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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 2159547 times)

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Watno

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1150 on: March 27, 2014, 09:10:13 pm »
+5

Galaxy Trucker is more fun when losing, or at least when not doing perfectly.
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Kirian

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1151 on: March 27, 2014, 09:42:15 pm »
+2

Galaxy Trucker is more fun when losing, or at least when not doing perfectly.

*shudder*  Galaxy Trucker is most fun when played by someone else, ideally on another continent.
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Watno

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1152 on: March 27, 2014, 10:00:08 pm »
+1

Sometimes I really wish there was a downvote button :P
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silverspawn

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1153 on: March 27, 2014, 10:34:52 pm »
+14

Sometimes I really wish there was a downvote button :P
believe me, it's a good thing there isn't one. if you could always see who's downvoting, as you can see with the upvotes, it would create so much hatred, and if you couldn't it would be used as a way of collective bullying. even the upvote thing has some issues, but it's also a motivation for people to put more effort into their posts, so that's a good thing

KingZog3

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1154 on: March 28, 2014, 12:12:50 am »
+5

Sometimes I really wish there was a downvote button :P
believe me, it's a good thing there isn't one. if you could always see who's downvoting, as you can see with the upvotes, it would create so much hatred, and if you couldn't it would be used as a way of collective bullying. even the upvote thing has some issues, but it's also a motivation for people to put more effort into their posts, so that's a good thing

Except the getting the most upvotes usually means you organized an event or posted a meme.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1155 on: March 28, 2014, 10:40:35 am »
+9

Except the getting the most upvotes usually means you organized an event or posted a meme.

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KingZog3

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1156 on: March 28, 2014, 11:08:05 am »
+2

Except the getting the most upvotes usually means you organized an event or posted a meme.



I didnt say that. I simply said upvotes are a good representation of how many memes you made.
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LastFootnote

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1157 on: March 28, 2014, 11:10:27 am »
+13

I didnt say that. I simply said upvotes are a good representation of how many memes you made.

I know, I'm sorry. I just wanted to make memes like all the cool kids. :-[
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Awaclus

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1158 on: March 28, 2014, 11:12:14 am »
+1

But I haven't made 1856 memes!
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KingZog3

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1159 on: March 28, 2014, 11:12:19 am »
+3

I didnt say that. I simply said upvotes are a good representation of how many memes you made.

I know, I'm sorry. I just wanted to make memes like all the cool kids. :-[

And no upvotes for it! A disgrace!
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soulnet

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1160 on: March 28, 2014, 11:40:26 am »
0

But I haven't made 1856 memes!

You need to revise the definition of representative.
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pacovf

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1161 on: March 28, 2014, 12:42:21 pm »
+1

(Usual disclaimer: sorry if this question was already asked, the thread is 47 pages long and started 15 months ago.)

Have you ever considered doing an action/treasure dual card? Did you consider that it wasn't interesting enough to justify the ensuing rules confusions?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1162 on: March 28, 2014, 04:09:02 pm »
+4

Have you ever considered doing an action/treasure dual card? Did you consider that it wasn't interesting enough to justify the ensuing rules confusions?
It doesn't have a lot to offer beyond "wow there wasn't one of those before," and yes, would be confusing.
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NoMoreFun

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1163 on: March 30, 2014, 05:08:01 pm »
0

What about Treasure/Attack, or Treasure/Duration for Seaside?

Related, were any of the cards that emerged as Kingdom Treasures tried as Action cards? There's been a suggestion on the fan cards forum that a Kingdom card should be an Action unless it is much more elegant or functional as a Treasure (eg Bank, Counterfeit, Horn of Plenty). Would you agree with this?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 05:12:57 pm by NoMoreFun »
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Nik

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1164 on: March 30, 2014, 05:21:38 pm »
0

I have tons of questions:
How do you come up with cards? You have said that you always think fan cards are unbalanced or boring, but have you seen any that are good? How has the Dominion community (not DominionStrategy in particular) contributed to Dominion? How do you come up with card names. And finally, what was with that blue dog comment? It sure didn't make any sense to me...
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1165 on: March 30, 2014, 05:46:43 pm »
+2

What about Treasure/Attack, or Treasure/Duration for Seaside?

Related, were any of the cards that emerged as Kingdom Treasures tried as Action cards? There's been a suggestion on the fan cards forum that a Kingdom card should be an Action unless it is much more elegant or functional as a Treasure (eg Bank, Counterfeit, Horn of Plenty). Would you agree with this?
Without checking I think treasure-attack would technically work, but I'm not sure it would be worth doing; it's not as confusing as treasure-action but still confusing enough to not do just to do. My memory is that treasure-duration has rules issues.

