Things I learned from last week’s meeting, specifically about my new card game Travelogue, which I’ll be sending away to Italy for a game competition:

  • It ran a little long at 45 minutes.
  • It doesn’t scale well in regards to time to play.
  • There is a slow build up of cards in your hand, so a few turns are spent drawing.
  • The Destination card acquiring system is a bit fiddly.
  • The Destination card, while balanced, were a bit too similar.

What I did to fix those problems:

  • I cut the game down to 30 minutes no matter the number of players. Since it is a card game, I changed the end game conditions to this: “If there are no cards in the deck, this is your last turn.” This way the game has more or less the same number of turns which are divided amongst all the players.
  • Mischa suggested that the player be able to draw two cards (instead of one) as a card-obtaining option. At first I didn’t like the idea, but then I thought about it and tried it out. It turns out that if a player just keeps drawing two cards each turn, eventually they will lose them to the hand limit rule and won’t get to score them. So the options are “slow and steady” or “fast and furious” or a bit of both.
  • Drey (our new attendee) suggested something that sparked an idea about the Destination cards. I no longer have a draw pile and discard pile for them. Instead I have three face up piles. The player can discard beneath any pile to draw the top card from that pile. It saves a ton on table real estate and give the players a chance to see what’s coming up without having to physically draw any cards.
  • I spiced up the Destination cards, though not too much. Basically, one group of 6 allows the player to score a set of 5 for 11 points, while the others only allow the player to score a set of 4 for 8 points. However, the ones with 4 are more flexible in other areas. Also, on each card I added on more icon to allow for a bit more flexibility.

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