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- DESIGNER A: Okay, so, time to take this L5R thing and streamline it so we can design a new LCG out of it, while still keeping legacy mechanics. Can someone explain to me what the Chi mechanic is?
- DESIGNER B: Well, Chi doesn't per se have a mechanic. It doesn't enter into gameplay a lot of the time – Force is a better barometer of how much a Personality should cost, Gold-wise--
- DESIGNER A: Outstanding. Dump Chi as a mechanic.
- DESIGNER B: But-
- DESIGNER A: Not using it in most games? Then we don't need it. Streamline, people!
- DESIGNER B: Okay. But if Chi goes, dueling as a mechanic will need something else to go off of--
- DESIGNER A: Whoa, what's dueling?
- DESIGNER B: (explains dueling)
- DESIGNER A: Man, screw that. Remove dueling, too.
- DESIGNER B: Why did you write honor victory on the board of things we're removing?
- DESIGNER A: Four different ways to win the game is four too many. We need to keep things tight, streamlined. Everyone loves military, right? Let's make the game all military, all the time.
- DESIGNER B: There are some clans that traditionally don't do well militarily.
- DESIGNER A: Like?
- DESIGNER B: Uh, the Crane.
- DESIGNER A: All right, make them a minor clan.
- DESIGNER B: What? There's no way players will go for that! Crane Clan players are a significant portion of the playerbase.
- DESIGNER A: Significant meaning?
- DESIGNER B: About 9%.
- DESIGNER A: So, way less than 30%. Fine, if 'minor clan' is too incendiary, just take them out of the pool of playable clans.
- DESIGNER B: I'm not sure that's better...
- DESIGNER A: It's streamlined, that makes it better.
- DESIGNER B: Okay, so, for an initial release we have – 200 cards planned? That's only a hundred different cards for Fate and Dynasty.
- DESIGNER A: Oh, right, this is that weird two-deck game. Well, screw that as well, it'll be cheaper to print it all with one deck. Make it a one-deck game.
- DESIGNER B: But L5R also has two separate hands – a hand-hand and the Provinces-hand.
- DESIGNER A: Yeah, too complicated. Let's ditch the provinces.
- DESIGNER B: Wait, Provinces also measure the progress to the military victory!
- DESIGNER A: Okay, soooooo...you load your provinces from your hand-hand?
- DESIGNER B: I guess that might work...?
- DESIGNER A: See, now you're with us! What's next? What's 'Personal Honor?'
- DESIGNER B: It gets used about as much as Chi, but it's mostly for the Proclaim action in honor decks.
- DESIGNER A: Good, another easy jettison. Give Personal Honor the axe.
- DESIGNER B: Sir, I'm pretty sure we're getting too far away from L5R as the CCG players remember it...
- DESIGNER A: Who are we selling this game to, Meacham, is it?
- DESIGNER B: It's actually Molson, sir.
- DESIGNER A: Molson, right. Who are we selling this game to?
- DESIGNER B: Fans of Legend of the Five-
- DESIGNER A: EVERYBODY, Molson. This game has to be sold to everybody. They used to call L5R the chess of CCGs. Well, I know a thing or two about selling things, and you know what you can't sell to everybody? Chess. Chess is complicated and has a load of rules to remember. We need some of this complicated legacy stuff sanded off to make the game more approachable.
- DESIGNER B: Sir, our customers are not dolts with the attention spans of gnats. Some of our games routinely chart well with--
- DESIGNER A: Maybe I'm not making myself clear, here. Do ya know what it cost to buy this license?
- DESIGNER B: I don't.
- DESIGNER A: An amount of money that can be precisely described as 'a metric fuck-ton.' Any game with this IP HAS to pay dividends. You understand me?
- DESIGNER B: I am aware of the risks, sir.
- DESIGNER A: Then you should also understand that marketing to the core isn't in our interest here. After 2 years of nothing, all the core fanbase will be eager to snap up anything with a colorful samurai on it. We've got them. They can't go elsewhere, no one else is making L5R. We. Have. Got. Them. They will accept the changes we make to pull in a new audience, or they'll quit. Making the game difficult for new players gets us nowhere. Changing it for the new players, that's growth. That's what the bigwigs want.
- DESIGNER B: Wouldn't it be better to not have so many of the old players quit?
- DESIGNER A: Of course, but that's not a feasible goal at this juncture. Focus on growth, Molson. That's where your future paychecks are sitting.
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