Shifting themes, only 1 week before Protospiel
Occasionally I don't make life easy for myself. "Keeping it simple" is a favourite motto of mine, but so is "Just because something the easier option, doesn't always mean it's the right option". So, why am I telling you this? Stay awhile and listen (read)...
My Rotating Maze Game had previously been 'skinned' with a fantasy jungle theme. I had Snakefolk, Lizardfolk, Naga Cultists, carnivorous plants, snakes, giant serpents and a Medusa-like Boss (you get the picture). While I actually loved the idea of having my game set in a jungle, I soon realised after several playtests that my monsters just weren't very interesting. The theme wasn't at fault here, it was my lack of creativity with the monsters I'd chosen.
Using the term 'skinned' was also part of the issue. I wanted my game to feel like everything belonged and had a purpose for existing. Aside from some core gameplay mechanics (that helped make the game fun) I wanted things to make sense thematically. I didn't feel like I was doing this with the jungle theme, so I made a choice to go with something that I felt I could be more creative with... which was a Kobold infested maze and the lair to a vicious Red Dragon!
I love those clever little enemies that fight in groups. I admire how incredibly inventive they can be when making up for their small size and physical weakness. I wanted enemies that would logically serve a huge Red Dragon and felt that Kobolds were absolutely perfect! They ticked every box and thematically made sense in the role of minions. I was now inspired, I had fresh ideas!
So with only 1 week to go before the first UK Protospiel, I gave myself quite a bit of work to do. I had to create new monster cards (design, print, cut, sleeve), create a new Red Dragon card, create new monster tokens, write new rules for my Red Dragon, update my rulebook and last (but definitely not least) playtest it all!
Even though this was the more difficult of the two choices I could have made, I feel that changing the theme was the right (and more interesting) thing to do and I'm very happy with the outcome. Next up, Protospiel!