Treasures that started out as actions:
- Horn of Plenty: +$1 per action you have in play.
- Philosopher's Stone: +1 Buy, +$1 per 4 cards in your deck.
- Quarry: +$2, actions cost $1 less this turn.
- Diadem: +$2, return this to your hand.

The original Feast looks like an action Spoils but that isn't where Spoils comes from really.

Treasures should make money; I made an exception for a card that wanted to be played in the buy phase. They should feel like treasures - they make money, or, there's Horn of Plenty again, gain cards. They don't use an action, which affects power level.

I would lean towards making an action with "+1 Action, +some coins" a treasure, if it didn't have reasons to not make it one, like "+1 Card" or another +1 Action. Candlestick Maker is an action though, and so was the version that gave +$1 instead of a coin token.
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michaeljb

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1166 on: March 30, 2014, 05:52:09 pm »
+2

And finally, what was with that blue dog comment? It sure didn't make any sense to me...

http://boardgamegeek.com/thread/716619/ironworks-and-trader
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NoMoreFun

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1167 on: March 30, 2014, 06:13:41 pm »
0

Very interesting that Candlestick Maker was once a vanilla card. Would you ever make another card that's just a combination of +Card, +Action, +$ and +Buy without any other effects, or do you think that there's nothing more to be done in that space? 
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1168 on: March 30, 2014, 06:19:40 pm »
+7

How do you come up with cards?
Lots of ways. When I'm making a new game, there's all the basic stuff to do, I do all that stuff (at least at first). I make cards that interact with all of the things that are special about the game, since those cards won't feel like I've done them a million times. You know, you have say a deck of cards, and can have "draw 3 cards;" that comes up in game after game. But +1 Buy, that's very specific to the rules for Dominion, so that feels more new. I don't shy away from the good basic things that you can always do though, I do some of them. I just try to lean towards what makes this game different.

Once I have a bunch of cards, to make new ones, I look for what I haven't done yet, I try to explore themes more deeply.

Sometimes I make top-down cards (flavor first); not so much in most games though. Sometimes the flavor is first but I just pair up flavor and functionality from separate lists. Generally I don't have "complexity points" to spend on "trinket text" (you people who read Blogatog know these terms). Sometimes I go for it though.

Cards are like little computer programs. You can approach them from this perspective; you consider basic kinds of program flow. I could have an if/else card, a repeat/until card.

And of course I've made tons of games, so I've been over this ground a lot, so I know some of the things I will think of, and can just jump to those things.

You have said that you always think fan cards are unbalanced or boring, but have you seen any that are good?
What I said was, that if I sit down and read a bunch of fan cards, I don't expect to find new worthwhile ideas. Here let's have a quote, people love this one.

Quote from: Donald X.
I don't usually look at them, because 1) I don't want people feeling like I'm taking their ideas, which probably I had years ago, not because I am amazing but because the obvious ideas are obvious and I had a big head start; and 2) the cards that aren't in sets already are usually awful, nonstop things I wouldn't do that are boring and redundant or else obviously bad for the game in some way, and if it's not obvious then I already tried them and found out the hard way. At best they are things I'm already doing; none of it is good reading.
That's not me saying that they're always awful, it's me saying that I don't read them because they're usually awful. It's not good enough entertainment wading through them to try to find good ones. And I don't want to find good ones; I don't want someone thinking I stole their idea, even though their idea, like all of mine, is nowhere near as hard to think of as say calculus, which two guys thought of.

In the post I'm quoting there I cite a fan card I liked. It's on page two of this thread.

How has the Dominion community (not DominionStrategy in particular) contributed to Dominion?
DominionStrategy in particular has not contributed much to the published sets. theory suggested the name Counterfeit (although I had used that name on other earlier cards). But uh there was no time, the site isn't old enough relative to the expansions.

The biggest thing the Dominion community, mostly meaning BGG, which did include some of the people here before they came here, has contributed to is my understanding of what cards players will like or not. I found out that "attacks that just attack" would be hated, so I didn't do more of them (I snuck in Sir Michael). I found out that complexity was even more of an issue than I'd thought, that flipping over good cards to things like Loan was not enjoyed, that Tribute feels like an attack. I found out that people always really wanted more reactions / treasures / VP cards, and didn't so much like attacks. The game needed to be a little more interactive (for people who don't get much from the built-in interaction) while being less attacky. The German community (http://forum.dominionblog.de/) compiled a big list of translation errors that I expect to be fixed in the new German versions.

