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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 872780 times)

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WanderingWinder

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1025 on: March 18, 2014, 08:14:53 am »
+4

I agree with Polk that Donald doesn't need to give us a reason - "I don't want to" is fine, no matter *why* he doesn't want to. He doesn't really owe us anything here.

I'm much more interested in the following:

Do you have any plans, however loose, to make a spin-off? How about just any other game - we know about Greed and Monster Factory, but are there other things in the works (understanding that you probably can't give us much in terms of specifics at early stages)?

Witherweaver

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1026 on: March 18, 2014, 09:46:56 am »
+1

I made a bunch of homemade Magic expansions, and at one point aggressively looked for new mechanics. They do stuff I thought of all the time; there is plenty left that they haven't done, but they keep making cards, they will gradually whittle that list down. I guess that's not as relevant as it sounds; maybe I am just as uncreative as Wizards, and someone out there could blow us away.
I have a better example. A famous game designer - a different one - had an idea for a Dominion expansion. He didn't tell me what it was. A few years later, I found out that it was covered by later expansions, especially Guilds. If I hadn't made Guilds, and he had thought that I would never think of his idea, he would have been wrong.

Two guys thought of calculus, as the saying goes. Dominion cards are easier.

I don't know about that.. did you look into Infinite Throne Room? :P
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Kirian

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1027 on: March 18, 2014, 10:11:31 am »
+2

I made a bunch of homemade Magic expansions, and at one point aggressively looked for new mechanics. They do stuff I thought of all the time; there is plenty left that they haven't done, but they keep making cards, they will gradually whittle that list down. I guess that's not as relevant as it sounds; maybe I am just as uncreative as Wizards, and someone out there could blow us away.
I have a better example. A famous game designer - a different one - had an idea for a Dominion expansion. He didn't tell me what it was. A few years later, I found out that it was covered by later expansions, especially Guilds. If I hadn't made Guilds, and he had thought that I would never think of his idea, he would have been wrong.

Two guys thought of calculus, as the saying goes. Dominion cards are easier.

I don't know about that.. did you look into Infinite Throne Room? :P

The infinite TR thing was pretty derivative.  I'd say that Donald's experience is more integral to the process of creating Dominion cards.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1028 on: March 18, 2014, 03:03:14 pm »
+9

Do you have any plans, however loose, to make a spin-off? How about just any other game - we know about Greed and Monster Factory, but are there other things in the works (understanding that you probably can't give us much in terms of specifics at early stages)?
I continue to plan to make a spin-off. Way back when, I thought a spin-off would be something like "Dominion, plus something." Now so many people have made that game that I feel like the spin-off needs to be more different. Kingdom Builder started as a spin-off but obv. did not remain one. A second game also started as a spin-off but no longer is.

Here is how this year is looking currently:

- March? - Piņa Pirata, from IELLO (probably already out in France). A family game; crazy 8's but the rules change after each hand.
- May? - a new strategy game that has not been announced. It's euro-ish, and has the Donald X. Variety Mechanic.
- spring/summer? - reprint of Nefarious, in Russian and English
- June (Origins) - Greed. A drafting game with interacting rules on cards.
- sometime, listing it in the middle - a Dominion promo.
- August - Kingdom Builder Big Box (including a new promo/mini-expansion)
- Essen? - 3rd Kingdom Builder expansion (not counting the thing from the big box)
- dunno if it will happen - Nefarious expansion
- dunno if it will happen - online Dominion promo

I am always working on new games (or trying to fix up old ones). I tend to focus on whatever I can get work done on, which isn't always the Dominion spin-off.

I am not sure why you listed Monster Factory; I guess I am expecting a 2nd printing so there's that. But it came out in 2012.
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Teproc

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1029 on: March 18, 2014, 03:09:26 pm »
0

Pina Pirata is indeed out in France, I played it a week ago. I like the idea of taking Uno and making it more interesting, but it still ended up too simple for me. Probably works great with kids while not being the borefest that Uno is though.
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Witherweaver

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1030 on: March 18, 2014, 03:16:35 pm »
+1

Pina Pirata is indeed out in France, I played it a week ago. I like the idea of taking Uno and making it more interesting, but it still ended up too simple for me. Probably works great with kids while not being the borefest that Uno is though.

My friends and I used to play a mod of Uno where you could lay down cards in succession as long as you could string together the cards with basic arithmetic operations to get the value of the top card.  So, you know, if the top card was 6 and you had 2,2,2,3, say, you could put down 2*3+2-2.  I don't think you were allowed to associate; operations had to be performed binarily in the order played.  I also don't remember what we did with colors. Maybe that followed the regular rules.
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Watno

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1031 on: March 18, 2014, 03:37:06 pm »
0

That unannounced May game sounds cool. When can we hope for more info about that?

I guess a potential Nefarious expansion wouldn't be compatible with the old edition?
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LastFootnote

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1032 on: March 18, 2014, 03:41:30 pm »
0

Pina Pirata is indeed out in France, I played it a week ago. I like the idea of taking Uno and making it more interesting, but it still ended up too simple for me. Probably works great with kids while not being the borefest that Uno is though.

