Alchemy is a strategy card game about determining when to use something and when to destroy it for gold. Up to four players compete for enough gold to buy relics before their opponents.
The Short Story
Learned to first create a standard, and build off that
Developed a mathematical system to balance cards
Developed a variety of cards, tested them, and narrowed them down to those that best interacted with one another
Learned that player interaction comes first when developing multiplayer games, and the game must provide tools for these interactions
Developing a mobile version of the game in the 2018 spring semester.
The Long Story
February - September (2016): The first draft of this game was created before I adopted the design philosophy of "create a standard, and base things off that standard." Because the game includes a variety of diverse abilities, I found it more difficult to create that standard. One playtest showed the game's obvious imbalance, and I developed a new tactic instead.
For the second draft, I developed a "value" for each item. Using this mathematical model, I was able to develop cards quicker and more accurately. Additional playtests helped me tweak values, find a good speed for the game, and narrow the 100+ cards to a smaller, higher quality deck.
The third draft saw a drastic reduction in rules for simplicity and pleasure, and, after nearly a dozen playtests, I decided to finalize it. Looking back, I know it isn't perfect. I should have created more cards that interact between players, and I know I could have built versatile strategies for the players to combine. However, I'm still very pleased with the progress, and I've planned to develop a mobile version come February 2018.
April - May (2018): In two months, I developed a virtual prototype for the game. Programming an ability-heavy strategy card game was just as challenging and exciting as I had hoped. The infrastructure was set up to easily create new cards, but encapsulated well enough to prevent code misuse. Title Image developed with: http://www5.flamingtext.com/