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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 1392693 times)

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ipofanes

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #500 on: January 16, 2013, 10:36:37 am »
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Name, reaction, and artwork of Horse Traders synergise very well. I find this card very thematic.

Bazaar should have been a Village. Every card which looks like a market should net a Buy.
Bazaar has that name because there was unused art from the main set that needed to be used - specifically, unused art for Market.

It's really an exception to quite workable mnemonics the card names offer. A positive example is using verbs for cards that trash to get something better ("mine" can also be a verb). In German they use words ending with "-bau". One more adantage to your putting a cap on expansions: You have more verbs in English than we have words ending on "-bau".

I have bought Bazaar more than once only to find out later that it doesn't offer the +buy (well less often than I have mistaken Mine for Mint -- "hey, where's all my Silver?"). More so as Festival is Jahrmarkt in German.

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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #501 on: January 16, 2013, 11:09:38 am »
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I think I get the gist of Richard Garfield's argument here but I have seen few games in which diplomacy is so dominant (the Werewolves/Mafia type of games come to mind but they don't deny that it's all about persuading). Most games are of the sort that someone should be able to trailblaze multiple paths to victory that cannot be blocked by everyone else. Your pet peeve Risk is not of the sort, that's why it takes ages to complete.
That's not Richard's argument, that's my argument: "I don't remember how he actually argues this, but it seems to me that..." Possibly you can dig up one of his old Duelist articles online. I know he explained the "chip-taking game," which is a very simple pure politics game.

I am not convinced by your statement about "most games." If most games are two player or have two teams or are co-ops or N-against-1 or are decisionless then hey, no politics. Multiplayer games with interaction and decisions always have politics, and not every designer tries to mute the politics. Risk is not unique, it is typical of an era.
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ipofanes

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #502 on: January 16, 2013, 11:49:19 am »
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Most games are of the sort that someone should be able to trailblaze multiple paths to victory that cannot be blocked by everyone else.
If most games are two player or have two teams or are co-ops or N-against-1 or are decisionless then hey, no politics. Multiplayer games with interaction and decisions always have politics, and not every designer tries to mute the politics.


I didn't say "no politics". Cyclades, for instance, has a lot of decisions inflicting harm to a specific opponent (being overbid can be cruel). Yet politics does not dominate the game to an extent where you could as well play Mafia.

Quote
Risk is not unique, it is typical of an era.

Definitely, but I didn't have the games in mind that didn't stand the test of time when I said "most games".
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #503 on: January 16, 2013, 12:02:48 pm »
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I didn't say "no politics". Cyclades, for instance, has a lot of decisions inflicting harm to a specific opponent (being overbid can be cruel). Yet politics does not dominate the game to an extent where you could as well play Mafia.

Definitely, but I didn't have the games in mind that didn't stand the test of time when I said "most games".
Let us avoid a pointless endless argument over exactly what people mean with words. I don't need to convince you that any particular fraction of published games have whatever level of politics, and don't wish to spend time analyzing the data.
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werothegreat

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #504 on: January 19, 2013, 12:53:47 am »
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Were there any other Dominion cards that were named for animals at some point, besides Rats, Trusty Steed and Familiar?
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #505 on: January 19, 2013, 02:19:06 am »
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Was there any point during Dominion's development etc when you were ready to give up?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #506 on: January 19, 2013, 12:45:51 pm »
+3

Were there any other Dominion cards that were named for animals at some point, besides Rats, Trusty Steed and Familiar?
I considered "Menagerie" as an expansion theme at one point, and it came up again for Cornucopia, although that was really just a joke.

There were a couple cards called Kennel in Dark Ages. The original was "+1 card +1 action, name a type, others reveal their top cards and trash the ones that match." Dog & Pony Show, from Cornucopia, drew you one of each different card in the top 5.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #507 on: January 19, 2013, 12:48:52 pm »
+2

Was there any point during Dominion's development etc when you were ready to give up?
Well it worked immediately, so no. Sometimes I make a game and it has issues I don't see answers for and I put it aside for 6 months or 5 years or some combination of forever and who knows. Dominion worked the first night, so that was that.
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soulnet

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #508 on: January 19, 2013, 02:04:37 pm »
+1

1. Why is the background of Action - Reaction cards blue instead of White and Blue? It seems that either this or Treasure - Reaction or Action - Victory is "wrong", i.e., there seems to be no simple to explain convention regarding how to assign colors. Maybe a Treasure - Reaction was not planned when Moat got full blue background?

