Cultists of Cthulhu: Miskatonic University is coming along smashingly. It’s going to be quite a struggle to get the game ready for Kickstarter by April, but if we can maintain this pace it’ll be golden by then.
In addition to the refinement of various mechanics, math, and other crunchy bits, there have been two major changes in the past few weeks. There used to be a complex, Resistance style minigame at the end of each round, where the Cultist would have an opportunity to betray the other players. Playtesting revealed this to be too complicated, out of place feeling, and not actually provide interesting decisions. Therefore it has been scrapped, and instead, at the end of the round, the first player draws two cards from a specific deck (haven’t decided yet if this is constant from game to game, or dependent on the scenario), picks one to play, and then shuffles the other back into the deck without revealing it. This vastly simplifies things, makes it easier for the Cultist to betray people, and gives Academics an interesting choice to make. Definitely an improvement.
The second is in how the map works. Previous prototypes used the Betrayal at House on the Hill style “when you leave a room, draw a new tile and place it,” or a pre-made map, or larger tiles a la Last Night on Earth. The new map mechanic is unique, fits the flavor of being at a university that you already know, and is just fun. At the beginning of the game, before picking characters or assigning Academic/Cultist roles, the tiles are placed facedown on the table, and players go around in turns drawing one and connecting it to the others. The rules for placing these are simple: every new tile has to be accessible from every preexisting one, and only exit/entrances can open onto grass. Then each Scenario can have other rules: the Library can’t be within 5 tiles of the Vault, or the like. This generates a lot of different, interesting looking university layouts, and makes it easier to base the game mechanics off of specific rooms at the like.
And finally, check out yet more art! My favorite of the room tiles so far, and four characters. There will be more to come later, I can’t wait to share the next update!