October 10, 2010

Where I Went Wrong

This week I want to discuss how I think I've failed on Velocity.  But what good does it do you, readers, if you've never seen Velocity?  So, here's the download for the primary play test: Mediafire.  It's unpolished, without art or even much flavor.  But it presents my system as I initially imagined it.

Now, Velocity reads as an easy entry, rules light game, which was one of the design goals.  It's also familiar to some RPG players, since it uses opposed rolls with a net success system.  It also tries to use the names of the mechanics to keep the play focused, I even worried about the fact that gamers have a bad habit of abbreviating anything that is too wordy. (Initiative, anyone?)  So that's the good, right?

Well, no.  I think in meeting my design goals I alienated the point of the game.  The game is intended to be white-knuckle racing, with every choice you make effecting the potential outcomes.  So, let me break it down:

Stat + Skill: I really like stat + skill systems.  But Velocity is meant to be fast, and having to count dice every time, plus whomever you're in conflict with, it just adds up to a lot of calculations over the course of a game.

Too Simple: One issue I have with Velocity as it stands is that it is in fact too simple.  You make a choice at character creation and choose whichever method you put your stock in at the beginning.  It's hardly realistic, and makes for some damn boring conflict.  Related, the equipment, for a game that is probably more about the equipment than the characters, is lacking.

Low Risk VS Reward: There's very little reason to push yourself in any category as the risk almost always outweighs the reward.  Part of me knows I was intending to increase the mechanical risk/reward system further down the development line, but I think it's important enough to focus on at the start.

So, the redesign coming, much more regulated RISK/REWARD, more complex decisions, and find a way to cut down on the counting game.  That makes design goals!  What do my readers think: are these desirable goals?  Let me know below!

Next week I'll expand on my thoughts on design goals and the need of a design bible.


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