Okay, we’re back from ToyFair!
We learned a lot and talked with a lot of people at the event, so we’ll do our best to explain here what that means going forward.
First, about our Congress: Short Session version of the game. You guys seem to like it! In fact, in preliminary tests with people who have played our original version, you liked it even more than the original. It also drew more interest from folks passing by as it was a much easier game to explain. This all put us in a bit of a difficult position: should we work on the original game that we showed you all first, or the one that hasn’t been shown everywhere but is testing better? In this case we are glad that we are indies just trying things out and there are no big focus groups and board meetings putting pressure one way or the other.
Our decision is therefore based on what we think is the best choice for us and for the game itself. We’re going to stick with “Short Session” and treat that as the main, and only, version of the game. When we get a full rulebook made, we’ll share that for you so that you can see the differences from the version we posted on Kickstarter. Until then, here’s the short list:
1. No elections - that phase is removed entirely.
2. Game length shortened significantly. Instead of 3 terms of 3 sessions apiece, it’s just 5 sessions in a row. This means there are more ways to get NP, most commonly by hoarding money.
3. No separate states and senators. There are still 10 states, but each has an attached senator with no special ability. (We found no one was using special abilities and the concept was only making the game harder for people.)
4. Riders and actions merged. This simplifies the amendment phase considerably and required some retooling of the cards, but it also speeds up the action.
5. Scandals simplified. Instead of unique scandals which everyone had to stop for five minutes and read every time, with confusing and contradictory effects, we made scandals simply sap you of your NP, provided you couldn’t buy off your accuser.
6. Smaller board! The only thing needed is the interest tracker, which gets reset after every bill instead of every three.
7. Hidden agenda readjustment - there are still only 8 agendas, but instead of having one public and one hidden, you have two hidden agendas.
So how are we going to get this thing manufactured?
Well, considering it’s a much smaller game, it will be much cheaper, meaning the cost will be easier (but not easy) to raise. We’re looking into some private avenues for the moment, hoping to get something printed immediately. That’s all we can really say for now.
Thanks for tuning in!
The Weather Gage Team