Podcast #14: Spectromancer

Skaff and Richard discuss their new expansion to Spectromancer.  Richard tries to do a Belorussian accent and the crew ponders the need for more fart jokes. Also, Skaff wants you to visit www.spectromancer.com.

LINKS: Spectromancer | Astral Tournament

EMAIL: info@threedonkeys.com

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Comments

6 Comments so far. Leave a comment below.
  1. Willi B,

    Thanks for the audio improvement! I play the casual version of Spectromancer from time to time… maybe exploring the new version will be the kicker for me to buy the full version.

    It’s definitely a good game that I tell people about (especially the ex-Magic players).

    Keep up the good work!

    PS – Any updates on the Mind Twist project?

  2. jp,

    I fully agree that we need more of this kind of computer games: Quick and turn based. I read an interview with Garfield several years ago that he liked Astral Tournament and Quadradius, and I’ve been playing mostly just those games (and later Spectromancer) since. The only other game I can think of with similar qualities is kdice. It has a neat structure, but way too much of a social component for my taste. So yeah, I’m looking forward to you working with a new version of Quadradius, or a new game in this vain.

    Quadradius is a great game, but I think it can definitely be improved. I would like for the stakes to be a little higher, a little faster. You spend a lot of time, just moving one tile, maybe just to pick up something that is only useful very occasionally, such as raise tile. I can certainly see the point in having powers such as these, and it’s satisfying when using a minor power effectively. Also I can appreciate the aspect of trying strategically to take up space on the board in order to get powers. But still, it can move a little slow sometimes. Which is more of a problem when luck is a large factor.

    The Spectromancer expansion is very good. I think it was a good idea to make the new classes a little more complex. I was wondering how you go about playtesting and balancing. Something that is appearant at the forums, is that lower ranked players play fundamentally different, and have different evaluations of specific cards. And given that you mention that none of you are top players, aren’t you worried that you would create unbalanced cards, even after playtesting?

  3. I believe any game with depth will have unbalanced cards at levels of play that are beyond the designers. This will lead to retuning the balance – which could be done by errata, component or rules changes, or even metagame rule changes. I am not afraid of it – it is inevitable. You can, at least, get the low level and medium level balanced and can balance what will be high level play until your players overtake you. It is always important, however, in adjusting the balance for the top level play you don’t make the game less fun for the less experienced players, something many designers forget about. An example of this is would be a card which a newbie can’t defend against – and so must always play with or lose. In this case the game may balanced at the top – but not balanced overall.

    Oh – and no news on Mind Twist. I would consider it on ice indefinitely. Something may come of it but there is nothing going on right now.

  4. Willi B,

    Richard -

    Sorry the Mind Twist project is sitting. I am always keen to check out your work and hope you will tell us more about it at some point… hopefully as it comes out.

  5. Jonathon Loucks,

    The farting noise made water come out my nose.

    Darn – we were trying to time it for when you were drinking a milkshake.

    Richard

  6. I’ve been slacking (or not slacking, depending on how you prioritize gaming) and didn’t check out the Spectromancer trial until this past Friday. Saturday I bought the full game + expansion – it’s just that good. My skill has a long way to go but I’m very impressed and plan to recommend it.. Just wanted to mention that.

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