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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 1831233 times)

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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #875 on: March 10, 2014, 10:06:39 pm »
+18

What's your favorite Guilds card?


..


(I suppose this answer won't appear for a few months.  :P )
I'm tentatively going with Herald.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #876 on: March 10, 2014, 10:07:26 pm »
+42

How long will that break be? :P
However long it is, it will be over before you know it.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #877 on: March 10, 2014, 10:08:35 pm »
+4

Donald!! Welcome back! We've missed you.  ;D
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #878 on: March 10, 2014, 10:10:10 pm »
+4

Why did you decide to let Scheme be Throned, but Herbalist not?  Was it too powerful for its cost to be able to put two Treasures on your deck from one Throned Herbalist?
Both cards just got the best wording they could have. In neither case did I really care if you could Throne it. By default I would like cards to be Throne-able, but Herbalist's best wording was to have below-the-line text. Scheme went through a bunch of wordings, at various points you could Throne it or couldn't, it could be used on itself or not. It had to be clear what happened with duration cards and trickier things like Thrones used on duration cards. In the end it worked out that you can get back Scheme and can Throne it.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #879 on: March 10, 2014, 10:12:01 pm »
+3

Well, I mean, Herbalist, as worded, cannot have its effect Throned.  It could have been "at the start of Clean-up this turn, put a Treasure in play on top of your deck."
It's just, if things happen at two times, I think it's best to have the dividing line. And with Herbalist that was easy. Scheme wanted a dividing line but the best wording turned out not to have one.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #880 on: March 10, 2014, 10:18:58 pm »
+8

Did cards like Village ever say something other than +2 Actions? Like, for instance, +2 Mana? Or even just +2 Action Points? Was there ever any concern that people might intuit that "+X Action" meant "play X other Actions now, before finishing the rest of this card," or should those people have just RTFM'd?
At the very beginning, there were no +'s at all. Village said "you may play an additional two Actions this turn," Market said "you may buy an additional card this turn," card-drawing was "Draw a card." +coins was "You have an additional $1 to spend this turn," but was only on one card.

When I decided to go to +'s, I might have used symbols, but I didn't have good symbols for everything. I might have used "-card" for discarding, as I have in other games such as Nefarious, but there just wasn't enough of it.

It's bad to "overload" terms and it would be nice if Action and Action weren't the same word (similarly it would be nice if Curse wasn't the type for the card Curse). There was no concern about Action prior to the game being released. I knew Curse was a mistake but at the same time I knew it didn't matter much and I didn't have a better word. At one point in the prototype it was a Token.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #881 on: March 10, 2014, 10:32:12 pm »
+7

Donald, could you tell us a bit about how the translating business works? I can't imagine that game designers such as yourself rejoice in translators changing the rules; but this has to balance with you probably not being able to verify the translations yourself (simply because it is impossible or at least impractical for you to learn every language in existance) and publishers probably simply not having the resources to explore every nook and cranny of game-rulesets. Who OK's the translations? etc. etc.
For translating into languages other than English, I am normally not involved at all. Georg, who did the German translations for HiG, asked for clarifications a few times, and asked could I rename Trickster, they had used that name already for Swindler. At least once another translator caught an error in the rulebook in time to fix it, IIRC it was the Korean translator. Normally it's just, Hobby Japan is translating Dominion stuff into Japanese, they do it, they're happy with it, that's that.

For translating into English, I struggle to get the publisher to let me endlessly proofread and correct the English version. I vary in success there; I didn't get to proofread Kingdom Builder: Crossroads at all, resulting in a bunch of mistakes, but I just finished endlessly proofreading Greed.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #882 on: March 10, 2014, 10:55:31 pm »
+6

Pretty much exactly one year gap from F.DS. Sounds like you planned this one :P.
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...spin-offs are still better for all of the previously cited reasons.
But not strictly better, because the spinoff can have a different cost than the expansion.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #883 on: March 10, 2014, 11:00:37 pm »
0

Donald!
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #884 on: March 10, 2014, 11:01:30 pm »
0

Great to have you back !

