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Wanderlust: Dev. Diary 1

Who doesn’t like to travel? I definitely do. 

Actually, I mostly play Euro- and Wargames therefore I obviously wanted to develop one of these games, but my dearest friend Mahmoud said that I don’t play enough other genres and I am stuck in a bubble, “If you don’t play something else you won’t be able to develop anything else.

“Well, challenge accepted!”

The basic idea was to develop a card game with the theme of vacation and travel. My wanderlust during the Corona crisis might actually have a little influence on the choice of this theme. But after the first thoughts and the development of the basic elements I gave up the idea of a pure card game and added a board displaying a world map to the existing cards. Actually, it is still possible to play it with a “digital copy” of the map on every player’s phone, but I have to admit in that case there is a lack of clarity.

After a lot of thinking and doing handicrafts, I finally had my first prototype consisting of transport cards, destination cards, the map, and three different kinds of collectibles.

How to travel

All places are connected by different routes. These routes consist of cars, trains and small planes for nearby connections. For long distances, the player would prefer to use ships and airliners.

To complete one trip the player needs to have all transport cards between his current and targetted destination. A route must be traveled as a whole without any stop. The hand card limit of transport cards is limited to 6.

First playtesting and problems

After the first couple rounds of testplaying  a couple problems showed up. 

  1. The map is confusing and routes are sometimes hard to choose.
  2. If a player date back it is hard to catch up. A catch up mechanic is necessary to implement.
  3. The handlimit of 6 makes it sometimes hard to find a route.