Why I needed 3 years to discover Frozen City

In 2010 I designed 51st State. I was proud as a hell. It was a great game. I got great reviews, I got few nominations for awards, I saw people playing it on many conventions and having great time with it!I believed I designed perfect card game.

Year later I discovered that 51st State is not a perfect game. Year later I designed direct interaction rules for 51st State and that’s how The New Era hit the market. With direct agression 51st State was just awesome. I believed I designed perfect card game.

Year later I discovered that The New Era is not a perfect game. Year later I designed Frozen City and Production dice and thats how Winter hit the market. With Frozen City, Production dice 51st State was just awesome. I believed I finally designed perfect card game…

***

Leaders
Leaders? Players who played 51st State were complaining about them a lot. They are powerfull and player who have them have huge advance. If you are draw a Leader you are in better position that your opponent. Many gamers compained. ‘Leaders suck.’, ‘Leaders are unbalanced.’, ‘I play without Leaders!’

This is bad.

OK, let’s take a moment to look at the problem. Leaders are bad or distrbution of Leaders is bad?

I take all Contact cards and all Leaders put aside. I put them on special board called Frozen City. Every player can send ther a worker whenever he wants to have a new Leader. It is no longer random draw. It is no longer huge advance. Everybody can have Leader if he wants to. It is simple. It is obvious. Why it didn’t work that way since the vry beginnning?

The question? Why I am such a moron? Why I needed three years to discover it?

Production
It is first round. You play Merchants or Mutants and you have – almost – no chance to attach Location. Incorporating new Location cost you two irons, at the beginning you don’t have them. And no chance to have them. You play first round and you know you will not play a Location on the table.

This is bad.

It is last round, you have six or seven Locations with Action icon. Each of them needs a Worker, but you produce only 3 workers. Pitty. You were developing for an hour and now you are stuck. Half of your Locations will not work. It sucks.

This is bad.

In 51st State production is constant – every single round you get 3 Workers and 1 Resource but players needs aren’t constant. At the beginning they need iron to build Locations, then they need redevelopement tokens to change Locations, then they need hell of a Workers to make many Actions… Why not make Production phase different in every round? Why not make Production phase follow players needs? Why not give them additional Iron at the beginning of the game and additional worker at the end?

The question? Why I am such a moron? Why I needed three years to discover it?

***

Every year, when I finish my new design I am 100% sure that this is a perfect game. I see no flaws. I see no points where it could be improved. I see it as a brillant piece of work.

And year after year I learn something new. Every year I discover new stuff. Every year it turns out that I can do better.

Today I am happy to announce – without false modesty – that Winter is a perfect card game.

But to be honest I have a hunch I may want to change this statement next year…

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