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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 656308 times)

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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4425 on: November 06, 2018, 05:04:36 pm »
+8

Unlike previous sets, it seems like some of the cards/projects that weren't previewed in Renaissance seem more insane than the ones that were. Capitalism comes to mind, but also Scepter, Border Guard, Fleet.

What was the main rationale/process behind which cards get previewed?
It's always nice to save stuff so that the full set isn't disappointing (lots of set highlights weren't previewed in the past - I'll give the Peasant line as an example), but the previews are sure trying to show off cool stuff. But they're hemmed in some too. With half the kingdom cards off-theme this time, there aren't many cards for each theme.

The natural days were off-theme, villagers, coffers, artifacts, projects. You could do it other ways - e.g., every day a Project - but that way looked good.

- There were a lot of options for off-theme. I decided to rule out the Duration cards and Scepter as they stray from the "simplicity" message. I wanted cards that would be fun to see over and over during previews week, which ruled out Witch with its Curses and Inventor with its mega-turns. Hideout was on the list for a while, but I decided Mountain Village would be more fun for previews week. And Improve, well, they couldn't all make it.
- Villagers came ahead of Coffers and so didn't want cards with both; the three I picked were shoe-ins.
- Coffers was hemmed in; I didn't want to show multiple cards with both Coffers and Villagers, and didn't want to show both Ducat and Spices. Silk Merchant was a set stand-out for playtesters, so it made it over Patron. It overlaps some with Lackeys and Spices so I shouldn't show those on their days. And Swashbuckler had an Artifact.
- For Artifacts I just didn't do the card with two Artifacts, that was easy.
- I wanted 3 simple Projects and 3 wackier ones. For preview week considerations I took Fair over Barracks; those are the two simplest. Silos is pretty simple. Citadel gets in something with a big effect that we still all immediately understand. The three wackier ones are all personal favorites. Fleet wouldn't have added as much for previews week. There were playtesters who adored Capitalism, but also ones who didn't like that Capitalism and Patron single out an unusual subset of cards. That doesn't seem to have bothered you people at large, so look at that, playtesters.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4426 on: November 06, 2018, 05:08:34 pm »
+8

Maybe this will be mentioned in the secret history... what's the reason for Patron being a reaction? It's wording and function seem very similar to Fortress, which is not a reaction. In general, reactions always do something from a hidden place (almost always your hand); and the blue reminds people that they can do something at a time they normally couldn't. But why are Patron and Fortress different here?
The blue reminds you that Patron does something when it shows up from wherever, whether it's your hand or not. Similarly Tunnel is a Reaction and sometimes works from your deck.

Fortress could have been a reaction. It was a decision to make back when. The argument for not making when-trashed cards reactions - and not making when-gain cards reactions too, or giving them their own color - is that the card is involved. You know. You play Militia; Moat isn't involved, but I could use it. You play Venture; Tunnel and Patron are just going by, but they matter. You buy or trash Silk Merchant; it's right there, in on the action. So we don't need to call attention to it as much as we do Moat / Patron / etc.

But, it certainly could have been that when-gain/trash got colors.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4427 on: November 06, 2018, 06:33:27 pm »
0

Thanks. So is Patron optional, via some sort of rule that says you never have to "reveal" a reaction for its effect? Or is it not optional, because it doesn't say "may".
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4428 on: November 06, 2018, 06:44:13 pm »
+7

Thanks. So is Patron optional, via some sort of rule that says you never have to "reveal" a reaction for its effect? Or is it not optional, because it doesn't say "may".
It's not optional. And we don't need to keep you honest; it was revealed!
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4429 on: November 07, 2018, 10:54:40 am »
0

I remember when I asked Donald X. about it, he had at least 10 dimensions of complexity/simplicity that he considers (some of which would fall under your three), but I expect it's the additional things that Donald X. is trying to optimize that makes it near impossible to satisfy all the types of simplicity.

But seriously, you should ask him about it.  The statement that you quoted from me is something I've seen him say many times.

Summoning Donald X. to enlighten us. What are your 10 dimensions of complexity/simplicity? Will number 7 shock us? And when can we expect the secret history for renaissance?
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J Reggie

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4430 on: November 07, 2018, 12:51:01 pm »
0

Is there a specific reason or formula for the order types are written on cards?

silvern

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4431 on: November 07, 2018, 02:12:30 pm »
+3

Seems like the color possibilities for card types have just about been exhausted! Have you considered different patterns (zigzags, polka dots, etc.) for when colors can no longer do the trick?
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4432 on: November 07, 2018, 02:19:19 pm »
+2

(zigzags, polka dots, etc.)

Please, please, no.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4433 on: November 07, 2018, 02:40:58 pm »
0

There's plenty more colors, just go to http://randomcolour.com/ and use whatever pops up.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4434 on: November 07, 2018, 05:46:21 pm »
0

Seems like the color possibilities for card types have just about been exhausted! Have you considered different patterns (zigzags, polka dots, etc.) for when colors can no longer do the trick?

Travellers have a pattern instead of a color, kind of.

Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4435 on: November 07, 2018, 06:59:34 pm »
+9

I remember when I asked Donald X. about it, he had at least 10 dimensions of complexity/simplicity that he considers (some of which would fall under your three), but I expect it's the additional things that Donald X. is trying to optimize that makes it near impossible to satisfy all the types of simplicity.

But seriously, you should ask him about it.  The statement that you quoted from me is something I've seen him say many times.

