The alpha test ran for 112 turns, which is about two years at the
current rate. It started with a more generous NP allocation policy.
At the end, one player had 80+ nobles, counting those belonging to
control artifacts (which we really shouldn't count as NP's). The
average, however, was still about 10 nobles/faction.
> That game will be Risk, a few really big stacks waiting for the right
> alignment of stars and alliances to unleash devestation.
Perhaps. But remember that the world is awfully big. Making a killer
stack is not enough; you have to be able to move it around quickly to
get all of your enemies.
> Of course, do you think that the game will hold interest and uniqueness to
> run that long?
It depends on what you want out of the game. Some players read Oleg's
lore archive and quit, since they have already "collected all the blurbs."
The main interest in Olympia is provided not by the GM, but by the
player-player conflicts. I can only come up with so much new stuff,
but new enemies to hate are always available.
How did BSE stay interesting for that long?
I am starting to think that position growth through nobles and even men
is probably detrimental to any long term open ended pbm. My thinking for
future designs is that positions should be fixed somewhere around 3-6
characters, and that's it. Permitting ownership of buildings and property
without requiring a noble to be present might allow empire building to
occur without the world overcrowding that accompanies it in Olympia.
But any limited resource that a position can grow in will eventually
eat up the world, starve out new players, etc.
-- Rich Skrenta <email@example.com>