Sunday, March 21, 2010

Diggity works, again!

I had another four-player game of my game, Diggity, with the lunchtime gaming group at Guilford College last Friday.  It went well, I thought.  The four-player version has been tricky for me - under my original rules, the game got bogged down with four players, because people felt like they had too little control over scoring, so they tended to just play it safe, just stalling, playing to collect tools rather than score points.  I addressed that by reducing the hand size from five cards to three cards for four players (it's still five cards for two players and three cards for three).  That seems like it would add a lot more luck to the game, and I think it does add some, but it also forces players sometimes to take some risks that they'd otherwise prefer to avoid.  It definitely plays better and finishes faster, and it doesn't seem to hinder the game experience much if at all, which is cool.

The play this time was a little slower than other groups I've played with, and I think it dragged just a tad at times when people took a really long time to choose a play, but there was more strategizing and complex, careful play than I've seen before, too.  This round of play certainly had the most psychological analysis and warfare I'd seen going on - I thought the game had the potential for it from the design, but these players were laying it on pretty thick, gambling on how the others would respond when they chose to mine gold, spending some of their lower-ranked tool cards to try to entice others to blow theirs, and generally thinking hard (sometimes over-thinking!) about what to do.

Neat to see it working well, and being enjoyed - there's no greater reward in game design.

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