Dev Diary #1 9/20

Material Selection and Initial Brainstorming-Dennis Bergsman, Creative Lead

To create our game we were challenged to only use three game pieces and a board. For out selection we broke our options into three vague categories: pieces that add variance, ones that can represent players, and ones that can represent resources. We choose a deck of Harrow Cards to supply the variance for our game as they felt very thematic while having enough information on each card (Suit, name, suit position) to be used in a variety of ways. For a piece that could represent players we choose a series of colored pyramids that can stack on each other. These sort of allowed us to suggest growth as a small pyramid can stack into a bigger one, or just allow us a large number of play pieces. For our final piece we choose a bag of coins with orc and dragon faces on them. Mostly we choose these for how thematic and pleasing they were to manipulate, but also they could be used either as resources or enemies. From here I was tasked with figuring out some themes and related mechanics for our game.

I came up with the following starting points for a game. First, a game where the players play as kingdoms that must compete in a few fields and fight off mutual threats. The twist is that there are at any point three face down event cards that can radically alter the game. Players may spend a turn “Soothsaying” and take a look at two of the cards, or pick one of the cards either with or without knowledge of it. The main focus of the game would be breaking parity by having events that are better for you than the other players despite the mostly universal nature of the events. Second, I came up with the idea of a game where the players played as fortune tellers and have a spread of cards in front of them similar to a Tarot spread. Their goal is to create the best possible fortune, by buying, trading and discarding the cards in front of themselves and the other players. I would have liked to develop some sort of combo system where collections of cards are worth more than their individual part. Finally I briefly considered a hidden information game where everyone would draw a Harrow card at the start of the game to determine what role they have. It would be flavored as everyone being courtiers in a royal court, with assassins and usurpers among them. I was feeling uncertain about this last idea because social games can get quite complicated and hard to balance. I also developed a mechanic for our pyramids, we could use them to mark progress or we could have them be separated and have a mechanic where larger pyramids could gobble up smaller ones. With these ideas I felt well prepared for our first brainstorming meeting.
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