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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 1013500 times)

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sudgy

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1625 on: January 16, 2015, 12:55:05 am »
0

Sorry if this has already been asked, but are you going to do another expansion after this one?  After saying Guilds would be last, that didn't happen...
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1626 on: January 16, 2015, 01:09:30 am »
+5

In the early part of this thread there are a lot of answers that consist of "I can't talk about that until Guilds is released".
Are you prepared to deal with the next three months or so of deflecting questions that you aren't able to answer?

Also, are there any Duration Attack cards in Adventures?  ;)
I'm prepared.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1627 on: January 16, 2015, 01:13:26 am »
+5

Sorry if this has already been asked, but are you going to do another expansion after this one?  After saying Guilds would be last, that didn't happen...
I was certainly hoping Guilds would be the last. I don't feel like I ever committed to that though, instead repeatedly saying how, who knows, maybe not. Here are the quotes theory has archived: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=73.0

It's the same situation as it was before this expansion. All of the reasons for doing spin-offs instead still stand. I made the expansion because, after the second time I took the Dominion part out of an intended spin-off, it was clear that I wasn't just going to crank out spin-offs. I would still like to though.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1628 on: January 16, 2015, 10:33:51 pm »
0

Donald, as you've mentioned before, you must wait for Jay to give anything away about unreleased sets. If you didn't need to wait for him, how early would you want to "spill the beans" and what kind of things would you tell us first?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1629 on: January 16, 2015, 11:00:27 pm »
+8

Donald, as you've mentioned before, you must wait for Jay to give anything away about unreleased sets. If you didn't need to wait for him, how early would you want to "spill the beans" and what kind of things would you tell us first?
If I thought it was better to release more information earlier, I'd push for it. I'm happy with the blurb going out about when distributors would get it anyway, and then previews the week before the set's released.

The previews potentially promote the product. We'll never know just how much they accomplish, but that's okay. They seem like a good idea and people like them. In my imagination, they think, oh yeah, that new Dominion expansion, and then having something to read every day is nice, you can turn over that small manageable chunk of new stuff in your mind, and it's keeping Dominion on your mind and building whatever momentum.

I don't think we get anything out of information released much earlier. At the same time I'm not missing out on whatever joy of spoiling stuff; I play the set with people, I see their reactions.

Wizards of the Coast thinks that early spoilers hurt them. I don't know how they could really have that data, since each expansion is always whatever new thing, and you can't factor that out. It makes sense though. Not for players at a certain level of serious, but for players who don't buy everything; the set stops seeming as exciting when you've known about it for forever.
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jaketheyak

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1630 on: January 16, 2015, 11:24:26 pm »
+1

Donald, as you've mentioned before, you must wait for Jay to give anything away about unreleased sets. If you didn't need to wait for him, how early would you want to "spill the beans" and what kind of things would you tell us first?
If I thought it was better to release more information earlier, I'd push for it. I'm happy with the blurb going out about when distributors would get it anyway, and then previews the week before the set's released.

The previews potentially promote the product. We'll never know just how much they accomplish, but that's okay. They seem like a good idea and people like them. In my imagination, they think, oh yeah, that new Dominion expansion, and then having something to read every day is nice, you can turn over that small manageable chunk of new stuff in your mind, and it's keeping Dominion on your mind and building whatever momentum.

I don't think we get anything out of information released much earlier. At the same time I'm not missing out on whatever joy of spoiling stuff; I play the set with people, I see their reactions.

Wizards of the Coast thinks that early spoilers hurt them. I don't know how they could really have that data, since each expansion is always whatever new thing, and you can't factor that out. It makes sense though. Not for players at a certain level of serious, but for players who don't buy everything; the set stops seeming as exciting when you've known about it for forever.

I think MtG thrives on newness in a way that a standalone product doesn't, though.
Not that I would really push hard for early spoilers; I think not knowing is part of the fun of anticipation.
Still, I'm looking forward to the previews.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1631 on: January 17, 2015, 08:17:39 am »
+1

When was DA/Guilds officially completed? I mean, when were you pretty much done with these products. I know that Guilds was the last expansion you made, but DA was the last one finalized, correct? Were you burnt out after all those Dominion expansions you made? When did you start working on Adventures? How long did it take you to complete?

Even though it's not going to happen, it would have been hilarious to see on Goko the Adventures of the Adventures.

