Greetings! Here are some updates:
- Apothecary Clarity: Iteration on the wording and diagrams for the apothecaries continues. We've also tweaked two of the apothecaries again (Faithful Float and Portal Pounce), bringing their power levels in line with the others.
- Solo Mode: We are continuing to get to the best scoring method. We developed a method simpler than the previous one we were using which drives the same motivations but is easier to tally, so that's a nice bump. We will keep testing this to get data on what kind of score variance players of different skill levels have, and how large the ceiling is for players to get higher and higher scores (we know the min and max score range, but we need to see how often players reach the different scores).
- First Player Advantage: We are continuing to test different solutions to the first player advantage. Here is the frontrunner: Instead of giving the second player the extra action token in 2-player, we start the board with four potions face-up and two facedown, instead of three face-up and three facedown. Since the first player reveals on the first turn to get a gem, this gives the second player the ability to reveal the remaining potion, and then restock the board with 3 potions instead of 2 (a 2 restock is with the current setup). This gives them a chance to better arrange a match. It also gives them access to information that can help them hone in on 2 gems of the same color to hire a second apothecary faster.
- Rules: We've been prepping updated plain-text rules for a new pass in InDesign. This will include Solo Mode, Master of the Market, the new setup, and many small tweaks for clarity. Despite that the variants are subject to change, they are at the point where they should be blind playtested to see how much players enjoy and comprehend them without us teaching them. Some players internalize rules better when they learn them from the book, which in turn can have an effect on their enjoyment.
- Miscellaneous: Despite that the final file submission is a long way away, we've begun laying out what we can - we have the main punchboard structured, laid out with the art assets for the potion card fronts/backs. These punchboards still need the extra action token and apothecary stations (which Phillip is working on), as well as the special potions when we have them. It's important we work on everything in parallel so we hit any possible snags sooner than later!
Have a great week!