Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The Numbers Game

I have no sample cards, so here's a picture of a fireplace.
Any given card in the Bad Movie Mogul card game has between 1 and 4 associated numbers, and several additional pieces of information. Performers are currently the worst, having various characteristics which relate to other cards (are the a lead or supporting actor? are they foreign?) a cost to play and as many as three pay out rates.

Balancing these numbers is a challenge, and one that is only weakly solvable by maths (or by my maths anyway). We'll need to play another test game to see how they balance up and whether the game plays too fast, too slow, or just about right. Essentially the balance to be struck is between guaranteed income and futility. The pay-off when a card works out needs to be high enough to be worth the cost, without the pay-off if it doesn't being so high that it doesn't matter what you play. If the reward never varies, there's no strategy; if there is too little chance of making good, the game will drag.

Now, I suspect that the numbers part of this is going to be simple compared to brainstorming the images and flavour text, but right now it's proving a challenge. While it may not matter how well the game plays if the presentation is off-putting, it is equally unlikely to matter if the game is shiny if it plays more awkwardly than a ninety pound piccolo.

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

B-Movie Mogul - The Card Game

Alpha Prime
Last night, James Holloway and I gathered with friends Bob and Jon to playtest version 0.1 of our B-Movie Mogul card game.

I won't lie; it was... bad, but in a good way. Play was slow and clunky, we had a lot of dead cards and the all-important movie pitch phase was pretty much killed by the fact that half the players didn't have a film out most of the time. It was, however, a really strong learning experience, and not as shockingly bad as it might have been given that this was the first test of the first version of the first card game James and I have ever developed.

For version 0.2 we're expanding the number of performers, since they are the most interesting cards, and making some of the supporting cards more general, as a lot of them ended up sitting around with nothing to use them on. We've also revised the rules a lot and overhauled one of the core mechanics.