Since it's out, could you give some examples of the rules-changing tiles?
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eHalcyon

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1033 on: March 18, 2014, 03:42:18 pm »
0

Pina Pirata is indeed out in France, I played it a week ago. I like the idea of taking Uno and making it more interesting, but it still ended up too simple for me. Probably works great with kids while not being the borefest that Uno is though.

My friends and I used to play a mod of Uno where you could lay down cards in succession as long as you could string together the cards with basic arithmetic operations to get the value of the top card.  So, you know, if the top card was 6 and you had 2,2,2,3, say, you could put down 2*3+2-2.  I don't think you were allowed to associate; operations had to be performed binarily in the order played.  I also don't remember what we did with colors. Maybe that followed the regular rules.

I no longer know what rules are in actual Uno and what rules that I've used are house rules.  There were a few particular rules that I always thought were real Uno rules but it turned out that they weren't, and the loss of those rules took away any real possibility of strategy.  I think it was the ability to play multiple cards at once if they are matching in number (which is how Crazy Eights works).  Apparently Uno only lets you play ONE card at a time.  So the best you can really do in official Uno is try to count cards.
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DStu

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1034 on: March 18, 2014, 03:46:08 pm »
+4

Apparently Uno only lets you play ONE card at a time.
Most misleading game title ever...
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eHalcyon

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1035 on: March 18, 2014, 03:53:57 pm »
0

Apparently Uno only lets you play ONE card at a time.
Most misleading game title ever...

Well, you're supposed to say Uno when you get to the last card.  I figured that was the main connection. :P
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Twistedarcher

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1036 on: March 18, 2014, 03:56:20 pm »
0

I think it was the ability to play multiple cards at once if they are matching in number (which is how Crazy Eights works). 

This is how crazy eights is supposed to go? I've never played it that way, this would change everything!
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eHalcyon

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1037 on: March 18, 2014, 04:05:11 pm »
+1

I think it was the ability to play multiple cards at once if they are matching in number (which is how Crazy Eights works). 

This is how crazy eights is supposed to go? I've never played it that way, this would change everything!

I suppose that there must be different variants floating around.  Checking the wikipedia page for Crazy Eights, it looks like this particular rule is listed under a few different variants... including the Canadian variant.  Huh.

It adds a modicum of strategy to a game with little real strategy.  It's not much though, in the end.  Play Mao instead. ;)
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Teproc

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1038 on: March 18, 2014, 04:05:31 pm »
+1

Pina Pirata is indeed out in France, I played it a week ago. I like the idea of taking Uno and making it more interesting, but it still ended up too simple for me. Probably works great with kids while not being the borefest that Uno is though.

Since it's out, could you give some examples of the rules-changing tiles?

So to explain a bit if people don't know about it, the base game is Uno, but instead of colors and numbers, you have cards with various animal pirates, most of them have two animals on, some only have one. You have to play a card each turn, it has to have an animal in common with the card on top of the pile, etc.

The ones I remember off the op of my head :
- When you play a parrot, you put a card from your hand on top of the draw pile
- When you draw turtle, you getto give it to the player to your left
- When you play a penguin on a turtle... the player to your right takes the turtle in his hand or something ? Not exactly sure how that one worked
- When someone gets down to one card, they have to play with their card face-up/revealed
- Everyone draws a card at the beginning of the game and puts it in front of them : all animals represented on that card become "jokers" for that player (not sure if that's clear : it means they cna play those animals on anything)
- Rabbits can be played on any card

That's all I can remember. There were a few kind of interesting interactions once you got a few tiles out.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1039 on: March 18, 2014, 06:21:43 pm »
0

That unannounced May game sounds cool. When can we hope for more info about that?

I guess a potential Nefarious expansion wouldn't be compatible with the old edition?
I don't know when whoever it is will announce the new game.

I don't know how the card sizes compare between the new Nefarious and the original, but it's a good guess that they will not be compatible.
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tastor

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1040 on: March 18, 2014, 07:13:06 pm »
0

When are you going to post Dudes of Stuff and Things so that we can all play it (you did say it was the best game ever)?

Alternately, can you give a summary of what it was?
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pacovf

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1041 on: March 18, 2014, 07:27:37 pm »
+2

Hopefully this question wasn't asked already:

After playing/playtesting Dominion so much, do you find it boring?
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Kirian

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1042 on: March 18, 2014, 11:52:59 pm »
+1

Hooray for a reprint of Nefarious!
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NoMoreFun

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1043 on: March 19, 2014, 02:18:18 am »
0

I don't really know at what point it would stop being good business to make new sets for the insatiable players. Probably it would keep seeming worth printing them for a while; again you know your product won't be a big hit, but you know it will sell some copies.

How many copies of an expansion do you need to sell for it to be considered a success (or at least not a failure)?

Quote
In my experience those people with 3 sets would have the base set, Intrigue, and Seaside.

Which makes sense as they've been out the longest. Which sets sold the best in 2013?

Quote
We could run lots of tournaments, and only use new sets in them, like Magic.

