The first go involved hand-written cards to try out a simple "artificial intelligence" to control the non-player colonial power. Then when that looked OK, I turned to the trusty nanDECK to make a set of cards and plundered my Settlers of Catan box for terrain tiles and resource cards, and my general component stock for everything else.
|Solo testing a Frankenproto. The sharp-eyed may spot some components I stole from elsewhere.|
Having had a couple of solo plays I discovered that (a) the game I had at that point seems to fundamentally be Not Completely Awful, which is probably the first major quality threshold to pass, and (b) I don't really have the imagination to play a game as multiple different players and actually do any useful testing. Luckily, at this point I was able to persuade my friend, D, to have a go at playing the prototype instead of using that valuable time playing something that has already been published. This test involved a few on-the-fly rules changes, and we didn't get through the whole thing, but it was enough to get some good insight into the state of the game.
I now have a handy list of points that I need to address, which largely breaks down to:
- The colonial power as it stands is not aggressive enough.
- I need to think out combat better, both between different players and between the players and the colonials.
- I have players potentially collecting "antagonism" tokens when they annoy the colonial power, but I have not yet clearly defined how they affect game play.
- Loads more bits that are currently not as important.
Overall, I have a really good feeling about this project. It may develop slowly, but I definitely want to make some more progress here.