Almost a year ago, we decided to publish the game of Gregory Oliver, Madsteam. It is a game of resources’ management in a post-apocalyptic world. What seduced us in working on this game is the workers’ movement mechanics.
The first months after signing the contract with Greg, we worked a lot, with countless exchanges with the designer. We were looking for a story and the way to justify this story with the mechanics. We were not satisfied with the way the shelter (the individual board where each player had his survivors) worked.
Between March and August 2014, there were so many versions of the game that we were lost. We did not find the feelings, the great impressions we had first anymore.
Discouragement and despair were close. We were not happy with what we had done, nor the author. Of course, we had put away lots of gaming options that did not work, but there was no pleasure anymore.
We decided then to let Greg take the lead again. By our side, we had a lot to deal with Colt Express imminent release. Thus Madsteam was pushed in the background.
A month ago, greg called us back. He had a new version of the game he was happy with.
We plan a meeting then tot est it. For us it is the last chance because, to be honest, both Greg and we are ready to throw in the towel if the game is not what we are expecting.
The first game of the new version brings the same feelings as at the beginning:
- The tactical moves on the board are back: Greg uses almost the same board as one year ago, with the bridges removed.
- The bullying tactics work well in a fast-pace: there is no order in arriving anymore. Every meeple can be bullied.
- The cupboards are new with a great search system.
But a problem raises: the unlimited stocks lead to a winner every time strategy Cedric soon plays. fair enough, stocks must be limited to 1 resource maximum at the end of each turn. The second game is played with this new rule.
In the evening, Seb, Ju and Philippe playtest the game. For a year they have played the various versions of Madsteam. The game goes well ; Seb and Philippe’s scores are close at the end, each of them having played a different strategy.
The night goes on talking a lot about the shelters (again ;-) ), the bullying system, the need to introduce a third way to score…
The next morning, Cédric and Greg revise the shelters, making something simpler but more open.
Two new games finally convince us that the game is on the right track. After lots of shifts, it seems that we are happily going towards the end of the world…
Of course, it is not over. There is still a lot of work.
The idea now is to create a different shelter for each player, to make the game even more open. It will need lots of tests you can follow on the Facebook page of the game if you wish: