A or B? Two Scoring Options for Belle of the Ball

GroupScoring-5
After playtesting Prototype L a few times, I've seen analysis paralysis set and delay the game. This is partly from the peculiar scoring method. For some context, consider the symbols on the top left of each card to be what that guest is talking about. So Queen Jewel Jaite is talking about conversations, coffee and shields. Make sense? Okay, here are the two scoring options. First, let's see how it works now.

A: Cross-Preference

The left guest grants 1 point per guest with a speech bubble. (The middle guest and right guest qualify, noted by the arrow.) The middle and right guests grant 1 point per guest with a heart, but there are no such guests in this group. This group earns 2 points.

Here's a more complicated example. The left guest grants 1 point per guest with a heart. (The middle guest and right guest qualify, noted by pink arrows.) The middle guest grants 1 point per guest with a speech bubble. (The left guest qualifies, noted by a blue arrow.) The right guest grants 3 points per guest with a tree. (The left guest qualifies, noted by a yellow arrow.) This group earns 6 points.

Keeping track of these cross-relationships is a lot of mental overhead when you're also thinking about how to combine charms, tracking your opponent's party, and hoping to satisfy your Belles. So I am considering this simpler scoring method.


B: Matching
In this scoring system, I'd remove the whole group scoring diagram from the cards entirely. All that remains are the symbols on the top left corner. The new scoring system rewards you for having matching symbols in a group, one point per matching symbol. In the example above, the group has two shields and two speech bubbles. This group earns 4 points.

The group above has two hearts, but otherwise has no other matching symbols. This group earns 2 points.


Naturally, my inclination is to favor the option that takes away visual clutter from the card. It certainly makes more thematic sense that a group "discussing" the same subject would enjoy each other's company more. Think of it kind of like the Sims visual conversation. "You like trains? I love trains!"

I'm eager to see how the other playtesters feel about option A and if they'll respond better to option B.
Daniel Solis
Art Director by Day. Game Designer by Night.