Isn't that because of power creep and ensuring that fans buy the new cards?

If so this wouldn't apply to Dominion because both players "use" the same cards (it's not the case where a player using old cards won't stand a chance), and tournaments probably wouldn't be BYO (although maybe they could be set up in such a way that they were). It would be harder for players to get really good at the game by being intimately familiar with all the cards and their combos, but IMO the fun of dominion is figuring it out for yourself when you see the setup.

Quote
To avoid complexity on cards you can put it in the rulebook, but then people can't just sit down with random cards and play.

Do you think that there any enough card ideas out there that use the existing rules, or rules that are fairly easy to understand (eg "when gain")? I can't think of many dominion cards where the rulebook is doing more than clarifying the more confusing aspects of what's written on the card.

In fact here's another question - which printed card brings up the most rules confusions and misunderstandings when other players experience it for the first time?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1044 on: March 19, 2014, 02:44:21 am »
0

When are you going to post Dudes of Stuff and Things so that we can all play it (you did say it was the best game ever)?

Alternately, can you give a summary of what it was?
If theory wants he can put it up somewhere on the site for people to download. There are two versions, a DOS version and a Windows one (old old Windows). I think there is one fix in the Windows one and otherwise they are the same. Possibly the DOS version runs fast enough in DOSBox, I don't know. My computer has XP and will run the Windows one, but many computers will not be able to run it. But uh there they are, I don't mind if people want to try it, but theory will have to in some sense host it.

It's not the best game ever - it's the best computer game ever. It's very recognizably derivative of Heroes of Might and Magic II & III.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1045 on: March 19, 2014, 02:50:14 am »
+5

After playing/playtesting Dominion so much, do you find it boring?
No, it was good times playtesting the promo, and I'd be playing it a little online if I could log in.

I don't find my other games boring either, despite lots of play on those (albeit sometimes with expansions). It's perhaps some combination of trying to make games I personally like, and trying to make games with lots of variety.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1046 on: March 19, 2014, 03:13:25 am »
+3

How many copies of an expansion do you need to sell for it to be considered a success (or at least not a failure)?
I don't know. I can not even try to get it published and yet be happy with it myself. A publisher might have expectations that didn't get met at any level really, from "big success but hoped for bigger" to "only expected to sell 1K and didn't."

The Wikipedia article on the SdJ - citing an old article of Scott Tepper's! - says, "A Spiel des Jahres nomination can increase the typical sales of a game from 500-3000 copies to around 10,000." Obv. times change, more people are born, that could be wrong, but you know, that makes it sound like selling 10K copies should be somewhat satisfying.

Quote
In my experience those people with 3 sets would have the base set, Intrigue, and Seaside.

Which makes sense as they've been out the longest. Which sets sold the best in 2013?
Looking just at the second half of the year (thus, intentionally not seeing the initial burst of Guilds sales), the main set, then Intrigue, then Seaside.

Quote
We could run lots of tournaments, and only use new sets in them, like Magic.

Isn't that because of power creep and ensuring that fans buy the new cards?
Perhaps I don't understand you. Magic doesn't have power creep. Yes the point of me saying the above was along the lines of pushing fans to buy new cards. I have no interest in pushing fans to buy new cards; but if someone is saying, there must be new expansions, that is stuff to think about, what exactly will actually sell them. Hey, perhaps this odious stuff from Magic.

Do you think that there any enough card ideas out there that use the existing rules, or rules that are fairly easy to understand (eg "when gain")? I can't think of many dominion cards where the rulebook is doing more than clarifying the more confusing aspects of what's written on the card.
I am not sure I understand the question. Existing Dominion cards struggle to be as understandable as possible without the rulebooks. There are still new things you absolutely need the rulebook to explain - how does the potion symbol work, how do coin tokens work, how do duration cards work, what do I do with Shelters and Ruins and Platinum/Colony. What exactly does "pass" mean on Masquerade.

In fact here's another question - which printed card brings up the most rules confusions and misunderstandings when other players experience it for the first time?
Well the main set sells the best, so measured by sheer number, probably Throne Room. Possession probably gets more questions than Trader, but the Possession questions usually have easy answers ("it really does what it says") and some of the Trader questions do not.
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NoMoreFun

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1047 on: March 19, 2014, 03:18:51 am »
0

Have the sales of new expansions (the "burst") gotten better or worse with each new expansion? It may be hard to compare expansions given the size and price differences, but, for example, what sold better; Seaside in 2009 or Prosperity in 2010?
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NoMoreFun

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1048 on: March 19, 2014, 03:23:52 am »
0

Are you happy about those particular expansions selling the best? Knowing that this effect probably based on order, would you have wanted to reorder anything?

Would you ever consider changing which cards are in which sets, or even in the game at all for later editions down the line?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1049 on: March 19, 2014, 03:43:23 am »
+1

Have the sales of new expansions (the "burst") gotten better or worse with each new expansion? It may be hard to compare expansions given the size and price differences, but, for example, what sold better; Seaside in 2009 or Prosperity in 2010?
I can only talk so much about sales figures; it's not my data to share.
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