Previously it felt like a lot of killing time and waiting. Now, each player can focus on whatever it is they want to achieve WHEN they feel ready to. The Horned King can begin his search for the Black Cauldron in the first turn if he wants to, or Taran can race ahead to try to beat him too it (wouldn't recommend that, myself, but the fact is HE COULD!)
We have more ways of cards moving in and out of play, and more strategy as to what and WHEN a player may choose to Equip a card. Before hand the Horned King could just sit on the cards Taran needed and make the game endless if Taran sat on the Black Cauldron in a complete stalemate. But with two ways of utilizing your Deception, it makes growing your Cunning even more powerful, and the cards hidden away in your hand aren't safe at all!
Things feel more balanced. Decisions feel more meaningful. And now time is of the essence as both players race to gather everything they need to win.
It wasn't the game I initially set-out to make, but it's a far more worthy game than the disjointed mess it would have been if I tried to beat it into a mechanic-type. So cross off Meta-Progression from my design resume. Whatever THIS is, it's the game I was meant to make.
Next steps are:
- updating the rulebook
- updating the card text and printing replacement cards
- maybe even loading up a Tabletop Simulator version
It's not necessary, but I do want to still try to make this a 1 player game that flows just as well as 2. I have some thoughts about how to do it, but I want to lock-in this 2 player version first. After that, I enter the adventure of re-skinning it in a way that still feels purposely designed. I have some ideas for that, too!