Game Design and the Lowest Common Denominator

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I'm probably going to regret this, because there's an old adage that says "never post after midnight". That saying exists because of the propensity to say something unpleasant that you'll regret in the morning.

On the other hand, I said I would chronicle my Shadow Era Beta experience. I just didn't expect to feel so irritated so early, and before the Beta actually began.

And I know full well that I am over-reacting. It's just that I've come away from a debate with another beta-tester and the developer and don't feel particularly respected or valued.

To be clear, I have to cut Kyle some slack. He's in a fairly untenable situation and if the shoe was on the other foot I'd have probably made the same decision he did.

If you have no clue what I'm talking about: check out the Bad Wolf Thread

Yesterday and today's exchanges make me want to roll my eyes from myself.

I say from myself because I wouldn't want you the reader to think I was forcing you to roll your eyes, or that I was rolling my eyes on your behalf.

Ack.. I've just had to backspace over two paragraphs of sarcasm. Part of me rationalizes "If they didn't understand the original intent of the card, they won't even pick up on your vitriol!" Somehow I don't think that will be the case.

I do feel bad about one thing. There was one person who has (elsewhere) indicated that they are new to TCG's and found the text of the card to be unclear. I respect that. I don't want that one specific individual to feel that I am making fun of them, or to have them alienated from the game. So if we really need to spell things out that explicitly, then so be it.

For the record, I think identifying WHEN the special ability takes effect in the turn sequence is a good idea.

The question is asked "what is the harm in stating who is being healed by the special ability"?

There is no harm. Yeah, that sounds contradictory to everything I just wrote. Its just that, like Kaboom, I want the rule text to flow smoothly. Speaking just for myself, I do not think it needs to be really convoluted and contorted in a misguided attempt to leave no doubt as to the meaning of the card. Kaboom and I disagree on whether the original card text was okay or not (I thought the original was fine, albeit it improved by the declaration of when the healing took place).

But the Bad Wolf receiving healing from himself? That makes no sense and sounds like a bad english translation (no offense to our wonderful Korean Design Team Members!).

Come on! If we have to be more explicit, certainly we can do better than that!

That being said, the battle is over. When people say they can't understand the rules text of the card, especially in this medium and during a Beta-Test the argument is won by default. I never even got to make a rebuttal.

I still think it was unnecessary, and I really doubt anybody is going to convince me otherwise. I just hope not every card is going to go through this wacky non-grammar in order to remove all possible chance of misinterpretation in a game that is already computer moderated.

With that I am going to go to bed and remove the tiredness from myself. Because, you know? I wouldn't want anyone to mistakenly think that by me sleeping that they'll somehow be refreshed instead.

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Player Blog , Beta-Test


  1. kaboom132's Avatar
    This is why I like to make it so that you are clearly the controller. For instance, "You may heal Bad Wolf for 1 damage" makes sense, doesn't it?
  2. Paradox's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by kaboom132
    This is why I like to make it so that you are clearly the controller. For instance, "You may heal Bad Wolf for 1 damage" makes sense, doesn't it?
    Actually it does, Kaboom. It makes perfect sense. Sorry if I didn't pick up on that last night. I was so frustrated that I didn't parse that out. Good idea.

    To others: Here is "the morning after". LOL.

    Last night's post was as much about my reaction to the some of the posts as it was about the actual subject material. As always in hindsight I'd probably have been better served sleeping on it and replying this morning.

    That's not an apology however.

    If you want to debate, then debate the merits of your point. Then look for a compromise. I promise I will too.

    If you start name-dropping, flashing links to other messageboards; I am going to tune you out and your message is going to be lost. Which is a shame, because it might have been worthwhile.

    At the end of the day, it doesn't matter if any of us are on Richard Garfield's bowling team, or dropped by his place for cocktails. Stick to the merits of your argument.

    When another poster writes what he thinks about the topic without attacking you personally; and you come back with "you must be able to read Kyle's mind all the way in Korea", all that does is make me angry. Even if that wasn't directed at me. I don't actually hear anything else you have to say. (And it might be that he's not a mind-reader, maybe the text is just self-explanatory)

    Now, barring any further comments that may come, I'm going to put this past me. I've said my peace.