We have done a lot of thinking over the last few months about what kind of game Omicron Protocol is. We started our journey by standing on the shoulders of giants. We knew we wanted to make a game to rival our favorite games in the genre that brought us together as friends, games like Guild Ball, X-Wing, and Malifaux. We wanted unique characters, small scale skirmish, competitive balance, and most of all a minimum of negative play experiences.
Ok, it’s been a LONG while since I wrote a regular blog. Do you guys miss me? ;)
Well, Brendan and I have been crazy busy demoing as well as streamlining any “kinks” in the rules where it causes our demo-ers and playtesters to go “huh?” Since we did so many rounds of playtests at Adepticon, we were able to come up with some pretty neat rules simplification that led to the new PRINT AND PLAY V1.3! After playtesting these rules a little bit, we definitely feel that the game is much smoother and easier to learn and play. We hope you will try it out by downloading it and giving us feedback in the survey links we have in the “READ ME FIRST” PDF file.
Many of you have seen some preview art of a few members of the Red Dragons, or heard us talking about them. Well, we can finally officially announce them now that the art for all 6 starting characters are complete, thanks to our amazing artist Viktor Kolodiazhniy (and Tania Gomes for putting the “group photo” together).
It’s time for another entry of “Game Design Thoughts”!
This time, we’ll focus on the Animals faction, which we just revealed last week officially. As many have seen, we’ve started playtesting them again, after putting them away for a few months. Before we stopped testing them last time (September 2018 time frame), they were balanced against both the Peacekeepers and Survivalists. Since then, we’ve definitely made some changes to the game, namely to the CyMS, and we made the Peacekeepers’ range strength a lot higher over the last few months. So we thought, “Animals should be balanced, if not too weak now, against the PK.”. Boy were we wrong!
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.