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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 716427 times)

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Jeebus

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4625 on: March 08, 2019, 05:44:49 pm »
+1

e.g., my inherited estate is a certain card and your inherited estate is a different card

Or more relevant, my Estate is a certain card right before I trash it and a different card right after.

crj

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4626 on: March 08, 2019, 08:00:39 pm »
0

Or more relevant, my Estate is a certain card right before I trash it and a different card right after.
I don't think that's actually a problem. It's fine for Estates to change their nature from one moment to the next; I think the problem Donald X. is alluding to is, at a given moment, one indistinguishable Estate-shaped bit of cardboard having a different nature from another.

Suppose there was a landmark which said "whenever an Estate is trashed, until the end of the current turn Estates become treasures that give $1 when played". While that would be a pretty dull effect, it's easy to see how it would be applied and there aren't many corner cases.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4627 on: March 09, 2019, 01:15:18 am »
0

I don't think that's actually a problem. It's fine for Estates to change their nature from one moment to the next; I think the problem Donald X. is alluding to is, at a given moment, one indistinguishable Estate-shaped bit of cardboard having a different nature from another.
Yes, many things can cause confusion, but having two cards with the same name do different things is the most severe problem.
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Jeebus

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4628 on: March 09, 2019, 09:20:14 am »
0

Well, almost all the rules confusion that has stemmed from Inheritance and Band of Misfits has been because of cards changing in the middle of a turn (which is avoided with Capitalism and Necromancer, for different reasons). Crj's hypothetical Landmark has the same problem with Transmute, Ironworks etc.

Holger

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4629 on: March 09, 2019, 09:53:15 am »
0

Well, almost all the rules confusion that has stemmed from Inheritance and Band of Misfits has been because of cards changing in the middle of a turn[...]
Would Inheritance work better if it was worded "(During your turns, all Estates gain the abilities and types of that card.)"?
It would make Inheriting most Reaction cards useless, but other than that it would mostly do the same thing as the original (except for when-gain shenanigans).
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crj

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4630 on: March 09, 2019, 11:57:10 am »
0

Would Inheritance work better if it was worded "(During your turns, all Estates gain the abilities and types of that card.)"?
IMHO, yes - much better. If you clarified to "gain the abilities and types, but not name or cost, of that card" it would work better still. The only remaining wrinkle I can think of is what happens with tokens on the Estate and/or Inherited pile.

(Though I believe Donald X. has already said if he was updating Inheritance he'd actually use the Necromancer trick. "During your turns, Estates are Actions. When you play one, play the set-aside card, leaving it there." or similar. That even clarifies the tokens question, and is more intuitive on the matter of the name and cost of Estates.)
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4631 on: March 09, 2019, 01:55:37 pm »
+5

Would Inheritance work better if it was worded "(During your turns, all Estates gain the abilities and types of that card.)"?
It would make Inheriting most Reaction cards useless, but other than that it would mostly do the same thing as the original (except for when-gain shenanigans).
That was considered (first) and is no good. I Inherit Caravan Guard. On my turn I play an attack and you have an Estate in hand. It's a Caravan Guard! You react with it and now it's in play. On your turn you have an Estate in play and it's just an Estate, though you still get +$1. Or it's whatever you inherited (let's make it a Ferry'd Bridge Troll); either way it's a mess. I don't like even just, it's Moat and other players can Moat with their Estates. These aren't exotic edge cases either, they are two-card combos that people must do sometimes.

The Necromancer approach means yeeha with Death Cart but is otherwise great (and if I'm errata-ing three cards I could always consider errata-ing Death Cart too, which wouldn't change anything about it except for these interactions where it isn't in play). You don't get the joy of triggering when-gains but it's clear that you don't, and there's still plenty of fun to be had.
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Marcory

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4632 on: March 14, 2019, 02:57:00 pm »
+1

A related concept to Inheritance could be a card that trashed itself. That way it could be Heir today, gone tomorrow.
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King Leon

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4633 on: March 14, 2019, 04:02:23 pm »
0

So, I heard, a promo card based on a church in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany is coming soon. Is there already a planned release date?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4634 on: March 15, 2019, 04:01:56 am »
+5

So, I heard, a promo card based on a church in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany is coming soon. Is there already a planned release date?
There are two promos coming. Altenburger asked for two, one for the winner of a tournament (it was RTT), the other for the winning province - people picked a province and something something one of them won. Altenburger forgot about the tournament winner promo, but we didn't, so they're both happening sometime this year. I don't have more of a release date yet; there isn't art yet so they're months away. I don't know if they will come out at the same time or what.
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greybirdofprey

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4635 on: March 15, 2019, 07:34:26 am »
0

in retrospect I don't like how many different tokens Adventures has, it's annoying pawing through them looking for the boot or whatever
Am I the only person who stores the tokens sorted by type, not by colour? You need the Journey tokens for a game; you fetch the journey tokens. Especially if you spend five dollars on a compartmented plastic storage box, setting them up becomes trivial.

