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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 2202640 times)

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Tid

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5650 on: May 28, 2024, 01:52:01 am »
+1

Hi Donald, Dominion is just about my favourite game. I've recently introduced it to the Sydney Super Smash Bros. Melee competitive scene and we pretty much always have a table set up to play on after our local tourneys conclude. So thank you for creating it and doing such a great job improving and adding to it over the years!

I just wanted to ask about Alchemy - You've said a few times you'd "fix" it by not doing potions, and by recreating the sets best ideas in a different form. But I wonder, is this strictly due to the public's perception of the set? Are you personally still happy with it in a vacuum? I enjoy reading your musings on design and would love to hear what you think is fundamentally wrong with potions (or an alternate spend resource).

This isn't a, please make alchemy 2, in disguise, by the way. Completely understand why it's never happening!
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Jeebus

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5651 on: May 28, 2024, 03:31:21 am »
0

* One time LastFootnote asked "So what happens when you BoM a Landing Party now?" and Donald X. said "Currently the way BoM works with Landing Party is, * has no idea, waits for DZ *". This was after I declared in spec chat that BoM Garrison and BoM Landing Party are the 2 most controversial Dominion rulings.
Yeah, it's a bummer. Errata for Band of Misfits seems likely someday.

Uhm... is this a joke about BoM having already gotten errata ... or ... Yeah I mean, it has to be ... right?

dz

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5652 on: May 28, 2024, 02:00:07 pm »
+1

How do you feel when you give a new player your sleeved cards, and their first instinct is to take out the slip of paper to see what’s underneath? Cause this happens to me all the time.

You once considered putting "face down" on Farmhands, why was that? And if text space wasn't a thing would you have gone for it?

Of all profile pictures you could’ve chosen for your discord account, why an image from The Brain from Planet Arous?

Where/when do you come up with your best ideas? While laying in bed? While walking around your room? While taking a shower?

What’s it like having playtesters that have minds of their own and sometimes will refuse to playtest stuff? Some actual examples:
* You were trying out a new rule for [redacted], and DZ and their playtester friend said “the old rule was/is better, I’m playing with that instead”
* You said “Billy, let's play that this game, [redacted]” and Billy responded with “fuck no.” Yeah when I said there were f-bombs during Rising Sun development, that wasn't a joke.
* An anecdote you shared: “Destry and I might buy a card just to try it out; man Kevin can't do it even when instructed to. We say "we're testing Remake vs. [redacted], Kevin you will buy [redacted]," and he never buys it.”
* You were trying out [redacted], and Natalie just ignored the game and "made Morse code messages with dice"
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5653 on: May 28, 2024, 02:00:28 pm »
+2

I just wanted to ask about Alchemy - You've said a few times you'd "fix" it by not doing potions, and by recreating the sets best ideas in a different form. But I wonder, is this strictly due to the public's perception of the set? Are you personally still happy with it in a vacuum? I enjoy reading your musings on design and would love to hear what you think is fundamentally wrong with potions (or an alternate spend resource).
When I first typed up notes for Dominion, I thought I'd have multiple resources. When I actually made it, I only used one resources, figuring that if there were more, you'd draw a bad mix of resources and be sad.

Potion gives us that experience. You draw $2 and P and can't buy that $3 and P card. And now your Potion is gone for that shuffle too. It's not fun. Needing to consider getting Potion to get Potion-costing cards is fine, though there are people who don't like it; needing Potion-costing cards to be sufficiently attractive even as the only Potion-costing card on the table is fine, though the published set includes a few real duds there. The real issue is just, you draw $2 and P.

It's possible that there's a fix, e.g. having Potion work like Coffers. I'm not pursuing such a thing for Alchemy itself, but that's the lesson to take away here for future projects, the thing to try.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5654 on: May 28, 2024, 02:01:58 pm »
0

Yeah, it's a bummer. Errata for Band of Misfits seems likely someday.

