Title: Three Moves Ahead – Episode 6 – The Demigod Episode (link)

What: Discussion between 3 industry experts

Notes:
Didn’t know that Titan (http://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/103/titan) was the board game inspiration for this game type.

From the Titan’s Designers Notes (quoted in podcast):

Our original conception of developing a fantasy wargame occurred in 1970. We drew up a floor length board which depicted a popular world of adventure and peopled it with its indigenous races as well as a few of our own. All movement was made on the map, and the game developed frontally out from the citadels and cavern fortresses which generated new forces. The fronts did not consume as quickly as they were fed, and the game tended to bog down as second and third lines of reserves solidified the fronts.

During the early 1970’s we worked with and playtested a system set on a symmetrical world of our own concoction. Movement remained confined to a single board, and the conflict kept up fronts, although these were more fluid than before. It was still too difficult to approach those enemy strongholds from which their troops sprang, and the games were endless.

In 1976 we added terrain specific tactical displays and placed the overgame on a hexagonal web of the various terrains. We made the production of forces dependent on movement rather than the retention of strong points. TITAN was born. It was a more playable, more enjoyable system, but play remained almost endless.

Interesting that they didn’t mention Defense of the Ancients (DOTA) http://www.playdota.com/ until nearly the very end and then dismissed it as too hard core. In addition they made the argument that those players are playing that game and wouldn’t be interested in a new game. [VERY DUBIOUS. Churn happens all the time.]

Oddly they really didn’t like the rock-scissors-paper aspect of various skills. That’s something that’s in just about every computer strategy game (not historical simulation) one way or another. It’s a huge part of the “game” part of the game. I wonder if the real issue was they couldn’t understand these inter-relationships and the level of player mastery required to do so. “Overbearing”.

Really great “how is this game going to do” question at 46:00. It’s targeting a niche audience which will result in the game not selling as well as they would like. They’re playing on a beta-build which is incomplete so they’re not sure. Respect Gas Powered Games for doing something different. “Genius. Bold. New. Sound of crickets chirping.” Concerned about accessibility. They all seemed to like the game with concerns.

Feedback: as a developer, be kinder to people who give you Beta builds. They spend a large chunk of time in the beginning hammering away on obvious bugs which aren’t relevant to the actual game itself.

Thoughts: They have a similar reaction to me when I play these sorts of games is you’re reacting to the game more than actually playing the game. The sense of agency is curtailed significantly. They chip at the length of the game as well. Also my concern. There’s no sub-one hour session gameplay possible.

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