Today's card reveal is a card that seems like it would've come along early in development, but was actually one of the last cards we added in. Read on to find out more!
One of the concepts I wanted to add to Marshall's initial game idea was the increased player interaction and player choice. As you've seen from the cards revealed so far in the Action deck, that's the focus of those cards. In the first design, there were many ways to interact with another player's coins (or protect yourself from having coins taken), but there was no way to interact with another player's Action cards. What became the Action card, Stolen Secrets, was added into the game in the first iteration. This allowed you to take an Action card from another player, along with being able to see all the Action cards they had.
From my experience with the play test sessions I ran, having this card played on you sucked. Every time it came up, the recipient of the card would groan and angrily throw their Action cards to the person who played the card. As some of our repeat testers saw the card more and more, they started asking if there was anything they could do to stop the card's effect.
We decided to add today's revealed card in the last design iteration, along with Blockade and the card that will be revealed next Tuesday. While the effect of Protected Secrets is very straightforward, it's the Sell Value that you should take note of. This is the highest sell value of all the Action cards in Shipload o'Gold.
We chose this because the decisions a player would go through needed to be affected more. Ignoring the Sell Value of the card, this essentially only prevents the person that played Stolen Secrets from seeing your hand. You still end up losing an Action card anyway if you play this card in response. Granted, knowledge of the Action cards in your hand can be very valuable, so the natural tendency would be to play the card. With the Sell Value of 4, then the player has to decide whether it would be worth more to hold the card and prevent someone seeing what other Action cards they had, or to sell it for a decent chunk of coins. I feel that creating decisions like this, while they may seem insignificant, end up causing players to develop strategies and think critically as the game evolves each turn. Games that promote that process are the ones that typically draw me into the game a bit more, and keep me playing them, so it was important that we included that in Shipload o'Gold.
As I mentioned on Tuesday, the last two Action cards will be revealed next week during the regular posts on Tuesday and Thursday. All of us at Yanaguana HQ wish you all a Happy Holiday season, and we'll see you back here next week before we ring in the new year!