From the onset, Cardspiracy was always going to be a game that revolved around cards… which might have been given away by the name.. but it’s not always about cards. How do the game mechanics work with the cards? How will scoring work? Lets run through a few of the considerations that may not have been obvious from the start. This may be a lot of words…
How to track Score?
Score tracking sounds pretty simple but there is a bit more to it. What do you keep score with? What do we even call the score? We started with a pen and paper, but it was pretty obvious that it ruined the game flow by causing players to stop and write down didn’t fit the games theme.
We decided to use tokens but what should they look like? What should be the value per token? After some initial testing using tokens from Sentinels of the Multiverse we ended up going through 3 designs for the tokens.
The design went hand-in-hand with what we were calling the points. Initially it was blog likes, so it was a thumbs up, but as it changed with the theme of the game it became followers as we felt this fit better.
We started using 1, 5, 10, and 25. This was pretty straight forward but in the end we found 25 point tokens were not used often enough to warrant their inclusion so away they went! Then we had to figure out the number of 1 tokens, 5 tokens, and 10 tokens. The number we decided on was based on many play test results and how tokens ended up being used by players.
But this is a competitive game! Players need to be able to hide their score in some way. Some players suggested a screen be included to hide your score but we opted for a more simple solution: The tokens were easily stack-able so why not leave it up to the players to stack them to hide the score and avoid another component to the game.
This has worked out tremendously as as you can see above. A stack of tokens gives little away as to how far ahead (or behind) a player is… perhaps you want to mess with the player who you can see has well over 35 followers.
What a Conspiracy!
Another aspect of scoring that came to light fairly early on was the lack of any real value of the formed Conspiracy outside of the categories of Generic, Corporate, Paranormal and Government. Players would avoid playing a funny conspiracy to go for the points and that’s no fun! Using player feedback, a mechanism was introduced to allow each player to award one of their opponents some blog followers each round. This allowed players to be rewarded for great conspiracies that may not have much point value itself but was a great conspiracy in general. By the same token (harhar!) it allowed players to award followers based on whatever criteria they preferred be it humour, realism, strategy or any criteria they wanted!
What Happens Next?
Despite Cardspiracy being a straightforward game that is easily understood once you have played a round sometimes players need a reminder. To help alleviate this we created quick reference cards. These non-played cards outline the flow of the game (non-party mode) as well as provide a reference on how score is calculated per round. No need to search around for the instructions to see what you should do next!
That’s Great, Now What?
The posts over the last several weeks have shown how the game has progressed and where we have landed after many play tests and valuable player feedback. We are in the process of finalizing box art, instructions and the best way to get this game into your hands. We will keep our progress updated but in the meantime look forward to a more activity in the next few months and what the BrainWorm Team will be up to over the summer!