Thursday, January 14, 2010

Designing a Game - Mice in Mech Suits

I just finished up the beta playtest version of my Mice in Mech Suits mech combat rules - here is the link to download them in .PDF format.  If you download them and use them, or even just read them, please give me feedback.  It was a lot of fun for me to make this game; this was the first time I have made my own game rules since I was probably 12 years old!  I learned a lot, and one of the things was about the importance of playtesting.  I cranked the first version of the rules out in one night and ran some two on two combats with my girlfriend the next day, with each of us controlling two mechs.  It went well, but pointed out some bugs that I patched over in time for the group playtest.

The group playtest showed me a lot more things to fix.  The Bandit Mechs were in general overpowered, as their ability to use ranged weapons that had a several square blast radius was much more useful than the Noble Knight Mech's ability to dish out damage in melee combat - especially considering that many of the ranged weapons are mounted on the chest while the Knight's weapons are mounted on the arm - once you lose that arm, you are screwed!  I made the Noble Knights more effective in combat and increased their unarmed damage so they can still cause some pain with their off arm if their weapon arm gets blown away.  One of the players in the group playtest was running a Worker Mech with the Dig Dug special ability, and he pretty much spent the whole time underground - so I made this ability more limited.  I also tweaked the movement rules a little.  All in all, I think it is pretty solid but I am sure that more playtesting will reveal more flaws.  So go to town, all you mech-heads out there on the internets!

I did include a (pretty weak) random mech generation system, but I want to rework that and also include a super-short pilot generation system to create even more variance on the battlefield.  I will post that as soon as I finish it up.  While thinking about character generation in Mutant Future vs. D&D 4e, I realized that random rolls on a list is a lot more fun for me than picking out the kewlest powers.  I will be taking that lesson to heart when I rework the mech generation rules and make up some pilot generation rules.

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