As a sidenote, the French translation for Kingdom Builder is beyond awful, but Queen is known for their awful translations (in France at least). I can't imagine how bad the Crossroads ones must be if you specifically heard about them (I only have Nomads).
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #885 on: March 10, 2014, 11:05:26 pm »
+4

Can you explain (or link to somewhere else) what's fresh about Greed, why we should buy it or support the kickstarter campaign?
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #886 on: March 10, 2014, 11:19:41 pm »
+4

Is there a reason why every action card that draws and has +$ in dominion is non-terminal? In your secret history, you said at one point that you made a chart of all of the combinations of pluses to possibly consider. So, why has no bonus like +2 cards +2$, or any variation of it ever made it?

The only exception to this rule is mercenary, but, well he only draws if you give him something to trash first, so he doesn't really draw. Trusty steed and pawn can choose to do it, and it doesn't seem so bad.

Also, it's so great that you're back, I've always been disappointed that I only came to the forum when you already left.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #887 on: March 10, 2014, 11:26:00 pm »
+4

The only exception to this rule is mercenary, but, well he only draws if you give him something to trash first, so he doesn't really draw. Trusty steed and pawn can choose to do it, and it doesn't seem so bad.

As a note, compare Mercenary to Steward and you might notice another reason as to why Mercenary does do both (answer: Mercenary gives all three Steward options at once, although it's an 'all or none' choice. And he attacks on top of course)
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...spin-offs are still better for all of the previously cited reasons.
But not strictly better, because the spinoff can have a different cost than the expansion.

Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #888 on: March 10, 2014, 11:47:52 pm »
+10

I would be interested in the design of the very first ten dominion cards (the cards you used in your first game). Do you have any pictures of the cards or do you have any similar files?
I didn't keep the very first cards; what were the odds anyone would ever want to see those. They roughly looked like:

- Village, $5, +2 Actions
- Market, $5, +1 Buy
- Witch, $3, Each other player gains a Curse
- either Knight, ~$6, each other player trashes their top card, or Thief, ~$1, each other player discards 1-2 cards
- Moat, $2, play to stop an attack
- Chapel, $2, trash any number of cards from your hand
- either Library, $4, draw an extra 2 cards at end of turn, or Lab, same but discard 2 afterwards
- Mine, $5, turn Copper to Silver or Silver to Gold, rather than working on any treasure
- Tower, $2, +1 card +1 action +$1
- possibly Remodel or Cellar or Throne Room

I know there were two attacks plus Moat. I'm sure about Village and Market and Tower. I know the card-drawing was something weak, I was initially scared of card-drawing.

Images of the oldest surviving pics are in the outtakes article, skipping ones that would just have the same text as the final version. I didn't save Village etc., I edited the images as I tweaked the cards. When I cut a card, I put a new card in its slot; I didn't immediately start saving outtakes. So Dungeon is the first image in the oldest file, but it wasn't in the first game, whatever was there didn't last.

Over the course of the evening, we played with the cards at different costs, marking the piles with dice. I printed out new versions for next game night, plus ten new cards, which I know included two attacks (including $3, +1 card, each other player gains a Confusion), Battlements (reaction that draws you cards), and whatever ones from above weren't actually in the first ten. Probably also Vault ($4, victory cards are Copper this turn) and Dungeon ($3, discard a card from your hand, trash a card from your hand, draw 3 cards). Possibly Feast (+$3, trash this) or Trading Post (trash a card from your hand to gain a card with the same cost). Possibly the VP Tower ($4, 1 VP per 3 Actions).

You can only play one action per turn, buy one card per turn. It's fair to say that those rules went hand-in-hand with having cards that were exceptions; part of the beauty of the rules is that then you can break them. Replacing cards with other cards directly was an obvious way to build up separately from buying things. Attacks obviously were going to give out junk, trash cards, cause discarding (Spy came a lot later); whatever one wasn't there the first night, it just didn't make it into the first ten, it was on the schedule. Reactions were part of the premise, although as cards you played at a special time, rather than the reveal thing that made it out. You could get rid of cards and there was something you obviously wanted to get rid of, so I immediately had Chapel. It took a bit longer to get Workshop. You could draw more cards, but maybe drawing your deck would be too easy, so at first it was harder to draw cards. The idea to Tower was to give you a little of multiple things, I was not thinking of it as chaining until I saw it in action. Cellar was obvious from the start but initially didn't have +1 Action. And then Throne Room, that's something automatically possible in many games without having much you've decided on. You play cards; you could play the same card twice.

