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Oh noes, numbers!

At this point in our development of Its a Trap!,  most of the building blocks were there, and now we could munch on delicious numbers.

The number of adventurers had a couple of early fluctuations; originally we started testing with 20, and at an early point where an influx of new cards joined the deck this nudged up to 25. Strangely, this never increased further;  even with new cards coming in, the event cards and the design of the new trap components managed to balance against the increased number of cards increasing the length of the game.

We also had a couple of big phases of rebalancing cards, as well as constant nudging when cards were noted to be disproportionately good (or bad!) in some combination. These generally consisted of us laying out vast grids of cards according to some axes that were particularly relevant; for example number of kills vs chance of killing at least one. Generally, most of the grids we produced have a broad band across the middle, with perhaps a couple of outliers. Although some cards may be better or worse than others, on average, the entire deck has a balance of cards, something to do everything.

This last point is important: after playing with our (relatively final) deck of cards, we kept winning. Notably, we kept winning with about 20 cards left in the deck. So we started taking 20 cards out before each game! However, his doesn’t matter to the game balance, as on average everything is balanced! Unfortunately, this didn’t quite give enough time to kill all the adventurers, so we reduced the number to 16.

Although this seems like a bit of a hack, it has a major side-effect that we really liked: there was no way of knowing which cards you’d get. You couldn’t rely on Dead End, or Rocks Fall as last minute saving graces against the waves of adventurers. If you happen to have a pet card, as one of our playtesters does with Loud Bell, you can’t necessarily grab that card and build your Ur-trap. Every game is different.

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