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Author Topic: Interview with Donald X.  (Read 2162111 times)

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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5425 on: December 08, 2022, 01:26:03 pm »
+1

Have you ever considered starting your own youtube channel where you would share your thoughts on cards, strategies and combos players might not know,  more history about the origins of the cards or even play some online games? Or do you generally prefer people to figure strategies and combos on their own?
It can be fun talking about the cards, but it's both great to let people figure things out for themselves, and also, who has the time.

If you didn't know, there are youtube clips appearing this month that are me talking about origins of cards.

https://shorturl.at/jnAR3
« Last Edit: December 09, 2022, 01:24:38 am by Donald X. »
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Joshua

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5426 on: December 08, 2022, 01:35:34 pm »
0

Have you ever considered starting your own youtube channel where you would share your thoughts on cards, strategies and combos players might not know,  more history about the origins of the cards or even play some online games? Or do you generally prefer people to figure strategies and combos on their own?
It can be fun talking about the cards, but it's both great to let people figure things out for themselves, and also, who has the time.

If you didn't know, there are youtube clips appearing this month that are me talking about origins of cards.



(it says "this video is unavailable," but it's a channel not a video; there are videos there)

I do know about these series of you talking about them, and it is great,  thanks for doing these.

Now a question kinda releated to the other one: Would you say that you know some crazy card combos that pro players haven't come up with (yet)
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Gherald

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5427 on: December 08, 2022, 05:00:55 pm »
+3

Working link to the channel: https://shorturl.at/jnAR3

(btw I didn't realize it was still possible in 2022 to create YT videos with such low production quality! Rather impressive, I feel teleported to 15 years ago ;D )
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5428 on: December 09, 2022, 01:25:41 am »
+1

Now a question kinda releated to the other one: Would you say that you know some crazy card combos that pro players haven't come up with (yet)
It's hard to be sure, but probably not? Players as a whole, or even just online ones who are part of the community that I see, get in so many games relative to me.
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sorawotobu

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5429 on: December 16, 2022, 07:05:22 pm »
0

Is there a specific reason Shaman says "up to 6$" rather than "up to 2$"? Is the interaction with trash-for-benefit cards (making them bad) part of the plan rather than an accident? Is there some other interaction that you would miss out on with "up to 2$" that's really fun?
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Imrahil3

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5430 on: December 16, 2022, 08:10:40 pm »
0

Is there a specific reason Shaman says "up to 6$" rather than "up to 2$"? Is the interaction with trash-for-benefit cards (making them bad) part of the plan rather than an accident? Is there some other interaction that you would miss out on with "up to 2$" that's really fun?

I have the opposite question: is Province-trashing something that occurs often enough to warrant a restriction? Is there something else you’re trying to protect against, or just protecting the design space?
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Gherald

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5431 on: December 16, 2022, 08:56:45 pm »
0

Quote
Is there something else you’re trying to protect against

Loots. Spell Scroll in particular.
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Imrahil3

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5432 on: December 16, 2022, 09:13:04 pm »
0

Quote
Is there something else you’re trying to protect against

Loots. Spell Scroll in particular.

I guess that doesn’t seem like a huge problem to me - passing Spell Scroll back and forth seems like it would be a fun multiplayer feature, if anything.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5433 on: December 17, 2022, 06:45:59 pm »
+1

Is there a specific reason Shaman says "up to 6$" rather than "up to 2$"? Is the interaction with trash-for-benefit cards (making them bad) part of the plan rather than an accident? Is there some other interaction that you would miss out on with "up to 2$" that's really fun?
I have the opposite question: is Province-trashing something that occurs often enough to warrant a restriction? Is there something else you’re trying to protect against, or just protecting the design space?
It's not $2 because $6 gives us more gameplay. It's not $8 because the gameplay there is bad. I never tried those specific versions; I had experience from other cards.

If you trash a good card to Shaman, your opponent (or, the one to your left) can get it; we always enjoyed that. It's no accident.

