Friday, November 02, 2007

Rodeo Drive - first playtest

Without saying too much about the game...

We had a full length 3-player test of the "top secret" Rodeo Drive tonight, and it went pretty much the way I thought it would. The auction mechanic worked well, though it lacked some tension - easily solved by giving each player an additional bidding token. The same thing happened in our initial 2-player test, not enough bids to make it interesting. So in 2-player each player will be placing 4 bids on the 6 auctions, in 3-player there will be 3 bids per player, and in 4 player there will be 2 bids. If the game works with 5 players each player will also get 2 bids. It may simply not be a 6-player game, or maybe 6 players with 1 bid each (maybe 2?) would work out. Not sure about that.

The least satisfying thing about the game was that the Privileges were uninteresting and for the most part nobody used them. I figured that would happen, because their power level was low in comparison to the point value of playing the tile to the board. We're going to try increasing the power of the privileges as well as decreasing the VP rewards to bring them more into balance.

We're also going to try a variation on how tiles come up for auction (though the game will not change much from that), and another way to consider the "chain" scoring.

What worked really well was the cool auction mechanic (as expected), the diminishing return for winning the same auction over and over, and I think the chain scoring worked well that game also, but we're going to try another version to see how it feels.

Hopefully soon I'll be able to talk about the game more, when more stuff is finalized and the game is closer to being "done."

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