Tuesday, July 10, 2012

What to expect when the Kickstarter launches and more playtesting stuff

What to expect when the Kickstarter launches

Okay guys, honestly I hardly know what to expect when the Mage Tower kickstarter launches this Friday, Kickstarter is a strange beast and is hard to predict.  One thing is for sure- people like to support projects that are going to be successful.  Part of the fun of Kickstarter is watching a project flourish from start to finish and riding the waves with the project creator.  For that reason it's totally important that the project gets off to a good start.  That's why it would be awesome if you followed Super Mega Games on Twitter (@SuperMegaGames1), Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/SuperMegaGames), and pledged even at the $1 level when the project starts.  Visually, I'd rather have 35 backers at $1 than 1 backer at $35- it just looks good when a project has a lot of backers.

It'd be awesome if the project got a lot of backers out of the gate, but I'm planning on buying ads on various gaming websites throughout the project, and I'm hoping it will spread by word of mouth, but the fact is a lot of people just like to wait until the last few days to pledge.  The earlier you pledge the better, I even am going to have a special backer reward for the first 25 people: they will get their names on the Kickstarter exclusive promo card and get a small $2 discount on the game.  I've seen people add their backer's names to rulebooks- but this is going to be right on the front of the card overlayed over the card art!  Sweet!

More playtesting stuff

I just had a cool playtesting game, basically there are a limited amount of cards called "Prize Cards" you can add to your deck during gameplay by spending gold.  This isn't a deckbuilding game like Dominion though- your deck is pretty much finished before the game starts, and the prize cards just help you even it out a bit.  Anyways, there are cards that give you extra gold, which means you can buy extra prize cards.  One player just happened to get a ton of cards that give gold, and though their deck was fairly weak in the beginning of the game it gained a ton of power and they managed to win.

I think late-game strategy decks are a great thing, it's fun to try to play with cards that are better the longer the game goes on to see how far you can push it.  One thing I became cognizant of as I playtested was that certain cards made the game shorter, and some made the game longer.  Cards that attack other players make the game shorter, because you're spending resources you could be using to fight monsters and the enemy is getting damaged by your attack.  Likewise, there are cards that help yourself a lot and help other players a little and these make the game longer because everyone survives against the monsters longer.  I call these two types of cards "Attack" and "Boon" cards, and recognizing how they affect the game length is an important part of building your deck and deciding if you should go for cards that are better in a long game.

Little subtleties like how cards affect game length are usually something you'd read on an advanced strategy site for a game, but in Mage Tower you can easily see "Attack" and "Boon" right on the cards.  With time you'll learn which of these cards have the greatest effect, and they are just another one of the small things that add to the depth of Mage Tower.

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