In many ways, my first encounter with Resident Evil was akin to a child set loose in a toy store, only the toys were replaced with guns and the store personnel were replaced by the zombies. I fondly remember avoiding the initial boss, Yawn, because I heard it was a gigantic snake and that it poisoned you. Much like Indiana Jones, my fondness for snakes was not of the positive caliber. I had read a walkthrough for the game cover to cover at least thirty times: while other kids were bringing The Boxcar Children or Goosebumps, I was reading a periodical provided Resident Evil walkthrough.
When the time came to finally get my hands on the beast, I was…. Not ready. What is said on paper and what was done in action was vastly different. Many times was I killed off when a Hunter’s somewhat random chance to instantly kill me struck (Easter egg for all you oldschoolers: Infinite Health cheats don’t matter either!). The game had me slackjaw all the way until the end. Serving as my initial jump into the non-platformer realm, Resident Evil left a lifelong impression on me.
Fast forward to 2010, on our humble third floor space. We were looking for a new type of product to fill the shelves with. Many different ideas were thrown around, until someone brought up the idea of Resident Evil. I have never been “that guy” that comes up with the initial idea to get that proverbial ball rolling, but once I had heard the two words synonymous with my childhood, my eyes lit up like it was suddenly Christmas time. Before a sentence was even uttered, my hand was in the air, and suddenly I was the child in the “classroom” who was begging to answer the question “Who will handle this”.
My game design philosophy is that building every game is like building a home, though it’s a little awkward how game homes are built. You start with the foundation, or the ground, by creating the basic game mechanics for how the game will naturally flow and function. No amount of glitter or gold will hide problems in this area of your home. Much like a real dwelling acts, if an earthquake was to strike a building with a poor foundation, the entire structure would come tumbling down like it was built on glass. Based on this philosophy, I initially played solo games to test the foundation to make sure it actually worked and was flexible enough for what I wanted to do in the future. The RE:DBG brings much to the table for the Deckbuilding game scene, but I needed a foundation that could handle any wacky designs I wanted to do.
Many of the cards you see in the set today began at this stage and stuck through to the very end. Cards like “Mansion Foyer”, “The Merchant”, “Escape from the Dead City” and “Shattered Memories” had their start here. Shattered Memories in particular changed a great deal from this stage to the very end, starting with trashing 2 from your hand, to 2 from the discard, to 1 from the discard, and finally to how you see it today. The other three cards, while basic in their design, facilitated the basic necessities needed to get the game to an early alpha testing stage: draw power, buy power, and action chains.
Stay tuned next week as we go over how to continue building your “design house” properly. Until then, don’t get Infected!