|Bruce Voge, Charlie Hoopes, Austin Smocowicz, and Paul Owen playtesting "Firebreak." |
Photo by Aaron Honsowetz
|Our first game of "Firebreak" ends badly for Bruce, whose |
ranger is surrounded by fire in the northwest corner
It was hard to tell in just three plays whether the game really is so sensitive to such a small change in starting conditions, so Charlie will probably do more tweaking and testing to make sure the balance is right. He mentioned that the designer of Pandemic and Forbidden Island, Matt Leacock, once commented that his target design was such that players should be able to beat a co-op game about 30% of the time. Any easier, and the game ceases to be an interesting challenge; any more difficult, and the frustration level becomes too high. So by that measure, Charlie may be pretty close to the right balance level already.
Some time ago I had an idea for a co-op game that I think I may dust off again when I've got "East India Company" done and out the door. I can see from playing "Firebreak" that co-op games pose a unique design challenge, and I'm interested to explore the possibilities.