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### AuthorTopic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 597844 times)

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#### Limetime

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3875 on: June 07, 2017, 10:54:24 pm »
+1

Why did you choose to make wall start at 15?
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#### LastFootnote

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3876 on: June 07, 2017, 11:19:09 pm »
+13

Why did you choose to make wall start at 15?

If the question is, why 15 specifically, then I don't know. The reason it doesn't start at 0 is because of a lunch game my group had where one player trashed down to a 3-card golden deck (with Temple) and then left to go to a meeting. Now at the time, I believe Wall was "–1 VP per 2 cards you have". If it had been –1 VP per card without the 15-card threshold, he would have won that game, despite gaining a measly 1 VP per turn.

Long story short, having that 15-card threshold lets actual decks compete against golden decks in Wall games.
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#### Donald X.

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3877 on: June 08, 2017, 11:00:08 am »
+4

Why did you choose to make wall start at 15?

If the question is, why 15 specifically, then I don't know. The reason it doesn't start at 0 is because of a lunch game my group had where one player trashed down to a 3-card golden deck (with Temple) and then left to go to a meeting. Now at the time, I believe Wall was "–1 VP per 2 cards you have". If it had been –1 VP per card without the 15-card threshold, he would have won that game, despite gaining a measly 1 VP per turn.

Long story short, having that 15-card threshold lets actual decks compete against golden decks in Wall games.
That is how it went down. It started at 8 VP if you have no more than 15 cards. It was too hard to go for and became -1 VP per 2 cards. I considered doubling it to make scores more different between players. LF had his game with the player who left. To try to avoid that problem I made it -1 VP per card over 15. The original 15 was based on considering what you could reasonably manage with trashing. The new 15 may have just been because 15 was in the air here. We tried it, it worked, I didn't tweak it further.
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#### Q

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3878 on: June 10, 2017, 05:14:57 am »
0

Did you ever consider to make another deckbuilding game respectively a game (like Mage Knight, Core Worlds, etc.) which features deckbuilding as one among other mechanisms?
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#### Donald X.

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3879 on: June 10, 2017, 11:23:26 am »
+1

Did you ever consider to make another deckbuilding game respectively a game (like Mage Knight, Core Worlds, etc.) which features deckbuilding as one among other mechanisms?
In fact Kingdom Builder and Temporum both started out as deckbuilding games.
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#### Sharajat

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3880 on: June 28, 2017, 04:29:20 pm »
+2

Did you ever consider to make another deckbuilding game respectively a game (like Mage Knight, Core Worlds, etc.) which features deckbuilding as one among other mechanisms?
In fact Kingdom Builder and Temporum both started out as deckbuilding games.

If you could visit another timeline (sorry I can't resist) what design decision would you change for those two?

I'm asking because even though I enjoy Temporum and Kingdom Builder, I always felt like they were just missing a little something compared to Dominion.  Which has to be a little annoying come to think of it, like a band where everyone loves their first album.  And they're like "dude, I poured my heart and soul into this last album, it's technically brilliant, dude you can hear me miss a chord 1:12 into the third song on  that first album just stop venerating it so much!"
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#### Donald X.

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3881 on: June 28, 2017, 05:07:45 pm »
+6

If you could visit another timeline (sorry I can't resist) what design decision would you change for those two?

I'm asking because even though I enjoy Temporum and Kingdom Builder, I always felt like they were just missing a little something compared to Dominion.  Which has to be a little annoying come to think of it, like a band where everyone loves their first album.  And they're like "dude, I poured my heart and soul into this last album, it's technically brilliant, dude you can hear me miss a chord 1:12 into the third song on  that first album just stop venerating it so much!"
I don't imagine any of the changes I'd make would make the difference for you. For Temporum they might give the game a better shot with some people who only tried it once.

For Temporum I would replace the "choose one" zones with the expansions hourglass zones, and I think that's it. There are production issues - two-sided money chits, better arrows. There may be some individual card I'd change that I'm forgetting, but it wouldn't matter much.

For Kingdom Builder I would probably change the rule about lost abilities so that they return to the spot on the board. I would try having randomized abilities on the boards rather than specific ones, to save on set-up time and let you include more abilities with the main set and fewer boards with the expansions; this has other changes that have to go with it though and well I would have to test it to know what I'd really do. I would change the initial set of scoring cards, replacing the worst ones with good ones from Marshlands and Harvest. I know some people like the area control one in the main set, but I think the area control one in Marshlands is way better.

