January 2019 Update

Welcome to a monthly series of blog posts that aims to capture the current state of development for Welcome to Sysifus Corp!

These updates serve to keep track of how the game changes throughout its development and will be split into the following categories:

  1. Game development
  2. Game marketing
  3. General thoughts

Game development updates

This month is the introduction of what I believe is the theme of the game in addition to fine-tuning the gameplay mechanics introduced last month.

Click to see notes from this month's playtest sessions.

Click to see notes from this month’s playtest sessions.

Game mechanics

As you can my notes above, this month was focused on tweaking small numbers to fine-tune the gameplay. Last month’s trend of simplification was definitely the step in the right direction. Nothing huge to report in terms of mechanics changes.

Game theme

Finally, my game has a coherent theme!

You are a new hire at a company competing with the other new hires to be the first to be promoted. To achieve this, you must earn the favor of your three Bosses by meeting with them directly (and sucking up). You are assigned different Projects and try to get ahead (or put others down) using Office Politics cards which require Company Influence.

Pictures tell a thousand words so here are some example cards. (Old on the left, new on the right)

Movement cards ➡ Project cards

Project cards are monitors depicting emails from various clients of the company. Additionally, there are sticky notes attached to the sides of the monitors.

The top left sticky note denotes the amount of Company Influence (money / resources) that you get for working that Project. The yellow sticky notes determine which Projects you can work next (entryways). The text in the email is all just flavor and serves no gameplay purpose.

On a side note, if you have any interesting stories or emails from your work or clients, I’d love to hear them! It’s surprisingly difficult to come up with interesting flavor text and I’m still not 100% happy with the ones I currently have.

Ability cards ➡ Office Politics cards

Office Politics cards are spreadsheets that indicate the various ways you can affect and influence the company using your current Company Influence. Any important rules regarding the cards are indicated in the comment box left by the boss.

The left side indicates how much that Office Politics card costs. Some cards have multiple abilities that you can choose from and are indicated by a new row in the spreadsheet.

Goal ➡ Bosses to impress

Finally, the original and vague “goal” of the game was replaced by three bosses that you must impress and win over to be promoted.

Obviously everything is still a work-in-progress and this is just the first draft. I’m hoping to iterate on this initial design and make it even better! Please do let me know in the comments below what you think of the design / theme!


Game marketing updates

Nothing to report here, haha. I was a bit too heads-down in the design to do much marketing.


General thoughts

I was able to get into a good groove this month and balance both development and my personal life. It was a very fruitful but relatively stress-free month!

With that said, if you are interested in playtesting the latest version, please do not hesitate to reach out! I’d love some feedback on any aspect of the game.

Thank you for reading the January update for Welcome to Sysifus Corp. Tune in next month for more updates!

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