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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 2058987 times)

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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4500 on: December 09, 2018, 05:13:12 pm »
0

I think what Asper meant was that there are still plenty of card ideas that don't add any new complexity to the game, but it's going to be harder to do that than to introduce a new mechanic over time.
You are the one talking about that.

No, this is what I meant. Apparently you were able to do something like Scolar after deciding to do, let's say, Vampire.
I don't know what you mean at all then. Scholar hadn't been done yet, so I could do Scholar; of course having done Vampire didn't get in the way.

I feel like I've thoroughly addressed the topic of why exactly you run out of simple things to do. If some part didn't make sense, you will have to point it out very precisely for me to able to answer you.
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samath

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4501 on: December 09, 2018, 08:21:48 pm »
+1

Apparently you were able to do something like Scholar after deciding to do, let's say, Vampire.

I think it's fine, even preferable, that the cards don't monotonically increase in complexity from expansion to expansion. Imagine how boring Base would be if it had to have all of the simplest cards! And how unrepresentative...
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spiralstaircase

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4502 on: December 10, 2018, 04:51:02 am »
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And they give people the chance to buy real Dominion with a different theme instead of buying a clone. That's nice too. The people who would have preferred a new expansion can still play the spin-off; it just doesn't combine. In exchange it gets to have whatever else it has.

So, it feels like this is the same line of thinking that gave us "Deckbuilder" on the back of Magic cards, and that went... where that went.  Do you think Dominion differs from Magic in a way that makes a second game line in the Dominion family feasible?  Do you ever wish you'd given Dominion a more generic card back so you could make combinable spinoffs?  (not counting Intrigue)
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Asper

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4503 on: December 10, 2018, 06:20:42 am »
+2

I think what Asper meant was that there are still plenty of card ideas that don't add any new complexity to the game, but it's going to be harder to do that than to introduce a new mechanic over time.
You are the one talking about that.

No, this is what I meant. Apparently you were able to do something like Scolar after deciding to do, let's say, Vampire.
I don't know what you mean at all then. Scholar hadn't been done yet, so I could do Scholar; of course having done Vampire didn't get in the way.

I feel like I've thoroughly addressed the topic of why exactly you run out of simple things to do. If some part didn't make sense, you will have to point it out very precisely for me to able to answer you.

I think I need to correct myself. I was being hasty to reply and didn't read the conversation throroughly. It's my bad for wasting your time with this. I'll still try to explain my point of view:
The thing with Vampire vs Scholar is, Vampire is complex, and Scholar is simple. You did Vampire before Scholar. So to me this means you didn't do Vampire because you ran out of simple options, as later there were still simple options left.

Sticking with the toothpaste comparison, I agree, of course you can't squeeze infinite amounts of toothpaste out of that thing. What I'm saying is that there's still plenty of toothpaste inside. That toothpaste isn't Smithy levels of simplicity, and it's not like I (or anybody else) wants new cards to be base levels of complexity. But every time you introduce a new submechanic, like Villagers, VP tokens, Durations, Reserves, Events, etc, you can do a bunch of things with them without each individual card being overly complex, and there's still plenty such mechanics in the tube.
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Holunder9

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4504 on: December 10, 2018, 11:06:31 am »
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What you seem to mean is that you can view the issue as two-dimensional with one dimension being elementary card categories like terminal draws, villages, trashers, sifters, gainers, junkers and so on and the other dimension being new mechanisms added to it like Durations, Reserves, Night cards, etc.
When combined, they lead to something like a Reserve trasher (Ratcatcher), Duration payload (Merchant Ship) or Coffers militia (Villain). And what you argue for is to not throw too much stuff from the second dimension onto one card as it is the case with 3 above examples.

This is a fair point but as you mentioned Scholar let's stick with the other terminal draw cards from the new expansion that is intentionally as simple as possible: Donald made a nice example with a card that is probably not perceived as overly complex, namely Silk Merchant, which does add FOUR things second-dimension-wise. I seriously doubt that the card would be more fun if you castrated it and put some of those 4 mechanisms out.
Swashbuckler also does 3 extra things: Coffers, Artifacts, interaction with the discard.
Lackeys does 2 things, on gain and Villagers.

Would any of these cards be better if they were simpler like e.g "+x Cards +y Coffers" instead of Swashbuckler? There is only so much you can do without making cards boring (or inexistent, byebye Night-Durations) if one always only does what you seem to advocate: only add one new mechanic at at time.
I wonder whether anybody did protest back in the day when Goons threw Woodcutter, Militia and VPs together.

I think this illustrates that Scholar or Seer-like designs are extremly rare to come up with and that what we might perceive as simple, e.g. Lackeys, actually isn't because we have become used to mechanisms like on-gain from previous expansions. While DXV has shown with this expansion that he cares about keeping complexity creep as low as possible the trend towards more complexity is simply inevitable.
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Asper

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4505 on: December 10, 2018, 05:44:52 pm »
0

Personally, I am fine with cards like Silk Merchant, and I don't really consider on-gain effects as such complicated. Swashbuckler does a few too many things for me.

