Chen I Sao.
Notorious Pirate of the South China Sea. She would play the victim, often entice ships to her by setting herself adrift in a small boat –naked –and when she was taken on board a ship, she’d poison everyone on board.
Not a lady to be trifled with.
The Ancient Wood Block Print that has passed down from one leader of the Ninja Clan to the next for over a thousand years has been stolen and allegedly roasted next to split pig.
Captain Flint swears no member of his crew would bother with such things. Said Flint, “If we’re going to steal something from those Kit-Kats we’re not going to burn it. We’re going to trade it for something good. Like those rum filled chocolates or one of them sleep number things.”
Sherlock Prime has offered to investigate.
When the HQ has a low number timer card attached to it, fly in with the Sopwith Camel and you are sure to win every single time.**
**The AGdR Game Designers would like it known that they do not hate this “trick” they purposely designed the game to function this way. And they would like to add that idea any card would allow to win anything every single time is completely ridiculous and absolutely not true.***
***The AGdR Marketing Department would like it known that the ADdR Game Designers couldn’t find prom dates.
Face Off 3.5 was an unmitigated disaster.
I was worried that the personalities were not strong enough relative to equipment. It just seemed, thematically, the strongest person should be twice as strong as the strongest equipment. I made this change without really thinking about it. It was, after all, just numbers. And I wasn’t making that big of change –Alpha personalities were moving from 7 base power to 10.
But this small change made the weaker personalities dead cards. We went through whole games without ever playing certain cards. I thought I could fix this by giving weaker personalities combos that made them bigger, but this failed as well. Now all strategy was gone from the game. You either had a good combo in your hand and played it or didn’t.
The game that had felt so close suddenly sucked and didn’t really know how to fix it.
It happens sometimes –steps in the wrong direction. And I’ve learned it is not something to be afraid during the design process. There are other games I’ve designed that you will never see because as soon as I made mistake in the design process, I gave up. I thought the whole system was flawed or boring or not smart enough, so I chucked the whole thing. That’s what happed to Mayhem. And Studio Exec. And the Kings Court.
Face Off was spared this fate because it was at the time themed to Buffy the Vampire Slayer. And I always return to Buffy things.
You see the Game of Awesome grew out of my attempts to write a Buffy Smash Up set. Not for commercial use or anything. It was just because my pals and I like Smash Up, and I like Buffy so why not. The only problem with the Buffy Smash Up set was the Buffy cast was too large for Smash Up deck conventions. Someone very important was going to have to be left out of the personality deck, and that sucked so I started with the Game of Awesome. I quickly added my other favorite things. Star Wars. Star Trek. Archer. The Big Bang Theory. The fun of working with these characters saved Face Off.
After the failure of version 3.5 and 4.0, I got serious. I got mathematical and started making charts. I figured out how the bones of the game was working a how to make it better. After brief stint of replacing power with symbols and making players look up power on their own player charts (a really cumbersome and bad idea), I learned that all I had to do was compress the numbers back down to pretty close to where I had initially placed them. Instinct was now backed up by data. Face Off 6.0 was in fact awesome. So awesome I though maybe there was an audience for such a game. So I had to do the hardest thing a creator ever has to do. I had to kill all my favorite parts of the game and start over thematically.
To see how and why I killed my babies, tune in next week. Same bat time. Same bat channel. Same goofy jokes.
Even if the Little Man With The Green Beard is about to slice open your tendon to keep you from running away.
“Because I’m a woman you sexist jack-hole. Besides, do you know what panties are like where I come from? Do you want to ride a horse wearing knickers? How about a bustle?”
Mochizuki Chiyome, leader of the Ninja Faction, said, “No Ninja was witnessed stealing the boat. No Ninja was seen on the boat. No Ninja was found in the boat after it sunk. These are baseless accusations. Besides we all too busy tending our rice fields. Sounds to me like Captain Jack Starling found the rum again.”
Chiyome’s sincerity was undercut by Hattori Hanzo who was standing behind her, literally laughing his ass off.
First it is very difficult to play Face Off and eat unhealthy food at the same time.
Second when you play A Training Montage it motivates your work out. And you get a jolt of fat burning adrenaline at the start of each turn because you’re winning.
Thus when you play Face Off, you lose weight. And when you lose weight, you feel better.
So play Face Off three days a week and in six to eight weeks you’ll be a whole new you.**
**The AGdR Legal Department would like to completely disavow the entirety of this post. There is no part of it that is correct or accurate. The Luc Besson film Lucy is more Factual.***
***The AGdR Marketing Department would like to invite the AGdR Legal Department to join the AGdR Game Designers at the bottom of Lake Pontchartrain.
The changes to the Game of Awesome version 2.0 were so dramatic the name of the game changed to Face Off. But I wanted to acknowledge where I had come from and the progress I had made, so I kept the numbering system. Thus The Game of Awesome 2.0 became Face Off 3.0.
The first major change was the destruction of generic cards. Now everyone started with named, cool cards. Why start with lame when you can start with cards that are fun to have in your hand and even more fun to play with?
Second, I split the power tree and the clock deck. I liked the way the ‘tree’ limited your choices, and there are subtle strategy tricks in blocking what cards were available for players to take that are important to master. Thus the Power Tree we all know and love was born. I briefly experimented with five cards on the bottom row, but for space reasons more than anything else, I soon cut it to three cards on the bottom, two in the middle, and the deck on top.
The clock deck, then, was divided into green, yellow, and red backed cards. And there were forty five cards in the deck. The game called for players to play all 45 cards. The only problem was the game stopped being fun after about 25 cards. By that point it was clear who was going to win. And we were just playing out the string.
The market was back. It was a bidding market. Players bid on how many ‘cloggers’ they were willing to take into the their decks in order to gain cards.
And finally locations made it back too, we called them Headquarters or HQs. To get around the problem of having dead cards in your hand, I got rid of location specific actions. Now all cards worked equally well everywhere.
Face off 3.0 felt really close. There were just a couple of tweaks (as noted above) that needed to be made. I was positive Face Off 3.5 was going to be the final, publication ready version.
To see how Face Off 3.5 got a lot a WHOLE lot worse, tune in next week. Same bat time. Same bat channel. Same goofy jokes.