After doing a few longer than usual play-throughs, I have decided to make two fairly big design changes ‘under the hood’ of Kudos 2.
The first one is a change to the way the ‘attributes’ such as tiredness, muscles etc get calculated. Right now, when you add say ‘+5’ to tiredness, it doesn’t just change a value, but its makes a note of the ‘+5’ modifier, and the rate at which that effect degrades. This means that some effects can be long lasting (slow degraed) and some more transient (fast degrade) which is more accurate and realistic. The down side is, this allows you to store up values beyond 0 and 100%. So although your cleanliness may seem to be 100%, it is actually 156%, and just being capped to 100% for display. This is unrealistic, as surley some times, you are as clean (or as dirty) as you can get, and going beyond it makes no sense.
I wanted to keep the vraibale degrade rates though, and also the seperate list for debugging purposes, so what I’ve changed is to ensure you can never stockpile effects beyond 100% or below 0. So if your cleanliness is already 95% , and you dop something that adds 10%, that effect gets altered to be just 5% instead. This will make for a far more understandable system, although obviously it now radically changes game balance (bah!).
That was one change. the other one was game length. 10 years is just TOO LONG. I know some people (5%?) get annoyed when Kudos 1 ends, and want to keep going (and this will be an option), but feedback from friends trying it suggests it goes on for too long. Better a shorter, fun-packed game than a longer, stretched one. So I’ve reduced the days per month from 7 to 5. There are still 7 days in a wek and 12 months in a year, so you don’t really notice the change as much as you might assume.
I now have set aside two weeks for nothing but play balancing. I’m going to try and add no new features, just tweak and adjust and balance the code that exists. There is a LOT to play through, many careers, huge numbers of choices etc, so two weeks, even 10 hours a day is conservative to do this. I have to make sure I put the hours in to do it though.