Sunday, February 24, 2013

Exhibit update

I don't know if I mentioned, I may have found a publisher for Exhibit! It's not really a TMG style game, and Michael said he didn't mind my shopping it around, so I scheduled meetings at Essen with some publishers and the very first one I talked to said they were interested. There's no contract yet, so nothing's set in stone, but it's exciting to have non-TMG interest in my work :)

The potential publisher for Exhibit said they'd like the game to be shorter, and that's something I'd been thinking myself as well. The obvious first fix for that is to simply reduce the number of Artifacts in each stack, making the game last fewer rounds. So that's what I tried. At first I simply removed one of the Eras altogether, and it worked pretty well. However it was too easy to make sets based on Era when there were only 2, so I went back and made a distribution such that there are 2 Early, 2 Mid, and 2 Late tiles in each Artifact stack.

So now there are 6 tiles per stack, and I'm still starting with 2 tiles in each Auction the first round. That makes for a 5 round game, and in the games I played at Strategicon last weekend that translated into a 45-60 minute play time, which is just fine!

Brian pointed out that now there's less time to make use of the Weapons and Tools, so Art should be worth 1 point instead of 2. I agree with that, so I'll adopt that change. I probably ought to reduce the VP value of the Holy Grail as well - instead of 4 additional points (5 total), it should probably be worth 3 additional (4 total) - or maybe just 3 total.

2 last minor changes (for those who have been following along)...
1. I am still using the Grant tile - a 1-time use tile for each player. It had always been used only for an Artifact auction, i.e. not on the Purple (Special) auction. However, to make the rule simpler, I have been thinking it should simply be a "1-shot purple weapon" - meaning it could be used on the Purple auction as well. I don't see a huge down side, and it'll be simpler.

2. I've always thought the set scoring ramped up too quickly. I was using 1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8. So I finally decided to adjust that down a bit. I'm now trying 1+2+2+3+3+4+4+5. I'm hoping this will make large sets less dominant, but still an attractive option and a tough decision vs making multiple smaller sets.

That's about it for now!

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