MemberJune 17, 2021 at 4:54 am
I haven’t played the game, but I had a read through the rules. Overall, the rules were very concise!
First, when reading the rulebook and I was up to the ‘Playing the game’s section, I scrolled to the end to read ‘End of Game’ to understand what I was trying to do as a player, and then I scrolled back up to continue reading.
Here are a few thoughts I had when reading. These questions are most rhetorical and just intended to prompt some thoughts on on some aspects of the game. I am sure you have iterated through and considered many of these.
‘Collect income’ – From a thematic point of view, why does my top card on the discard pile determine my income? I know not all mechanics need to simulate the theme, but when they do align the play may become more intuitive. E.g. The rules around digging deeper or placing a soil token after digging make thematic sense and appear easy to remember.
‘Analyse’ – From a balance perspective, if there are two card layers in a stratum I get to peek at 2 cards for the same cost. Does this create an interesting dynamic in play? If you could analyse even deeper layers would they want to do it?
‘Claim an artefact’ – From an experience perspective, what does it feel like when I dig deep and reveal a valuable artefact only to realise I cannot afford to claim the artefact and then watch the next player claim it. How does the player feel the first time this happens? Did the game create an expectation that this situation would arise?
‘Place a soil token’ – This was my favourite mechanic from reading the rules and got me excited about how the game would play. In terms of asymmetric information, how well does this work as a signal? Does it enable players to ‘bluff’? Would the signal be more significant if digging deeper caused a stone token (increase cost of digging by 2) to be placed?