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Android: The Director's Cut - for those dissatisfied with the disparity between theme and gameplay


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#1 Bleached Lizard

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:16 AM

Hi all,

 

I have just posted a document to the files section on BGG containing a number of variants that are designed to address the disparity between theme and gameplay in Android. These include rules to:

* Turn the murder into a true deductive experience (with a "real" murderer).
* Eliminate the unthematic 5-in-a-row scoring on the conspiracy puzzle.
* Allow each investigator to experience their game "day" concurrently rather than consecutively (and reduce downtime).
* Adjust how dark cards are drawn and played to be more in theme with what is happening on the board.
* Give NPCs more involvement in the unfolding story and allow some characters to "crossover" into another detective's story.
* Plus many more...

These variants have been tested and work well, though may obviously be subject to further tweaks after subsequent plays.  You can find the link to the file here:

http://www.boardgame...file/info/38890

Obviously if you have no problem with the melding of theme and gameplay in this game then these rules are not for you. But hopefully someone will find these ideas of some use to them.

Happy gaming!



#2 E1prime

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Posted 23 February 2009 - 09:12 PM

I like this game a lot as it is. The only thing I don't like is the "take this" action when playing dark cards on someone to light-shift myself.
Could you explain that original rule you mention in your rules that the playtesters didn't like.

Can it be used without altering anything else?

It would be nice to have a minor compensation for getting a dark card played on you.
So you don't feel as big a grudge against the player who hit you for the  third time in a row.

Also, since I'm the owner of the game, people tend to chose my dark cards more often as they see me as the better player and bigger threat.



#3 Bleached Lizard

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 10:08 AM

I'm afraid I don't know any details, as I wasn't a playtester.  The only info I have is one thread that Kevin Wilson replied to on BGG where he stated that the basic rule for how twilight worked (i.e, how the twilight marker moved) in an earlier version of the game was how it appears in my variant, and that it was removed because playtesters felt that it encouraged too much of a feeling of persecution.

You can even observe rules in the current rulebook that are obviously holdovers from the earlier system.  I'd take an educated guess that the following rules were required as part of the old system, but with the new system are just part of the "rules bloat" that many people feel about this game:

* The "shift" bonus on the back of conspiracy tiles.

* Allowing characters to light or dark shift as part of fights.

* Allowing cards to be discarded to pay twilight costs.

* Twilight discounts for matching plots.

* Any game text that allows you to increase or decrease the cost of a card.

With the current rule system, all of these rules are unneccessary, as having your twilight marker at any one point on the twilight track is equally beneficial as having it at any other point (the only differentiating factor is the number and type of cards you have in your hand).  With the old/variant system, these rules would become much more important, as they are in place to prevent any player from "locking in" as completely light-shifted in order to prevent any dark cards being played on them.

(There are also a couple of Raymond's cards that highlight the old system once being in place - they allow you to manipulate your own/your opponent's twilight track, which with the old system is a big bonus but in the current system is next to useless).

The variant I came up with changes the rules back to something close to what I imagine they were originally like.  The only two major changes I've made are to have detectives have their own dark cards drawn when entering seedy locations, and to have detectives light/dark shift when entering seedy/ritzy locations.  This is to further prevent the "locking in" that I mentioned earlier.

The variant can be used completely independantly of the others.  Enjoy!



#4 Iron_Lord

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 12:13 AM

After a game of BSG (another clear victory for the toasters), we had a 4 player game of Android (the other game with "toasters" involved) yesterday. I read the "director's cut" rules just after that, wondering how they change the gameplay. I really want to give them a try - in my point of view, they stress the detective part, but change the "feel" of the game quite a bit.



#5 Bleached Lizard

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Posted 08 March 2009 - 06:35 AM

Iron_Lord said:

After a game of BSG (another clear victory for the toasters), we had a 4 player game of Android (the other game with "toasters" involved) yesterday. I read the "director's cut" rules just after that, wondering how they change the gameplay. I really want to give them a try - in my point of view, they stress the detective part, but change the "feel" of the game quite a bit.

Thanks for the interest!  There's an updated version going up soon, containing extensive rule changes for the conspiracy.  We were still finding a few problems with it (both in terms of theme and gameplay balance), namely:

* Points from the conspiracy are disproportinate compared to other areas of the game (internal gameplay balance issue).

