you regret "losing" 2 card slots (20 cards) in order to have so many Ruins?

When I play in real life, my favorite number of players is 3, then 4, then 2, but certainly not 5 or 6. In fact, I would just split 6 into two games of 3 players. 4 can already be a bit tedious as you wait for the Village idiot to play 8 Villages and buy another Village, but 5 or 6 just makes it too uninteresting for me and I would rather play something like 7 Wonders with so many players.

PS: I haven't exactly read every question and answer in this topic, so if I'm asking something that's been asked before, I apologize. It's just that..it got to 10 pages in half a day and I didn't have the time to keep up.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #261 on: December 13, 2012, 09:38:03 am »
0

This might help:

Do you sometimes play dominion with more than 4 players ?
IRL, when I was playing Dominion irl, I would play with 5 sometimes. There are 5 people who want to play, counting me; man, it works well enough. I prefer 3, then 4, then 2, then 5. I don't play with 6. Online I have played with 5 a few times but we usually split into 2/3 when that came up.
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Davio

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #262 on: December 13, 2012, 09:54:15 am »
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That I did read, actually, but it doesn't answer my question entirely, which is why I still asked. :)
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #263 on: December 13, 2012, 09:54:24 am »
+1

How was the decision to allow up to 6 people made and is this something you regret?
I would have supported 2-5 in the main set and never added a 6th. In general game companies seem to support one more player than is sensible, though that's not always the case; I only play Nefarious with 5 or Kingdom Builder with 4, but I do play Gauntlet of Fools with 6. There is also some kind of attraction to adding a player or two in an expansion. So, I don't know Jay's actual reasons, but he wanted 2-4 in the main set and then going to six with Intrigue, and so that's what happened.

There's nothing to regret, it doesn't hurt me if people play with six. There are always people who want to play with one more player than is reasonable, which is maybe why game companies support it.

Do you regret "losing" 2 card slots (20 cards) in order to have so many Ruins?
No, it never felt like that and really whatever. Dark Ages was 500 cards, it didn't just fill up.

Randomizers cost each set 1-3 cards and are unnecessary (just use one card from each pile for your randomizer deck, adding them to the pile for playing, and as a bonus Black Market loses its setup). It's not like I "regret" that though.
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thirtyseven

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #264 on: December 13, 2012, 10:29:34 am »
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What do you think are the most overrated and underrated kingdom cards (using our card rankings as a reference)?
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michaeljb

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #265 on: December 13, 2012, 11:54:36 am »
+2

What do you think are the most overrated and underrated kingdom cards (using our card rankings as a reference)?

Probably this:

I'm not really here to give strategy advice.

:P
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #266 on: December 13, 2012, 12:08:18 pm »
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Haha. But to clarify, I was asking for personal opinion, nothing to do with strategy; he doesn't have to divulge any strategy secrets, that is. I was also gonna ask since he told us the first 5 cards he created, if he could tell us the most recent, say, 13 cards he made, but that would've been crossing the line. :P
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dondon151

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #267 on: December 13, 2012, 12:15:09 pm »
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I was also gonna ask since he told us the first 5 cards he created, if he could tell us the most recent, say, 13 cards he made, but that would've been crossing the line. :P

The 13 most recent cards that DXV has made are not guaranteed to be Guilds cards, though. For all we know, some of the Guilds cards have been around forever.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #268 on: December 13, 2012, 12:44:49 pm »
+2

What do you think are the most overrated and underrated kingdom cards (using our card rankings as a reference)?
There are more casual players than serious players, and more people playing the main set than anything else. So, overall, the most overrated card is Thief, and the most underrated is Chapel. I am okay with telling you that.

I don't see how you don't see that me commenting on the card rankings you link to would be me giving strategy advice. That's okay though.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #269 on: December 13, 2012, 12:47:53 pm »
+2

The 13 most recent cards that DXV has made are not guaranteed to be Guilds cards, though. For all we know, some of the Guilds cards have been around forever.
Guilds was going to come out ahead of Dark Ages, so Dark Ages got the last significant hunk of work. I think Rebuild was the last new card added, although the idea had been sitting in the file.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #270 on: December 13, 2012, 01:43:29 pm »
+2

The 13 most recent cards that DXV has made are not guaranteed to be Guilds cards, though. For all we know, some of the Guilds cards have been around forever.
Guilds was going to come out ahead of Dark Ages, so Dark Ages got the last significant hunk of work. I think Rebuild was the last new card added, although the idea had been sitting in the file.

I really like Rebuild; glad it made the cut.
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Davio

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #271 on: December 13, 2012, 01:47:22 pm »
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Now that Guilds is around the corner as the last expansion for now, do you feel like the entire collection is pretty complete?

Are you happy with how the game ended up or are there some things you would have liked to do, but couldn't due to deadlines, complexity or publisher requests?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #272 on: December 13, 2012, 01:56:24 pm »
+2

Now that Guilds is around the corner as the last expansion for now, do you feel like the entire collection is pretty complete?

Are you happy with how the game ended up or are there some things you would have liked to do, but couldn't due to deadlines, complexity or publisher requests?
I have gone over at length all of the things I might have done differently: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=3179.msg56362#msg56362

I'm not sure I know what this "complete" feeling would be like, in order to compare my feelings to it. I don't sit around thinking, is Dominion complete or what. Anything that had seemed exciting but hadn't worked out but seemed like maybe it could somehow, I tried to fix up for Dark Ages, since that was going to be the last set. But it's not like you can't make more cards (they just get more complex etc.). So uh. Why would it ever feel "complete?" That doesn't seem to be in the nature of games with rules components.

The thing is I don't like being inaccurate; so some of these questions I just have to say, I don't relate to that. Dominion feels neither complete nor incomplete.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #273 on: December 13, 2012, 03:55:11 pm »
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Is there a particular reason you haven't made an Action - Treasure card (as far as we know)?
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #274 on: December 13, 2012, 04:07:05 pm »
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I don't see how you don't see that me commenting on the card rankings you link to would be me giving strategy advice. That's okay though.

I think I remember you saying that when people were comparing Thief and Noble Brigand, and why would you ever buy Thief if NB was also in the Kingdom. In my mind that applies to the lists in that you giving specific comments on cards' rankings would be calling one card better than another, which I think you avoided in the Thief/NB discussion.
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