It's possible it could have been allowed to trash Provinces; since I didn't test that, I don't know. But it sounds bad.
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J Reggie

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5434 on: December 17, 2022, 07:45:59 pm »
+13

Not a question, just wanted to say thank you for the previews. Previews week is one of my favorite weeks of the year and this year we got five! I really appreciate all the thought that goes into introducing the set piece by piece in a thematic way. It's something you don't have to do (I think, I don't know if you're required to) but it makes a big difference. To me it's kind of like how musicians start with a lead single to get you hyped for the album.

Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5435 on: December 18, 2022, 11:04:58 am »
+9

Not a question, just wanted to say thank you for the previews. Previews week is one of my favorite weeks of the year and this year we got five! I really appreciate all the thought that goes into introducing the set piece by piece in a thematic way. It's something you don't have to do (I think, I don't know if you're required to) but it makes a big difference. To me it's kind of like how musicians start with a lead single to get you hyped for the album.
Thanks! I don't have to do them. It's fun for me to do them, it's fun for you, we all win.
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Joshua

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5436 on: December 18, 2022, 03:36:13 pm »
+1

So, next expansion when?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5437 on: December 18, 2022, 04:14:33 pm »
+8

So, next expansion when?
Right now I'm working on other games.
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NoMoreFun

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5438 on: December 23, 2022, 02:01:56 am »
0

At one point it was considered that there was a lot more difference between $4 and $5 cards than other cost differences of $1.

What's your current design philosophy around card costs? The reason I ask is looking at the large number of strong (seeming) $4 cards in Plunder, I'm wondering if it's changed to try and make the $4-$5 gap more like the others.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5439 on: December 23, 2022, 01:14:48 pm »
+6

At one point it was considered that there was a lot more difference between $4 and $5 cards than other cost differences of $1.

What's your current design philosophy around card costs? The reason I ask is looking at the large number of strong (seeming) $4 cards in Plunder, I'm wondering if it's changed to try and make the $4-$5 gap more like the others.
There's still a big gap between $4 and $5; it's just, there are all the factors. For example, if you don't want to open with a particular card, e.g. Tools, then it has more leeway to cost $4 despite being in some sense "worth" $5. Tools is "worth" $5, but it has better gameplay at $4, and, crucially, you don't want to open with it.

There have always been lots of reasons for card costs that go beyond some baseline "charge more for more powerful cards." What matters is actual gameplay, and from day one there have been cards that played better if they cost more than they were "worth" or less than they were "worth."
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dz

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5440 on: December 23, 2022, 01:59:25 pm »
+2

How do you feel when someone takes something you've said about a Dominion card, and then puts it onto the wiki, where it will stay forever? I'd personally be creeped out.

What are the best and worst parts of writing secret histories?

So far it seems like the most controversial Plunder cards are Shaman and Frigate. What are your thoughts on them?

Some Plunder Durations seem like better fits for Allies (specifically Crew and Taskmaster, which are both recursive). If you had a magic wand and could move cards into previous sets, would you put them in Allies?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5441 on: December 24, 2022, 02:05:58 am »
+7

How do you feel when someone takes something you've said about a Dominion card, and then puts it onto the wiki, where it will stay forever? I'd personally be creeped out.
It's fine, it's never bothered me at all. The quote about free pizza is severely lacking context, and there's probably another thing like that, maybe the starve-to-death ruling. I'm not complaining about Dominion fans when I talk about people mad at losing totally-free-for-years isotropic for a for-sale version with fewer features; I'm complaining about one specific guy who wanted RGG boycotted, because how dare RGG be so generous and then not have every feature in the for-sale version. And I'm not saying people are stupid for thinking there could be a stalemate, or any such thing, in the starve-to-death thread; I'm saying that that one guy who really needed an answer to "what if we Thief until no-one has Treasures and the Copper pile is empty and there's no way anyone can empty a third pile after Curses" was wasting everyone's time, and in fact was clearly a fake account, created to ask the question a second time only this time pretend it had happened, after he didn't get the answer he wanted the first time.

