January 19, 2012

By Jove a Witch

I'm making great progress with Poor Abby Farnsworth. Typically I'd be worried about writing so often on my blog, but it's easy to be prolific when you're excited. And I am!

I finished the last Evidence card on the shuttle home from work tonight. 60 cards! I also have 5 of the 15 Objection cards designed and really, those will come quite quickly. I did a re-write of the rules to bring them inline with some of the changes that emerged from the content. Finally, I did some really rough iconography work NOT to present as final art, but to begin the work of making the game clean, accessible, and easy to learn. I want people to focus on playing the game, not learning the game.

Before I discuss the changes, here are the updated rules to Poor Abby Farnsworth.

Here is a quick summary of the changes:
  • I received feedback that adding, removing, and managing Influence tokens is terrible. Now, instead of this constant token tug of war, you either control the Juror or you don't. I actually like the new implementation a great deal more.
  • There are three ways to play Evidence cards, which is defined by the card.
    • Play in Front of You: The best comparison are constructs. Though, in my game these are the only Evidence cards that gain points for you and only if they are out. They provide benefits as well.
    • Play to discard: Typical cards. Play, gain the benefit or action, discard.
    • Play to Control Juror: You need to use these cards to take control of the Juror. Some of them are quite neat, I think.
  • New card layout shown in the rules and below. It's pretty clean and really cleans up the text that I've been scribbling on index cards.
  • Modifications to the rules layout so they read better. I hope.
  • Objection cards are no longer added to your deck. They apply global changes to the game, but players choose which cards are played and can change it. I think if I design the content well this can be really compelling.
  • The three Evidence decks tend to do one of three things:
    • Deck Manipulation
    • Counter Opponent
    • Build Influence
Quick and dirty mock of a card. Please be gentle, I did it in Google Drawings and MS Paint.
The cards are not contained within the rules. It's approximately 45 unique cards and I don't see myself putting them all in the rules. But, I'm pleased with how they came out. I think the first play test will run better than some of my other play tests. Granted, that's a very low bar.

Here's a quick image of the prototype setup on my table:

Some quick explanation:

  • Slanted cards on the top left are the 3 Jurors
  • Each player begins with a small deck and 3 dice
  • The top left 3 cards in the center of the image are the Judge, Witch, and Town Crier. The Witnesses will be to the right of this.
  • The cards in the center are the 3 types of Evidence and the Influence cards that players obtain.
Finally, last time I wrote about the rules for Poor Abby Farnsworth I shared an early version of the logo for my board game design site that's in progress. Well, we think it's done now. I'm really pleased with my friend's work.

As always I greatly appreciate your thoughts and comments on the rules. It really does help make the game better, which is ultimately why I share it so early.

Looks like I'll be running a few playtests in this upcoming week...

No comments: