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275647 Posts in 27717 Topics by 4285 Members Latest Member: - Jason DAngelo Most online today: 53 - most online ever: 429 (November 03, 2007, 04:35:43 AM)
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Author Topic: Infusion (aka Arch Inverted)  (Read 1358 times)

Posts: 21

Nine Tongues Cunning

« on: August 25, 2009, 12:00:14 PM »

Hello there.

Long time no see. Few of you could remember Arch Inverted, and a nice, colored teaser we prepared for the game, with original, and beautiful art inside.
We were nearly ready to launch our worldwide free beta, but the game mechanics dropped dead on extendet playtesting. It got killed by fighting mechanics. You can't get both "realistic" and "comicbook like". If you don't know that yet - You can't. We tried.

After we took a small break, to cool our minds, we took some steps back, and rebuilt mechanics.

Before I'll indulge into detail, there is an interesting test I would like to perform.
Remember this contest, where designers tried to create a game, that would have all the rules right on the character sheet?
Well no, Infusion isn't THAT easy, but I wonder, how much of the character sheet could be self explanatory. So, if you could kindly click the link, and look at it, one page, and post what you thought instantly, when seeing it's features...? That would be a very rich feedback for us. And, of course, we could get into details later.

Thanks in advance

And here's the link: Infusion CS

Raphael "Nine" Sadowski

Posts: 803

Kitsune Trickster

« Reply #1 on: August 25, 2009, 07:45:50 PM »

First thought...

The design is beautiful.

Second thoughts...

There seem to be a lot of different mechanisms at work in this game. I'm intrigued by how they tie together to form a play experience.

Without knowing anything about the system...

It obviously uses d6s...and the player rolls a handfull of dice based on their combined total of aspect, skill and focus.

Casual tricks and combat techniques seem to activate when certain die values are met.

That's about it for my gut reactions to the design.


A.K.A. Michael Wenman
Vulpinoid Studios The Eighth Sea now available for as a pdf for $1.

Posts: 469

also known as Josh W

« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2009, 04:08:02 PM »

Pick four is for the char gen yeah? If so perhaps you could signal this: If the sheet is meant to be read in different ways at different times perhaps there is a way to signal that, either explicitly by mentioning it or by typographical methods like italics or font. In other words, for each of the other trait categories, you could add a similar instruction in the same font, providing you can make it succinct enough.

On the other hand it could be a limit, which would imply rather than making a system where you set the stats and skills at the start and progress reputationally from there on in, you use a more conventional mechanism instead.

On the skills front, I suspect that the skills spread is meant to depower rather than emphasise combat skills, given a set number of points. But the paths at the side imply that it is a brutal and combat heavy world that the game is set in. Looking at the skills, what is the difference between vicious and brawl? Does the former relate to sneak attack style attacks?

On the wounds thing, the C D T thing is too compressed for me to work it out. I'm guessing you run on a principle of specific wounds rather than health, although I'm not sure how that relates to TOU and ARM at the bottom, (presumably armour). Does TOU act as some kind of divisor to damage to work out the severity of a wound? On that note, how can OFF have a specific value if it is dependent on all the above permutations?

Essence and craft look like they change during the game, perhaps relating to powers, although I don't see much of a call for two power metrics so perhaps essence is simply health.

One thing the sheet does not communicate regrettably is the appropriate way to add stats to skills or focuses. Now it may be that there is not a correct way, but if there is, then perhaps it could be shown symbolically, such as showing that senses may be used with NRV, STY or EXP, but not POW. These things can be created by convention, if there is a very strong identity for each stage of the combination, but you'd have to make sure that such a convention was created, perhaps even by laying out all the permutations in the book and showing examples of what they mean.

I really like the combat techniques idea, as presumably they can trigger even on the lowest sized dice pool, but are more likely as you get more skilled. The random element makes them like a variant on the critical hit also, although presumably it is possible in theory to hit their values and still whiff on the actual roll. Actually, at a guess, are dice successful on a 3+? I ask because 12 slots allows all the permutations of three successful dice if there are four successful numbers.

There we are, that's the most I can get from it! I'd love to know how close I am, but I can wait for more people to have a go.

Posts: 21

Nine Tongues Cunning

« Reply #3 on: August 31, 2009, 05:09:02 PM »

Thanks, JoyWriter!

Both responses are like a gold veins for us, but yes, I would love the others to try too, before the revealing. But if the thread freezes for a next few days, it will do, and we'll explain it.
So keep around!

Again, great thanks!

Raphael "Nine" Sadowski
Eero Tuovinen
Acts of Evil Playtesters

Posts: 2591

« Reply #4 on: August 31, 2009, 05:47:39 PM »

Ah, nice to see you around here. The character sheet looks nice. My first impression is to be suspicious of whether the game can really use that much stuff meaningfully. The reputation thing is the coolest bit. The game is pretty combat-focused. Those are my first impressions from the sheet.

Blogging at Game Design is about Structure.
Publishing Zombie Cinema and Solar System at Arkenstone Publishing.

Posts: 21

Nine Tongues Cunning

« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2009, 07:24:56 AM »


Since it looks like no one else will get interested, let's reveal some of our secrets.

From what I can read, for you three the character sheet is very much self-explanatory. I'm very glad about that. Now, about the things that couldn't have been guessed:

Success - 4+ is a success.

No health points - each wound, that occure only by using Techniques can be a "cut/bruise", that doesn't give any drawbacks really, except that it doesn't allow you to burn one next rolled 6. Next, there is a "wound", that gives -1 die mod, and rare "serious wound", that gives -2. Each of theese has it's own location on body (for narratic reasons only), and is written down on the sheet. Now the mysterious CDT is only a cycle that character must go throught to heal the wound: Clear, Dress and finally Treat. Now, since this is fighting (or rather dueling) heavy game, each wound is very important for narratic reasons. Serious wounds leave scars, that can affect stats (STY and appeal prob.). On the other hand, we get this dramatic feeling, when players will actually tear their clothes, to Dress someone's wound. No regenerating sleep, no magical potions that restore 2d6 HP. A wound is a wound. The best way to deal with them, is to avoid being hit in fight.

Char gen nad "four per row"
- It got confusing. "Four per row rule" (actually "three per row" now) describes rules of filling up Focus ranges. It was written on CS to emphasise their fluid nature, as every player can Focus on something else every new day, or every time he meditates. Then he simply switch dice in Focus, though we don't yet know how and by what amounts.

Essence and Craft - Essence is mana, craft are "void points", that grants extra dice. Players are rewarded by craft points every time they show off, or do a climactic thing.

Now Eero asked, if this game can use that much stuff meningfully. The answer is: We don't know yet. ^^
Testing, testing, testing. We want this game to be flashy and we want 14 year old's playing it instead of D&D, and yet we want to differ from it as much as we can. Free game. No board or minatures. Exciting fights. Magic, techniques, artifacts, stuff. On the other hand we want it to be refreshing too, not unlike some Indie games, so we are trying hard to cut the mechanical bollocks out while maintaining as much of simple "the fun" as we can.

So we are trying things. Right now we decided to shorten techniques and tricks list, and add some space for spells simply bought with Essence. On this CS you saw, we assumed those spells to be treated exactly the same way as T&T + Essence cost. Now that changed.

If you want to check out simple slideshow on how the basic mechanics work, check the site prototype and proceed to "soul9" tab.

Raphael "Nine" Sadowski
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