I do that. I didn't sort it fully by type (the vanilla bonuses are together, the ones with pictures are together, and the -1 Card, -1 coin, and +2 cost are together) but I still end up only having to look through three or four rather than all 10.

I use a coin album page with sliding strips, like this:
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ipofanes

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4636 on: March 15, 2019, 12:44:14 pm »
+1

So, I heard, a promo card based on a church in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany is coming soon. Is there already a planned release date?

For the "Stralsunder" part Altenburger dropped out of their ASS?
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Cave-o-sapien

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4637 on: March 15, 2019, 02:03:31 pm »
+2

I don't have more of a release date yet; there isn't art yet so they're months away. I don't know if they will come out at the same time or what.

But we've already got art for one of them.
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Asper

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4638 on: March 15, 2019, 06:45:22 pm »
0

So, I heard, a promo card based on a church in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany is coming soon. Is there already a planned release date?

For the "Stralsunder" part Altenburger dropped out of their ASS?

Oh man, I really hope it's only going to reference the church by art. Naming a card after one particular building seems really out of place.

Holger

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4639 on: March 16, 2019, 04:32:49 am »
0

So, I heard, a promo card based on a church in Mecklenburg-Vorpommern, Germany is coming soon. Is there already a planned release date?

For the "Stralsunder" part Altenburger dropped out of their ASS?

Oh man, I really hope it's only going to reference the church by art. Naming a card after one particular building seems really out of place.

In German, Walled Village is called "Carcassonne"  ::)
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4640 on: March 16, 2019, 12:48:00 pm »
+4

In German, Walled Village is called "Carcassonne"  ::)
Not anymore!
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King Leon

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4641 on: March 16, 2019, 09:25:42 pm »
0

In German, Walled Village is called "Carcassonne"  ::)
Not anymore!
Alright, because ASS Altenburger does not own the rights for Carcassonne. But this is not the first renamed card. Soothsayer was translated with “Wahrsager” (masculine form) first, but because Fortune Teller was already “Wahrsagerin” (feminine form), they renamed the card to “Hellseherin”. Yes, German job titles are weird and they became even more weird, because of the third gender introduced this year (2019). Bard and Wandering Minstrel are also swapped. They should have been “Bardin” and “Minnesänger”, but Bard became “Minnesängerin” and Wandering Minstrel became “Barde”. And it is too bad, that Dismantle was translated as “Abbruch” instead of “Abbau”, because traditionally Remodel variants end with “-bau” in their German name.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2019, 09:33:27 pm by King Leon »
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Asper

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4642 on: March 17, 2019, 10:10:36 am »
+3

Yes, German job titles are weird and they became even more weird, because of the third gender introduced this year (2019).
That third option stuff is a legal thing, not a grammatical one. It's first and foremost goal is to make life easier for people who cannot accurately be assigned to one sex, for instance because they have two sets of genomes in their body, or for other medical reasons. Those absolutely don't come up often, but it means those people don't get in trouble with official documents and what not, and it's not like the country breaks by looking out for its minorities. It has nothing to do with how you are supposed to talk.

In fact, German nouns always have a grammatical sex, which doesn't necessarily imply gender (a "male person" is still grammatically female, for instance) so the idea that a legal gender introduced the need for a new occupation expression is malformed.

ipofanes

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4643 on: March 18, 2019, 04:44:40 am »
0

And it is too bad, that Dismantle was translated as “Abbruch” instead of “Abbau”, because traditionally Remodel variants end with “-bau” in their German name.

Tell me about it.
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dbclick

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4644 on: April 07, 2019, 08:05:50 pm »
0

I recently found a copy of Infiltration in excellent condition, and I can see that changing it to be closer to your Factory Job prototype would greatly benefit the gameplay. This has naturally gotten me curious about precisely how the prototype played.

I know you've been reluctant—and contractually obligated in the past—to giving the full Secret History due to issues with the publishing process, which is fine.
However, I'd like to know more about the prototype rules so I can play the game in basically its submitted prototype form, using the published components if possible. I've read every post I could find that you've made on the subject and I'm still having to guess a lot.

Would you compare and contrast the precise differences (outside of theming) between the prototype and published versions, with the expectation that this wouldn't include the reason behind the changes?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4645 on: April 08, 2019, 01:29:38 am »
+3

I recently found a copy of Infiltration in excellent condition, and I can see that changing it to be closer to your Factory Job prototype would greatly benefit the gameplay. This has naturally gotten me curious about precisely how the prototype played.

