Today's post is an update on the game that got apauling games started, Nothing to Declare. The game started with the idea if trying to combine a bunch of ideas from games I love into one game.
There are a few simple design goals. A card only game. Playable with up to 8. Quick set up. A contemporary theme.
This was partly inspired by trying to refine 'Sheriff of Nottingham' to a card only game. The first prototype consisted of 3 different decks, role cards, action cards and baggage cards. When it came to playtesting the mish-mash of ideas was a disaster. There was way too much going on. I'd taken the hidden roles from 'Werewolf' , action cards from 'Munchkin' and on top of that tried to add in the hidden cards from 'Sheriff of Nottingham'. The game just didn't work.
So I went back to the drawing board. I incorporated the character drafting from 'Citadels', but this slowed things down too much and because of there was no real advantage to choosing characters, there was little to incentivise character selection.
Next, I tried playing around with baggage selection, creating two different decks to draw from. But this only led to confusion.
Strategy was only driven by attacking players with the most baggage. There wasn't much differentiation between legal and illegal baggage.
This has led me down the road to the latest iteration. The game now incorporates a strong memory element, with more risk reward and push your luck mechanics.
The game is now ready for some art. I'm going to be playtesting heavily and ironing out some of the rough edges to have the game ready for the UK Game Expo.
Until next time.