But I mean, all the times the wiki says, here's a thing I said about a card; man, it's fine, go ahead.

What are the best and worst parts of writing secret histories?
I think they are too uniform in joy to pick something like that out. I guess if I have to research what we said in reports, rather than just card images, that's the worst part. And what, the best part is probably people being happy to see it posted; I should get on that.

So far it seems like the most controversial Plunder cards are Shaman and Frigate. What are your thoughts on them?
Shaman is a set highlight for me. It shakes things up, you have a new experience. I am used to multiplayer; Shaman does not hurt as much as a regular junking attack like Witch. I've played a lot of Plunder games against the TGG bot, and Shaman stayed a highlight all through that. I have to figure out how to play those boards, in a way I didn't with e.g. Ambassador.

Frigate, well typically the weakest card in a set these days is an attack, what can you do. It's because some people hate attacks, and Witches are the only ones without issues; people are terrified of Knights, and Spies are so slow, and Militia doesn't allow for much variety. And then Duration attacks are tricky and wordy. So, there's always a Raider or Gatekeeper or something, that avoids breaking the game and being hated by being weak instead, and well I can live with that, at least the attack fans still get a card. Oh they voted Frigate at the top you say? Huh. Uh. Nevermind.

Some Plunder Durations seem like better fits for Allies (specifically Crew and Taskmaster, which are both recursive). If you had a magic wand and could move cards into previous sets, would you put them in Allies?
I might move a few cards from some sets to other ones in order to consolidate some themes; I haven't really given it much thought, but in general it makes sense. There was one Tunnel because my philosophy at the time was to use each idea the minimum possible number of times. Then I had to make hundreds of cards and maybe there can be a 2nd card that triggers on discarding? And now there are a few and I mean if you put them all in one set it becomes part of the set identity, and they get more combos when playing with that set irl. There will always be spread-out related cards, and some things probably don't want to cluster, but overall I can see the beauty of it.

Crew and Taskmaster specifically, well, they are pushing "variety of Duration effects" for Plunder. They are on-theme where they are. If one set had all the Hirelings, well Plunder still wanted one of those, and so on. Sure these two are also recursive, and thus fitting for Allies; Plunder specifically wanted them though. And Taskmaster relates to next-time. I guess if I'd made both sets and they weren't out yet, I might consider moving Crew, but probably not Taskmaster.
« Last Edit: December 24, 2022, 11:57:04 am by Donald X. »
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Robledo

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5442 on: December 25, 2022, 12:34:51 pm »
+1

Hi Donald…

First of all a big thank you for the pearl that Dominion is, and the hours of enjoyment that we take from it…

Donald, is it feasible (in business term) to make products similar to those of the second edition cards (small box - around 100 cards) but with specific mechanics worth revisiting? Eg. I love Reserve cards, or even Projects, is it feasible releasing products containing just more cards of those mechanincs? Like… 9 new cards for Reserve lovers or 9 new cards for Night lovers…

A large expansion tend to revisit past mechanics that does not require nothing else… if new Reserve cards were to be made in a new expansion, maybe 6 more mats should be added by those who do not have Adventures… That is why I am asking… but really have no clue if this would be interesting, desirable or even published…

Thanks

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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5443 on: December 26, 2022, 02:14:02 am »
+3

Donald, is it feasible (in business term) to make products similar to those of the second edition cards (small box - around 100 cards) but with specific mechanics worth revisiting? Eg. I love Reserve cards, or even Projects, is it feasible releasing products containing just more cards of those mechanincs? Like… 9 new cards for Reserve lovers or 9 new cards for Night lovers…

A large expansion tend to revisit past mechanics that does not require nothing else… if new Reserve cards were to be made in a new expansion, maybe 6 more mats should be added by those who do not have Adventures… That is why I am asking… but really have no clue if this would be interesting, desirable or even published…
It's feasible but unlikely; we've found that people prefer large expansions. The way to revisit Reserve or Night is with a new large expansion that has a bunch of those cards.