2. Is it possible / feasible to have Treasure - Duration type?

3. When learning that Dark Ages had a trashing theme, I was expecting a Victory Card scoring points per cards in the trash (or something else trash related). This is a really simple idea, so my wild guess is that it was considered. Is there something particularly broken about something like that? (maybe an Action - Victory that potentially trashes, so there is always a trasher in the board).

4. After Prosperity, there seems to be a really thin line between non-terminal non-village Actions and Treasures, but there are lots of cards that care about that thin line (even disregarding the "drawing nonterminals dead" possibility). At this point, I even think the difference between Actions and Kingdom Treasures is more of a "spirit" things, so that things that interact specifically with one kind have some meaning. After a kind of long introduction, my question is, do you base the decision of weither something should be an Action or a Treasure purely based on possible game interactions? If so, is there any kind of rule of thumb to decide what type to assign to a card to put something to avoid bad interactions in future cards?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #509 on: January 19, 2013, 02:38:33 pm »
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1. Why is the background of Action - Reaction cards blue instead of White and Blue? It seems that either this or Treasure - Reaction or Action - Victory is "wrong", i.e., there seems to be no simple to explain convention regarding how to assign colors. Maybe a Treasure - Reaction was not planned when Moat got full blue background?
I remember answering this one on BGG, and hey here's that post.

Quote from: Donald X.
I did think of this back when, and mentioned it in case anyone cared.

In Dominion, color indicates type, but type doesn't always mean a color, and the Action type does not always have its color represented.

The way to think of this is in terms of functionality. Why have colors at all?

- Green lets you know that you don't need to look at those cards in your hand, they are doing nothing. And it helps you sort them at the end too.
- Yellow lets you know you can play that card in your buy phase.
- Blue lets you know that this card does something at an unusual time. Look at your hand, see if there's a blue card.
- Orange reminds you that this might stay out an extra turn instead of being discarded.

Curses didn't strictly need their own color but it seemed nice to help sort them and they got one. Attacks were originally pink but I switched to the default white there because that word "attack" didn't have any meaning. It's just there so cards can refer to it.

White is just the default color; an Action with nothing extra going on is white.

So then, why make Nobles etc. white-green? Because normally you can ignore victory cards in hand, that's their deal, but you don't want to ignore Nobles. So it reminds you that it's an action.

Whereas orange-white isn't needed for duration cards because the orange color doesn't mean "ignore this."

For Moat in particular, there it was as the only reaction in the main set. It did not want to be two colors, that seemed more confusing rather than less confusing.

The "when-gain" ability could have had a type and color, to help remind you to do something when you gain one. But then Mint couldn't have been in Prosperity, and I didn't consider this back then.

Anyway, Moat could have been blue-white, this did not go unnoticed but it did go undone.

2. Is it possible / feasible to have Treasure - Duration type?
I would have to read the Seaside rulebook to know for sure. Read the Seaside rulebook, see what you think. The Seaside rulebook could have been written such that treasure-duration worked, but I don't know if it was.

3. When learning that Dark Ages had a trashing theme, I was expecting a Victory Card scoring points per cards in the trash (or something else trash related). This is a really simple idea, so my wild guess is that it was considered. Is there something particularly broken about something like that? (maybe an Action - Victory that potentially trashes, so there is always a trasher in the board).
There are secret histories for each expansion, you can see the Dark Ages one on this very site at http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=4318.0

Quote from: Donald X.
- Another late card was a treasure-victory card, worth $1 plus $1 per nontreasure in your hand, and worth 1 VP per 10 cards in the trash. The VP part was crazy, and I replaced this with a treasure worth $1 per different card type in your hand. It was cute in all-Dark Ages games and not so great otherwise. It flirted with staying in the set, then I replaced it with Rebuild.
Seaside also once had a victory card that counted the trash, and Seaside also has a secret history viewable on this site.

Quote from: Donald X.
- The victory card that Island replaced was an Action-Victory with "Trash a card from the supply costing $6 or less / Worth 1 vp per 3 vp cards in the trash." I always thought it seemed cool and interesting, but in practice it wasn't much fun. If you went for it, other people would get in on it. It would do nothing some games, then dominate others, but never in a fun way. No-one was sad to see it go. There could still be a card someday that trashes supply cards, but in practice it's mostly a waste of time, with players sitting there trying to work out which card to trash in cases where it really doesn't matter (and so it's hard to decide).

4. After Prosperity, there seems to be a really thin line between non-terminal non-village Actions and Treasures, but there are lots of cards that care about that thin line (even disregarding the "drawing nonterminals dead" possibility). At this point, I even think the difference between Actions and Kingdom Treasures is more of a "spirit" things, so that things that interact specifically with one kind have some meaning. After a kind of long introduction, my question is, do you base the decision of weither something should be an Action or a Treasure purely based on possible game interactions? If so, is there any kind of rule of thumb to decide what type to assign to a card to put something to avoid bad interactions in future cards?
Prosperity had a theme of treasures that did things. Originally many of them were "when you spend this," but that created questions that I could solve by going either to "when you play this" or "while this is in play."

