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Solving problems and getting ready for testing!

Three weeks ago, we did our first live demo at Further Confusion in San Jose, CA. We demonstrated that the system was working well, and we had a lot of fun showing off gameplay. I also popped into the deck editor and showed off all the Furre avatars in the game!

Since then, the developers have been working hard to make sure every card functions correctly during the course of gameplay. Notably, I learned that there were two cards from our 2nd Vanilla expansion set that the developers had missed implementing into Furoticon Online — Redirection and Lucas and Rose, and I have assisted with making those cards work correctly.

Redirection

Redirection targets a card that’s been played but hasn’t resolved yet. When you play a card, you don’t follow the rules right away — first it goes onto a “stack” where players can react to it by playing cards and skills on top of your card, then you resolve the cards and skills from top to bottom. Most skills that say “target” will target something that’s active in the scene – such as a Furre – but it’s perfectly fine for a skill to target another skill (provided that the other skill hasn’t resolved or been removed from the stack of skills being played). Denial skills do this all the time. Redirection does it as well.

The particular situation with Redirection is that it causes a change to a target or choice made by a player. When playing Furoticon in real life, this is pretty easy to do — just say what you’re choosing. But when it comes to an online game, where the system has to govern every possibility imaginable, it becomes a headache.

Cards and skills in Furoticon have a cost and an effect. The cost usually requires payment of resources. Choosing targets can also be part of a cost. The effect of a skill allows you to do something or get something for the cost you paid. Making choices can also be part of an effect.

What’s the difference between choosing targets and making choices? Choosing a target is the act of picking an object in the game (Furre, player, card, etc.). Some objects are Elusive, which means they’re immune to being targeted. On the other hand, making a choice is generally involves a decision about intangible aspects of the game (choose a gender, choose which Furres to pleasure in bed, etc.).

What we’ve learned while developing Furoticon Online is that it’s easy to get the system to change a target, but it’s hard to get it to change a choice. This is based on the timing and intangibility of the game instructions when making a choice. Weighing our options, we decided that it’s best if Redirection received a functional change in Furoticon Online.

Redirection will only allow you change targets, not choices. There’s one other point that factored into this decision: Redirection is rather overpowered for its cost. It’s considered one of the best defense cards in the game. Reducing its power helps to balance the game!

Lucas and Rose

Lucas and Rose have a skill that seems very easy in concept — when they enter bed (either swinging or putting out) you may choose to pay the cost of 4 stamina. If you do, you can make another Furre unable to give pleasure for a turn.

But wait — I just said that you select targets when a skill is played and you make choices when a skill resolves, but this card looks like it makes you do the opposite! How can you select a target if you don’t know if you’re going to pay the 4 stamina?

When do you select targets? When do you make choices?

As it turns out, I had to update the Furoticon Full Rules Document, because the rules of the game didn’t actually explain when during a skill being triggered you are to select targets or make choices! When playing in real life, selecting targets and making choices happens organically and in the rhythm of the game – but the Online system needs everything to happen in a super precise manner.

The Full Rules are for players who want to know everything about a game of Furoticon. With over 1,000 unique cards in the game, really weird things can happen if you combine specific cards. If you need a definitive answer, or you’re judging a tournament, or you just want to geek out, then by all means, read on.

Some skills in Furoticon are triggered skills – you can tell a skill is triggered because it starts with the word “when.” (“When [CONDITION], [EFFECT].”) When the condition is met, the skill goes onto the stack of skills — you can’t ignore it. If you wilfully ignore a triggered skill in Furoticon to gain an advantage, that’s cheating. (Furoticon Online won’t let you cheat!) Players may react by adding other skills on top of the triggered skill, and you resolve their effects from top to bottom.

So we’ve learned that when a trigger’s condition is met, the skill automatically goes onto the stack. But Lucas and Rose’s skill has an optional triggered skill! After thinking on this for a while, I came to a solution that required a new rule be added to the full rules, which should clarify things for both players and the Online system:

Some triggered skills have an optional trigger. (“When [Condition] happens, you may have [Effect] happen” or “When [Condition] happens, you may pay [Cost]. If you do, [Effect].”) Most triggers are mandatory to play, but ones that say “you may” give the skill’s controller the choice of playing the skill, sometimes for a cost that is paid immediately. If the effect of an optional triggered skill requires any number of targets, they are chosen immediately after deciding to use the skill. If multiple triggers would occur simultaneously, first decide whether to play any optional triggers (and pay any cost to use them). Then all played skills may be reacted to as normal.

In other words, at the time that the trigger’s condition is met, you choose whether or not you want to use it. If you do use it, you pay any cost associated with it, you select targets, and it goes on the stack of skills. If you don’t use it, it’s ignored completely — the skill never goes on the stack!

In the case of Lucas and Rose, you get the option to use their skill immediately after putting them into bed. And that’s that!

So, what’s next for us? We’ve assembled a small but dedicated playtesting team who will be helping us perform an alpha test of the current system. In just a few days, we will be spending a full week hammering out bugs on cards and offering suggestions on how to make the interface more user-friendly!

We’re still a while away from an official launch, but I’m getting so excited that we’re making steady progress! My thanks go out to everyone for sticking with us through the past years!