I like both games a lot as is; I don't think of them as those games I didn't quite get right, even though of course I can find things to fix up. Kingdom Builder won the SdJ so it's hard to complain there. Temporum does have fans who like it a lot. When playtesting the expansion, there was a parade of people who liked it and then went and bought the game. Both games have the main issue of, if you don't try it with an experienced player, you can convince yourself that an experienced player wouldn't do any better. Removing the choose-one zones does address that a little in Temporum; the changes for Kingdom Builder don't do anything there. It's a good problem to fix but well all I have there is shoving strategy in your face like with the hourglass zones. But I don't think I blew it for experienced players.

Dominion for me is like my 50th album, not my 1st album. I made it in 2006. Monster Factory is from 1995 even though it came out later. There were a lot of games in-between (including Nefarious in 1999, Infiltration only better in 2003, Greed in 2003). The board for Temporum was from a game from 1998; the piece placement rule from Kingdom Builder is from a game from 1999. So, it's not much like people praising the band's first album over their new one.
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#### arcee

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3882 on: August 23, 2017, 01:29:32 pm »
+1

I don't like Adventures (too complex, and its events, Travellers, tavern mat, and Journeys don't feel like Dominion), but like Empires despite its complexity.  Will I like Nocturne?
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#### Cave-o-sapien

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3883 on: August 23, 2017, 02:30:08 pm »
0

(Standard apology up front if this has been asked already and I've missed it)

Many collectible card games limit the cards that are currently "legal for play" to something smaller than "every card that has ever existed". While the cynics might say this is merely a money-making scheme, it allows the game developers to tweak power-levels, adjust game balance and introduce card mechanics in a way that would be more difficult without hitting the reset button.

Have you considered taking this approach with Dominion (or at least Dominion Online)?
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#### pacovf

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3884 on: August 23, 2017, 02:45:44 pm »
+5

(Standard apology up front if this has been asked already and I've missed it)

Many collectible card games limit the cards that are currently "legal for play" to something smaller than "every card that has ever existed". While the cynics might say this is merely a money-making scheme, it allows the game developers to tweak power-levels, adjust game balance and introduce card mechanics in a way that would be more difficult without hitting the reset button.

Have you considered taking this approach with Dominion (or at least Dominion Online)?

Well, in Dominion, all but 10 cards are banned each game!

(yes, except when they aren't, I know)
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#### LastFootnote

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3885 on: August 23, 2017, 02:48:41 pm »
+7

I don't like Adventures (too complex, and its events, Travellers, tavern mat, and Journeys don't feel like Dominion), but like Empires despite its complexity.  Will I like Nocturne?

…And the Magic 8-Ball™ says…

« Last Edit: August 23, 2017, 02:49:53 pm by LastFootnote »
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#### Donald X.

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3886 on: August 23, 2017, 03:31:51 pm »
+7

I don't like Adventures (too complex, and its events, Travellers, tavern mat, and Journeys don't feel like Dominion), but like Empires despite its complexity.  Will I like Nocturne?
I can at least tell you that the expansions try to be distinct, their own thing. Nocturne isn't Adventures and it isn't Empires.
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#### Donald X.

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3887 on: August 23, 2017, 03:42:26 pm »
+5

Many collectible card games limit the cards that are currently "legal for play" to something smaller than "every card that has ever existed". While the cynics might say this is merely a money-making scheme, it allows the game developers to tweak power-levels, adjust game balance and introduce card mechanics in a way that would be more difficult without hitting the reset button.

Have you considered taking this approach with Dominion (or at least Dominion Online)?
There's casual play and then there's tournament play.

For casual play, you can already do whatever you want. For Magic you might want to be able to say "this is a Standard deck" or whatever so that I'm not playing my deck with Moxes against your Spider theme deck. For Dominion there's no such concern.

For tournament play, I recommend not playing with certain cards (especially the slowest cards), or being careful with the set of 10 if you want to include certain cards. If we ran lots of tournaments I would have a list of cards to not play with. We don't. If you are running a tournament, I don't mind you doing whatever.

For Dominion online, I advocate players getting to have a 5-card ban list, and letting you play rated games that will never have your 5 cards (or your opponent's).

