Design Blog: Happy LTW, Set 8 Spoiler

Greetings SWCCG Players!

We’ve had a busy week with news in our corner of the galaxy — Set 8 spoiler, Local Tournament Weekend is happening, a new Star Wars trilogy and live action TV show were announced — so why not add to it with a Design Blog.

It was important to me that we share the full Set 8 spoiler list with the players as soon as possible, and also give all of you something to talk about between games during Local Tournament Weekend. I’m extremely pleased with the feedback we’ve received on the set so far. It may be one of the most well received sets that I have seen in a while, which is an incredible feat considering it’s size. Perhaps #set8isgreat will live up to the hype after all?

We have seen plenty of constructive criticisms as well, and for that I want to particularly thank you all. The spoiler release is a good opportunity for us to get the community’s eyes on things, which might notice some things that we hadn’t internally. For that reason, some cards are still subject to change, so I encourage you to continue to provide constructive feedback where you see fit.

Another aspect I want to point out with these spoiler releases is that the primary purpose in my mind is to have full disclosure with the players. I wanted you all to see everything that could possibly be in the set, before we trim and tweak with last minute decisions. In my opinion, it is better for you to see a card that isn’t polished (or one that eventually gets cut) as opposed to us holding something back from you and then — surprise! — it appears on the final PDF. That is why you see cards that aren’t worded properly. Some of this stuff was discussed with Design and Development up until the night before the spoiler was posted, and is still being discussed, so proofing hadn’t even got their hands on it yet, because the text changes literally by the hour. Just let the record show — poor wording on cards is a reflection of our fast paced D&D work, not on the proofing team, who do a remarkable job making things clear within the confines of our massive rulebook. For a set this size, that is quite the achievement, and you all will be very pleased with the final product.

This was also the first opportunity for our new designers to really show their mark on the set, and they have done a tremendous job. As I hoped, they came in eager to get their hands dirty and keep on pushing stuff until it ended up where we liked it. The nature of working on a large team like this is that we won’t always get what we want, but I think the entire D&D team did a good job sharing their ideas and finding a compromise that wasn’t just a middle ground where we all settle for less than we want, but instead something that showed everyone’s fingerprints on it, making it something that we truly love. That was really enjoyable for me to watch throughout the process for this set, and I think we all will come out of this set with lessons learned for ourselves, making us better designers, developers, and managers.

Agile Update:

As you all have heard in previous Design blogs here and here and surely other places, we have been implementing an agile process for creating cards start to finish. It is further along than ever before (but of course still plenty of room for improvement), and I am excited for us to begin implementing use of Pivotal Tracker for Set 9 and beyond. Pivotal Tracker is an agile project management tool that will let us more easily track where cards are in the process, what needs immediate attention, and break down our workflow into smaller, more manageable, tasks. I have learned so much from preparing this tool for D&D to use, and am so excited for what it means for the future of our game. I think so highly of it, I believe it could be the ultimate power in the (SWCCGPC) universe.

The next big change in the agile wave is hitting playtesting for Set 9. I think playtesting is really going to be the star of the show in Set 9, as they will have a closer view into the development of cards, and built in mechanisms to enact change. If you want to contribute to this and help the PC make better cards and sets, now is the time to volunteer your time for playtesting. Send me (quickdraw3457) a PM if you are interested in learning more!

Good luck and have fun to all of you playing in Local Tournament Weekend! I’m looking forward to hearing LTW TRs and living vicariously through you all.

Matt “quickdraw3457” Carulli
Design Advocate