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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 2197032 times)

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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #925 on: March 11, 2014, 05:50:57 pm »
+4

Donald, in the first pages of this two-year-long interview you mentioned German players and German families explicitly, as opposed to American families. I cannot think of what you could have referred to regarding different preferences between Germans and Americans when playing board games. I'm German and German board game players are the only board game players I know.
I was talking about casual gamers rather than serious gamers. I don't know that there's any significant different for serious gamers, although European publishers have historically leaned more towards less text-heavy games, which obv. is nice for when you're making a game for multiple languages.

I feel like the hit German casual gamer games tend to be more strategic than the American ones, with certain flavor restrictions.

Okay I am looking at the first page of board games (24 games) for amazon and amazon.de (they change by the minute). There is some overlap (Settlers, Qwirkle, Dominion, Carcassonne), and there are games I'd have to research to know what they are. But it seems to me that the German list is more game-y. The American list has some things that aren't even games (Rory's Story Cubes and a commercial version of Telephone Pictionary). There are two Monopolies on the German list and none on the American one. But the American list has Candy Land, Hungry Hungry Hippos, and a commercial version of 20 Questions. The German list has some SdJ winners/nominees.

Anyway I don't really know anything about this, but I imagine that a big hit in America is often more of a party game.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #926 on: March 11, 2014, 05:55:17 pm »
+3

I am told that cube draft is the platonic ideal of what Magic: the Gathering is supposed to be about.
I highly recommend cube drafts, although I have almost always had rarities (so, one rare per pack, 3 uncommons, 11 commons) rather than just flat rarity like most cubes. And I recommend making cubes with themes that aren't always just "the most powerful cards I have access to." So uh given those things, I've made dozens of cubes; we would draft one for a month and then I'd make a new one.

And of course cube drafts get you away from the issue of, who could afford the powerful cards for their deck.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #927 on: March 11, 2014, 06:01:48 pm »
0

From Magic?  How did Magic have drafting?  Or was that a tournament/match style, instead of people bringing their premade decks?
Magic has had drafting as a major element since 1996. There is drafting at Pro Tours, there are people drafting at your local game store. The basic draft is, you open a booster, take a card, pass it left; second booster goes right instead, third goes left again. You take your 45 cards, add basic lands, play it out. Usually with 8 players.

For some years they were doing "Rochester" drafts, which is where you lay out the pack on the table and go around and then back (so player 1 goes first and last, player 8 gets the middle two picks). They take a lot longer and people didn't like them as much, so they don't do those at Pro Tours anymore.

Here's a website that simulates Magic drafts, see how you like it: http://draft.bestiaire.org/index.php


Somehow, despite knowing how Magic drafts work (though not having done one) and having played a couple dozen games of 7 Wonders, I had never clicked to the fact that they're almost exactly the same thing.
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soulnet

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #928 on: March 11, 2014, 06:59:20 pm »
+1

Somehow, despite knowing how Magic drafts work (though not having done one) and having played a couple dozen games of 7 Wonders, I had never clicked to the fact that they're almost exactly the same thing.

They are not. I would say that they are similar in a similar sense that Magic is similar to Dominion because both have deck-building. 7-wonders has the drafting interleaved with the playing (playing in the sense that choosing the card is not the only thing you do in a turn) while Magic has drafting and then playing. Dominion of course has the deck-building and the playing the deck interleaved, unlike Magic.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #929 on: March 12, 2014, 07:33:03 am »
+4

In the past you've mentioned a possible future online-only promo, and I just read your response in the thread about diggers and playability issues in real-life games, which made me wonder whether you have any cool ideas for an online-only expansion?

I'm not asking you to actually release something like that (though I'd be the absolute last to object), but more like: what sort of mechanics spring to mind when you're no longer constrained by physical issues, what crazy ideas would you love to play-test?
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #930 on: March 12, 2014, 09:27:47 am »
+2

I was playing with Noble Brigand last night when I was playing IRL, and I started thinking about how Noble Brigand and Thief work.  I understand that Thief needs to trash the money in case you don't actually want it.  But why does the silver or the gold have to technically be trashed?  What made you come to that wording?

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #931 on: March 12, 2014, 09:55:05 am »
+5

On to the important questions:

Were Mint(e)/Mine(t) designed just to mess with us?
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #932 on: March 12, 2014, 01:02:31 pm »
+5

Donald X.

Dominion is my favoite game, and after other games have risen and fallen in my estimation over the last few years, Dominion remains at the top for me. There are so many things I like about the game and very few things I don't and it has endless replayability without getting stale for me over about 1500 plays.

[end fanboy section]

One of the things I like so much is the immense strategic depth the game provides, particularly in 2P. A lot of this is by design, but I understand about a million hours of playtesting went into all the cards to help this along. The dynamics of 2P games and 3+P games are so different and as a result it makes me wonder: did you focus on one more than the other?