All of the Dominion expansions have to deal with the power levels of all previously published expansions; for all I know, someone gets Dominion and then Prosperity and then Nocturne, and that's what they've got. The Nocturne cards don't want to suck there, or be too dominating there. There's only so much you can do but every time I try to do it.

I have not really considered letting expansions go out of print (and I doubt RGG would be interested, yes it happened due to the switch to second editions). It was proposed by someone once and well. It turns out that at a supermarket, people spend more if they go clockwise through the store, or is it counterclockwise, I forget. It's one or the other though, you can look it up if you're interested. So you can build your supermarket to take advantage of this (via where the entrance is), or to thwart yourself, or try to ignore it (and possibly thwart yourself that way). Jay and I are just not people seeking to maximize profits via whatever it takes; we're okay with people walking through our supermarket the wrong way. And uh I don't need to sell you one expansion instead of another; I'm happy with people buying the old products.
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#### Awaclus

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3888 on: August 23, 2017, 04:13:36 pm »
0

All of the Dominion expansions have to deal with the power levels of all previously published expansions; for all I know, someone gets Dominion and then Prosperity and then Nocturne, and that's what they've got. The Nocturne cards don't want to suck there, or be too dominating there. There's only so much you can do but every time I try to do it.

Isn't there quite a bit of wiggle room there, too? Cards do different things, so generally you will find some way to utilize even the weaker ones, and if you don't sometimes, there are still 9 other cards in the kingdom so it's fine.
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#### Donald X.

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3889 on: August 23, 2017, 04:56:04 pm »
0

All of the Dominion expansions have to deal with the power levels of all previously published expansions; for all I know, someone gets Dominion and then Prosperity and then Nocturne, and that's what they've got. The Nocturne cards don't want to suck there, or be too dominating there. There's only so much you can do but every time I try to do it.

Isn't there quite a bit of wiggle room there, too? Cards do different things, so generally you will find some way to utilize even the weaker ones, and if you don't sometimes, there are still 9 other cards in the kingdom so it's fine.
Yes; if there's for example a new Witch, I don't want to make it as good as the best Witches, but usually it won't have to compete with them. When it does you won't buy it but it adds up to not so bad.
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#### crj

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3890 on: August 25, 2017, 11:21:41 pm »
0

And I made a game with tiles with text on them that went on a board and fought it out. It was impossible to see legal plays, let alone good plays.
Out of interest, have you ever played RR? There are diagrams rather than text on the cards, but in other respects it sounds quite similar to what you're describing.

It's not the greatest game I've ever tried, but it turns out that working out how to make a move is tractable.
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#### crj

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3891 on: August 25, 2017, 11:35:02 pm »
+1

At first glance, it looked to me as though the pig's snout was sticking over the edge of the frame in the Enchantress artwork. It's not, but I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought that.

What's your attitude to... "creative" deviations from the standard card template? Is there a policy against it, or are you/RGG just waiting for the right moment?

Similarly, what's your attitude to outright silly cards, ŕ la MTG Unglued/Unhinged?
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#### Donald X.

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3892 on: August 25, 2017, 11:40:23 pm »
+1

And I made a game with tiles with text on them that went on a board and fought it out. It was impossible to see legal plays, let alone good plays.
Out of interest, have you ever played RR? There are diagrams rather than text on the cards, but in other respects it sounds quite similar to what you're describing.

It's not the greatest game I've ever tried, but it turns out that working out how to make a move is tractable.
I haven't played that or previously heard of it. It does not sound much like the game I was talking about.
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#### Limetime

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3893 on: August 25, 2017, 11:42:35 pm »
0

Do you regret that one rule that make the oldest person go first in kingdom builder?
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#### Donald X.

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3894 on: August 25, 2017, 11:54:21 pm »
+3

At first glance, it looked to me as though the pig's snout was sticking over the edge of the frame in the Enchantress artwork. It's not, but I'm sure I'm not the only person who thought that.

What's your attitude to... "creative" deviations from the standard card template? Is there a policy against it, or are you/RGG just waiting for the right moment?

Similarly, what's your attitude to outright silly cards, ŕ la MTG Unglued/Unhinged?
We've never considered any kind of just-for-fun layout, just functional. Only lately have we struggled to get the text to all be centered and stuff. There could be some compelling reason someday, something that specifically made us think of having a wacky layout, but mostly it has no chance. We don't have that kind of situation.