From sales and the community it seems like players would rather all sets were large. If there's ever another set, I will try to make it large. They were all large originally. HiG wanted like 5-card sets and the lowest I would go was 12 (I wanted it to be that when you mixed a bunch of random sets, you didn't have the special villageless mix or whatever).

The Dominion community including this site has contributed to online Dominion; wanting stuff, complaining about stuff.

How do you come up with card names.
Mostly there is no special trick, I use brain stuff. Sometimes I use a thesaurus, and at one point I got a list of medieval professions. Sometimes other people help.

And finally, what was with that blue dog comment? It sure didn't make any sense to me...
The text on Ironworks is not as precise as say a computer program. There was a question as to what it was really saying, and to try to explain it I tried to use similar words to say other things. The dog is blue so that it's been qualified in some way. As it happens I blew it and didn't notice that an "a" was "the" or vice-versa, I'm not checking. Anyway it all worked out and now we know what happens when you Ironworks a card and then use Trader to take Silver instead.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1169 on: March 30, 2014, 06:27:11 pm »
+1

Very interesting that Candlestick Maker was once a vanilla card. Would you ever make another card that's just a combination of +Card, +Action, +$ and +Buy without any other effects, or do you think that there's nothing more to be done in that space?
"+1 Action +1 Buy +$1" started out in the Herbalist slot, as Herbalist; you can see it in the outtakes article (http://dominionstrategy.com/2013/06/24/dominion-outtakes/). Note that it did not survive; it seemed fine to me, but some people found it too boring. It's hard to evaluate these things because the playtesters have played a lot more Dominion than a normal person.

There isn't much you can do with a vanilla card that wouldn't just seem too redundant with existing things, but maybe there's something. Figuring this out isn't great; if there's something left and I end up making another expansion, I'd just as soon the amazing vanilla card is a surprise.
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NoMoreFun

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1170 on: March 30, 2014, 06:58:23 pm »
+1

I was very pleasantly surprised when Dark Ages contained a lot of simple cards like Junk Dealer, Altar and Armory so here's hoping you can do similar things in the future :).

Hunting Grounds is very close to being vanilla - was "+4 Cards" at $6 on its own ever considered?

On that note, none of the Dark Ages cards can trigger their own on-trash effects (except Sir Vander with the Knights deck), and seem about right in terms of power when you can't use them (except Rats and Sir Vander of course). Was this deliberate?
« Last Edit: March 30, 2014, 07:03:20 pm by NoMoreFun »
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Dsell

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1171 on: March 30, 2014, 07:01:26 pm »
+5

Figuring this out isn't great; if there's something left and I end up making another expansion, I'd just as soon the amazing vanilla card is a surprise.

Comments like this are basically what keep me going in life.
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blueblimp

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1172 on: March 30, 2014, 07:09:23 pm »
+3

Is there material (articles, lectures, etc.) you've found useful for designing games? Either for inspiration, or nuts and bolts process, or something else?
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Awaclus

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1173 on: March 30, 2014, 08:04:47 pm »
+1

even though their idea, like all of mine
What about Mint?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #1174 on: March 30, 2014, 08:22:01 pm »
+8

I was very pleasantly surprised when Dark Ages contained a lot of simple cards like Junk Dealer, Altar and Armory so here's hoping you can do similar things in the future :).

Hunting Grounds is very close to being vanilla - was "+4 Cards" at $6 on its own ever considered?

On that note, none of the Dark Ages cards can trigger their own on-trash effects (except Sir Vander with the Knights deck), and seem about right in terms of power when you can't use them (except Rats and Sir Vander of course). Was this deliberate?
I too was pleasantly surprised by Junk Dealer; Altar and Armory had been in the set for a long time.

Sure I considered doing a vanilla +4 Cards. One issue is that vanilla cards limit what you can do, the "vanilla card problem." See http://forum.dominionstrategy.com/index.php?topic=121.0. Another is that there are things to do that need to be attached to something else - "when-trashed" abilities for example need to go on cards that do something else. And those things want to be simple, because space is being used on the when-trashed or whatever.

I'm not sure I get the last part. The cards are deliberately trying to be balanced. That necessarily means not just being awful in games where you can't trash them. It was a significant issue with Squire for a while; the various related cards weren't compelling enough when you couldn't trash the Squire. In the end of course it is super-compelling.

I wasn't specifically avoiding "has a when-trashed ability, also has a way to trash itself," but it's only natural that there isn't one of those. It makes the whole thing less interesting. There is a classic thing they sometimes do in Magic, where they put both pieces of a combo on the same card. It's just much less fun than when you piece the combo together yourself.
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