PS: 3 years from now will be the 10th Anniversary of Dominion. A treasure chest expansion still sounds awesome.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1632 on: January 17, 2015, 07:08:04 pm »
+19

When was DA/Guilds officially completed? I mean, when were you pretty much done with these products. I know that Guilds was the last expansion you made, but DA was the last one finalized, correct?
I started working on "War" in February 2007. The last change to Dark Ages cards was January 2012. I was working on the rulebook in March / April 2012. "Work" in some form continues past that point, since there is proofreading whenever the files are ready, and complaining about art to the degree that I get to, and writing previews and a secret history, and making sets of 10 for the online version, and we could keep going to today, when I'm answering this question.

I started working on Guilds in July 2010. The last change to Guilds cards was February 2011. I was working on the rulebook in November 2012. Dark Ages was going to come out afterwards and was finished later card-wise.

Were you burnt out after all those Dominion expansions you made?
I have the hardest time working on new games. It's just, maybe this won't work, what was I thinking, people will hate this and I'll feel bad. Then once a game is working it's a breeze. And I do everything ever really worth doing and that's the game. Then if I make an expansion, it turns out that in fact not only are there more things to do, but it's even easier now; you know the lay of the land, you know where the interesting space is and what kind of thing tends to work. For example with Dominion, early on a card was only going to draw cards if that was the concept; same for making $. That was harder. It turned out that to balance cards, lots of cards were going to need +2 Cards or +$2 or something. Or like, at first I didn't see how to do discard-based attacks; "Each other player discards a card" was both awful and broken. Once I had a solution it was available for more cards.

Dominion has so many expansions that it has gotten to the point of being hard to do stuff that feels new that isn't really wordy. I avoided things like doing say four versions of each concept; you know, like there are a bunch of cards that do something when you gain/buy them, but Nomad Camp is the only one that goes on your deck. I could have made a Lab version of that and a Smithy version of that and so on, but I kept it at one card. So, factor that in, a lot of simple cards are ruled out. And the cards don't want to be so wordy that normal people don't want to play with them. It's a significant issue and I have often cited it as a reason to switch to spin-offs. For Guilds I cheated and added components (and also did a really wordy mechanic, overpay). The coin tokens let me do simple things that feel new. For Adventures I cheated again, there are mats and tokens. There are also duration cards, that was another trick for getting in simple cards; there were more simple things left to do with them. With the amount of new stuff it has, Adventures just could have been a spin-off; it's certainly more of a shake-up than many Dominion clones. Probably it would have been a better move for me to make it a spin-off. I didn't think of it at the time and anyway the friendlier thing is to let you mix everything together.

Anyway uh. It was nice being done with the expansions, feeling like I could devote more time to other things, like I would have fewer game-specific responsibilities. At the same time the other things aren't always as easy. And a lot of what I do, once a game is working, is make cards and tweak them, whichever game it is. For Dominion I have more playtesters and know there's an audience for the product; both are big pluses for Dominion. The main bad thing about Dominion expansions as projects is just the difficulty of doing sufficiently simple things. And I mean, wanting to not just be the Dominion guy.

It was great working on Adventures though, just a blast from start to finish. At the very beginning it seemed hard, I tried some previously rejected ideas and it wasn't clear how much good stuff I'd manage to end up with. In the end there was too much for a normal set and it's 400 cards.

When did you start working on Adventures? How long did it take you to complete?
I started Adventures in May 2014. The last changes (actually just wording tweaks) were November 2014. I was working on the rulebook in November, except I didn't manage to write the intro paragraph until a week ago.

Even though it's not going to happen, it would have been hilarious to see on Goko the Adventures of the Adventures.
They always should have been called campaigns, I have always thought of them as campaigns, and one day they will finally be the campaigns they always were.

PS: 3 years from now will be the 10th Anniversary of Dominion. A treasure chest expansion still sounds awesome.
A treasure chest (an expansion with more cards for each existing expansion) is seeming less likely than ever. Early on for Adventures, I thought, what's easy, how can I possibly make this task seem doable, hey how about making a treasure chest expansion? And I looked at the mechanics that would tie in with each existing set and hey let's categorize them.

C - Components required, so, not great for a treasure chest, you absolutely have to include the components and really don't want to. A set could revisit a particular C area as a major theme, but not just for a couple cards.
W - Whatever; mechanics that appear all the time or just don't advertise themselves much. You'd see the connection if it was pointed out, but how great is that really. Again if there were a lot of them it could be a real revisited theme, but they don't do anything special when you just do a couple.
D - Done; special case for extra components that aren't kingdom cards and so wouldn't be treasure chest kingdom card mechanics anyway.