Since other sets don't have that theme, they don't have treasures that do something when played unless there's a compelling reason for them. It's not that an action with +1 action could be a treasure; it has to want to be a treasure. Only one card has been tried both ways - Horn of Plenty was an action, and switched to being a treasure in order to count treasures you'd played (in the simplest way). Diadem, Ill-Gotten Gains, and Fool's Gold all do something when played just to let them be worth varying amounts. Spoils does something to be one-use. Counterfeit is specifically a Throne Room for treasures, it plays treasures and so naturally it's a treasure (while some people like that Black Market plays treasures in the action phase, it's too confusing to be worth doing again).

I am not seeing the +1 Action cards that want to be treasures. Obv. anything that also draws cards is unhappy to be a treasure. Forager could be a treasure that makes a variable amount. Rebuild has no reason to be a treasure. Bag of Gold sounds like a treasure, but makes $0; even though Horn of Plenty is a treasure worth $0, that's not something to do for no good reason. Ruined Village for sure did not want to be a treasure.

So overall there's just Forager. I did not consider making Forager a treasure. I applied no rule of thumb; I just never considered it. It was an action and nothing said "wait let's think about this."
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soulnet

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #510 on: January 19, 2013, 03:00:08 pm »
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Thanks for the pointers and reposts, and sorry for not remembering those excerpts from the secret histories. I read those a while ago and don't remember every detail. About BGG, well, I just don't read that forum.

2. Is it possible / feasible to have Treasure - Duration type?
I would have to read the Seaside rulebook to know for sure. Read the Seaside rulebook, see what you think. The Seaside rulebook could have been written such that treasure-duration worked, but I don't know if it was.

I did check beforehand and its apparently legal. Maybe my use of the word possible is not clear enough, my question was if there was something broken or not fun or difficult to explain that made such a thing better left out.

I think the Seaside rulebook is not too specific about what a Duration is or is not. Even "Reaction - Duration" would be legal, although it would be probably quite hard to get the text precise enough. Maybe Horse Traders is already an Action - Reaction - Duration, although this opens the door for things like "Action - Duration - Reaction - Duration" and that's probably too much.
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werothegreat

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #511 on: January 19, 2013, 03:38:59 pm »
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Treasures and Actions operate at different parts of your turn.  It does make a difference.

Say you have a three-card hand of Forager, Estate and Horse Traders.

If Forager is an Action: you play Forager, trash the Estate, then play Horse Traders, discarding nothing.

If Forager is a Treasure: You have to play Horse Traders first, since Forager cannot be played yet, and you discard the Estate and the Forager.

Let's say there's a Copper and a Silver in the trash.  In the first scenario, you get $5 and 3 Buys.  In the second scenario, you get $3 and 2 Buys.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #512 on: January 19, 2013, 03:40:54 pm »
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Thanks for the pointers and reposts, and sorry for not remembering those excerpts from the secret histories. I read those a while ago and don't remember every detail. About BGG, well, I just don't read that forum.
I don't expect people to remember them, it's just, if you have a question about Dark Ages outtakes, there's a source.

I did check beforehand and its apparently legal. Maybe my use of the word possible is not clear enough, my question was if there was something broken or not fun or difficult to explain that made such a thing better left out.

I think the Seaside rulebook is not too specific about what a Duration is or is not. Even "Reaction - Duration" would be legal, although it would be probably quite hard to get the text precise enough. Maybe Horse Traders is already an Action - Reaction - Duration, although this opens the door for things like "Action - Duration - Reaction - Duration" and that's probably too much.
If it didn't conflict with the Seaside rulebook and I was doing a new set with duration cards, I would for sure consider doing a treasure-duration. I don't think it would be too confusing.

