In case you may not know me, I’m Emre (M-ray), the current lead designer for Doomtown:Reloaded (“DT:R”). I joined design from playtest at the very tail end of Ghost Town when Will Abbott stepped away. I served as the junior designer under Konstantinos Thoukydidis (aka db0) through Blood Moon Rising, the last expansion released under Alderac Entertainment Group (“AEG”). I’ve been part of Pine Box since the beginning, serving as DT:R’s lead designer.
This write up not only shares Pine Box’s hopes for Doomtown’s future, but also some of the things we’ve done through the first two sets.
Refining The Game
As some of you may know, we’ve periodically updated the game rules. Changes such as dropping the “Union” and “Confederate” deck building restrictions, or putting explicit timing windows on the length of Resolutions, help make the rules either simpler, more consistent, and/or more explicit for players. While we understand many players were satisfied with the rules ‘as is,’ we feel these updates best serve the game.
We intend to keep Doomtown around for a long time. However, like all things, we hope to improve the game over time. Many of these changes are based on taking a long view of the game, and trying to maximize the chances for Doomtown’s long-term success. I want to personally thank everyone for their patience and understanding as we continue to improve the game. The Doomtown community is incredible and it all starts and ends with you, the players.
I want to briefly touch upon the recent rules change for Attires. Previously, Attires (goods which provide an influence bonus in some manner) had no limit on how many different attires could be attached to a dude. Now, we’ve made them more in line with Weapons and Horses in that a dude can only have 1 attire attached. The driving reason for this change was that we felt that the design space for attires was becoming limited since each attire had to be carefully tested against the possibility of being combined with other attires or stacking a single dude with a stack of attires. If each attire has the possibility of interacting with other attires, it creates a situation where it gets more difficult to create new attires. Thus, by controlling the amount of attires a single dude can have, we can hopefully open up attire space to make more interesting designs. In addition, I’m hoping to make influence more relevant beyond a simple “win condition” statistic, meaning the amount of influence a dude can have needs to be controlled to a certain degree.
As some of you may know, the AEG run of Doomtown was setting itself up for the next arc of the tales of Gomorra. From a story and setting perspective, we found isolating ourselves to Gomorra somewhat limiting. We are thus delighted that Pinnacle Entertainment Group (“PEG”) has let us expand to the greater Deadlands Universe. While the expanded setting has given us some lateral room, I wanted to address some of Doomtown’s lingering themes.
One of the goals of There Comes a Reckoning and Too Tough To Die was to support and expand upon some of the underdeveloped themes that existed during the AEG run. The Fear Mongers (formally known strictly as “The Fourth Ring”) have a bevy of themes ripe for expansion including Mystical Goods and Grit Hunting. We intend to spend time fleshing out these themes (and others!) before introducing new ways for the Fear Mongers to terrorize Deadlands. One of the key things we want to do is make sure every gang is given the tools necessary to flesh out their respective themes. This is especially important for the expansion gangs, The First Peoples (formerly known as the “Eagle Wardens”) and the Anarchists (formerly known as The 108 Righteous Bandits), who came late to the party.
Also, some people felt limited by the in-faction starting dudes. After carefully looking over decks, it became clear that certain factions struggled to field different arrays of starting dudes. As such, we introduced dudes such as Alexander Sequoia and Ike Clanton to the game to help those factions constrained on their ability to field more diverse arrays of starting dudes. We hope that these expanded options will help players come up with new ways to play Doomtown!
From a greater game standpoint, we also wanted to address some of the existing “gaps” in the current card pool. One of the most over-represented cards in play was actually Kidnappin’. When going through deck lists, it become apparent that this was the single most over-represented card. As such, we felt that we needed to make more cards that were potential alternatives to Kidnappin’ to help the other 7’s see play in the game. In addition, the 9’s rank has suffered for quite some time, so we’ve increased the amount of viable 9’s in the game. As a result, we created cards such as Curse of Failure. We hope this helps open up deck building options for everyone as they can now look at the 9’s with a new eye, and maybe some of the other extant 7’s.
It’s been one crazy road to get back Doomtown in the hands of the community and I’m happy to say that the future looks bright. From a design perspective, we are eager to start rounding out some of the existing themes and helping flesh out the themes that didn’t get enough time to be built up during the original run of the game. Our intention is to continue fleshing out any themes that haven’t been given the tools they need and to give support to the themes that maybe don’t have the cards necessary to function up to par with some of the more well represented themes. Finally, we are keeping a close eye on ensuring that every value has viable options for both competitive and casual play along with filling any remaining holes in the value structure.
Beyond that, I want to thank everyone who makes designing for this game an amazing experience. Our playtesters deserve full credit for all the good cards that come out as they work tirelessly to make sure we provide the best experience for our players (regarding bad cards, blame should solely be sent to me!). If you see a playtester, please make sure to give them a big thank you. They all do incredible work for the game! Our rules team has worked tirelessly to make sure I don’t break the game with words and who do everything in their power to make the cards function properly. All the PBE people who poured their blood, sweat, and tears into making this happen. It’s been 2 years since we started, but DOOMTOWN: RELOADED IS BACK!
Finally, I want to thank all the players for sticking with the game. I know the initial cancellation broke many hearts, but the overwhelming enthusiasm people have shown for the game makes all of this possible. In addition, all of us want to thank you for putting your trust in Pine Box Entertainment. We believe that making the players our top priority is how you do good business. However we can only continue to exist because of the support you’ve shown us, and we hope to keep making a product and providing services worthy of your support. With all that said, round up a posse and start slinging!