Hey Gamers! Earlier this week I had a chance to sit down with Danielle Reynolds, designer and developer of HerStory from Underdog games, and pick her brain a little bit about the game/her process and so forth.
The game is a drafting, engine-building, set collection game where players are trying to put together a book telling the stories of remarkable women from history. This theme really grabs me, and the gameplay sounds right up my alley too, so I’m really excited to check out the game soon. For now, let’s see what Danielle had to say about it!
Q: What inspired you to pursue design of HerStory?
A: Danielle mentioned that this game was a bit of a ‘wish list’ item for Underdog, because it’s an underrepresented topic. She said they wanted to take a theme that wasn’t necessarily already associated with a mechanic, and build the game from there. She was incredibly excited when they asked her to come on board for this game!
Q: What was your biggest challenge in the designing/developing process and how did you overcome it?
A: Being that the game is an engine-building game, Danielle spoke mainly about the extensive work that went into making sure the balancing between the cards/points/powers really worked. She mentioned it was her first time split-testing, where they would have playtesters playing the game back to back, with things being tweaked between plays so that they could compare and ask those players what worked and what didn’t, which I thought was a really cool way to go about it. She also mentioned they were testing the game about 12 times a week, or more!
Danielle mentioned that a big focus was also making the game accessible and appealing to both gamers and non-gamers alike. Part of that was adding things like a catch-up mechanic, which she compared to the well-known, and well-liked “rat tails” in Quacks of Quedlinburg. Additionally, she said they wanted to make it just as viable, for instance, to both go for high point cards with no powers as to go for low point cards with great powers. “Ultimately, we wanted a good game without a ton of rules,” she mentioned, which is something that those of us who don’t always like reading long rulebooks definitely appreciate, haha! Doing things like sticking to character limits to keep card text simple, and providing effective player aids helped them to achieve that goal.
Q: What excites you most about the game?
A: From the get-go, Danielle expressed her excitement about the game’s theme and the representation (right there with ya!). But she was also really proud of the gameplay they ended with. She wanted to make the engine-building mechanic more accessible to all sorts of players, so they tried to streamline that mechanic by pairing simple rules with the ability to go into deeper strategy if you wanted to.
I can’t wait to give this one a try and see how it plays out in person! You can get your copy today as well if this one sounds interesting to you!
MSRP – $50