I am currently working on a simple strategy game. The game is a space exploration game where the player has to try to keep the game going for as long as possible to score as many points as possible. To go from planet to planet the player needs to use resource points; each explored planet also gives the player points (decreases gradually with time), yet a small expense in resource points is also added for each explored planet. Therefore, the player has to keep exploring to avoid running out of points.
The knowledge points allow the player to try to discover more planets, before exploring them.
I am looking for a methodical way to test the game. At the moment I keep adjusting the formulas used for the points given by each planet, or the expenses, or the travel/exploration costs, yet this trial and error method is pretty tedious and not really efficient. At the moment my "strategy" game seems more like a "click as much as you can" kind of game.
Since each type of planet has its own advantages and inconveniences, I'd really like that to show in the game play.
I was thinking of using mathematical models in Excel, by inputting all my formulas and adjusting the parameters there, but the more I think about it the more I think I will have to use some "randomness" to reflect the player choices, which defeats the purpose of testing the game for its "strategic" aspect.