I know you've been reluctant—and contractually obligated in the past—to giving the full Secret History due to issues with the publishing process, which is fine.
However, I'd like to know more about the prototype rules so I can play the game in basically its submitted prototype form, using the published components if possible. I've read every post I could find that you've made on the subject and I'm still having to guess a lot.

Would you compare and contrast the precise differences (outside of theming) between the prototype and published versions, with the expectation that this wouldn't include the reason behind the changes?
I couldn't tell you the reasons for their changes if I wanted to - I wasn't involved at all. Well actually they said they might want to add 5 items, did I have 5 more, and I made 5 more items and they didn't use them, which I found out when I got my copies. But beyond that, I wasn't involved at all. I handed over a prototype and they published a game.

The biggest thing is that in Factory Job it isn't any player's turn. We all pick actions or items, put them face down, reveal. Items go first, in alphabetical order (for a published game they would be e.g. numbered as alphabetic order isn't constant between languages), then actions go in a particular order (move in, move out, special, loot). Everyone doing an action does it at the same time (if you play an item that loots, you still loot when everyone else does). The normal cap on looting in a room is $100 a turn; if multiple people loot there at once they split the $100 evenly, leaving any remainder in the room (yes the numbers are all bigger).

The easiest way to get closer to Factory Job is to use the first three variant rules. "Extract" is closer to Loot than "Download" is; Factory Job has players draft items at the start, "Heist-style" (after another game of mine, Heist); there's just one deck of room cards so anything could be first or the basement (in theirs, the secret room).

For me the dilemma of action selection was the core of the game; it was bizarre that they changed that. The contract let me take my name off the game and I mean I considered it.
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dbclick

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4646 on: April 08, 2019, 09:41:29 pm »
0

Thanks for responding! It's great to learn more about how the game could/should have been. I'd love to pick up a copy if you ever manage to get it published for real.

A few more questions about the prototype vs Infiltration:

Special action ordering (i.e. "Interface" in Infiltration): In Infiltration, many of these are one-shots and some grab loot or change shared state. How do you resolve ordering here?
Looting uneven splits: In Infiltration this is done per DF token, so there can be uneven splits (e.g. 3 players loot with 4 tokens or 5 players loot with 3 tokens). How did you resolve this in the prototype? Did you just split the amount by making change? Or were there tokens there as well? Or some kind of catch-up mechanic where player in last gets dibs?
Loot to DF token conversion: You said the max looting was $100 per round and round in the prototype. What would be the closest amount this would correspond to in Infiltration? (I'm guessing 4 DF tokens based on the Extract card, making each DF token about $25 in prototype terms.)
Loot randomization: In Infiltration, the DF tokens are worth random amounts from 1-3. Based on your description, it seems this might not have been the case in the prototype. Was there some kind of loot randomization process?
2 loot lock types seem a bit redundant (Lab Workers and Tech Locks in Infiltration): Was there a corresponding mechanic in the prototype? If so, why two types?
Random NPCs: Were each of them tied to a room like in Infiltration or were they randomized as well, as suggested in Infiltration's Scattered NPCs variant?
Concerning the end-game: Did you ever have or consider other methods of luck pushing near the end, such as: a faster method of retreat at a cost (e.g. dropping loot to be able to retreat 2 rooms at a time); or losing loot per round that players are still in the factory after reaching 99 proximity?
Game end timing: Did the prototype end at 99 proximity immediately like in Infiltration or at the end of the round reaching 99?
Specialist variant: Infiltration lists a Specialist variant where you start the game with 2 specific items per player character (and randomize/draft the other two) to make them seem differentiated. Did the prototype have such a mechanic?
Secret room / basement: In Infiltration there's one secret room from three special cards. Was the entrance to the basement via up to two specific rooms like in Infiltration? Seems like that wouldn't work as well if the card drawn for the basement was one of the go-to-basement rooms. What was the design goal here?
Room differences: How much were the rooms changed from the prototype? Were they just sorted into the three decks? Or were there massive changes?
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hhelibebcnofnena

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4647 on: April 08, 2019, 10:01:35 pm »
+1

Out of the card ideas you come up with, approximately what percentage of them never make it into the game? How many don't even make it to the table for play-testing? Did this percentage increase over the years because of less idea space? Did it decrease because you got more skilled at designing? Or did these cancel out and it stayed the same? You mention neglected ideas a lot in your secret histories, so I was curious.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4648 on: April 09, 2019, 05:12:47 am »
+2

Special action ordering (i.e. "Interface" in Infiltration): In Infiltration, many of these are one-shots and some grab loot or change shared state. How do you resolve ordering here?
Interface was Special. Within one room, two people playing Special do it at the same time. For people doing the same action in different places, start with the first room and work your way in. Some rooms in Factory Job have things like "if you're the only person playing Special here..." Obv. they could drop that since they added a turn order.

