Friday, October 26, 2007

Terra Prime Playtests

I got another couple playtests of Terra Prime the last couple Thursdays at Hat's as well as last Saturday at the Ides of Gaming event. As I mentioned previously, I had some changes I wanted to try. I did put them into effect for the last couple games. I'm happy with how they went. Here they are again, with my current thoughts on them:

1. Swap cargo upgrades. I tried this, and I guess it seems reasonable, I'm concerned that the 2nd upgrade isn't desirable. I might consider the first upgrade costing 3 cubes and the second costing 2 - it sounds odd, but might work out allright.

Edit: After discussing the situation with Sebastian, I think there's a better solution. I will try leaving the extra $/delivery upgrade as the "2nd" upgrade, and I will change the holds a bit. No more "wilds", each hold will have a single side and a double side. When you install one, you install it single side up. The reverse side is accessible when you purchase the 'first' upgrade. The back will have the same colored slot as the front, plus a slot that can hold G/U (or maybe Y/G/U).

Thus, after the upgrade, a Red Cargo tile could hold RG or RU (or maybe RY) and a Yellow Cargo tile could hold YU, YG (or maybe YY). There would also be a U/G hod which would have double U/G on the reverse (or maybe U/G and U/G/Y).

I think this does more what I wanted the colored holds to do, which is differentiate which goods you can carry. Cryo Chambers will be defined as requireg any double-slot hold (so your initial UG hold can carry one, or any hold after upgrading can carry one).

Also, I'm going to try the upgrades as 6 different upgrades, not a linear progression.

2. Initial cargo hold carries 2 cubes or 1 Cryo Chamber. I like this a lot, and I think it's important. I want players to have to buy a cargo hold if they want to carry Yellow or Red cubes.

3. Change second cargo upgrade to "flip over their cargo hold tiles at will". Actually, now that I've considered the cargo hold thing above, the upgrade will be that you use the double side (flip over any holds you have, install any new ones with the double side up).

4. Bonus points for tiles are screwy. I don't know, maybe I'll leave them for now, and see if Delivering is earning too many points or something.

5. The Yellow tile game end trigger is still kinda lame. I like the new version, 12 tiles between Yellow and Red. I'd like to find a better way to represent that. It might involve more components, like chits you take when you explore or something.

6. Make colors (of cargo holds) scarce. See above, I'll make a couple of each, not sure how scarce they ought to be. I'm thinking 2 Yellow, 2 Red, and 2 Green/Blue, is that too few? Maybe 3 Yellow for 5p. I wonder if I need to provide enough holds so that multiple people can buy 2 if they want. most people don't, but maybe that's good, buying a second could jack a player out of a hold... is that good or bad? I guess I could make plenty of G/U holds, so the only copetition os for Y and R.

I am excited about these new ideas. I think I'll go home and update my prototype (and rules!) maybe play it this weekend.

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