From July 28th to August 2nd I managed to both go to the cottage while getting some solid playtesting done with a close group of friends. With Outer Earth in its mid-late stages of development, I am still looking to fine-tune the mechanics present in the game.
Changes that were made + rationale:
- Reduced initial start Action Points 3 –> 2
- With prior changes to the game allowing you to accumulate more action points and planet capacity, starving the player with less action points made for a bigger struggle and satisfaction of evolving your company throughout the game.
- Each industry card on a planet gives 1 Victory Point
- There were too few victory points earned throughout the game in comparison to the end scoring. To even it out, every industry card gives 1 victory point in addition to the victory points gained for meeting certain criteria (If the industry matches the planets industry + if you manage to get a set of the three different industries (primary, secondary and tertiary) connected on a planet).
- Remove 1 Action Point industry investments
- The action of discarding a card to place into your industry stock face down was not used at all throughout the playtest, which made me question the mechanic. Playtesters felt that cards were more valuable as auction bids and connections than endgame stock investments. Now the mechanic is simplified with the remaining cards in each players hand count towards the endgame stock investments.
- Create more influencing planet modifiers
- The planet modifiers were a nice mix of drawing cards, victory points and stock modifiers. Throughout the playtest, there was always a way more buzz around modifiers that included stock changes, additional victory points/action points/planet capacity. On the other spectrum, modifiers that allowed you to draw cards seemed “boring” as you could easily do that with your own action points. All the modifiers will now have a bigger impact than what you can do on your turn with a single action point.
- Changes to the cost of closing planets
- Should the game penalize a player for closing a planet earlier than its planet capacity? That is a question I have been thinking about. Closing a planet early gives you an ability (Draw a card, Planet Capacity or Action Point) at the cost of losing the potential point gain of the planet. Is the lost victory point potential a big enough of a penalty or should there be a bigger penalty (-1 VP/an extra AP/Not possible to close planet) if a player tries to close a planet early? As for now, no penalties and players are allowed to close ANY planet for 1 Action Point regardless of how many industry cards there are on the planet.
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