Uhm... is this a joke about BoM having already gotten errata ... or ... Yeah I mean, it has to be ... right?
It's not a joke. It seems likely that I will errata Band of Misfits a further time someday, in order to kill crazy-confusing situations that arise from not saying "non-Duration" on it. It will probably be timed with the next printing of Dark Ages or Empires, whichever is first.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5655 on: May 28, 2024, 02:23:32 pm »
+2

How do you feel when you give a new player your sleeved cards, and their first instinct is to take out the slip of paper to see what’s underneath? Cause this happens to me all the time.
Usually I'm the one doing it. They stare mystified, and I say, this is how you make a prototype, and pull out the slip of paper and show them the three parts.

You once considered putting "face down" on Farmhands, why was that? And if text space wasn't a thing would you have gone for it?
Text space is always a thing, even when there's almost no text. Man did I consider "face down" on Farmhands? I guess the idea would have been, let's not waste time staring at what other players have lined up for Farmhands. And set-aside cards that weren't visible tend to be face down, for this reason. There's also, what's this card doing in my play area; face down cards are maybe slightly simpler there than face up ones.

Of all profile pictures you could’ve chosen for your discord account, why an image from The Brain from Planet Arous?
I haven't seen the movie. It's just a mad-scientist-type picture. Years ago I used a mechanical bee that a friend drew, when I wanted an avatar. Often I just didn't have one. It's nice to have one though, let people recognize your posts by it. For some reason I needed another avatar one day around two decades ago, like some kind of "everyone briefly change avatars to be confusing" thing, and well I did not keep notes on how I found it or any of that.

Where/when do you come up with your best ideas? While laying in bed? While walking around your room? While taking a shower?
I do get extra thinking value out of pacing or going for walks. I try to think of stuff in bed and in the shower, but not as aggressively as when walking. I also get a lot done just sitting at my computer with a file open and trying to come up with ideas. There's also ideas that show up when playing games.

What’s it like having playtesters that have minds of their own and sometimes will refuse to playtest stuff? Some actual examples:
* You were trying out a new rule for [redacted], and DZ and their playtester friend said “the old rule was/is better, I’m playing with that instead”
* You said “Billy, let's play that this game, [redacted]” and Billy responded with “fuck no.” Yeah when I said there were f-bombs during Rising Sun development, that wasn't a joke.
* An anecdote you shared: “Destry and I might buy a card just to try it out; man Kevin can't do it even when instructed to. We say "we're testing Remake vs. [redacted], Kevin you will buy [redacted]," and he never buys it.”
* You were trying out [redacted], and Natalie just ignored the game and "made Morse code messages with dice"
The Kevin thing is a real issue that you address by learning the playtesters. You make someone other than Kevin buy the card; Kevin will test trying to beat it, and he'll do a great job there. We can make him not buy a card; we can let him do what he wants. We can't make him buy it; any given turn he doesn't have to buy it, so he'll put it off if it looks losing.

Ultimately any game has to please me, or I won't get work done on it; then it has to please the playtesters, or they won't get work done on it. Then I can worry about, does it have an audience outside of us. So who you play with affects what you make. Some of my playtesters are pretty open there, will probably play whatever it is I make a bunch, so that's great. I mean they're in it for the Donald X. games and that's what I deliver.

The job doesn't pay. Well the in-person playtesters get copies of the game when it comes out. Anyway you know. At some point if they don't want to play something, well that's that. And I mean like you guys not liking the new [redacted] rule, well I take that seriously, but in the end that's the rule isn't it, and if you want to playtest then there it is.
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Will(ow|iam)

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5656 on: June 01, 2024, 11:58:28 am »
+1

It seems like the main benefit in your mind of 2es is removing unfun cards from the pool. Aside from Alchemy and the Doom cards, are there any cards that you haven't gotten the chance to remove via 2es, that you wish you could remove?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5657 on: June 01, 2024, 01:16:09 pm »
0

It seems like the main benefit in your mind of 2es is removing unfun cards from the pool. Aside from Alchemy and the Doom cards, are there any cards that you haven't gotten the chance to remove via 2es, that you wish you could remove?
I can't give any assessments of the future, and also it's not so clear that "haven't gotten a chance" really applies.

