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Design Article #1: The Heart of TSSSF

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Lord LunaEquie is me:
News article linked here.

The purpose of this thread is for discussion of the article.

Lord LunaEquie is me:
I'm looking forward to these articles. I'm big on the "inside baseball" aspect of design articles and talks, and I would love to get into the nitty-gritty of what makes TSSSF work so that I can better design my own cards.

As for the article itself, I completely agree with the "easy to learn" aspect. The rules and gameplay are so straightforward a newcomer can basically start playing after seeing a single player's turn, because pretty much everything is laid out on the table for them. The design is also so masterfully abstract that I think it really captures the essence of fanficcing and shipping that even people without experience in that can easily understand what players are doing in-game.

As I've said elsewhere, I love both how tightly the mechanics tie in to shipping, as well as how easily they could be reskinned for a different aesthetic. One thing I've never said, though, is that I really appreciate how flexible the point system is. Unlike games that use a judge, you can have a game with three, two, or even just one person without much issue. I've never had many friends at a time in the meat, so it's been difficult for me to play a lot of those kinds of games, because they don't work incredibly well unless you have a decent party of at least four people and it usually works better with more.

N.A. Larson:
Glad you're looking forward to these articles! Are there any topics or questions in particular you'd like to see us address? Also, good point on the number of players needed for TSSSF vs CAH!

Lord LunaEquie is me:
I can't think of anything in particular that I would want covered. I just in general want to hear what makes the game tick -- why build the grid, why use the points, why refill the hand, etc.

N.A. Larson:
The grid is meant to represent a shipping chart, but I take it you're wondering about the mechanical implications and consequences of having or not having a grid. We hadn't talked about doing an article specifically about the grid, but we might if the topic isn't adequately explored elsewhere. Certainly it will be touched on when we discuss Ship cards, slice (the ability to discard a Ship card from the grid, i.e. grid destruction), and the flavor/mechanics balance of TSSSF.

I think we've pretty much covered why points are used instead of a judge, but this concept will be revisited in the flavor/mechanics article.

I'm not sure what you mean by "refill the hand." How else would players not run out of cards to play?


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