Well, last time I really thought I had it! At least in a way that meant that testing would focus on balance next. But the clean up of Heaven or Hell that I made in 0.4 has meant something entirely different to the process.
The last test session (which I forgot to document—so very unprofessional of me) did benefit from the clean up. It was apparent that some major changes were needed!
I tested with a good friend of mine who knows his way around board games. He came up with several suggestions. I’m gonna use a lot of them …
So I’ve donned my thinking cap and taken a good look at several issues or areas that need some attention (and very much surrounding an idea my friend came up with—because it was the most obvious of ideas!):
- The first thing is the theme. There’s nothing wrong with the theme, but how does the game use it?
- That leads directly on to everything else but first and foremost the main game mechanic: mirrored cards. So what is mirrored? What isn’t? And why?
- It’s a game about Heaven and Hell and the Powers fighting for souls. But what does the game make you do? What should it make you do? What about the mirrored cards?
- If you’d cut all the fat from the meat, what is left? And where does that lead you and the design?
These questions and several more have presented themselves. These lead on to new questions and ideas. So the next iteration of Heaven or Hell is going to look the same at a distance but be entirely different under the hood. I’m quite excited about it, actually. I just had to get over the initial horror at slaughtering a heavenly host of babies.
In other news: I’m working on Smugglers as well. This has been through a similar process, where I’ve thought about how well or how bad the game mechanics suited the theme. This has led to numerous alterations—and I’m not through with those! But it begins to look like a game that I’d like to play.