Summoning Donald X. to enlighten us. What are your 10 dimensions of complexity/simplicity? Will number 7 shock us? And when can we expect the secret history for renaissance?
I dug up the post where Ben asked me what I meant by complexity, and here's what I said.

Quote
The big thing that is *not* a problem is strategic complexity. It's great if a card has lots of strategic complexity, if doing well with it involves thinking about it, and it varies from game to game so that you have to reassess it, and it takes you a while to really come to terms with it.

Complex things include:
- lots of text, like on Noble Brigand (the big one you see me constantly worrying about)
- multiple concepts, like on Jack of All Trades
- making you read additional cards (this is also more text and more concepts), like Vampire
- making you wonder "why would I want that, I must be missing something" like Rats
- having lots of FAQs, like Band of Misfits
- sending you to the rulebook to know what it does, like Candlestick Maker
- invoking rules players don't really know, like "lose track" or what "kingdom card" means
- adding tracking, like Smugglers
- clauses you might mentally edit out, like "non-Victory" on Haggler
- defying expectations mechanically, like uh something
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4436 on: November 07, 2018, 07:00:35 pm »
+2

Is there a specific reason or formula for the order types are written on cards?
The vague idea is to put the ones that determine when you can play the card first, and after that have the ones that don't mean as much. I may have been inconsistent somewhere.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4437 on: November 07, 2018, 07:00:56 pm »
+9

Seems like the color possibilities for card types have just about been exhausted! Have you considered different patterns (zigzags, polka dots, etc.) for when colors can no longer do the trick?
I haven't considered that.
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crlundy

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4438 on: November 07, 2018, 08:34:01 pm »
+8

The vague idea is to put the ones that determine when you can play the card first, and after that have the ones that don't mean as much. I may have been inconsistent somewhere.

I believe Raider (Night-Duration-Attack) is the only inconsistency; Enchantress, Haunted Woods, and Swamp Hag all list Attack before Duration. Except for Raider, the types have been ordered as follows (types on the same tier have not appeared together):
  • Action, Curse
  • Gathering, Night, Ruins, Treasure, Zombie
  • Attack, Reserve
  • Doom, Duration, Fate, Looter, Knight, Prize, Traveller
  • Spirit, Victory
  • Castle, Heirloom, Reaction
  • Shelter
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crj

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4439 on: November 08, 2018, 07:11:55 am »
0

(types on the same tier have not appeared together)
[...]
Attack, Reserve
Curious, now you mention it: on the face of it, Reserve-Attack seems like fertile ground for interesting cards!
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GendoIkari

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4440 on: November 08, 2018, 11:00:12 am »
0

(types on the same tier have not appeared together)
[...]
Attack, Reserve
Curious, now you mention it: on the face of it, Reserve-Attack seems like fertile ground for interesting cards!

It's really not mechanically different from Attack-Duration. Keep in mind it could never "attack" when it is called; it would have to do its thing on-play.
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crj

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4441 on: November 08, 2018, 12:28:47 pm »
0

Trivial example: Wine Merchant, but with some vicious attack substituted for the +$4, +1 Buy. That would be an entirely practical Action-Attack-Reserve.

Not necessarily a very interesting one, but this isn't the variants forum. (-8
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4442 on: November 08, 2018, 01:29:24 pm »
0

It's really not mechanically different from Attack-Duration. Keep in mind it could never "attack" when it is called; it would have to do its thing on-play.

There's no reason why it couldn't also hurt the opponent when it's called.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4443 on: November 08, 2018, 01:58:46 pm »
0

It's really not mechanically different from Attack-Duration. Keep in mind it could never "attack" when it is called; it would have to do its thing on-play.

There's no reason why it couldn't also hurt the opponent when it's called.

Of course... but that wouldn't be related to the attack type at that point. And in would be better for avoiding rules confusion if it didn't have the attack type. IGG could have the attack type too, but it doesn't because it would mislead people into thinking Moat can do anything about it.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4444 on: November 08, 2018, 04:25:31 pm »
+2

Of course... but that wouldn't be related to the attack type at that point. And in would be better for avoiding rules confusion if it didn't have the attack type. IGG could have the attack type too, but it doesn't because it would mislead people into thinking Moat can do anything about it.
Yes, it would be confusing if calling a card hurt the other players. Plus it would be more political than regular attacks (e.g. the attack is Militia; how many cards does everyone have, is the person with 5 cards winning).
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4445 on: November 11, 2018, 10:09:46 pm »
0

What advice can you give for refining game ideas?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4446 on: November 12, 2018, 04:35:54 am »
+2

What advice can you give for refining game ideas?
Well I pace a lot. As I like to say, I don't wait for an idea to come to me, I hunt it down. Uh, write what you know? The question is pretty vague and open-ended, but it's not like I'll have good advice if you make it specific and pointy.
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crj

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4447 on: November 12, 2018, 10:00:45 am »
+2

Well I pace a lot.
Is that pace as in take things slowly, or pace as in walk around the room?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4448 on: November 12, 2018, 05:14:14 pm »
+4

Well I pace a lot.
Is that pace as in take things slowly, or pace as in walk around the room?
Walk around the room.
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ThetaSigma12

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4449 on: November 12, 2018, 05:44:00 pm »
+2

Well I pace a lot.
Is that pace as in take things slowly, or pace as in walk around the room?
Walk around the room.
At what pace do you pace? Do you pace your pacing, or are your paces unpaced?
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