I was dreading making the tiles for this game. ~150 Carcassone-esque tiles with adjoining features that form a coordinated land image? The prospect of drawing, printing, mounting and cutting such tiles with any hope of reasonable registration or attractiveness of final result was not enheartening. Urk, no thanks, not me.
A recent trip to the local craft store (D&J Hobbies in Saratoga) gave another idea: Wood squares (roughly 5cm square) painted basic green using poster paint. Different shades of green could indicate plains versus forest. Gray or gray spatters for rocks. Blue or blue strip for river/pond/lake. 150+ tiles should take less than an hour to produce. The map can then be made by simply stacking the tiles into a pleasing form, the resulting grid forming the play-map, the elevations and contours made providing some of the terrain interest for the variant move rules.
Possibly even more pleasingly the smell of the poster paint is reminiscent of preschools. Something is begging me to do this game.
The virus model for the game theme is also growing on me. Becca (a local) has been complaining vociferously that viruses don’t have intelligent direction and that their mutation rates are too low to support the other aspects of the game design, and … she’s right. I suspect mostly however that she’s really just likes the Evolutionary Psychology aspects of the infanticidal theming. I have sympathy. Still, I do like the idea of players playing the role of plagues fighting to infect a host body (represented by the Military Player). It is H G Well’s War of the Worlds all over again.
Meanwhile the repeated requests for roving packs of corpse eating hyenas aren’t exactly falling on deaf ears. Certainly I can imagine interesting models which tie their breeding rate to the food supply via player corpses and then allow fully automatic movement and manipulation of the hyenas (cf the spiders in Atta Ants), but while interesting that also feels like it heads away from the heart of the resource-management design. Nice ideas, shelved for now.