The chaining Tower was fun, and over the first few weeks I came around on card-drawing and action-chaining. Village needed to draw a card to increase your chance of having extra actions to play; Market had to give you $ to increase the chance you could really buy two things. Once I had chaining +actions and +$/buy, I added Lab as we know it. At the same time I got less scared of card-drawing and put in Smithy. And then I made more complex cards.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #889 on: March 10, 2014, 11:51:56 pm »
+4

Did you request from the artists that Guilds feature so many bald people, or was that a coincidence?

Also, did you request from Jay that the Guilds rules use feminine pronouns?
The bald people was just something I noticed when I was writing the previews. I had artist notes for Guilds (something we started doing after Intrigue because the card title hadn't always communicated enough), but they don't mention hair or lack thereof.

Jay did the "she" thing in the Guilds rulebook on his own; you'd have to ask him why.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #890 on: March 11, 2014, 12:02:56 am »
+3

As a sidenote, the French translation for Kingdom Builder is beyond awful, but Queen is known for their awful translations (in France at least). I can't imagine how bad the Crossroads ones must be if you specifically heard about them (I only have Nomads).
Well I don't know about French etc. translations of Crossroads, but the English translation had multiple rules problems. One ability was completely wrong. One tile was given the same name as an existing tile. The task cards looked like you could score them multiple times, when once each is what's correct. The meeples were removed before scoring, which was not the intention and matters.

They printed fixed versions and if you buy one now I expect that's what you'll get; I got correct English copies. The problems delayed the general release of the English version, except at a few cons and I think in Europe, where people got wrong ones.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #891 on: March 11, 2014, 12:19:34 am »
+13

Can you explain (or link to somewhere else) what's fresh about Greed, why we should buy it or support the kickstarter campaign?
I made Greed in 2003. It was very sad when 7 Wonders was announced; I immediately got the publisher that was going to take months to make a decision to send Greed back to me, so I could give it to another publisher that wouldn't play it. A key lesson there is, just say "btw someone else will be looking at this too" and let them keep it.

I have never played 7 Wonders but I am sure Greed will always be compared to it. In Greed you have a hand of 3 cards - you draft for 2 turns, then draft/play for 10 turns. So you can plan for the future; you can take something early that you won't play until late, although hand space is precious. It's a game of interacting rules on cards; you can see examples on the kickstarter page. So uh you get combos, you know. I don't think that's so much what goes on in 7 Wonders.

Greed is in some ways the quintessential Donald X. game - not among my published games, but among all of my games. It's a card game with interacting rules on cards; it lasts 30-40 minutes; we all make decisions at the same time. That is me all over.

I think Greed will go over well with uh the strategy-game-fans among Dominion players, like you people. It might be too much for the more casual Dominion players, the people who play with their parents or kids. I mean turn one, read 12 cards, turn two, read 11 cards, that's a lot to ask.

The kickstarter is just promotional, and had a tiny funding level it instantly reached; it doesn't need support. There is no reason not to wait for reviews. It should be out at Origins.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #892 on: March 11, 2014, 12:34:23 am »
+18

Is there a reason why every action card that draws and has +$ in dominion is non-terminal? In your secret history, you said at one point that you made a chart of all of the combinations of pluses to possibly consider. So, why has no bonus like +2 cards +2$, or any variation of it ever made it?

The only exception to this rule is mercenary, but, well he only draws if you give him something to trash first, so he doesn't really draw. Trusty steed and pawn can choose to do it, and it doesn't seem so bad.

Also, it's so great that you're back, I've always been disappointed that I only came to the forum when you already left.
How do you think I felt, all that time that you hadn't started posting yet?