2P Dominion is SO GOOD, man. It's like totes the bee's knees. I enjoy it a lot, but from what I've read you prefer games with more players. Did you focus your design on 3+ player games and this AMAZING 2P game fell into your lap because of good design, or did you get rid of cards that would have been silly/unfun in 2P games only?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #933 on: March 12, 2014, 04:26:09 pm »
+5

In the past you've mentioned a possible future online-only promo, and I just read your response in the thread about diggers and playability issues in real-life games, which made me wonder whether you have any cool ideas for an online-only expansion?

I'm not asking you to actually release something like that (though I'd be the absolute last to object), but more like: what sort of mechanics spring to mind when you're no longer constrained by physical issues, what crazy ideas would you love to play-test?
I haven't considered an online-only expansion. It probably wouldn't be hard coming up with cards, themed around "a computer is handling this." The online version would have to be drastically more popular for it to be a worthwhile project in terms of uh pay-off; it would have to be the kind of thing I just did because it was a fun project. Probably it will never be sufficiently compelling. And if I did decide to go for it, surely Jay would lobby for a physical expansion instead.

I don't know if the promo will even happen, it's up to them. I came up with a card to try and who knows, maybe they'll program it. It seems like it would be good for them. If they do one and it works out I might offer them another one later.

I don't want to spoil any potential online promos, but the main things you get from going online-only are tracking and uh speed. The computer can store information that would be a pain to track manually, and it can do things quickly that would be time-consuming irl. Long ago Magic had an online-only expansion (not for MTGO, for a much older product), and there they focused on random-number generation, but I think that's not so exciting for Dominion.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #934 on: March 12, 2014, 04:29:00 pm »
+2

I was playing with Noble Brigand last night when I was playing IRL, and I started thinking about how Noble Brigand and Thief work.  I understand that Thief needs to trash the money in case you don't actually want it.  But why does the silver or the gold have to technically be trashed?  What made you come to that wording?
It's all about having clear interactions with potential future cards, some of which I had already. Thief steals a Cache; do you get the Coppers? What if Thief hits a treasure that does something when trashed? Thief explicitly trashes and gains so that all such future things are covered.

Oh I see, Noble Brigand. It still applies though; for example for a long time Haggler was when-gain, and would trigger on stealing a Gold with Noble Brigand. Plus Noble Brigand wanted to match Thief's wording if that worked out.
« Last Edit: March 12, 2014, 04:30:35 pm by Donald X. »
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #935 on: March 12, 2014, 04:32:00 pm »
+4

On to the important questions:

Were Mint(e)/Mine(t) designed just to mess with us?
No card names were specifically chosen in order to create confusion. A few are jokes, but not confusing jokes.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #936 on: March 12, 2014, 04:34:09 pm »
+1

I was playing with Noble Brigand last night when I was playing IRL, and I started thinking about how Noble Brigand and Thief work.  I understand that Thief needs to trash the money in case you don't actually want it.  But why does the silver or the gold have to technically be trashed?  What made you come to that wording?
It's all about having clear interactions with potential future cards, some of which I had already. Thief steals a Cache; do you get the Coppers? What if Thief hits a treasure that does something when trashed? Thief explicitly trashes and gains so that all such future things are covered.

Oh I see, Noble Brigand. It still applies though; for example for a long time Haggler was when-gain, and would trigger on stealing a Gold with Noble Brigand. Plus Noble Brigand wanted to match Thief's wording if that worked out.

I assume the heart of the question is, "Why do the cards stop off at the trash instead of being gained directly from other players' decks?" I assume the answer is, "So that it's obvious where they end up in the case where you don't actually gain the card," like if you trashed someone's Gold with Noble Brigand and then revealed a Trader for some reason.
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SirPeebles

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #937 on: March 12, 2014, 04:36:12 pm »
+2

Long ago Magic had an online-only expansion (not for MTGO, for a much older product), and there they focused on random-number generation, but I think that's not so exciting for Dominion.

I agree with this assessment.  Harvest uses your deck as a sort of random number generator, but allows you to skew or even outright fix the odds based on how you build your deck.  I find this to be a more engaging use of randomness, particularly in a deck builder.
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Witherweaver

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #938 on: March 12, 2014, 04:39:49 pm »
+2

Long ago Magic had an online-only expansion (not for MTGO, for a much older product), and there they focused on random-number generation, but I think that's not so exciting for Dominion.

I agree with this assessment.  Harvest uses your deck as a sort of random number generator, but allows you to skew or even outright fix the odds based on how you build your deck.  I find this to be a more engaging use of randomness, particularly in a deck builder.

I really hope any online-only promo card can revolve around the idea of evaluating infinite sums.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #939 on: March 12, 2014, 04:41:51 pm »
+5

One of the things I like so much is the immense strategic depth the game provides, particularly in 2P. A lot of this is by design, but I understand about a million hours of playtesting went into all the cards to help this along. The dynamics of 2P games and 3+P games are so different and as a result it makes me wonder: did you focus on one more than the other?

2P Dominion is SO GOOD, man. It's like totes the bee's knees. I enjoy it a lot, but from what I've read you prefer games with more players. Did you focus your design on 3+ player games and this AMAZING 2P game fell into your lap because of good design, or did you get rid of cards that would have been silly/unfun in 2P games only?
I normally aim for 3-5 and then am happy if a game works with 2 or 6-8. There are problems at both ends.

