Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Now Boarding - revisited

Two years ago I posted the rules to a game that Tim Fowers and I designed at Game Design Attack #1: Now Boarding.

Now Boarding is a cooperative optimization puzzle with time pressure for 3-4 players. Each player controls an international hub and nearby city airports, and together you must usher randomly drawn passengers to their destinations before they lose too much patience. This goal gets harder and harder each day as more cities enter play and more passengers come through your airports. In order to help achieve the goal, you'll need to build up your infrastructure, buying new planes and gates, upgrading local airports to hubs, and buying concession stands to keep passengers happy during layovers.

Tim and I discussed, designed, prototyped, playtested, and iterated on Now boarding at Game Design Attack #1, and later we made nicer prototypes. Unfortunately, my nice prototype fell victim to a robbery where the thieves took nothing but a duffle bag full of game prototypes - worthless to them, but invluable to me :(

Last weekend I finally got around to re-creating a prototype of the game, and I hope to play it tomorrow night. The latest changes (from September 2013) involved concentrating the time pressure on the Departure step of the turn, the step where all the puzzle-solving decisions are made, and leaving the bookkeeping parts of the turn off the clock. I think that sounds like a good idea, though I remember some of my friends (Mandy and Russell, who really like co-op games) wanted to get rid of the time pressure altogether - they just wanted to solve the logistical puzzle together. I think it's more fun with time pressure, as the puzzle itself isn't terribly complex. Perhaps the untimed version could be "easy mode," while to make it harder you could impose a time limit on the Departures step.

I've updated the Now Boarding rules accordingly. I'm sure I'll post after tomorrow's session if I get a chance to play this game. Also on the docket is the latest version of Alter Ego (with simultaneous play), so maybe it'll be a co-op night... though I'd really like to get Odysseus: Winds of Fate to the table as well now that I've finally updated my prototype.

No comments: