BIG updates a-coming
It’s been a while since we updated you on the development of the game, so we figured we’d dedicate a few updates getting you up to speed on that front.
Since the Kickstarter ended we have been working extensively on the art, game development and testing. With respect to the latter we conducted an extensive number of tests with a wide variety of testing groups across the globe including tests with internal expert groups, several other groups locally and a number of test groups in various cities around the world including: San Diego, Boston, Chicago, Montreal, Hong Kong, London and Copenhagen. These groups meet on a regular basis and are run by volunteer test-leads that are briefed on the testing procedures we use and take part in giving feedback and discussing changes to the game. Some of these guys were backers of the game that have kindly taken on this role and have done a stellar job of it.
On top of this Gordon has been travelling around the world testing the game at conventions and with other groups in various cities. Some of these have been backers that took the time to try the game out and give feedback. Thanks to all of you guys for both the feedback and the hospitality you’ve shown Gordon on his travels.
By late August we had the mechanics locked-down and turned our attention to balancing. These included an overhaul of the Combat system that made it more streamlined and removed the need for the Combat tracker we previously had on the board. We then increased our tester pool and Gordon played with a variety of players from different countries ranging from players of light board games to professional developers and designers. The more tests we ran, the more we felt that the game could be more streamlined for first time players. We also felt that we could integrate some of the mechanics more, making one of the key mechanics all players, designers and reviewers who tried it loved; the combat card deck more deeply integrated with other aspects of the game. Finally we also felt like the world we’ve now been developing for over 5 years was coming out strongly in the Stories, but we wanted other mechanical elements of the game to be infused with more worldness, with the aim of creating a stronger sense of immersion.
Since the game was already playing well as it was, incorporating these goals was quite a challenge. In some cases they fell into place straight away. In others we had to try several options and iterate to get it to where we wanted it to be. And this is why we wanted to wait before dropping an update that delved into all this.
Posthuman Saga was always an ambitious project, design wise. Bringing together a solid, tactically challenging euro system and infusing that with scripted story AND emergent story (ie the images that get generated in your mind as you’re playing) is a tough challenge – a holy grail of sorts in board game design. Without wanting to sound like a bunch of Bighead Trappers, we are happy to say Posthuman Saga manages the marriage of tactical Euro mechanics with thematic richness with the best of them.
Where are we now?
The mechanics for all the modes of the base game and the Resistance expansion are done. We’ll keep testing and doing tiny tweaks if needed, but every test is yielding only detailed feedback about card effects and costs, at worst. We have done a number of rounds balancing the card decks and characters. We need another round to polish that off and iron-out any kinks. Our regular testers will keep hunting for such quirks and imbalances. The rulebook is ready from our side, and it has been sent to an external, professional editor to give his feedback and edit. We’re finishing off the art assets and testing graphic design elements that needed changing from the test feedback we got.
After that we will make a set of final prototypes, send them out to the test leads and start blind testing locally and in the cities mentioned above. In the blind tests we give the box to a new group and watch them process the rulebook and play the game.
What are these changes you speak of?
Posthuman Saga has been mutating slowly and steadily over the past months. We want to get you up to speed with where the game is now. But an overload of change leads to unstable mutations. We wouldn’t want that for you mutantlings. So we’ll be splitting this saga of changes into three updates describing the changes we’ve made since the Kickstarter ended and why they were done. To give you a taster (ok, fine, a teaser) here’s what you can look forward to:
Ch-ch-changes Episode 1. New Additions to the Game and Streamlining. In this update we’ll be giving you an overview of aspects of the game we streamlined and new stuff we’ve added to the game. Yes, some of these are added components. Landmarks, Mission Objective Stories and Side Missions, Weapon Modifications, Follower Traits and Stories.
Ch-ch-changes Episode 2. Challenge Cards, Bonus Loot and Stories. In this Update we’ll discuss the integration of Challenge tokens with the Combat Deck, how the new Challenge deck is connected to Bonus Loot on Terrain tiles and how Stories are triggered and work with the new Challenge cards.
Ch-ch-changes Update 3. Combat Here we’ll outline how the new Combat works. Don’t get your mutant dangly-bits in a knot. It follows the same structure of the previous Combat system, just easier for new players to pick up and quicker to execute.
That’s all from us folks! Once again, we apologise for the delay, but hope after this candid novel of an update you understand why we wanted to wait till we are where we are now before giving you an overview of the development journey Posthuman Saga has undergone. --