Basespansion

Talen here! Let me talk to you a bit about a little quandrary of design.

There are some limits we work within as developers of Print-on-Demand games. One of those limits is just what we can put in a game with the understanding you’ll have it. Some games like The Botch are super lightweight, but require you to have some counters. That’s a reasonable limitation, I feel, as a designer. Some games, like Wobbegong-12 require you to cut up cards, and have even destructible cards that expect to get wrecked with rowdy play. Thing is, these are both ten-dollar games, games that are small and cheap and therefore, I can put the load on you, a gamer who probably has enough random crap in their house to count as tokens, or counters, or dice.

But when I design bigger games, games like Middleware and Fabricators, I feel worse about asking you to bring more to the table. If you spent thirty dollars on a game, it falls to me to make sure I’m not also asking you to do more work to just enjoy your game. It’s a tone thing, too – some people like tracking things their own way. And every card we print is running up to a potential limit of 120 cards, the biggest single deckbox that DriveThruCards offers. Not that that’s a hard limit, but it’s a limit of convenience.

Anyway, this is proving an interesting challenge for a game that’s in-progress in design. Specifically, it’s a game where providing for a larger number of players consumes a lot of the game’s space in a deck box. Designing for one player is small, two is bigger, but by the time you get to four, it’s quite a significant chunk of your total available space.

Now what I’ve been musing on is making this game come with a simple, starter expansion: The base game accommodates 1-3 players, but you can buy a little expansion that adds ~30 cards and accommodates players 4-5. This is the direction I’m leaning lately. On the one hand, I feel it’s a bit rough to make you, the players, choose what you get to start with, but on the other hand, I kind of imagine players who never expect to get a third or fourth player are grateful for the choice. On the gripping hand, I am probably overthinking this.

Still, the plan is just that: It’s a character expansion, more different things you can have at the start of the game.

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