The Contract

Update Fri,20 The Contract

I'll begin by saying less really is more. Over the past month I have been playtesting and with each session, I started to notice a trend. All the playthroughs have gone smoothly everyone is having fun, however, some aspects of the game where not even being touched.

There is a very good reason for this. The pressure each player felt to make the best possible decision for the team at that time, was forcing the players to skip the riskier options of the game. Why draw a mission card, train for it, build up weapons and supply when the odds of failing are great. But the big takeaway, players were still having just as much fun with the game. So I had to make a decision.

  • Keep the mission cards but make them more lucrative. This would most likely add game time. Something that's not an option for me. 
  • Shelf the system and focus on a system that rewards the players but feel like a core part of the game. 

So I scraped the idea. It was painful because I spend a good year designing the mission structure. But, anyone that has been following the games progress will know, the missions have always been a tough addition. So I wiped out the mission section on the game board, deleted the weapon cards, and saved 12 pages in the manual. The game will play faster now and be less intimidating for new players.

But, I still needed to fill the void. There needs to be an alternate method of collecting research data to win the game. I needed something for the players to do that felt natural and flowed with the objectives of the individual games. So, after playing a ton of different games I felt good about a new system.

The Contracts.

The premise is simple. The crew can draw contract cards for simple delivery missions. The great thing about the contracts is they naturally keep the player moving, they offer the credits (something that is harder to achieve) and they raise the prestige track to ultimately gain a research data token.

I've designed 3 levels of contract cards. Short medium and long hauls. Each will offer a bigger credit and prestige reward. As well each card will have a delivery or drop off effect. Players enjoyed the adventure of the random events so by creating a pickup and drop off event I get to continue the sense of adventure.

I'm really excited about this latest change. It has brought the game to a whole new level of fun. Thanks again everyone for your support, advice, playtest sessions and virtual high fives!

Look for some design work to start being showcased in the near future.