Many of you have heard us talking about this in passing, some have seen them in the wild, so to speak, and enthusiastic visitors of our website have seen them posted in the past week. But today, we would like to announce the 3rd team that we have designed, the Animals! Big thanks to Amit Thulasidasan for the character art and Viktor Kolodiazhniy for the faction logo.
Just doing a quick one here. We are officially on v0.2 of the rules now, after Brendan and I spent 7-8 hours together doing another pass of it and merging edits and suggestions from our volunteer editors.
Speaking of which, we want to give a HUGE THANKS to Alex Villagomez and Brian Zavoda for taking time to read through and give comments/edits to 50+ pages of rules! Without their help, we would not have been able to do all the edits that we’ve done and progress to the first big version update (v0.1 to v0.2) of the rules.
One of the biggest decisions Brendan and I had to make with Omicron Protocol was whether we should have a hex-based board or not. “Traditional/hard-core” minis games usually is just on a mat/board/table where the boundaries are defined and that’s it. You throw whatever terrain you can find or buy, and use all sorts of cool rulers to measure and move your armies/teams across the board. Going hex-based was a tough decision, but brought lots of rewards, including but not limited to:
In the last 2 “Game Design Thoughts” series, I talked about how small changes affect a lot of things, and then how our changes to the CYMS took almost 2 weeks of intense internal playtesting to get right. Well, as the title of this post suggests, some of our seemingly non-impactful changes greatly affected the balance of the factions again.
This will be a short one, since we’ve been writing this rulebook for way too long!
As we prepare for the next important step of the game development, getting the first draft of the rulebook written is crucial for beginning blind playtests and rules illustrations. Without blind playtests, we would never know if Omicron Protocol can be learned by new players without any help from the designers.
Well, Brendan and I just got back from one of the funnest and most rewarding demos we’ve given in recent history, the demo to a bunch of our new friends at BackerKit! A bit shout out to Meah, George, Joe, John, and Antonio for hosting us, learning the game, keeping it fun, and giving extremely useful feedback to help us improve the game!
Oh boy that was a rough 2 weeks of internal playtesting!
As many of you know already, one of the unique mechanics of Omicron Protocol is the existence of a 3rd party enemy called the CyMS (Cybernetic Mutation Syndrome), or “Crazies” as the locals of San Lazaro calls them. The cool part is that besides having to do your objectives and fight off your opponent’s faction, you also have to deal with these pesky citizens who seem to randomly decide to attack you. The not-so-cool part is moving and keeping track of them at the end of the turn when both players have finished activating their heroes.
Game Design = Iteration
Once you have your basic rules and theme in place game design becomes iteration. You test and test and test, and as you go you make changes to your rules to improve play, simplify, balance. In our game we have many unique characters with a wide range of themes and abilities, we have objective cards, scenarios, and forage cards to balance….
Brendan and I just got back from a weekend of demoing, playtesting, learning, and meeting other game designers at the Pacificon Protospiel, so I'll keep this one short. What a weekend! Besides teaching the game roughly 6-8 hours a day for 3 days in a row and getting invaluable feedback, we also met a lot of great game designers and event organizers who we'll definitely be keeping in touch with in the future.