Sunday, December 07, 2014

Odysseus: Winds of Fate v4.2 - finally getting somewhere?

Saturday I had a great test session of 2 of my games. One of them was an old favorite I've been posting about recently... Odysseus: Winds of Fate.

This game has eluded me for years. I've always loved the story of it, and I like the structure, but for some reason I have simply not been able to find a configuration of rules that I'm really happy with. This specific game of O:WoF wasn't technically the best play ever, but it was informative, and I think with some simple tweaks I'm finally at a point where I'm happy with the game!

Today I made those tweaks, and I'm excited for the next playtest - I expect it to go much better than previous tests. This month is usually a good one for game design, as holiday season brings friends home from out of town, and people on breaks from work means it's more likely I can get playtests in. I'm excite and hopeful to see how the latest and greatest version of Winds of Fate plays out.

Mind you it's not quite done... I think the biggest issue left is that there's too much process involved. I've tried to make the steps as simple as possible to follow, but I noticed today that even I was forgetting things in the latest playtest! I'd like to clean that up some, and make the game a bit more streamlined, but without losing any of the major pieces. I might be able to address this to an extent by setting expectations. Maybe this game is more like a What's Your Game game (somewhat fiddly rules, but they make sense in the end) than it is a normal TMG game (streamlined process, fewer fiddly rules). That's probably OK, but if people are expecting a simple, streamlined game, then they might not enjoy their first play as much... so maybe I need to find a way to set expectations properly.

In the meantime, here are some photos of the updated prototype, and a link to the latest rules.

Set up for a 4 player game:

Losing the 1st adventure, Odysseus journeys to the Isle of Scheria, where Hermes awaits. The biggest contributor to the next adventure will earn Hermes' respect (and that god tile)!
After winning the adventure at the Isle of Scheria, Odysseus and his crew progress toward Ithaca. Their journey takes them to the Isle of Circe, and another Hermes tile!

Collecting all of these Hermes tiles makes this a pretty good hand! I can play the red Hermes card face up and keep it as a 3rd Hermes tile, and then I can play the black Hermes card face up to draw a bunch of cards.
Almost distracted at the Isle of the Sirens, Odysseus manages to heal some injured crew members. The blue and black payers are rooting for him to win this adventure, as they have bet cubes on the calm path to the right.

Turn order track and reward tiles... first to pass gets more adventure cards for future rounds and plays later in turn order - last to pass spends more cards, but gets more points, and first choice of the reward tiles.

Wasting too much time at the Isle of Calypso may mean Odysseus will be Stranded at Sea! The yellow, red, and especially blue player would be happy about that here.

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