There are certainly a few cards I'd tweak or replace that aren't grouped with a bunch of others in the same set, so that a 2E wouldn't be so great to do. I do talk about them some, in contexts that are less like "tell us what 2E's are coming."
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enfynet

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5658 on: June 02, 2024, 01:09:29 am »
0

Speaking of 2e cards. Which got the most resistance from playtesters compared to leaving 1e cards in?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5659 on: June 02, 2024, 12:02:11 pm »
0

Speaking of 2e cards. Which got the most resistance from playtesters compared to leaving 1e cards in?
I don't think anything meets that description; it was so great getting rid of 1E cards. Arguments about what 1E card to take out never were in the direction of "but that card's great," it was always, "this one is even worse." And if playtesters hated a 2E card, man, why wouldn't I drop it? I'm sure some people were less enthusiastic about something somewhere, but not to the degree of "the 1E card was better."
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Will(ow|iam)

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5660 on: June 02, 2024, 01:00:06 pm »
0

It seems like the main benefit in your mind of 2es is removing unfun cards from the pool. Aside from Alchemy and the Doom cards, are there any cards that you haven't gotten the chance to remove via 2es, that you wish you could remove?
I can't give any assessments of the future, and also it's not so clear that "haven't gotten a chance" really applies.

There are certainly a few cards I'd tweak or replace that aren't grouped with a bunch of others in the same set, so that a 2E wouldn't be so great to do. I do talk about them some, in contexts that are less like "tell us what 2E's are coming."

"Haven't gotten a chance" I would think includes cards in sets that already have 2es, and cards in sets too new to want 2es. Like, if update pack size weren't a concern, would you have dropped Merchant Ship for Seaside 2e?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5661 on: June 03, 2024, 02:21:44 pm »
+3

It seems like the main benefit in your mind of 2es is removing unfun cards from the pool. Aside from Alchemy and the Doom cards, are there any cards that you haven't gotten the chance to remove via 2es, that you wish you could remove?
I can't give any assessments of the future, and also it's not so clear that "haven't gotten a chance" really applies.

There are certainly a few cards I'd tweak or replace that aren't grouped with a bunch of others in the same set, so that a 2E wouldn't be so great to do. I do talk about them some, in contexts that are less like "tell us what 2E's are coming."

"Haven't gotten a chance" I would think includes cards in sets that already have 2es, and cards in sets too new to want 2es. Like, if update pack size weren't a concern, would you have dropped Merchant Ship for Seaside 2e?
For a while Merchant Ship was leaving, Explorer was staying. But Explorer was similar to Pirate, and Merchant Ship has some serious advantages for non-serious players.

If I could change everything, lots of cards would have gotten changes. I'd move the +Buy from Wharf to Merchant Ship, and so on. That never seemed reasonable; I shouldn't be making people buy updates to old products. And we sure can't give them away. So we have these update packs that are like mini-expansions, and then errata that I feel like I can get away with. And we still bum some people out with the errata.

I've been over this kind of thing endlessly. Compiling a list is beyond the scope for me. The wiki will have quotes from me on lots of cards; you could look there.
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D782802859

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5662 on: June 25, 2024, 11:15:11 pm »
0

Did the version of Souk that was tested with Border Village's on-gain still cost $5?
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Tiago

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5663 on: June 26, 2024, 12:03:19 am »
0

If you could go back and remake Dominion, would you consider getting rid of Treasures and making Copper, Silver, and Gold Action cards with +1 Action +$1, +1 Action +$2, and +1 Action +$3?

Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5664 on: June 26, 2024, 01:51:10 pm »
+1

Did the version of Souk that was tested with Border Village's on-gain still cost $5?
Yes. Border Village itself, way back when, cost $5; I made it better by charging more for it.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5665 on: June 26, 2024, 01:52:31 pm »
+3

If you could go back and remake Dominion, would you consider getting rid of Treasures and making Copper, Silver, and Gold Action cards with +1 Action +$1, +1 Action +$2, and +1 Action +$3?
No, no complaints there. I'd consider not including Copper as a buyable pile though.
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Death By Dominion

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5666 on: June 26, 2024, 02:49:38 pm »
0

If you could go back and remake Dominion, would you consider getting rid of Treasures and making Copper, Silver, and Gold Action cards with +1 Action +$1, +1 Action +$2, and +1 Action +$3?
No, no complaints there. I'd consider not including Copper as a buyable pile though.

