Monday, June 20, 2016

Things have been looking up!

I've feeling slightly unwell since Friday, which is not the most fun, but I don't feel terribly sick or anything, which is a relief.  I'm hoping to sleep early tonight if I can.

This weekend I started and finished reading the Orange manga (which was recommended to me a while ago by littlecloudflower)!  It was really touching, inspiring, and actually just really great overall, and I would definitely recommend it.  It's been a long time since something I read actually made me start crying!  Anyways, that was really great :)

I've also been working =quite= a lot on my custom MtG set, which currently has the (placeholder?) title of "Conspiracy 1.5: Grenzo's Revenge".  I actually have a full file of commons, uncommons, and "draft matters" cards (as well as a small sampling of rares, but much too few to playtest with), and I'm gearing the set up for its first real playtest!

Since much of the design and development of the set is based around draft specifically, and around multiplayer games, it's hard to do any sort of testing with sealed decks or the like, so the first playtest will actually be a full-blown draft, meaning I'll have to print out, cut, and sleeve up 360 cards for people to draft with (my packs have 15 cards each, not 14, since the basic land is replaced with a "draft matters" card).  A lot of work, but I'm quite excited!

As I've been getting things ready I actually finally attempted to do my own personal playtesting -- generating some "sealed pools" (in so far as you can generate sealed pools for a Conspiracy format) and trying to build decks out of them, then starting up a local game in Cockatrice where I play as all 4 players.  It's a very crude way of trying to test the cards and there's no way that I can correctly evaluate everything, but I was actually able to identify some important issues and fix them up, which was good.  I had a bunch of card-specific issues, like some cards just being way too good, and some cards which ended up just not playing well.  I think the main thing that I want to iron down is how to get the games to progress in a good way in terms of board presence and all that -- I think it's going to be very tricky to fit Assist, Monstrosity, Inspired, Substitute, and Dethrone into the same equation and have them all function well, and avoid situations where people are just running over each other with efficient and aggressively-costed creatures, or situations where people are just creating big armies of flyers and smashing others who are defenseless against it, or situations where there are huge board stalls that can't really be broken through.  I think that's probably the point that I'm most worried about in terms of the playtest -- what is going to be the speed of the game and is it going to progress in a good way?  Am I giving players enough tools in terms of win conditions, interaction, early defense, and removal?  I've certainly =tried= to include all of these, but it's really difficult to judge how it will all play out in the wild.

I'm excited!

In other news, work went through a kind of rough transitionary period which I wasn't feeling too great about, but I think I'm doing better about that now, so yay.  Hopefully this week will be alright too.

Dance has been...very less than exciting recently; it's just not the same anymore and it's quite rare nowadays to have those exhilarating dances like back in the days of yore.  Just a different crowd, different environment, different experience.  You know how it is.  What can you do?

Got my "emotional massage" on Friday, it was great!  Should do that more often, for sure!

Overall a pretty good a lot of work done on the MtG custom set, and wrote one or two letters, just not quite as much work done on some other things as I would have liked -- mostly music.  Excellent, but -- let's go better next time.

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