Intrigue - VP cards that do something (W); choose one (W)
Seaside - Duration cards; next-turn theme (W); misc tokens (C)
Alchemy - Potion (C)
Prosperity - VP tokens (C); cost $7 (W once I do it); treasures that do things (W); friendly interaction theme (W); platinum/colony (D)
Cornucopia - variety (W)
Hinterlands - when-gain/buy
Dark Ages - when-trashed; care about trash; ruins and spoils (C); shelters (D); upgrade theme (W)
Guilds - coin tokens (C); overpay

The winners are duration cards, when-gain/buy, when-trashed, care about trash, and overpay. But wait. Overpay is a subset of when-gain/buy. I felt like when-gain/buy could appear in all sets once it debuted (like W mechanics), here and there, and hey Dark Ages has Death Cart and then Guilds has overpay. When-gain/buy would feel like more Hinterlands and overpay would def. feel like more Guilds, but they don't make a treasure chest special, any set can riff on when-gain. And then when-trashed, any set could have that too, but without the context of Dark Ages they are less exciting. Caring about the trash was hard, or Dark Ages would have had more of it.

So the real winner is duration cards. That's what I could revisit without including components, that would feel like I was revisiting something, that would have good things I could do. And I did this math. And put duration cards in Adventures. And things I could do in any set, it has some of those too. So: Enjoy your treasure chest.
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pacovf

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1633 on: January 17, 2015, 07:23:16 pm »
+2

I think it is time for a meta question: Why did you open yourself to answer questions in this thread? For some extra PR? For the fun? Because you were bored? To be nice? Has the answer changed since you started answering questions two years ago?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1634 on: January 17, 2015, 07:28:51 pm »
+10

I think it is time for a meta question: Why did you open yourself to answer questions in this thread? For some extra PR? For the fun? Because you were bored? To be nice? Has the answer changed since you started answering questions two years ago?
theory wanted to do an interview (see: http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=5799.0). That hasn't changed, it's in the past.

I enjoy answering the questions, talking about my stuff and what I think about it.
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werothegreat

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1635 on: January 18, 2015, 07:21:31 pm »
0

I know you've said you want to wait for Dominion Online's code to be overhauled before MF implements the upcoming expansion, but have you talked to MF at all about its contents to give them an idea of what sort of coding will be needed when the time comes?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1636 on: January 18, 2015, 08:01:38 pm »
+2

I know you've said you want to wait for Dominion Online's code to be overhauled before MF implements the upcoming expansion, but have you talked to MF at all about its contents to give them an idea of what sort of coding will be needed when the time comes?
They are waiting for the new version in order to implement the expansion - it's nothing to do with me. They sensibly want to have a good program before worrying about more content for it.

I have not talked with them about what's in the expansion.
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Elestan

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1637 on: January 18, 2015, 11:48:22 pm »
+2

C - Components required, so, not great for a treasure chest, you absolutely have to include the components and really don't want to. A set could revisit a particular C area as a major theme, but not just for a couple cards.

FWIW, I would absolutely pay for a Treasure Chest expansion that included Ruins, Spoils, and all of the tokens, along with an assortment of new cards that used them.

After all, Potion, Colony, and Platinum got reissued in the Base Cards mini-set, so there's some precedent.
« Last Edit: January 18, 2015, 11:50:15 pm by Elestan »
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werothegreat

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1638 on: January 19, 2015, 12:21:03 am »
+2

After all, Potion, Colony, and Platinum got reissued in the Base Cards mini-set, so there's some precedent.

Only so's to be pretty.  Ruins and Shelters are already pretty.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1639 on: January 19, 2015, 12:51:42 am »
+5

A plausible way of reissuing Ruins would be to make new Ruins.  In the grand scheme, junk action cards are junk action cards even if they do slightly different things.  For those that already have Dark Ages, they would still get new cards to mix in.  For those that don't, they get Looter cards.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1640 on: January 19, 2015, 01:58:02 am »
+5

A plausible way of reissuing Ruins would be to make new Ruins.  In the grand scheme, junk action cards are junk action cards even if they do slightly different things.  For those that already have Dark Ages, they would still get new cards to mix in.  For those that don't, they get Looter cards.
That's true, and that also works for Prizes. However! For Ruins I can fall back on, wait, how exciting is this, who is it out there that really wants even more of these attacks, wants them so much as to give up 50 additional cards in an expansion to get them. It's hard to believe I can't make better use of that space.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1641 on: January 19, 2015, 02:35:22 am »
0

I really want a curse looter.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1642 on: January 19, 2015, 03:26:25 am »
0

A plausible way of reissuing Ruins would be to make new Ruins.  In the grand scheme, junk action cards are junk action cards even if they do slightly different things.  For those that already have Dark Ages, they would still get new cards to mix in.  For those that don't, they get Looter cards.
That's true, and that also works for Prizes. However! For Ruins I can fall back on, wait, how exciting is this, who is it out there that really wants even more of these attacks, wants them so much as to give up 50 additional cards in an expansion to get them. It's hard to believe I can't make better use of that space.

