I’m not exactly sure what caused it — most likely, my realization that I won’t be able to make the 2010 Protospiel get-together — but I felt the need to get my “Show of Power” prototype back out onto the table the other night.
It had been a while, and I had a few new concepts that I had been thinking about, but hadn’t actually played out. So, it was good to get the thing on the table and play through a few rounds.
Turns out that the new concepts didn’t really work, but working through them made a few things very clear, and helps to form some new changes to the game.
I’m finding that one of the main concepts — having players able to influence both *what* gets scores and *when* scoring takes place — needs some limits put on it. The more I’ve opened up those areas, the more I’ve found that players will tend to not trigger scoring unless it is very obvious that they will score the ultimate best possible … otherwise, they are more likely to just take another turn of trying to advance their empire and wait for the game system to trigger the scoring. Somehow, it’s okay to have less-than-optimal scores when the game triggers the scoring than to purposely trigger the scoring knowing you will only do “pretty good”.
To improve things in that area, I am moving to a new scoring timer concept and adding a hidden element to the scoring. To play into this new hidden scoring piece a bit, and to add a little more variety and depth, I’m adjusting the cards — going to a smaller number of actions available on a turn, plus adding in some special cards to give immediate scoring improvment or some special powers.
So … it’s up for another round of testing with the new stuff plugged in. My goal is to have a tightened-up system ready for this fall when the Hippodice contest comes around again.