Culturally Relevant Gameplay
Katana is designed so that players must engage with the cultural mechanics to win; it is not possible to succeed through brute force alone. For example, players must contend with the negative effects of ritual pollution, which hampers their combat abilities whenever blood is shed. The resulting gameplay is akin to a balancing act, as players must purify themselves of crippling pollution with every assault on their opponent.
Achieving this blend of mechanics was the fruit of frequent play testing. Initially, this was limited to a small group of close friends. Blind play testing, in which a production-quality boxed copy is sent to testers who do not receive any help with playing, was the last step before sending the files to the printer.