Why not a special expansion that plays with the pirate ship boards, ruins, and other components?  I understand the concern about always wanting to be able to play an expansion with base, but it's also not like you could play just Seaside and Dark Ages.  Perfect for players that have all the expansions, encourages getting more of them, and people could just leave cards out that require a resource they don't have if they don't have a particular expansion.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1643 on: January 19, 2015, 04:18:23 am »
+23

I really want a curse looter.
Cultist at one point gave out Curses after the Ruinses ran out. The world was not ready.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1644 on: January 19, 2015, 04:21:11 am »
+6

Why not a special expansion that plays with the pirate ship boards, ruins, and other components?  I understand the concern about always wanting to be able to play an expansion with base, but it's also not like you could play just Seaside and Dark Ages.  Perfect for players that have all the expansions, encourages getting more of them, and people could just leave cards out that require a resource they don't have if they don't have a particular expansion.
Any product happens instead of other products. That's a key thing for any considerations like these. Some people really want Alchemy 2. Why not do that? Because there are more people that would prefer anything else, anything but that.

The potential audience for a product that requires Dominion is larger than the potential audience for a product that requires Dominion and Seaside. Why limit ourselves to the smaller audience? So we can use the pirate ship mat without including it? I'm not seeing it.
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jaketheyak

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1645 on: January 19, 2015, 04:22:31 am »
+1

It's nice that people have their favourite game mechanics and such that they would like to see explored further, but I feel like you are fundamentally misunderstanding the economics of publishing these expansions. It's easy for the die-hard fans on these forums to say they'd buy an expansion with 50 new Ruins or cards that require owning specific other expansions, but to be profitable they have to sell to a wider audience. A new expansion needs to get the casual Dominion fans excited about the game again, or create enough buzz to draw in new fans.

Edit: Yeah, what he said ^
« Last Edit: January 19, 2015, 04:24:57 am by jaketheyak »
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1646 on: January 19, 2015, 05:18:20 am »
0

I like the old mechanics, but there's so much space left unexplored.

For instance, you could have conditions, like debts, which can be permanent effects or are like VP/Curse cards except that you can remove them from your deck by doing something special, like paying them off.

And then at the end of the game, any remaining condition would do something bad, or a gained benefit would do something good.


When given the choice between old and new mechanics, just give me new! The only problem is that we want just more of everything. More duration cards, but also more looters, potion cards, etc... and there's not enough room for it all.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1647 on: January 19, 2015, 07:45:20 am »
+4

I like the old mechanics, but there's so much space left unexplored.

For instance, you could have conditions, like debts, which can be permanent effects or are like VP/Curse cards except that you can remove them from your deck by doing something special, like paying them off.

And then at the end of the game, any remaining condition would do something bad, or a gained benefit would do something good.


When given the choice between old and new mechanics, just give me new! The only problem is that we want just more of everything. More duration cards, but also more looters, potion cards, etc... and there's not enough room for it all.
Wrong thread! Wrong thread, wrong subforum, take it outside dude.
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Davio

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1648 on: January 19, 2015, 08:58:33 am »
0

I like the old mechanics, but there's so much space left unexplored.

For instance, you could have conditions, like debts, which can be permanent effects or are like VP/Curse cards except that you can remove them from your deck by doing something special, like paying them off.

And then at the end of the game, any remaining condition would do something bad, or a gained benefit would do something good.


When given the choice between old and new mechanics, just give me new! The only problem is that we want just more of everything. More duration cards, but also more looters, potion cards, etc... and there's not enough room for it all.
Wrong thread! Wrong thread, wrong subforum, take it outside dude.
Oh I'm sorry, I was watching a youtube video about Eldritch Horror, I must have suffered an "every game needs a condition condition" by watching it.

The point I was trying to make was that I too would love to see some old mechanics return (yay Durations!), but are also excited about whatever new mechanics you come up with and I think there's still a lot of stuff you can do with just cards.

For me there can never be too many Dominion expansions (and mechanics), mostly because I'm only playing online anyway.

Now, let's end with an actual question, that would be good:

Would you ever consider making an online only expansion for Dominion? Maybe there's stuff you can't or don't want to do in real life or maybe physical sales are dwindling or maybe Goko explodes with new paying players...
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werothegreat

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1649 on: January 19, 2015, 01:34:55 pm »
0

I realize you have an expansion that's releasing soon to worry about, but do you think there are any interesting enough possible new mechanics left with enough intrinsic variations to support an entire expansion?  That is, are there things left that are worth doing after Adventures?
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