One of the cards from the early days was "+2 Cards +$2" for $5. You can see it in the outtakes article on the front page (Highway). For a while that card seemed like it would make it, but it's strong and just not that interesting. At the same time I wanted conditional cards that were in that territory, e.g. Tribute, and the vanilla card makes them look a lot worse.

Things like "+1 Card +$2" and "+2 Cards +$1" never sounded appealing at all. It just seems wonky; surely I can commit to the full +$3 or +3 Cards. "+1 Card +$1" is similar. I don't see what I get out of it, it just takes an extra line. I'd rather have "+2 Cards" or "+$2."

The general exception of course if when the "+1 Card" is really part of a "+1 Card +1 Action." Then the card replaces itself, that's the concept there. And if the rest of the card gains $ that's fine.
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Beyond Awesome

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #893 on: March 11, 2014, 01:31:36 am »
+2

Now that Dark Ages has been out for a while, what are your thoughts on Rebuild?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #894 on: March 11, 2014, 01:36:34 am »
+6

Now that Dark Ages has been out for a while, what are your thoughts on Rebuild?
It's too powerful for how interesting it is. More at http://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/14094365#14094365
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #895 on: March 11, 2014, 01:50:17 am »
0

Greed kind of sounds like that 4 seasons game thing I played (someone correct me on the name I complained about it on this forum).  Is it a lot like that? Once you draft your starting cards do you add random cards onto that?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #896 on: March 11, 2014, 01:56:50 am »
+2

Greed kind of sounds like that 4 seasons game thing I played (someone correct me on the name I complained about it on this forum).  Is it a lot like that? Once you draft your starting cards do you add random cards onto that?
I know nothing of this "4 Seasons" of which you speak. You don't draw cards in Greed unless something tells you to. We start with 12, there are 2 turns of drafting, then 10 of "draft, then play one of your drafted cards," then it's over. A few cards have you draw a card when you play them, but just a few.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #897 on: March 11, 2014, 03:11:19 am »
+1

Pretty much exactly one year gap from F.DS. Sounds like you planned this one :P.
Never deny the cool stuff, of course he planned it!
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #898 on: March 11, 2014, 08:02:34 am »
0

Greed kind of sounds like that 4 seasons game thing I played (someone correct me on the name I complained about it on this forum).  Is it a lot like that? Once you draft your starting cards do you add random cards onto that?
I know nothing of this "4 Seasons" of which you speak.
It's most probably Seasons
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #899 on: March 11, 2014, 08:11:29 am »
+3

I made Greed in 2003. It was very sad when 7 Wonders was announced; I immediately got the publisher that was going to take months to make a decision to send Greed back to me, so I could give it to another publisher that wouldn't play it. A key lesson there is, just say "btw someone else will be looking at this too" and let them keep it.

I have never played 7 Wonders but I am sure Greed will always be compared to it. In Greed you have a hand of 3 cards - you draft for 2 turns, then draft/play for 10 turns. So you can plan for the future; you can take something early that you won't play until late, although hand space is precious. It's a game of interacting rules on cards; you can see examples on the kickstarter page. So uh you get combos, you know. I don't think that's so much what goes on in 7 Wonders.

Greed is in some ways the quintessential Donald X. game - not among my published games, but among all of my games. It's a card game with interacting rules on cards; it lasts 30-40 minutes; we all make decisions at the same time. That is me all over.

I think Greed will go over well with uh the strategy-game-fans among Dominion players, like you people. It might be too much for the more casual Dominion players, the people who play with their parents or kids. I mean turn one, read 12 cards, turn two, read 11 cards, that's a lot to ask.

The kickstarter is just promotional, and had a tiny funding level it instantly reached; it doesn't need support. There is no reason not to wait for reviews. It should be out at Origins.

Went to the kickstarter just out of curiosity, I mean why should I back something pyhsical there and add $20 of shipping costs, but then:

Quote from: kickstarter
Includes shipping to the United States, Germany,Belgium, and Netherlands.
<3 whoever descision this was, instantly backed without knowing anything of the game beside the quoted post and the free shipping...
« Last Edit: March 11, 2014, 08:18:35 am by DStu »
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