This week we played the first prototype of our game. Surprisingly we were able to get through several turns with the working prototype. We came up with a some basic rules for the game before beginning which determined the amount of moves a player could make, when they could take action cards (now called tip cards) and objective cards.
Before we began our first game there was a disagreement about the function of customer cards and tip cards. I initially suggested that players would get a tip card after delivering to a customer on their objective card. However this would make the secret objective card useless because it caused player to reveal their secret objective. Adam, who was in charge of designing the cards, designed the customer cards to double as action cards. This then eliminated the need for having action cards. Players could potentially use the action on the customer card and draw an action card, however this may create an imbalance in the game. After deliberating over the functions of these two cards Shady and Adam suggested that we eliminate the customer cards all together and instead have fixed buildings on the board to signify delivery spots. However Bishoy and I wanted to keep the customer cards because we felt that they would add to the thematic element of the game and create more varied playing experiences. We eventually settled on keeping both the action cards and customer cards. Players are only able to take an action card if a customer card that they have obtained gives them that ability. Customer cards can also give other advantages besides allowing player to take a tip. Tip cards will be designed to encourage player to player interaction. They can also be used to gather points or extra moves during the game.
We had trouble defining the boundaries of the secret objective cards. The main questions regarding their function were, "How many will player be able to take in a game?" "How will the cards look?" "Will there be any negative consequences for not completing an objective card?" We want player to play purposefully with a strategy in mind. Therefore we set the boundaries of the objective card based on this player experience goal. In the beginning of the game, players will draw two objective cards and keep one. This adds an element of player choice and may reduce negative feelings towards the game if the player is not able to complete their objective card. Players that do not complete their objective cards will lose the amount of points indicated on the card. The objective cards themselves will picture a map of the board with the locations of the deliveries highlighted and numbered.
After playing the games for a couple of turn we began to debate the usefulness of providing player with a second car. I like having the second car because I feel it gives the player more options as far as movement and can be useful if for some reason the first car cannot be moved. However Shady and Adam would like to eliminate the second car completely because "it clutters the board". Bishoy suggested that we continue to play with the second car to see if it will ever be useful.
After working out some of the mechanics we briefly discussed the topical features of the game such as the size of the cards, the board and our car pieces. The final board will be 25 by 25 inches. The tip, customer and secret objective cards will be standard card size 2.5 by 3.5 inches. The road pattern cards will be 3 by 3 inches.
Moving forward our group should be able to define more solid rules and boundaries for the game. Right now the rules change with every turn. I hope that leaving that element of our game loose until now won't negatively effect our future progress.