The Golden Ages - designer's diary

Something about "The Golden Ages". A designer's point of view, in a very bad english.
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PLAYING WITHOUT HEADACHES

Luigi Ferrini
Italy
Castagneto Carducci
Livorno
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Before going forward with design’s considerations, I think it’s appropriate to summarize the course of the game in a few lines, for those who have not yet had the time (or desire) to read the rules.

The game consists of four rounds, each of which is a different era of human history. Each round starts with a phase of exploration, in which new continents are discoverede and placed on the board; then the main phase begin, during which you do all the main actions (explore, fight, build, etc..). I’ll talk more of these phases in the next posts.
Some of the resources on the game map:
weath, rocks, game.

Today I want to focus instead on what happens at the end of the turn. Typically, in civilization games, this is the time of the headache: you check the owned resources, you see if your people are dying of hunger, you score points in many ways, you update many tokens on many tables … so you make all counts, often repeating them several times because it is easy to make mistakes.

During the development of the game I realized (and I needed seven different versions of the prototype to understand it!) that this part is … tiring and boring! For this reason I have taken out of the game almost all counts at the end of turn.

Only one of them remains, very simple and always different, linked to the “Judgment of History”, which allows you to make victory points and therefore is not boring at all.
With Agricolture you get one Gold
whenever you take control of
a “wheat” symbol.

The design choice that I made is that I moved the stage of economic rent of resources at the time when such resources are acquired. That is, if for example your civilization knows agriculture, then you get gold when you take control of a “wheat” resource. Having control of the wheat will be useful again in various ways, but rarely you will need to count the wheat you control. In this way, also the attacks become less frustrating for those who suffer, because losing a resource can affect the points you make, but you don’t ever lose money and then you’ll never slow down in the strategy you’re pursuing.

Of course, this design choice helps to keep down the total time of the game and contain the dead times between rounds.
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