Tom Cleaver Discusses His Design of AEG's "Valley of the Kings: Afterlife"
May 20, 2015 - 12:31am
Over on Alderac Entertainment Group's (AEG) blog designer Tom Cleaver discusses his design for the followup game to Valley of the Kings (Tom's review here). In this he discusses what he envisioned when AEG came to him looking for another title in the line. Originally he had conceived an expansion but was asked by the publisher to put out a combinable standalone game more along the lines of something like what Dominion Intrigue did where you can add the expansion onto the base game but also play it as the stand alone game as well. Of note within this game is that he had to figure out a way to correct some issues that were identified by game players with the initial game while still keeping its same feel. Additionally he encountered a conundrum of not repeating the same artifacts within the game. His solutions for both of these problems give some good insight into the decision making process of a designer. Furthermore he talks about how he tried to address some of the common strategies taken by players in the original Valley of the Kings so that while they may remain a valid strategy they do not necessarily become the only strategies someone could choose if they wanted to win. He did so by adding cards into play which may favor other strategies. Finally he talks about striving for historical accuracy while keeping the game playable. Focusing on keeping hte mechanics and actual game play the same so that someone who has played the game before can dive right in without redoing the initial learning curve. For his full blog post head to AEG's site here.