Anyway, Oases continues to occupy a chunk of my mind. It's entered into the 2p PnP contest on BGG, and the rules are in a much better place, thanks to some lovely and useful feedback. In general though, while people are intrigued by some of the mechanical innovations, the design as a whole doesn't particularly inflame the imagination. I'll have to test the ways in which the Action Wheel ramps up the stakes and the pace, but the design might be stalling out somewhat as being too sandbox-y for me to get to the playtest table. I'll bring it to Bonus Round (an excellent new board game cafe that just opened here on the Chicago North Side) for the Designer's Night but it may just end up getting discussed, rather than actually played to the end of a game.
But the other prototype I'm bringing to the Designer Night is Runtime Error, a Legacy/Campaign style cyberpop deckbuilder.
I think I'll be able to garner a little more interest with that one.
The primary novelties of the design:
- Cards can be added to a player's tableau so they don't take up space in the deck or hand, and give their benefit every turn. Allows for better control over the engine-building aspect, and eliminates the need for any deck-thinning suits/mechanics.
- Each Episode of the Campaign has a different market setup, based not on the traditional market row or grid-of-piles, but rather mahjong-style overlapping arrays.
- The players play through the Episode three times, and their Legacy score for the episode is the middle score of the three. Individual rankings after each play affect how many of the newly acquired cards can be kept.
- A separate minigame that takes place between Episodes to cap out each episode and allow for tuning of the player's entire Campaign cardpool / abilities.
I'm calling the aesthetic cyberpop as a reflection of the future we've found ourselves in, and heading towards. The players aren't subversive or idealistic: The world of the game, like the world I increasingly see around me, is one where the Corps won. The only runs against them are from equally soulless corporate rivals. Runtime Error isn't about revolutions - it's just another gig economy.
Anyway, we'll see how it goes.