* Obtaining points from the conspiracy was based more on timing rather than how much work you put into it (unthematic).

* The conspiracy offers too many bonuses for no real reason (internal balance issue and unthematic).

* The conspiracy bonuses vary wildly in their power and usefulness (dynamic balance issue).

I think I've found a way to deal with these issues and will be uploading an updated Director's Cut soon.  So if you want a more theme in your conspiracy, you might want to wait until then! 

Chris.



#6 samoan

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 12:49 PM

Personally I like the game alot the way it is. I  thought the plots added a lot of theme and pinning a crime on a suspect wether or not they actually did it added a lot to making seem like the dectives are a bit morally grey and just want to pin the crime on someone since they are probably guilt for something any way. Sort of like Murder city.



#7 Bleached Lizard

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Posted 18 March 2009 - 01:47 PM

samoan said:

Personally I like the game alot the way it is. I  thought the plots added a lot of theme and pinning a crime on a suspect wether or not they actually did it added a lot to making seem like the dectives are a bit morally grey and just want to pin the crime on someone since they are probably guilt for something any way. Sort of like Murder city.

That's fair enough, though the variant still retains this feeling.  Remember, only one player can have the correct guilty hunch (though no one will know for sure which player that will be).  All the other players will still be aiming to convict an innocent man (though again, they won't know this for sure until the end of the game).

Personally, I'm not a fan of the plots.  I think they're so abstracted so that you don't really feel like you're doing the thing that they're supposed to represent.  How does playing (any) light card make you "feel" like you're strengthening your relationship with your best friend?  How does sacrificing any one favour make you "feel" like you're getting closer to your estranged dad?

I'm currently working on a set of alternate plots for the game that still retain the same stroies but make the actions that the detectives must perform have a much more thematic feel to them.  Watch this space!



#8 samoan

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Posted 19 March 2009 - 09:03 AM

Bleached Lizard said:

Personally, I'm not a fan of the plots.  I think they're so abstracted so that you don't really feel like you're doing the thing that they're supposed to represent.  How does playing (any) light card make you "feel" like you're strengthening your relationship with your best friend?  How does sacrificing any one favour make you "feel" like you're getting closer to your estranged dad?

 

I understand that point but the way I look at it, playing light cards is doing good things and your best friend may only like good people and not evil ones. Showing how you want to move ahead and be ambitions but care who you step on.  Is how I look at it.



#9 Tarota

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Posted 28 March 2009 - 03:27 PM

Bleached Lizard said:

With the current rule system, all of these rules are unneccessary, as having your twilight marker at any one point on the twilight track is equally beneficial as having it at any other point (the only differentiating factor is the number and type of cards you have in your hand).  With the old/variant system, these rules would become much more important, as they are in place to prevent any player from "locking in" as completely light-shifted in order to prevent any dark cards being played on them.

Have we been playing wrong? I've only played once, but there were several points where I got stuck at one end of the twilight track or the other, and couldn't play appropriate cards without emptying my hand. I found the ability to change card costs to be vital...



#10 Bleached Lizard

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Posted 29 March 2009 - 07:29 AM

Tarota said:

Bleached Lizard said:

With the current rule system, all of these rules are unneccessary, as having your twilight marker at any one point on the twilight track is equally beneficial as having it at any other point (the only differentiating factor is the number and type of cards you have in your hand).  With the old/variant system, these rules would become much more important, as they are in place to prevent any player from "locking in" as completely light-shifted in order to prevent any dark cards being played on them.

 

Have we been playing wrong? I've only played once, but there were several points where I got stuck at one end of the twilight track or the other, and couldn't play appropriate cards without emptying my hand. I found the ability to change card costs to be vital...

The difference is though that with the rules as they appear in the rulebook, the ability to discard cards to pay for other cards may be very *useful*, but it's not actually *vital*.  Under the old rule system, it would actually be vital.  Under the rules as they are, you could just continue to draw cards of the appropriate type until you find one that you can play to move the twilight marker back again.  Under the old rule system, one direction of that movement is completely under the control of your opponents.






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