Frequently Asked Questions
For a group of 4 people, a typical game lasts around an hour to 90 minutes.Last updated:
The Perfect Heist is often compared to Munchkin because it uses similar mechanics: building your deck of cards gives you a bonus toward completely some goal, that you may pool points with another player to complete the goal, and that you may attack other players at any time.
The biggest difference, perhaps, is that the victory conditions are totally different. In a game like Munchkin, you win by successfully killing 10 monsters. The Perfect Heist asks the question, "Yes, but how hard did you work for it?"
In The Perfect Heist, the player with the most Notoriety points wins. This is the measure of how hard you worked. And it's accrued by successfully pulling off your own heists, by joining another player and negotiating for Notoriety, or through more covert means.
And the covert aspect makes all the difference. It means that you can't know exactly what the intentions are for the person joining your crew. Are they really joining to help? Or are they just using you to fulfill a Hidden Agenda card? They may be simply be joining to sabotage the heist to failure.
It also means that the person who *appears* to be winning may not be– because of all the potential covert points floating about in people's hands. One person may have an "Inheritance" wildcard that gives them extra points. Another, a Hidden Agenda that gives them points simply for not pulling another job again.
The net result is greater emphasis on player cooperation, while simultaneously increasing the tension around it. There's less need to bash and troll the other players into oblivion, because you can employ more covert subterfuge in order to win.Last updated:
My goal from the start has been to make "Perfect Heist" as sophisticated, true to the theme, and yet accessible to as many gamers as possible. To that end, I've been testing it with hardcore gamers as well as casual gamers alike. Play-testing is ongoing.
I released prototype builds starting last year – to be played unaided by me – to hardcore care gamers, euro gamers, and casual/mainstream players. Afterwards, they either returned notes to me, completed my Google Docs survey, or I debriefed them about the experience, their friends' reactions, the challenges they had, and how they chose to resolve gameplay uncertainties. Two of the play-test groups chose to keep the prototypes and continued to play with their friends and family.
Additionally, I've run several play-tests with various groups of friends, family, coworkers, with ages ranging from 14-60 (biased toward 25-30 and slightly more male), comprised mostly of casual gamers, card players, but with a few definite gamers.
In most cases, the response has been extremely favorable after new players get over the initial hump of understanding how the cards interrelate. This has been especially true of the casual or card players. I've found that playing until the first person reaches Professional status is enough time for most players to have it "click."
Play-testing unearthed challenges for people who were not familiar with basic RPG concepts: characters may carry one type of a thing, but not others… and inventory limits. The trading mechanism was a constant source of confusion (e.g. "which cards can I trade?"). Card management was a serious challenge… (e.g. "How many weapons can I carry?" "Can't I just swap this card for a better one?")
For some hardcore players, there has been considerable conversation around the "Chance Roll" mechanism and whether it should exist at all.
Most of the players' challenges and feedback has led to an increasing clarity in card design and layout rather than significant alterations to the gameplay rules themselves. For example, the card management and RPG concepts have been boiled down clear visual cues on the cards themselves. Where once there were Persona AND Trait cards, now they have been merged into a single type. Probably the single biggest change (and win) has been to simplify trading and when people can replace cards in their deck. The gameplay lost nothing, but gained a lot more fluidity.Last updated:
I am currently dedicating up to 25 Trait cards to my backers. The Trait cards have titles such as "Demolitions Expertise", "Lightning Reflexes", "Cool Under Pressure", and "Getting too old for this." When a Backer plays their dedicated card, they and only they may receive the special bonus effect.
So, in the rulebook there will be a section for special player dedications. The final layout is yet to be determined, but it might look something like this:
Special Player Dedications:
Pablo Escobar (Bogota, Columbia) — Loose Cannon, +2 Bonus
Verbal Kint (Los Angeles, CA) — Smooth Talker, +2 Notoriety Bonus
Sam Ronin (New York, NY) — Meticulous, +2 BonusLast updated:
At the moment, my intent is to improve the build quality as much as possible. So initial stretch goals may improve the card stock, get a custom molded inset to hold the pieces, wooden player pawns. Things like that.
One of my greatest concerns is to deliver this game by the end of the year, which is already tight. I hesitate to add any stretch goal which may expand the scope and possibly delay delivery.
However… that does not preclude shipping additional components or (better yet) the expansions afterwards. Stay tuned. I will post more as this campaign continues…Last updated:
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