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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 751453 times)

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nopawnsintended

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #150 on: December 09, 2012, 06:37:44 pm »
+2

Great thread.  Here are some other questions.

If you could choose two (famous) people to play in a game of Dominion, who would they be and why?

Follow up: What cards would be in the kingdom?

Have you ever thought about running for political office (Governor, perhaps?)?

What is your favorite card to Throne Room?
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Captain_Frisk

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #151 on: December 09, 2012, 09:04:04 pm »
0

If you play on isotropic competitively how high do you expect your level to be?
I don't know what actual skill level corresponds to what numerical level. Also you are better at these things when you keep at them. I have not kept at it and so there's that. I imagine when I was playing a ton that I was probably a top player, but there's no reason to think I was ever at the very top.

When Captain Frisk (and Theory and RRenaud) showed up to do a little playtesting, I feel like me and the other playtesters really tried to beat them up - just, forget learning anything this game, let's show these new guys what for. And we did beat them up, although to be fair, we knew the new cards and they didn't, they were in the "can't you make Jack more powerful" phase. Frisk was playing more later and I think was winning his share then.

I can confirm that I took a beating.  Donald has already robbed my defenses, which were that i naturally wanted to play with the new hotness, and these guys had all seen all of the cards / combos before.  I'm personally very much of a "read lots of theory and execute it" rather than an "invent new crazy stuff" type of guy.

I would assume that Donald would be a 40-45 level player.  -Stef- would win > 50% games against him.
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ConMan

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #152 on: December 09, 2012, 09:38:18 pm »
0

Of all the different mechanics, themes, concepts and what have yous out there that you *haven't* explicitly made a game about, what do you most want to try?

Did Kingdom Builder ever have a different name?

Out of all the Dominion cards so far released, what is your favourite interaction - combo or nombo - between two or more of them?
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #153 on: December 09, 2012, 11:35:56 pm »
0

Any chance we'll get the Secret History of Donald's Mafia Thoughts?
I know I wanted to try having the roles be objects that people passed around, and it turned out someone had already tried that. People have been working on the problem for years, so probably I didn't have any ideas they haven't gotten to.

We do have the advantage of Mafia being more of a group-think development (albeit often starting from a "new" idea which is kept secret for the purposes of SUSPENSE, "playtested" once, and then overreacted to by the losers) compared to one guy teasing out all the "obvious" ideas from a rule set.

If you were to play forum Mafia, do you think you would do better as Mafia or Town? (Would the answer change if it were face-to-face?)
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Piemaster

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #154 on: December 10, 2012, 01:38:14 am »
0

I assume when you first started testing Dominion, you tried out a lot of different basic game mechanics that ended up getting canned for various reasons.  Are there any that, with the benefit of hindsight, you wish you had persevered with as you think they would have made the game better in some way?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #155 on: December 10, 2012, 02:54:02 am »
0

There has been to date exactly one card I saw where I thought, hey, cool idea. It was something like, "when you gain this put it in the discard pile of the player to your left; at end of game worth 2 VP for the player to your right." I have done hot-potato cards that did not work out and probably this would fail for the same reasons, but still, neat idea.

This seems almost identical to a double-curse, that works on-gain, so basically like a way more powerful IGG, with political issues because it only hurts one player.
Well they get the trash-for-benefit instead of you. But yes, that similarity could have killed the card. See, I already thought of everything.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #156 on: December 10, 2012, 03:39:24 am »
+6

If you could choose two (famous) people to play in a game of Dominion, who would they be and why?

Follow up: What cards would be in the kingdom?
This is tangential, but in the movie Midnight in Paris, the ostensible premise is that our hero is going back in time to Paris in the 20s. But the real premise is, our hero is going back in time to Paris in the 20s, and all of the famous people of the day are interested in talking to him. I mean he's a writer and some of them are writers, but he isn't a famous writer of the 20s, and he also gets to hang out with non-writers, Dali and uh, well Cole Porter is playing at a party and he sees Picasso at Gertrude Stein's. Anyway in the end, btw spoilers, our hero learns that he should be happy in his own time. But I'm in my own time right now, I've written some screenplays, and I can't chat up Woody Allen. The whole thing makes you want to start a club for clever creative people, try to put a little Algonquin Round Table into your life, but I don't see why any of them would show up.

Anyway I have no special interest in playing Dominion with a particular famous person I might otherwise like to meet. Man, for any given famous person, either you want to talk to them or have sex with them or both; maybe you want to collaborate on something with them. Playing Dominion, it will just be Dominion, I can already play Dominion.

I played my games a bunch of times with Richard Garfield, Mark Rosewater, and other Wizards people back in the late 90s. I had long conversations with Friedemann Friese and Andreas Seyfarth at the Essen I went to; I don't drink, but Andreas Seyfarth, there is a guy to have some beers with. There was business to discuss with Bernd, aka Michael Tummelhofer. I met Knizia but he just appeared to shake hands and smile and was gone. Tom Lehmann is coming over to play games in a few days, with Wei-Hwa, who you will one day know as the Roll for the Galaxy guy. I guess it's not so hard to meet people within your industry.