I think buyable copper still provides strategic value. For example sometimes at the end of garden games I buy a bunch of copper to increase the worth of the gardens.
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Wizard_Amul

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5667 on: June 27, 2024, 11:20:09 am »
+1

If you could go back and remake Dominion, would you consider getting rid of Treasures and making Copper, Silver, and Gold Action cards with +1 Action +$1, +1 Action +$2, and +1 Action +$3?
No, no complaints there. I'd consider not including Copper as a buyable pile though.

I think buyable copper still provides strategic value. For example sometimes at the end of garden games I buy a bunch of copper to increase the worth of the gardens.

Yeah, but imo, it could be more interesting if curse was the only 0 cost pile--then you have to decide if a curse is worth it when you want to increase the value of things like Gardens, Merchant's Guild, Goons, etc. It feels a bit easier to make that decision for a copper than for a curse. Not having copper be buyable also makes things like Fountain and Keep more interesting, if you have to think about a way to get more coppers--although maybe those wouldn't have been made if copper wasn't buyable.
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NoMoreFun

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5668 on: June 28, 2024, 03:09:25 am »
0

Would that mean that Copper becomes exclusively a starting card and all cards that gain Copper are gone? What card that gains or interacts with Copper would you miss most?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5669 on: June 28, 2024, 12:21:00 pm »
+3

Would that mean that Copper becomes exclusively a starting card and all cards that gain Copper are gone? What card that gains or interacts with Copper would you miss most?
That's what it would mean; you can see this played out I think in the Dutch beginner's product. It was a move you could do to lower the cost of the main game.

I don't have a list of Copper-gainers in front of me. I'm not the kind that misses those things though. I've played with so many cards that didn't make it to print.

For me the Copper pile was there as a fail-safe. What if you're so screwed that you can't afford anything? There's also, you'll have all the Coppers you aren't using due to the player count; why not let them be in a pile? And then the pile existed, so things could refer to it. In the end, it's better to not put you in the position of hopelessly buying Copper. And the space can trivially be used to generate more gameplay than the Coppers do.

It's all moot of course; just a lesson for future games.
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Tiago

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5670 on: June 28, 2024, 02:03:58 pm »
0

Dominion 3rd edition: remove all Coppers and Estates from the Supply, add 5 new Kingdom cards. That would be amazing.

NoMoreFun

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5671 on: June 28, 2024, 08:46:30 pm »
+1

Looking at the list of cards, most of the cards that are likely to lead to gaining Copper were deprecated in revised editions. Jester is the only exception. In other sets, Dark Ages has 2 (Beggar and Count), Adventures one (Treasure Trove), Empires some landscapes (Banquet, Fountain, arguably Palace), there's the hex Greed, Menagerie has Alliance, Barbarian is impacted (you would just Trash silver instead of gaining a Copper), and Plunder has (arguably) Mining Road.

However one consideration would be that Coppers are likely to go through a lot more wear and tear than other cards in the base set, so it would be good to have spares. Is that a consideration behind any of Dominion's design choices?
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Will(ow|iam)

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5672 on: June 28, 2024, 10:16:05 pm »
+1

Looking at the list of cards, most of the cards that are likely to lead to gaining Copper were deprecated in revised editions. Jester is the only exception. In other sets, Dark Ages has 2 (Beggar and Count), Adventures one (Treasure Trove), Empires some landscapes (Banquet, Fountain, arguably Palace), there's the hex Greed, Menagerie has Alliance, Barbarian is impacted (you would just Trash silver instead of gaining a Copper), and Plunder has (arguably) Mining Road.

However one consideration would be that Coppers are likely to go through a lot more wear and tear than other cards in the base set, so it would be good to have spares. Is that a consideration behind any of Dominion's design choices?

Merchant Guild and Tower
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Jeebus

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5673 on: June 29, 2024, 09:18:32 am »
0

Treasurer, Shaman, Gardens, Fairgrounds, Swindler... I'm sure there are many others.

Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5674 on: June 29, 2024, 01:50:41 pm »
+1

However one consideration would be that Coppers are likely to go through a lot more wear and tear than other cards in the base set, so it would be good to have spares. Is that a consideration behind any of Dominion's design choices?
It hasn't been.
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