Hello and Welcome back to Designer notes! This is Van again and today I will talk about Culture and Civilizations aswell as try to have a discussion about research.
Culture in State of Wonder is your deck. It is the cards you put into your deck and what you have at your diposal when you play the game, what is your culture doing and how is it doing it.
Civilization on the other hand is what faction your culture belongs to, for example, if you civilization is a tribal civilization, you can play with tribal civilization cards, while if you play a feudal civilization, you can play with feudal cards.
This means that depending on the opponents civilization you can make a broad guess about what and how their going to play. For example, Tribal civilizations might have strong units, but weak buildings, so you can expect a certain kind of cards to be played from that player, in this case, Units.
But a player can still play around with their deck and play cards in their culture deck, which are either neutral or might even be those weak buildings that might have an effect you are after.
Right now in game testing, we are playing around with themes, we have bandits, cults, crusaders and workers as themes or cultures. We want to start working on civilizations and try them out this week as it is a mechanic that changes alot of things around. It might be bad for the game though, as being able to tell your opponents plan just by seeing their civilization might give out to much information, unless players decide to go unconventional to be unreadable by the opponent.
So, now that we have gone through those parts of the game I want to talk more about research and I have been getting stuck in what to do with it.
As of now, Research is still up in the air with a lot of question marks, but here are some of the ways I’ve been thinking about it.
Research is a side deck. Where the player puts specific answers to a threat they know their deck might not be able to handle. They need to pay a small amount of resources to be able to play the cards. (I.E. you pay 2 resources and the card is moved from your research deck to your culture deck/Hand) This allows players to more easily answer enemy plays and might allow for some cool bluffs. But personally I have 1 problem with this and it is that it doesn’t feel like researching a cool new thing, it’s a panic button more than anything.
Secondly, I’ve been thinking of a card type named Research cards, which are still put into a seperate deck. Research cards are permanent cards with a cost. When you pay the cost it is put into play and gives your cards a buff. For example, all your units gain 1 attack or 1 health, maybe a card that gives all fortifications Volley 1 and things like that. This feels like researching something, all of a sudden you have a permanent buff, because you invented steel forging (Or something like that)
Thirdly, Researching tiers you up, allowing you to play cards from a higher tier. Cards then need to put into tiers and it will basicly become a race to the high tiers with higher costs. Even though this feels like research, I don’t like this route personally, as it makes early game tactics weaker if the late tiers are either much stronger. It might also make early game tactics to strong, as it makes late game obsolete unless you can tech into it.
So these are my thoughts about research right now. Please let me know which of these mechanics you would enjoy the most, or just discuss them!
Have a good day! (also I’m sorry for no art in this post!)