My favorite band is Game Theory / Loud Family (all other members quit so he changed the name). Since they are obscure and local, I have gotten to chat with the guy a few times, although I was somewhat starstruck. My favorite movie is Brazil; I will probably never meet Terry Gilliam. If he wants to hang out sometime then man I am there, it sounds like good times, but it's not like I think, oh, if only. There would probably be too much of a disconnect to enjoy meeting David Lynch or Robert Pollard. Woody Allen and Stephin Merritt would just be trying to get it over with. My favorite novel is Little, Big; I have no real concept of that guy, I'm not sure what we'd talk about. I'd go for Gene Wolfe for novels I think.

Scarlett Johansson is hot. Why, if I were ten years younger... and she were five years younger...

Have you ever thought about running for political office (Governor, perhaps?)?
I haven't, but I have flirted with trying to get some of my voting reforms to the governments that might use them, e.g. Sweden's. There are basic problems with basic solutions, where cold hard logic is all you need to see that of course you should change things.

What is your favorite card to Throne Room?
I don't know. Cards with choices are good, like Nobles.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #157 on: December 10, 2012, 04:19:32 am »
+1

Of all the different mechanics, themes, concepts and what have yous out there that you *haven't* explicitly made a game about, what do you most want to try?
For most of the mechanics I want to try, part of the appeal is not knowing a game that has them, so it's not like I want to list those. I've made several time travel games but no good ones; I'd like to make a good one.

Did Kingdom Builder ever have a different name?
No. I don't work on prototype names much; they need a name to be referred to, before I know if they're any good, and then it's easier to keep calling it that. So the names are usually something like The Spy Game. As you all know, in a surprise twist, Queen decided to stick with the prototype name. Rajive explained that, well, you are building a kingdom.

Out of all the Dominion cards so far released, what is your favourite interaction - combo or nombo - between two or more of them?
I already failed to answer this question. I will list a random interaction for each large set.

Dominion: Thief / Gardens has a certain charm.

Intrigue: I will stick with, Swindler / Silver. You couldn't possibly give me a Swindler, they're so terrifying.

Seaside: I am going to cite Smugglers / Pirate Ship. You open with Smugglers. You draw it and on their turn they buy Pirate Ship. Man. I don't want a Pirate Ship. Man. Urhrhrhr. Smuggle Pirate Ship, buy a Pirate Ship.

Prosperity: I am big on Worker's Village / Peddler.

Hinterlands: I have opened Develop / Spice Merchant so many times.

Dark Ages: Fortress is a pretty fun defense against Knights.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #158 on: December 10, 2012, 04:26:04 am »
+1

If you were to play forum Mafia, do you think you would do better as Mafia or Town? (Would the answer change if it were face-to-face?)
I don't know dude. Town sounds easier. As Town I just need to play as Town. As Mafia I have to play as Town but also Mafia.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #159 on: December 10, 2012, 04:38:27 am »
0

I assume when you first started testing Dominion, you tried out a lot of different basic game mechanics that ended up getting canned for various reasons.  Are there any that, with the benefit of hindsight, you wish you had persevered with as you think they would have made the game better in some way?
Day one, your starting hand was 5 coppers / 5 estates, and played cards went to the discard pile; it didn't take long to fix those things. And otherwise it was the same game when I showed it to RGG; there are no lost basic game mechanics.

There are plenty of single-card mechanics that didn't work out, and you can read about them in the secret histories. I have no regrets there, I mean the ones that still seem like they have potential also have the time I spent not getting anywhere to dissuade me. Look at Dark Ages especially, since many cards had their last stand there. There's nothing where I think, that would really have improved the game if it had worked; it's just, that would have been a cool card if it had worked.
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Jimmmmm

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #160 on: December 10, 2012, 05:29:19 am »
+4

What does the X stand for?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #161 on: December 10, 2012, 05:33:56 am »
+9

What does the X stand for?
It's a variable. The unknown.
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Jimmmmm

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #162 on: December 10, 2012, 05:39:08 am »
0

What does the X stand for?
It's a variable. The unknown.

Don't know whether to believe you or not. :P
I must admit, I'm struggling to think of you as "Donald Xavier", and I can't really think of any other X names.
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ipofanes

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #163 on: December 10, 2012, 05:41:11 am »
+2

Dark Ages: Fortress is a pretty fun defense against Knights.

Another card that lives up to its name.
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Jimmmmm

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #164 on: December 10, 2012, 05:42:17 am »
+1

I think it's interesting that most of us here seem to think of the Dominion cards as a whole bunch of cards, but Donald seems to think of them more in terms of the sets.
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SirPeebles

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #165 on: December 10, 2012, 06:32:45 am »
0

I think it's interesting that most of us here seem to think of the Dominion cards as a whole bunch of cards, but Donald seems to think of them more in terms of the sets.

