Over the past few days I have returned, at long last, to my old prototype Stepping Stones, which I included in my mammoth ‘to do’ list of unfinished prototypes last year. At the time I knew the game was in need of an overhaul, and already knew some of the details, but more time has given me a fresh perspective and right now the way forward has come into even sharper focus.
The image above shows off one of the revised board configurations I’ve been toying with (and am now pretty satisfied with). At the same time I have ‘designed out’ the imbalances inherent in a shuffled deck by creating more order in the way the cards are distributed, and also cut out the fiddly elements, both physical and intellectual, that made the experience less about the game and more about managing the game.
And, at the same time, and in recognition of the game’s altered form, I have decided a new name is in order too. I was never overly happy with the name Stepping Stones anyway; it aways seemed too literal. Instead I have used a little wordplay and named the game Rumba, as a shortened phonetic form of ‘round number’. Geddit?