At one point Allies (the expansion) was going to revisit Reserve cards. But they overlapped too much with what Allies (the landscape type) could do. If it had happened, there would have been Tavern mats in Allies. I was considering having them double as a place to put Favors, to save on table space.
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5444 on: December 26, 2022, 06:04:05 pm »
+1

How many cards unreleased cards do you typically have in playtest rotation at a time?
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5445 on: December 27, 2022, 12:15:57 pm »
0

How many cards unreleased cards do you typically have in playtest rotation at a time?
Normally just one expansion; that might be say 35 cards for a 30-card expansion sans Landscapes. But while working on Allies I also had the 2E's going, so I had 60+ non-landscape cards to test at once.

Prior to Adventures, I had all the upcoming expansions (except Guilds for a while) to playtest at the same time. Playtests of Prosperity could include cards from Dark Ages and so on.
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GendoIkari

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5446 on: December 27, 2022, 02:31:32 pm »
+1

Why did you change Cage to a treasure? Secret history says it wasn't always that way, but doesn't give any insight into why. I'm not seeing anything about its ability that makes it seem or feel like a treasure. Was it for any particular balancing reason? If it was just because "why not; this is a treasure expansion", then why Cage instead of any other random action?
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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5447 on: December 28, 2022, 07:06:05 am »
0

What do you personally think is the better big box, the German or English one? English has base and intruige, plus support for 6 players. German has base, alchemy (with the old artwork of potion for some reason?) guilds and cornucopia, black market stash and walled village as promos plus caravan as a teaser for seaside.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5448 on: December 28, 2022, 12:07:54 pm »
+3

Why did you change Cage to a treasure? Secret history says it wasn't always that way, but doesn't give any insight into why. I'm not seeing anything about its ability that makes it seem or feel like a treasure. Was it for any particular balancing reason? If it was just because "why not; this is a treasure expansion", then why Cage instead of any other random action?
The key thing was, that I wanted to take cards that could be treasures and have them be treasures. It wasn't for balance, though it's better/different due to being a treasure rather than an action. It's Cage and not some other random Action because in fact most Actions do not just turn into treasures if I want them to. They need to have +1 Action but not more, no +Cards yes except the one time I do that, and not do things that make you want it to still be your Action phase.

We can make this argument the other way. Militia is basically a Treasure; why wasn't it tweaked to a version that could have the +1 Action and then made a Treasure? Originally, Actions didn't randomly get +$2 like that; that changed because I had to give them resources to make the game work, and man they didn't all want +Cards or gains.

Historically Treasures have made $ or gained cards. It's great to have conventions like that. But a Treasure can do other things and here's one that does. It's also fun to defy conventions sometimes; to get this fun, you have to have a convention, and then have to break it.

Grotto was also a Treasure at one point; one reason it changed was to distinguish it more from Cage. That was only possible by having one of them be a Treasure.

Now I am looking through the cards, wishing I'd tried Shaman as a Treasure. +1 Action, +$1 - it's perfect. Of course it would have needed the verboten small font then.
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Donald X.

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Re: Interview with Donald X.
« Reply #5449 on: December 28, 2022, 12:11:29 pm »
+1

What do you personally think is the better big box, the German or English one? English has base and intruige, plus support for 6 players. German has base, alchemy (with the old artwork of potion for some reason?) guilds and cornucopia, black market stash and walled village as promos plus caravan as a teaser for seaside.
I'm liking the sound of the English one! The English doesn't have the controversial least-liked expansion Alchemy, has two great products that are both second editions that spiffied them up, and hey supports 5 players for the people who really want that (and I guess technically 6). And it doesn't give you a redundant Caravan, wtf is up there.
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