I drove to Columbus Wednesday morning to get my brother from the airport. We then headed over to Origins. It was d e a d. It turns out that Wednesday is a big nothing day for the convention--just people setting up for the real stuff the next day. Even so, we did manage to weasel our way into the "off-limits" exhibit hall. All I had to do was mention that I was a game designer for Steve Jackson and --poof!-- we get escorted right in! Fortunately, the guys greeted me like they knew me (otherwise, our rather large kilt-wearing escort might have quit believing our ridiculous-sounding story--designer, indeed!). However, we did not get a look at Revolution, in progress, so we went home.
Fast forward to this morning. We got up bright and early (10:30), loaded up the van with the whole family and headed back to Columbus. The girls were thrilled! As soon as we walked in, we met up with the company reps and started playing through a game of Revolution with the modifications (Note: the graphics are not done yet). The changes are as follows:
1. No more cards - this turns out to be a good thing, allowing the game to be a bit shorter. It seems that the project leader could win every time just from cards and the Printer. I have my doubts, but...
2. The card space now gives you 2 Force (just like the Professor--changed to Rogue--gives you 2 Blackmail). Also, these spaces can only be gotten with Gold. This is the mechanism for helping the less fortunate player, and it seems to work pretty well.
3. If players tie or lose a bid, they lose their chips. This one hurts a little, but keeps everyone to around 5 chips at the start of each round. It seems to set up an interesting flow of having good chips, then bad chips, then good, then bad...
4. Color-coding the "No Force" and "No Blackmail" spaces. This helps people remember the restrictions.
All in all, I think things are going in the right direction. It was weird having someone else explain my own game to me! The comment of the day was from Will (company guy): "When we first played this game we all said, 'Does Mayfair know about this game? What about Rio Grande?' We thought they had probably already called you." Seriously? Crazy stuff!