On the 3rd of August I started this blog to talk about the development of Giant Stone Head – with the immediate aim of working around the problems that last play test had thrown up. Now it's the 29th of August I still don't have a new version to test.
I have made a decision as to what I want to try – but I've not managed to get the focus together to create another test version. Since it's a lot of work and involves remaking all of the cards and I've no idea if it will work.
This is especially the case when the book I linked to last time Tabletop Analog Game Design in the first article “the three player problem" it seems to sum up my problem totally. To quote....
How is turtling avoided? The clearest method is with a zero-sum game, such as Diplomacy. You can only gain units by taking supply centers from another player: the general definition would be, a player can only gain something that another player loses.
Most games are not zero-sum. However, if a player stands to gain more by attacking than by turtling, the turtle tends to fall behind. This requires that there be a positive rather than negative economy, that is, that a player can acquire additional force/capability over time through the game economy.
It is very common for beginning designers of multi-sided conflict games to allow, even encourage, turtling, because there is not a positive economy.
And I don't think my solution really resolves the problem that I've got a negative economy in the combat and economic system. Hell it's almost a feature as I want the island to get worse and worse as the game goes on. So I have to either ditch my original solution and do an even larger rewrite or make it knowing it might just be plain useless.
So lets go back to the words of somebody who gets stuff done – in the words of Dr Geof “Get on with it!” So lets get on with it...... It's not focus it's just faffing.