Probably the final designer diary is up, and I wasn’t going to post about it but I was impressed with this bit:
“one of the goals for Dune: Imperium ’s design was to avoid treading on familiar gameplay territory established by the classic Dune board game. And because that game excels with high player counts, we focused on a game that plays well with four or fewer players”
“one of the most important goals I had for the automated opponents was simplicity of running them. I am not fond of automated opponents where you must go through a series of rules to achieve a “relatively smart” play. I’d rather have the opponent play somewhat randomly but fast, as long as on average , it makes reasonable plays and the sum of its parts provides a reasonable challenge. I started a thread on boardgamegeek.com and asked people about their preferences there, including a question about fidelity of play vs. ease of play. I got a sense that this approach was going to satisfy most of the respondents, as gamers commonly request a balance of both ease of play and fidelity, and not too many people value fidelity high and ease of play low.”
As I’ve said we can’t tell if it’ll be any good, but I’m intrigued at a game where the solution to making the solo and two-player work better is to use automated opponents to always bring it up to at least three ‘players’. And they’ve made an app to handle those automated players. I’m quite liking how much thought has gone into it instead of relying on the name.