Anyhow, I really don't know why I keep starting this discussion. It's not useful to anyone. I'm sorry for being such a pain, Donald. Pretty surely if I had to bother with a guy like me, I'd explode  :P
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4506 on: December 10, 2018, 05:48:46 pm »
+2

And they give people the chance to buy real Dominion with a different theme instead of buying a clone. That's nice too. The people who would have preferred a new expansion can still play the spin-off; it just doesn't combine. In exchange it gets to have whatever else it has.

So, it feels like this is the same line of thinking that gave us "Deckbuilder" on the back of Magic cards, and that went... where that went.  Do you think Dominion differs from Magic in a way that makes a second game line in the Dominion family feasible?  Do you ever wish you'd given Dominion a more generic card back so you could make combinable spinoffs?  (not counting Intrigue)
I don't so much follow you. Yes Wizards thought they'd make a bunch of games and wanted to tie them together with a brand. They actually made those games and they were not successful. I think it would be good to make a bunch of Dominion spin-offs. I haven't done it, we don't know how they'd do yet. The evidence is that there was a market for them though.

Dominion and Magic are different in a ton of ways, but one way is, people can't really play two collectible card games. This is what came out of Wizards making a bunch of them. Some people would try the new game, and then you know, they only have so much money for money-bleeding games, only so much time to spend building decks, and in the end they'd play just one game, and since the big one is Magic, they played Magic. The only way to sell a new CCG was to sell it to an audience that wasn't playing Magic, e.g. Pokemon. Meanwhile Dominion is a regular tabletop game. You buy it and then can invite three people over and you all play with the same copy. It comes with all the cards. It requires none of your time when not playing, and does not bleed you. So it's easy to buy a second one and get value from it; it's just like buying any two board games. Time you spend playing Ra is time you aren't spending playing Clash of Gladiators, but that isn't actually a problem. And again, there are lots of successful Dominion clones.

I don't like the Dominion back; it would be great if it were whatever other prettier thing. The idea to spin-offs isn't to be able to combine cards though.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4507 on: December 10, 2018, 06:19:34 pm »
+2

I think I need to correct myself. I was being hasty to reply and didn't read the conversation throroughly. It's my bad for wasting your time with this. I'll still try to explain my point of view:
The thing with Vampire vs Scholar is, Vampire is complex, and Scholar is simple. You did Vampire before Scholar. So to me this means you didn't do Vampire because you ran out of simple options, as later there were still simple options left.

Sticking with the toothpaste comparison, I agree, of course you can't squeeze infinite amounts of toothpaste out of that thing. What I'm saying is that there's still plenty of toothpaste inside. That toothpaste isn't Smithy levels of simplicity, and it's not like I (or anybody else) wants new cards to be base levels of complexity. But every time you introduce a new submechanic, like Villagers, VP tokens, Durations, Reserves, Events, etc, you can do a bunch of things with them without each individual card being overly complex, and there's still plenty such mechanics in the tube.
I did Vampire to do a card called Vampire. I was obv. not paying attention to complexity there and should have been. One of the things Renaissance does to be simpler is, it has really dull flavor. There was no point at which I thought, "how can I make this more like a Scholar."

There are two kinds of simple cards in Renaissance. There are cards with no new mechanics (yes counting Coffers as new), like Scholar. And then there are the ones with new mechanics, like Silk Merchant.

Silk Merchant requires a bunch of rules. They are in the rulebook instead of on the card, but they're still there, you still have to learn them. If we put them on the card it would be a mess.

It's this big trick, that you can hide rules in the rulebook, and act like you have something simpler. You do actually have something simpler, in that, you only learn what Villagers are once, and then know what they are for several cards that use them. Six cards with villagers is simpler than six cards with different mechanics. But still, that first card is actually more complex than if it were just loaded up with text explaining the ability; it's that, plus you also have to pick up the rulebook.

It's no coincidence that Renaissance, trying to be simpler, has these rulebook mechanics. Look how sleek and pretty Silk Merchant is. And Villagers and Coffers are two very easy to learn things, they are some of the simplest possible things tokens could mean in Dominion. As these basic things get used up, the rulebook mechanics get less easy to learn, and worse in all other respects too; a classic thing is just, Dominion doesn't give you much to hang effects on, when you want something to be relevant in nearly every game with it. I mean the same logic that says that you run out of simple things to do, extends to stuff that refers you to the rulebook; it just feels like you can get way more complex there because you've hidden the rules. But, the point here is, yes, I leaned on tokens to try to have a simpler set. And that's the big thing you can do to keep making expansions: add rulebook text and components.

But I don't think it's good to have Dominion expansions where every card sends you to the rulebook. The sets need non-rulebook cards too. And you run out of simple things to do there.
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Simon Jester

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4508 on: December 10, 2018, 07:24:17 pm »
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Just a thought from the sideline: Even if Scholar is simple, it really "only" is a Library variant, isn't it? It works different enough to exist and I like it a lot, but the game wouldn't have lost much in terms of.. variety if it didn't came about. Simple new things may indeed be out and done, everything vanilla-ish has to be a variant of something we already have, it seems to me. 
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4509 on: December 10, 2018, 07:36:02 pm »
+9

It requires none of your time when not playing

I am doing something terribly wrong, it seems.
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Awaclus

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4510 on: December 10, 2018, 09:44:38 pm »
+9

does not bleed you

Speak for yourself, I keep track of my deck contents during the game.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4511 on: December 11, 2018, 10:59:49 am »
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It requires none of your time when not playing

I am doing something terribly wrong, it seems.

