After my first constructive play test session, here is the first wave of changes to the game.
Changing 'Personalities' to 'Staff'
People felt that the word 'Personality' was too strong and placed too much emphasis on the historical figures over the generic staff members. One fantastic idea was that these 'generic' staff cards could become kickstarter backers in the future and thus give people the chance to also be a 'Personality'.
This change also helps clear up the mixed use of the staff resource exchanged for a personality card, they are now both the same.
I am also working on making staff better value, but this change is still in progress.
Updating 'Bankruptcy' concept
In reality businesses go bankrupt all the time and this doesn't stop their founders starting new ones. As it's easy to run out of money in Chip Shop, players felt there needed to be a better way of allowing players who go bankrupt an opportunity to continue in the game. By allowing bankrupt players to start again but keep their loyalty scores and certain other cards reflects the boom and bust cycles of celebrities in Silicon Valley, so was a simple but effective change.
Introducing Income Cards / Concept
Following on the last improvement, I have introduced a new concept to the game that is still taking shape. Instead of taking a product build action, players can opt to choose an income stream option. I'm deciding if these are cards, or limited choices that can be chosen, but these income streams include options such as bank loans, investments and staff lay-offs. However the concept develops these will be mixed blessings and a limited supply.
Money piles for tracking income
I was always a little unclear on how to track how much money and for how long a card brings income to a player. One play tester by chance hit upon the great idea of adding piles of money split into the quantity and number of turns that can be removed each turn. Another simple but effective solution.
Whilst players enjoyed the accessory concept, these also felt to expensive, so I have reduced the costs of some and changed rules slightly to make them more worthwhile.
Much more to come!
There are several other small and large improvements I am working on which I will save for a future post, in the meantime I suggest you don't proceed with playtesting right now, but feel free to help me improve any text or other game concepts in the game's repository.