Dev Diary: Progress Report
It’s been a minute since our last blog post. We spent most of 2018 with alpha testing and reworking some game mechanics to make sure IRIS is as smooth and entertaining as possible.
What are some of the big changes we’ve made?
IRIS is now a deckbuilding RPG, meaning that players govern their characters by using a deck of cards. To customize how your character plays, you decide which cards you want to use in your Draw Deck. We were already leaning in this direction before alpha testing, and we realized during testing that we want to push IRIS as much as possible into a board game. Our goal has always been to create a board game that teaches people how to play an RPG, and adjusting IRIS to be a deckbuilding card game gets us much closer to our intention.
We shifted our narrative to be much earlier in our lore’s history and adjusted the base game to use 3 species. During alpha testing, we had 6 playable species and a lot of lore to support how all 6 species were available. We noticed that while all of the species were interesting, some of them added too much complexity too quickly. We’ve focused our lore and our playable species on the 3 species (Achroite, Seti, and Taes) who make the game move the quickest and are easy to pick up and play, while ensuring you still have the full game experience. We don’t want to release anything less than a complete base game, and our goal after launching the base game is to release the 3 additional species as character decks that include adventures to expand our galactic lore with a living story — ultimately providing more content than we had initially.
We cut out a bunch of extraneous rules that slowed the game down and offered little to no benefit. We want IRIS to be a game that both players and Gamemasters can pick up and play with convenient setup and prep. We want IRIS to teach the main principles of playing tabletop roleplaying games but without the inundation of rules, rules, rules. How do we get the simplest RPG ideas across in a format that’s easy and super fun? I think we’re there with the deckbuilding system and a really tight rulebook.