It was obv. early on that Dominion was good with 2, and I did play a bunch with 2. The VP piles vary in size to handle 2 better. Some cards were obv. going to vary in power level between 2-5 players; if they survived, they are aimed at 3 players, which is the best I can do without cutting them (expecting that 5 players comes up less often than 2-4) (I do not recommend playing with 6).

So uh the game is focused on 3 players, but I didn't ignore 2. The experience is obv. different in various ways, but I enjoy those differences. It would be nice if Witches were weaker with 2, which could be as simple as a more complex Curse-pile-size rule.
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sudgy

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #940 on: March 12, 2014, 04:46:12 pm »
+8

Long ago Magic had an online-only expansion (not for MTGO, for a much older product), and there they focused on random-number generation, but I think that's not so exciting for Dominion.

I agree with this assessment.  Harvest uses your deck as a sort of random number generator, but allows you to skew or even outright fix the odds based on how you build your deck.  I find this to be a more engaging use of randomness, particularly in a deck builder.

I really hope any online-only promo card can revolve around the idea of evaluating infinite sums.

-$1/12
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   Quote from: sudgy on June 31, 2011, 11:47:46 pm

Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #941 on: March 12, 2014, 04:49:17 pm »
+5

I assume the heart of the question is, "Why do the cards stop off at the trash instead of being gained directly from other players' decks?" I assume the answer is, "So that it's obvious where they end up in the case where you don't actually gain the card," like if you trashed someone's Gold with Noble Brigand and then revealed a Trader for some reason.
Yes, Trader is a good example of the good work Noble Brigand's wording is doing. Or, I have Market Square in hand; if Noble Brigand just took the card, it would be a question, does this trigger or not. The person losing the treasure would feel like Market Square should work; it would need a defined term like Masquerade's "pass" to be clear, and even that sends you to the rulebook.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #942 on: March 12, 2014, 05:04:53 pm »
+1

How come the FAQ for Island and Pirate Ship say that when you "take" one of the card you get the mat, while the FAQ for Native Village says you get the mat when you gain the card?

Actually, now a rules question.  What happens if you haven't gained a Native Village (so you have no mat), and you play a Band of Misfits as one?  Do you just grab a mat even though you never gained a Native Village?
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   Quote from: sudgy on June 31, 2011, 11:47:46 pm

Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #943 on: March 12, 2014, 05:23:21 pm »
+33

-$1/12
Repossession: $6, Action
Look through the deck of the player to your right, and take all of the cards that you bought. Put the rest into that player's discard pile.

Dark Ages: $3, Action
+$2
Trash this. Turn off the log and point counter for the other players for the rest of this game.

Gotta Run: $0, Action
When you gain this, trash this. Lord Bottington finishes the game for you.

Ancient Witch: 6, Action
+2 Cards
Each other player gains a Curse.
----------
In games using this, the Curse pile never runs out.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #944 on: March 12, 2014, 05:25:17 pm »
+11

How come the FAQ for Island and Pirate Ship say that when you "take" one of the card you get the mat, while the FAQ for Native Village says you get the mat when you gain the card?
It's an unintentional inconsistency.

Actually, now a rules question.  What happens if you haven't gained a Native Village (so you have no mat), and you play a Band of Misfits as one?  Do you just grab a mat even though you never gained a Native Village?
Just put the cards on the Native Village mat in the box that you would have if only you had one.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #945 on: March 12, 2014, 05:28:45 pm »
+22

Gotta Run: $0, Action
When you gain this, trash this. Lord Bottington finishes the game for you.

Swindler with Gotta Run and Rats in the supply is brutal.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #946 on: March 12, 2014, 06:27:40 pm »
0

On to the important questions:

Were Mint(e)/Mine(t) designed just to mess with us?
No card names were specifically chosen in order to create confusion. A few are jokes, but not confusing jokes.
So what exactly were those joke cards?
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #947 on: March 12, 2014, 06:30:15 pm »
+5

On to the important questions:

Were Mint(e)/Mine(t) designed just to mess with us?
No card names were specifically chosen in order to create confusion. A few are jokes, but not confusing jokes.
So what exactly were those joke cards?

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker...
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #948 on: March 12, 2014, 07:36:27 pm »
0

On to the important questions:

Were Mint(e)/Mine(t) designed just to mess with us?
No card names were specifically chosen in order to create confusion. A few are jokes, but not confusing jokes.
So what exactly were those joke cards?

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker...
I'd venture a guess of Venture.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #949 on: March 12, 2014, 08:01:18 pm »
0

On to the important questions:

Were Mint(e)/Mine(t) designed just to mess with us?
No card names were specifically chosen in order to create confusion. A few are jokes, but not confusing jokes.
So what exactly were those joke cards?

Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker...
I'd venture a guess of Venture.

I would be interested in knowing whether Venture and Adventurer intentionally had similar-ish names.  I've never felt that they were all that similar, but others around here seem rather convinced that there is a connection.
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