One Pizza The Puzzle (Part 6)

devlog

Welcome to part 6 of the devlog for my game "One Pizza the Puzzle".

Traffic Signs

At first, I wanted to include these elements in the Pizza Police expansion. However, there was no need to do this. It would just make that expansion more complicated. So I split it into two.

Additionally, the category of mechanics that "change something about the core rules of the game" couldn't stand on its own as an expansion. It would just be a strange mix of rule changes.

As such, I threw all those ideas into this expansion and the last one ("Special Buildings"), as a sort of cherry on top.

Example test board with traffic signs

This expansion, my idea for "gates" or "fences" is fully implemented!

There are four types on the board:

  • Line Gate: has a number on it. At most that many lines ( = couriers) may cross it.

  • Ingredient Gate: has an ingredient on it. You may only cross if you have it.

  • Smuggler's Gate: has an ingredient on it and an X-mark. You may only cross if you don't have it.

  • Backpacker's Gate: has a condition on it, like "\<4" or ">2". You may only cross if the size of your inventory matches the condition. (For example, "\<4" means you can only have at most 3 ingredients on your restaurant.)

These make the game a lot harder, but also more interesting. You can't just move anywhere anymore. Routes need to be planned, and you can block other players in the future if you're smart.

(For example, a Line Gate has the number 2. You can go through it, and then (on purpose) go through it again, to make sure nobody else can ever pass it anymore. Takes you perhaps one or two more turns, but can cut off other players from a whole section of the board.)

On top of that, I added regular traffic signs on the squares themselves. They are relatively mild: stop your turn immediately, take another turn, etc.

I thought about how to make them more wild and powerful, but ultimately decided against it. When moving, you were highly likely to cross a traffic sign. If their action was too complicated, or there were too many on the field, the game would just become a convoluted mess.

At the time of writing, this is the overview of traffic signs:

Appendix for traffic signs (image from rulebook)

Remark: this is the only expansion that doesn't really punish you for having many splits or couriers. I was fine with that, as the whole purpose of the gates was to limit unthoughtful movement.

Special Buildings

The last expansion! (Which was in fact the first ever expansion I made up when I developed the game, so I don't know how it became the last one.)

When creating One Paper Games, you're running low on space ... all the time. (You only have a single A4 paper to accommodate the whole game!)

Instead of adding extra buildings, I decided to repurpose existing buildings and decorations.

Example test board with special buildings included

For example, each board (no matter what player count or expansion) has a bank and player restaurants. This expansion adds entrances to both of them and gives them a special action.

  • At the bank, you can buy powers for money or ingredients. (For example, you can buy a new courier here for quite some money.)

  • At restaurants, you can steal an ingredient from the player who owns that restaurant.

Additionally, most boards have bits of decoration strewn between the buildings. A fountain here, a park there, a hedge there.

In this expansion, I raise the probability of these decorations appearing ... and then replace each of them with special buildings.

From the start of the game I wanted to include a sort of "plaza" or "open field", so that's the first thing I made! When you start your turn adjacent to one of these, you may move across the open field any way you like. Extremely useful for getting out of tight situations, or simply getting somewhere that would otherwise be unreachable.

After that, I saw I had room for 5 more building types (both in the rulebook and on the board).

Important remark: yes, I always develop the rulebook side-by-side with the board and the actual game. Because, if I invent a cool mechanic but it takes a lot of space (or images) to explain ... it's probably too difficult. I try to keep expansion rules on a single page, and base game rules on at most three pages.

Using this method has really helped me simplify and streamline my games. Before, I just wrote down all the rules and ideas in a Word document, not caring about lay-out, page count or examples. That's how you invent games that, as it turns out, need 10+ pages to be explained, and most people aren't up for that.

Anyway, for these buildings I just looked at my notes of "possible issues" and tried to give simple actions to combat them:

  • The market allows you to trade ingredients. (So you can get something in your inventory that is otherwise way out of reach.)

  • The poor man's subway allows you to add an extra subway to the board.

  • The pizza party hall allows you to (re)start a courier from a party hall. (This is more useful than you think. It's basically a subway, but you can go to a greater variety of places, and you have more certainty because your line is connected to the hall.)

  • The heating station gives you a +1 tip bonus on your next delivery. (Because you managed to keep the pizza warm!)

  • The weather station forces all players to shut down all splits except one, due to bad weather. You guessed it: this is the action from this expansion that discourages splitting your courier way too often.

This is the current version of the rulebook for this expansion:

Appendix with special buildings (image from rulebook)

This devlog continues at the (final) part 7, with the last rounds of playtesting, issue fixing, and closing comments. See you there!