Throughout all of Sea Of Mutiny’s play testing sessions all of the cards that players interact with (Red, Blue, Green, Yellow) have only had instructions & actions to perform. It’s cool to have instructions and actions to perform, but it needs flavour. Not just imagery flavour, text flavour – context, or narrative as to why these things are happening. Now that Sea Of Mutiny has a rather solid foundation of a theme it’s time to start building upon it. Creating games, isn’t just to create a thing and say “HEY, LOOK I MADE A THING”.
Creating games is to design a player experience. In the context of Sea Of Mutiny – and in other board games, some players might want or need the backstory whereas some players probably couldn’t care less.
Like an example I used in an earlier blog post:
Monopoly’s Community Chest card:
The first few hundred times that I played monopoly I was happy to read the story and the action. But after a few hundred more times I’d rather focus on spending my time bankrupting every other player than using my time to read something I’d read hundreds of times before.
We have had some placeholder cards in the game throughout play testing and this is the only one with a card story. The action and the story are completely separate which makes it easy for players to separate and choose what they want to read. Later on we are aiming to have the story and the action intertwined, but in a way that players are easily able to decipher the action from the story without having to read the entire card.
I started a voyage to create some ocean tales:
- A violent storm appears.
- You have found cannon ammunition that you can use to bombard a ship.
- Open Davy Jones’ locker letting the sunken graveyard wreak havoc for a short while.
- Beseech Nori the Pirate god to harshen the winds. The more you plead the stronger they become.
- The great Cthulu smiles upon your ocean journey shifting the tides.
- Fire a cannonball at another ships treasury room.
- Send Ol’ Sea Wings – the ship’s parrot to another ship suggesting how they approach the sea’s movements.
- You steer the ship into a downwind.
- Pray to the Daughters of Ægir to quicken the journey.
- The winds become merciless.
- Let another ship sail forward while you salvage the plunders of a recently surfaced sea wreck.
- You notice a downwind ahead – and a treasure chest on the ocean floor – Which do you want more?
- Lots of sea wreckage surrounds your ship. Navigate to where seems best.
- The ship’s captain has decided that you need to share your loot with another captain.
- A big storm sweeps over the area and all captains needs to dispose of 1 artifact so the ship can sail out of the storm otherwise the storm blows you back 1 tiles.
- A giant wave crashes over your ship.
- Two whirlpools drag your ship and the ship closest to you to the depths of the ocean. Your ship emerges where the other ship was last sailing.
- You get caught in a storm that breaks your mast take one turn to repair your mast.
- A Kraken begins to attack your ship – Distract it before it does some damage!
- Englishmen attacks your ship and manage to steal 2 artifacts from your ship.
They’re not perfect but it’s a start. Part of this is starting to set what will need to be on the final card design.
Until next time –