I tend to think of them in terms of sets.  I remember acquiring them one ~$30 at a time, and how much each new set impacted my gaming group.  And still when we play we think in terms of sets. "Let's use Prosperity and Hinterlands" on Thursday.  It's never "Let's use King's Court and Jack" on Thursday.
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ipofanes

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #166 on: December 10, 2012, 06:49:45 am »
+3

What does the X stand for?
It's a variable. The unknown.

DXV also reads as 5:15, a great song by The Who.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #167 on: December 10, 2012, 07:06:02 am »
0

Are you in favor of initializing a MTG-like Dominion Pro Tour? Or, in a similar way, do you think it's somehow possible to make taking part at the World Championships more attractive?

SirPeebles

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #168 on: December 10, 2012, 08:00:56 am »
0

What was your reaction when you first heard fans talk about "the Silver test"?  Do you feel that Big Money strategies are too strong in base Dominion, and was that a consideration at all when you put together the flagship set?
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werothegreat

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #169 on: December 10, 2012, 08:16:29 am »
+1

I think it's interesting that most of us here seem to think of the Dominion cards as a whole bunch of cards, but Donald seems to think of them more in terms of the sets.

I tend to think of them in terms of sets.  I remember acquiring them one ~$30 at a time, and how much each new set impacted my gaming group.  And still when we play we think in terms of sets. "Let's use Prosperity and Hinterlands" on Thursday.  It's never "Let's use King's Court and Jack" on Thursday.

I think of it both ways.  I'm aware of what comes with which set, but since they're all part of a larger whole, rather than weird sequels to one another, my thoughts on Kingdom setups tend to be cross-expansion. 
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #170 on: December 10, 2012, 08:23:02 am »
0

Is Seaside your second favorite set?

What was the most enjoyable set to work on and playtest?

Don't know why this comes to mind, but what is your wife's favorite card?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #171 on: December 10, 2012, 08:35:29 am »
+1

Are you in favor of initializing a MTG-like Dominion Pro Tour? Or, in a similar way, do you think it's somehow possible to make taking part at the World Championships more attractive?
Well MtG has a constant flow of new products. Like, should Puerto Rico have a Pro Tour? It feels like the WBC is good enough for most games.

Giving people plane tickets to the championships would require thinking that that promotion was paying off. I'm not sure it would and it's not my department anyway.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #172 on: December 10, 2012, 08:48:53 am »
+2

What was your reaction when you first heard fans talk about "the Silver test"?  Do you feel that Big Money strategies are too strong in base Dominion, and was that a consideration at all when you put together the flagship set?
I'm not sure I would put it like that - more like, when I first heard a non-fan talking about it. I thought, lol. It's pretty obviously stupid and while it's good to realize "hey maybe buying a terminal action every turn won't work out," that obv. doesn't mean the game is broken. Dominion clearly survived that nonsense and so much for that.

I think base Dominion could have better replayability/variety via swapping out some of the duds for more interesting cards. That would also make more-interesting decks better; a bunch of decks where you play just 1-2 terminals plus money is not as much variety as, you know, not that. But I would be changing it for the variety issue, not due to wanting to hurt heavy money strategies.

Heavy money strategies were not a consideration for picking the cards in the main set. Being simple enough was the main concern, followed by, variety. It did well on simplicity, probably it could have been slightly less simple. It wasn't going to have as much variety as when you add an expansion, but it could have had more variety.

Silver isn't awful, and the game has this "only play one action per turn" rule. Those both seem like good things, but together they lead to, sometimes you can do well without many actions. Not playing many actions is just one of the basic solutions to only being able to play one per turn. There are other solutions though, and the main set has them: I can play lots of +1 action cards like Lab, I can play Village and more terminals, I can play Remodels and Remodel Remodel, I can go for Gardens and just live with lots of terminals.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #173 on: December 10, 2012, 08:59:43 am »
+2

Is Seaside your second favorite set?
Comparing just the large sets, I like Dark Ages best, then Hinterlands, Prosperity, Seaside, Intrigue, Dominion. They are just strictly in order from worst to best. The biggest gap is between Intrigue and Seaside though; from Seaside on they're all so good that who cares which set is better. I've had plenty of fun with Intrigue and Dominion but for sure there's room for improvement there.

It's hard to fairly compare the small sets to the large ones (or Dark Ages to normal large sets). I like Cornucopia more than Alchemy. I like Alchemy though, I am no Alchemy hater. I probably like Guilds best, but it's close.

What was the most enjoyable set to work on and playtest?
There's no set where I wasn't enjoying working on it. I guess the later sets were arguably more fun because we could playtest them on isotropic. Dark Ages is my favorite set, so, I dunno, Dark Ages?

Don't know why this comes to mind, but what is your wife's favorite card?
I don't know and she's asleep.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #174 on: December 10, 2012, 11:23:57 am »
0

Do you have favorite kid's game?

Any thoughts on a "Dominion for Kids" sort of variant similar to what we've seen for Settlers and Carcassonne?
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