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Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Super Fighting Robot Design Journey Part 2


I've gone through several more iterations since my last post on Super Fighting Robot, so instead of detailing each version, I will just sum up the big changes.

The Ally and Weakness concept wasn't working as intended. The original goal was to give the Bot you were fighting an advantage. Since you only claimed the Bot's cards if you defeated him, I was struggling with how to add a unique flavor to each challenge.
In the end, I went with a much simpler approach and nixed the Ally/Weakness concept entirely, replacing it with a much simpler idea. You shuffle the Bot cards into the starting deck when you challenge a bot. You couldn't play a matching Bot's specific move, Lightning Attack, for instance, on your side of the ring if you were fighting Lightning Bot. Lightning Bot would also get a small bonus applied to each Lightning Bot card, bringing my vision of fighting unique Bots closer to reality. It's a nice change that simplifies the rules. Simplified rules are always good!

The next major change was the introduction and eventual scrap of Arenas. Arenas were intended to add some global effects that affected both Challenger and Bot. These were meant to add another layer and act as a guide to plan moves around, but in the end, it seemed to only add a little to the game. Cutting unnecessary components and clutter is always good!

Energy got an overhaul as well. I decided not to replenish Energy between fights, making it a little scarce. It was still easy to win without using any Energy though, and that didn't sit well with me. A friend came up with a simple suggestion that really brought an emphasis to how important Energy really is. Instead of being able to add 3 cards to the Reserve during a challenge, you now had unlimited Reserve slots but had to use 1 Energy to play there instead of The Ring. The player now has a choice to use Energy on the Bot Power cards he has accumulated or to move unwanted moves to the Reserve. Interesting choices are always good!

The last major change was to add move combos based on adjacent move set cards. Each specific Bot already had a specific bonus applied to its Attack move, but now a bonus was applied to Blocks, Counterattacks, Repairs, and Energize as well, based on how The Ring formed. Lightning Counterattack could deal 1 additional damage if it was adjacent to a Lightning or Sonar Bot move card in The Ring, for instance. I really liked this change, since it opens up a lot of room for creative play and leads to some challenging moments.

Some minor graphic design changes, updates to the card layout and Bot Powers, and clearer verbiage rounded out the latest update, and I dare say it will be component ready and available to play on my 2016 Solitaire PnP Contest Page with a week or two to spare! The submission deadline is July 31st. 

This contest has been a lot of fun to participate in and I'm glad I had a firm deadline to finish a game. 
I'm now starting to look at artists and manufacturers to take this game from PnP to published reality. Exciting times!

I have some more exciting news on the horizon too, but you'll just have to stick around for that!

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