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Build a deck of chess moves and beat up some goblins. · By j4nw

General feedback Sticky

A topic by j4nw created 42 days ago Views: 149 Replies: 3
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(10 edits) (+1)

Really excited when I saw the update! I've been following the classic version for a while now. For the record - pawnbarian was my most played game of the past 5+ months.

I'll be playing this a lot and will give a in depth opinion later but here are my first impressions:

1. The new UI is very sleek - especially the hit markers (markings on each square showing how much you'll get hit).  Awesome to see where your pieces will land too depending on where you point the movement wheel. 

2. The added variety of enemies is nice. Interesting change that blightsacks no longer damage the space they are killed on. Goblins are aptly described - annoying. Not sure if these new enemies are "fun" yet.

3. The coin system is hard to get used to - I'm not sure if I'm a fan (yet). Especially with the goblins that take many turns to kill - it seems very unlikely to end a round with any coins left. The coin system rewards "speed running" each floor, while in the classic version, a lot of the fun was slow and careful positioning until the enemy is in the corner, for instance.  It feels like the player is being punished for being methodical. 

5. I really don't like only having 3 cards per hand, compared to the usual 4. A lot less strategy available. 

6. I do miss the simple "heart vs piece" option at the end of every level like in the classic version, mostly because I enjoyed heart-only runs or piece-only runs, but I may get used to it after playing this more. 

7. The blight trail left by the Blight Matron is really overpowered. Once again rewards "speedrunning" levels, and after a few turns the entire board is ruined. Especially OP when paired with goblins. 

Developer (1 edit) (+1)

Thank you so much for your exhaustive feedback, and the kind words! It really is an insanely fuzzy feeling to have a dedicated player of my little game.

I'm sorry the design changes in this new version didn't meet your expectations. I'd like to talk about them a little. Hopefully this doesn't come off across as "well this is actually GOOD for you", because you enjoy what you enjoy. I just want to explain my thought process.

The move from 4 to 3 cards is a consequence of the Cantrip upgrade, which often ends up letting you play 4 or 5 cards in a turn. In fact, this version is balanced so that you can go infinite in the bossfight if you finish the levels optimally and only buy Cantrip upgrades.

Now, the harder sell - you rightly noticed that I punish players for being methodical. It was very much a conscious decision to encourage "speedrunning" with the loot track and enemy design. Just as a player of other games, I find it boring to be slow and methodical, and when that's the optimal way to play, I feel like I'm cheating myself out of having fun. I believe this is a widespread sentiment, and it was probably the most common complaint about the Classic version. As a designer, the introduction of these new elements is my way of protecting players from themselves.

I really appreciate you willing to give this new version a chance despite not liking the direction it's taking. It'll be a while yet, but going forward, I want to design some new "characters" with different decks and inherent mechanics that mix up the gameplay. It might be very interesting to introduce a character balanced around, e.g., freezing the loot track and not having to care about turn count, and actively encouraging methodical play.

Thanks again!

(1 edit) (+1)


That video was really fascinating and changed my outlook on how I should be approaching the game (and perhaps games in general).  

A lot of the criticisms of my initial reaction were definitely a knee-jerk response of seeing something so new compared to what I was used to, and the more I play, the more I like the upgrades you made. Hopefully I didn't come off as negative, you clearly know what you're doing and I appreciate how responsive you are with the community. 

I will definitely be purchasing the game when it makes its way to Steam!