Indeed, I have almost 100 days worth of forum activity that disagrees with that statement.
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crj

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4512 on: December 11, 2018, 11:49:23 am »
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Ah, but how much of that time was necessary...
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chipperMDW

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4513 on: December 11, 2018, 12:05:50 pm »
+2

Ah, but how much of that time was necessary...

To an alcoholic, is drinking "necessary"?
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greybirdofprey

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4514 on: December 12, 2018, 01:57:01 am »
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It requires none of your time when not playing

I am doing something terribly wrong, it seems.

Indeed, I have almost 100 days worth of forum activity that disagrees with that statement.

Plus devising storage solutions and writing Java code to make a kingdom generator. Actually, of all my boardgames, Dominion has taken up the most of my boardgame-related non-playing time.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4515 on: December 12, 2018, 06:30:43 am »
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Tell this the folks that paint figurines before they play with them. "Seriously? With a card game?"
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4516 on: December 14, 2018, 01:27:45 am »
0

Why did Swindler survive the Intrigue re-design? It is hard for new players to understand (in my experience), takes a long time to resolve in many-player games, and (my main complaint) is very luck-swingy.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4517 on: December 14, 2018, 03:46:25 am »
+6

Why did Swindler survive the Intrigue re-design? It is hard for new players to understand (in my experience), takes a long time to resolve in many-player games, and (my main complaint) is very luck-swingy.
I haven't had the experience of it confusing people, I've continued to enjoy the card over the years, and some cards get to be swingy.

Swindler was not close to the chopping block. Closer cards included:
- Harem. It's called Harem. It would have left but it shows a real person.
- Baron. It's not so fun to think the move is to open with it and then draw it with no Estates.
- Trading Post. I don't like how it's good turn one and sucks if you get it later.
- Minion. More hated than Swindler.
- Mining Village. It should trigger e.g. at start of buy phase, both for tracking and to save time considering it. But I couldn't just change that and call it Mining Village.

The last card to go was Coppersmith. Some people miss it. Possibly Baron or Trading Post would have been a better call.
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faust

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4518 on: December 14, 2018, 05:49:12 am »
+4

The last card to go was Coppersmith. Some people miss it. Possibly Baron or Trading Post would have been a better call.
I can say definitely that I would have missed Baron more than Coppersmith. There is something quite satisfying about engines that use Baron as payload, and it is feasible on way more boards than Coppersmith. In terms of opening swinginess they are about the same.
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crj

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4519 on: December 14, 2018, 10:46:08 am »
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- Minion. More hated than Swindler.
Really? Amongst people I play with, nobody is down on Minion, and it's a favourite card for at least one.
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ipofanes

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4520 on: December 14, 2018, 11:27:35 am »
0

Mechanics that change the game state to an extent you must completely rethink your move are frowned upon by many. Sometimes in Minion games I don't even bother to look at my hand after draw phase as to not have to think about what to do with it next turn.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4521 on: December 14, 2018, 11:39:39 am »
0

Mechanics that change the game state to an extent you must completely rethink your move are frowned upon by many. Sometimes in Minion games I don't even bother to look at my hand after draw phase as to not have to think about what to do with it next turn.

You should look at it as to know what cards are in your discard pile when you start your turn.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4522 on: December 14, 2018, 10:44:10 pm »
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Did you decide that you shouldn't be able to buy the same project twice for mechanics reasons, and then balance projects around that? Or did the no buying the same project twice rule come about due to needing to limit the power of some projects?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4523 on: December 15, 2018, 02:54:45 am »
+3

Did you decide that you shouldn't be able to buy the same project twice for mechanics reasons, and then balance projects around that? Or did the no buying the same project twice rule come about due to needing to limit the power of some projects?
Originally they were states and each player got a copy. So there was no thought of letting you have two of one then; it would have been 6 more cards per state. When they turned into projects, I just kept them at one per player. But I immediately tried a card that let you place a second token on a project, and it was a dud.

In general I like to let people get multiple copies of an ability. It's the same number of rules - people are used to games not letting them have two of the same ability, so you have to spell out that they can. It generates more extreme situations and I like that. It does sometimes limit what you can do - the card phrasings have to all make sense, and it's bad if lots of abilities are now so strong with two copies that you have to cost them for that and then they suck at one copy. Here I didn't really consider it beyond that card. I didn't want to give you more cubes; sure you could have two cubes and be able to go up to two somewhere, but it would have felt like, wouldn't it be more fun to have four cubes. I wanted simplicity; this way I dodged any explanations of "what if you have two of this" (Nefarious didn't get "this twist copies the other twist" because the publisher didn't like the rules questions and phrasing changes that created). But it was not much on my mind.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #4524 on: December 17, 2018, 03:50:06 am »
0

Have you ever considered or tested a stackable Enchantress effect?
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