AoT Dev: Update 2
In my last blog post, I spoke about the patriotic nation of Heraldsham, the home of the city of Bleakpyre and setting for Amulet of Thrayax – you can find that post here.
In my final fortnightly post of 2022, I’ll be providing you with an update on the progress of the game…
Open playtests are an incredibly important part of designing a game. With Amulet of Thrayax, player-led feedback has influenced many tweaks and changes since debuting it at UKGE 2021, and I feel that it has gone from strength to strength as a result.
Yet, regardless of how “finished” a game might feel, certain areas of improvement may only show up when the game has gotten into the hands of reviewers and the general public, and I’ve felt there’s been some constructive criticism about certain mechanics over the past six months that I’ve agreed with and taken onboard.
This has led me to work on an updated version of the game, and whilst some tweaks are small, a major change I’ve been working on is taking the strategy away from your hand, where the cards you draw is down to luck, and moving it into how you use and combine those cards to manipulate the board.
Currently a lot of the best cards are Murder cards and whilst Counter cards are generally helpful, they’re very circumstantial, meaning they sometimes sit in your hand unused for majority of the game. This can unnecessarily constrain players and also limit one of my favourite parts of the game – executing a masterful turn with an epic card combo.
To help fix this, my thinking has been to merge the Murder and Counter decks into one, remove the limit on how many cards can be played each turn, and give each card three Outcomes that can be done in any order – one that can always be activated, one that requires being in the Amulet District, and one that requires being in a specific District (such as the Dock, Temple etc).
This means one card could perform between one to three Outcomes, depending on how you position yourself/the Amulet, and when used with other cards, could result in some clever card play (and a higher scoring turn). Players would still draw a new card each turn, but one of the Outcomes that’d feature on some of the cards would also allow you to draw new cards during your turn.
In addition, I’ve also made changes to how Inconveniences, Indebted Nobles and Followers are placed and removed, so they are no longer card dependent.
It’s been exciting to work on what I consider improvements, and I’m aiming to bring a stable build of the new version to public playtests in January. I’ll be sure to let you know when it’s ready to try.
Before I move on, I should mention that the above is still WIP and shouldn’t be viewed as definitive alterations. The creative process is an ever-evolving one, so a lot of the above could still change. Ultimately, I’ll be going with whatever provides the best experience for players.
Last month I mentioned that Trolls ‘n’ Rerolls would be at Dragonmeet 2022. Well, it has been and gone, and I can tell you it was a blast! If you were one of the folk that came over to say hi, it was great to see/meet you.
There’ll be other smaller events that we’ll be at throughout 2023, however the big news is we’ve just confirmed our booking to exhibit at UKGE 2023.
Being the UK’s biggest con, UKGE is home for a lot of us. For myself, it has been the location of major milestones in Amulet of Thrayax’s development, and so I’m quite sentimental about the event. It is also where I met a lot of you fine folk, be it at UKGE this year or last. If you’ve not been before, I’d highly recommend it as there’s nothing quite like it in the UK.
We’ll be in hall 2 and it’s looking like we’ll only be a stones throw away from my friends Cogito Ergo Meeple, the duo behind the brilliant Solar 175, and also my good pal Todd, AKA Earth Former Games.
Some of you might have met Todd, as he was running our demo table at UKGE 2021. It’s really exciting that he’s releasing his own game, called Partisan, and if you’re into deck builders, I implore you support him by checking out and subscribing to the game’s BGG page, which you can find here.
THANKS FOR READING
If you’ve reached this point, thank you so much – it’s very warming to know that you’re reading (and hopefully enjoying) these posts.
If you’d like to stay in touch, here are all the platforms you can find us on if you aren’t already part of our growing community:
As always, your support is much appreciated and if you’re celebrating it, I hope you have a great Christmas!
Tom, and the TnR team