A card has to say "duration" to be a duration card, so Horse Traders for example is not one. I wouldn't do a "reaction-duration," that wasn't also an action or treasure, it doesn't make sense. Duration cards stay in play; pure reactions aren't played.
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eHalcyon

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #513 on: January 19, 2013, 07:59:51 pm »
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Have you ever considered making an Action-Treasure?  If so, how would such a card work?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #514 on: January 19, 2013, 08:09:44 pm »
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Have you ever considered making an Action-Treasure?  If so, how would such a card work?
No, I can't do action-treasure because it would be too confusing. And basically the entire appeal of it would be triggering two things on Ironworks / Tribute / Ironmonger.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2013, 10:39:55 am by Donald X. »
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RD

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #515 on: January 20, 2013, 09:45:39 am »
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Are there any interesting mechanics that you considered but didn't wind up using? Off the top of my head (just to save you the trouble of repeating yourself) you've mentioned:

* Duration cards that last longer than one turn, which were considered too confusing to mix in with Seaside
* A second resource, which obviously appeared in a very limited form as Potion
* Something like a board, which you say is better used for a spinoff, rather than an individual card that might not be bought and then why did you bother setting the board up.

You've probably mentioned some others in the Secret History articles but I can imagine where many ideas were probably abandoned too early to have ever had a place in one of the sets during development.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #516 on: January 20, 2013, 10:58:11 am »
+2

Are there any interesting mechanics that you considered but didn't wind up using? Off the top of my head (just to save you the trouble of repeating yourself) you've mentioned:

* Duration cards that last longer than one turn, which were considered too confusing to mix in with Seaside
* A second resource, which obviously appeared in a very limited form as Potion
* Something like a board, which you say is better used for a spinoff, rather than an individual card that might not be bought and then why did you bother setting the board up.

You've probably mentioned some others in the Secret History articles but I can imagine where many ideas were probably abandoned too early to have ever had a place in one of the sets during development.
Treasury is like a duration card that lasts longer than one turn.

I have a list of possible mechanics. If any of them are really that interesting I should keep them private for now, and consider them for spin-offs. I will mention a few uninteresting things that I decided against.

- My first plan for Intrigue was to have an event deck. You'd flip over a card sometimes and something would happen to everybody. When the time came I didn't try it, because it seemed so superfluous. The game gets tons of variety from changing the ten cards, and an opponent playing an interactive/attack card is like an event.

- There was a Dark Ages outtake, "Choose one: +1 card +1 action, or Throne." It died because it didn't want to cost $5 (it had cost $4 when Throne cost $3). At one point I thought I'd do a mini-theme of cards like that, but I didn't because it wasn't interesting enough to even replace that one card.

- I tried a few cards that did something at the start of your turn, while staying in your hand. There was nothing interesting about this either; if you really want a card that can do a little without using up your action, that can just be a choose one.

- "Cost weirdness" was at one point a theme of a small set. This mechanic is good, but only in small doses. Grand Market and Peddler survived, and a few other cards didn't. There was a VP card that cost less per card you'd drawn, and a card that cost the same as the last card you'd gained that turn.
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ipofanes

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #517 on: January 22, 2013, 05:31:50 am »
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I am not seeing the +1 Action cards that want to be treasures.
I think soulnet rather meant kingdom treasures that might as well have been actions, like Quarry, Talisman, and, to a lesser extent, Loan (the power cap on Loan by possibly drawing a copy of it may have been necessary).

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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #518 on: January 22, 2013, 11:45:13 am »
+1

I am not seeing the +1 Action cards that want to be treasures.
I think soulnet rather meant kingdom treasures that might as well have been actions, like Quarry, Talisman, and, to a lesser extent, Loan (the power cap on Loan by possibly drawing a copy of it may have been necessary).
I wanted a treasures-that-do-things theme for Prosperity, and so made treasures that did things. Originally it was "when you spend this," but that creates some questions, so it ended up "when you play this" or "while this is in play."

They were not actions because the whole point was to do treasures.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #519 on: January 22, 2013, 02:31:43 pm »
0

What's your favourite flavor of ice cream?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #520 on: January 22, 2013, 02:45:34 pm »
+2

What's your favourite flavor of ice cream?
Bittersweet Nugget.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #521 on: January 22, 2013, 04:29:48 pm »
0

What's your favourite flavor of ice cream?
Bittersweet Nugget.

Who makes the best ice cream? James Bond or Indiana Jones?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #522 on: January 22, 2013, 04:35:05 pm »
+1

What's your favourite flavor of ice cream?
Bittersweet Nugget.

Who makes the best ice cream? James Bond or Indiana Jones?
Hans Solo, but you have to be careful not to eat any of the carbonite.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #523 on: January 22, 2013, 06:55:01 pm »
0

What's your favourite flavor of ice cream?
Bittersweet Nugget.

Who makes the best ice cream? James Bond or Indiana Jones?
Hans Solo, but you have to be careful not to eat any of the carbonite.

+1 for Star Wars jokes, but -1 for Hans.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #524 on: January 22, 2013, 07:03:08 pm »
+3

+1 for Star Wars jokes, but -1 for Hans.
It's the red queen's race in here.
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