A week ago or so we showed Elder Shadows at Minnesota's very own Con of the North! Great news! No one hated it, or broke it. Elder Shadows was played by around 40 people and was generally well received and nobody had a hard time learning the game. This extremely motivating as a designer as our labor has been proven to be enjoyable.
That isn't to say we didn't see some issues with the game. I want to take this week to document and share issues with the game that we saw and what we plan to do to correct the issues.
Fist Issue: The investigator requires Insight as one of the win conditions. Although the Investigator won several times over the weekend, not more than once did the Investigator win with Insight. The conclusion is the Insight is far too scarce. To solve this issue, we are allowing Investigators to gain additional Insight from defeating challenges they encounter. We are also creating a new Phase of the game, the Rumor Phase, that is going to populate Insight on locations the Investigator can visit - rewarding them for moving to different locations throughout the game. After a few games with these changes we feel Insight is much easier to accumulate than before.
Second Issue: one of the Design tenants of Elder Shadows is to make the Investigator feel like they are battling insanity through the use of the Sanity Meter. Over the weekend we noticed the Sanity Meter rarely moves, and when it does it is one direction and stays either high or low. We don't like this. We changed how the Sanity Meter raises and lowers. Changing the required threshold of Stress to affect how the meter drops dependent on where the meter is makes the meter "rubber band" more towards the center of the bar. This makes it more difficult for the Investigator stay at high sanity and more difficult to drop to low sanity. With Insight easier to claim, we decided that the Investigator can use Insight to raise their sanity. After a few games with this system, we feel rejuvenated. the Sanity Meter "rubber banding" changes the game in ways we very much enjoy and feels more in line with our vision of the Sanity Meter.
That's all for this week! Thanks for reading and I hope to see you the next time!