I have made hundreds of joke Magic cards, but not Un-style - strictly unpublishable stuff, like the joke cards that the Duelist once had. I did make a few Un-style cards because why not; I had a file of those before Unglued came out.

The Un- sets, uh, well the big problem is that you can't play with them in normal games. With Unglued, I got a box, I built some decks, and you know, whoever you run into at the public Magic night says "I have a Standard deck" or whatever, and your deck doesn't qualify and it isn't happening. You can say "here play one of my decks against another one" and maybe they'll bite, but basically I barely got to play with Unglued. But when Unhinged came out, I was making cubes and drafting them with friends, and I could put in Un- cards, within reason (so like nothing that cared about your pants, but caring about how long a card name was was fine). So for me Unhinged was a tiny handful of cards I could reasonably use in cubes. And I mean those few cards were fun.

I'm sure I will enjoy reading the Unstable cards online. My Magic nights got replaced by Dominion nights in 2006 and it has been some years since I bought any cards.

I am not planning to ever do Un-style Dominion cards. If Stash counts then there you go, Stash.
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#### Donald X.

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3895 on: August 25, 2017, 11:56:42 pm »
+3

Do you regret that one rule that make the oldest person go first in kingdom builder?
Well it's nothing to do with me. Queen put that in, I assume because one of the ways to score is area control. I personally would have had the best player go last, and don't play with that scoring card anymore (Marshlands and Harvest each have a better version of area control). I regret that scoring card, and without it Queen might have had it be youngest player, so in that sense, sure. It's not something I ever think about though.
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#### Dingan

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3896 on: September 08, 2017, 02:00:03 pm »
0

Why was Chapel not removed with the other first-edition cards? It's, even to this day, just so, so oddly priced. Also, Donate could have almost been branded as Chapel's "replacement". Is it just too fun to remove? Too much of a fan-favorite? Or do you think it's correctly-priced? Or what?

For the record: I love Chapel and thanks for keeping it!
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#### werothegreat

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3897 on: September 08, 2017, 02:03:37 pm »
0

Why was Chapel not removed with the other first-edition cards? It's, even to this day, just so, so oddly priced. Also, Donate could have almost been branded as Chapel's "replacement". Is it just too fun to remove? Too much of a fan-favorite? Or do you think it's correctly-priced? Or what?

For the record: I love Chapel and thanks for keeping it!

1) the focus was on removing bad/useless cards
2) having more than one card/event do the same thing is fine, it means that role can be found in more random games, this is why there are so many villages
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#### Cave-o-sapien

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3898 on: September 08, 2017, 02:30:02 pm »
+3

Why was Chapel not removed with the other first-edition cards? It's, even to this day, just so, so oddly priced. Also, Donate could have almost been branded as Chapel's "replacement". Is it just too fun to remove? Too much of a fan-favorite? Or do you think it's correctly-priced? Or what?

For the record: I love Chapel and thanks for keeping it!

Here are some of Donald's previously recorded thoughts on Chapel:

http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=85.msg771#msg771
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#### Donald X.

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##### Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #3899 on: September 08, 2017, 02:44:38 pm »
+4

Why was Chapel not removed with the other first-edition cards? It's, even to this day, just so, so oddly priced. Also, Donate could have almost been branded as Chapel's "replacement". Is it just too fun to remove? Too much of a fan-favorite? Or do you think it's correctly-priced? Or what?

For the record: I love Chapel and thanks for keeping it!
As noted I think it's correctly priced; the issue is whether that text should be a card, not what it should cost if it does. I think it's great that sometimes trashing is so easy. The question then is if the main game is the best place to have one of those. The argument is that new players don't understand trashing immediately, and having such a blatant extreme trasher helps. And then it retains value for experienced players, by changing the game so much but still leaving plenty of room to be the better player.

I don't know how much it actually helps new players. But when working on 2E I wasn't ever thinking, at last, my chance to get rid of Chapel. If I had replaced just one card for high power level it would have been Witch instead (replacing it with another Witch). As you can see, that didn't happen either. The cards that left were the ones that don't contribute enough to making the game different; mostly this is by being weak, though in Feast's case it's just by not changing anything.
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