While looking at my notes for Die Civilization (DieCiv), I began to feel like I was burying myself in bricks and concrete in an effort to build a house. I was trying to assign actions and effects to all the research dice and production dice, effects for the technologies, benefits for not rolling flat-out successes, and a whole slew of other things.
In essence, I was looking at the trees and ignoring the bear barreling down on me from behind…
So, I took a step back and asked myself a few questions:
- What do I want to do with this game?
- What roles do the dice play?
- What roles do the technologies play?
- Are technologies and achievements worth it?
- Are the dice worth it?
And I asked myself a few others. I thought about the questions at hand and tackled them individually instead of all together. I applied a principle I learned years ago in programming called functional decomposition. Generally, you take all the stuff that does the same thing, create a function then when you need to do that thing, you call the function. So I pulled out everything that was doing the same thing and set that stuff aside.
I sat back and looked at what was left over and realized that what I was making the dice do more than necessary. Two dice act as limiters in addition to their normal functions and I really like that idea. But what about the other dice?
I realized that those benefits would be better served as bonuses provided by the technologies! Wow, now technologies have more of a reason (I’d spoken with a friend about this previously) to exist and dice are FAR less complicated.
Imagine that, even though I’m microscopically attuned to the game, I was able to take a step back, look at things from a different perspective (thanks to my programming experience) and rework things so that the game would turn out even better than the pre-alpha playtest turned out!
I’ll be working on this one for a long time, but I have at least 7 level 1 technologies that will start off with some good abilities! Now I just have to figure out which research matches which technology and to which color the technology belongs.