Looting uneven splits: In Infiltration this is done per DF token, so there can be uneven splits (e.g. 3 players loot with 4 tokens or 5 players loot with 3 tokens). How did you resolve this in the prototype? Did you just split the amount by making change? Or were there tokens there as well? Or some kind of catch-up mechanic where player in last gets dibs?
The numbers are way bigger and the remainder stays in the room. If the room has $80 and 2 items and 3 people loot there then each gets $26 and no items and the room is left with $2 and the 2 items. There is no catch-up mechanic; I vastly prefer "make sure it's fun to lose."

Loot to DF token conversion: You said the max looting was $100 per round and round in the prototype. What would be the closest amount this would correspond to in Infiltration? (I'm guessing 4 DF tokens based on the Extract card, making each DF token about $25 in prototype terms.)
The room with the most $ has like $400. I'm not looking through the Infiltration cards to see what they did; man it's not a game I play and you are asking a lot of questions.

Loot randomization: In Infiltration, the DF tokens are worth random amounts from 1-3. Based on your description, it seems this might not have been the case in the prototype. Was there some kind of loot randomization process?
There is no random token thing in Factory Job and $ is public. A room will have e.g. $150 and a safe with $100.

2 loot lock types seem a bit redundant (Lab Workers and Tech Locks in Infiltration): Was there a corresponding mechanic in the prototype? If so, why two types?
Factory Job has locks, boxes, and people, three types. It's just how I represented the kinds of objects you were breaking.

Random NPCs: Were each of them tied to a room like in Infiltration or were they randomized as well, as suggested in Infiltration's Scattered NPCs variant?
They are all tied to rooms. The rooms are randomized; that's all the randomization you need there.

Concerning the end-game: Did you ever have or consider other methods of luck pushing near the end, such as: a faster method of retreat at a cost (e.g. dropping loot to be able to retreat 2 rooms at a time); or losing loot per round that players are still in the factory after reaching 99 proximity?
I made Factory Job in 2003. So "did I ever consider" is not a question I can really answer. However I bet not; the cops showing up and catching everyone still in the building was the premise from the start. If you want to get out faster, turn back earlier or don't go in as far.

Game end timing: Did the prototype end at 99 proximity immediately like in Infiltration or at the end of the round reaching 99?
The game ends when the cops hit 100, even mid-turn. I guess they wanted a 2-digit number or something; mine goes to 100.

Specialist variant: Infiltration lists a Specialist variant where you start the game with 2 specific items per player character (and randomize/draft the other two) to make them seem differentiated. Did the prototype have such a mechanic?
No, just item drafting.

Secret room / basement: In Infiltration there's one secret room from three special cards. Was the entrance to the basement via up to two specific rooms like in Infiltration? Seems like that wouldn't work as well if the card drawn for the basement was one of the go-to-basement rooms. What was the design goal here?
The design goal was the joy of having a different branch you could take, even though the game depended on a linear map. I made two rooms that got you to the basement; both get you there with Special, and then Move In exits to the one room and Move Out to the other, hence two such rooms. The basement could be any card at all, the joy of the basement being any card at all. Many games there would be no way to the basement, and some games only one, but if you had two, yeeha, you could take that other route. A rare thing. The joy of rare things. Yes the basement could be one of the ways to get to the basement. That doesn't break anything and we would probably all get a laugh out of it.

Room differences: How much were the rooms changed from the prototype? Were they just sorted into the three decks? Or were there massive changes?
This question is beyond the scope. I'd have to find a box and paw through it to know what they had; I don't play that game, I play Factory Job. One thing I remember is, Factory Job had one room with computers, and they used them in more places. Factory Job had two identical security guards and I think they changed one of them.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4649 on: April 09, 2019, 05:36:23 am »
+5

Out of the card ideas you come up with, approximately what percentage of them never make it into the game? How many don't even make it to the table for play-testing? Did this percentage increase over the years because of less idea space? Did it decrease because you got more skilled at designing? Or did these cancel out and it stayed the same? You mention neglected ideas a lot in your secret histories, so I was curious.
The junk file for Renaissance is 165K, if that does anything for you. It's ideas removed from the main file because I don't want to look at them anymore (the main file at any moment has the current cards and then whatever I'm working on). Some of it is lists of one-line ideas, some of it is fully-worded cards with stats. That is as close as I am going to get to approximating these things for you. "A lot" of ideas never make it; "a lot" don't get playtested. There is a giant file of ancient ideas, that I've picked through repeatedly so that it's all bad now. But I'm pickier now and that requires generating more ideas, and at first I could just do the low-hanging fruit and did, so it's harder to get somewhere now and so more work goes into it. So overall the %'s have gone up.
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