Sunday, 29 May 2022

Secret Project: Playtest #1

Last Christmas, I created the prototype for a new card game. I was hoping to playtest it with the family over the festive period, but in the end that didn't happen. So, I put it to one side and, with everything else that's going on this year, pretty much forgot about it. That was until this week...

Next weekend, I will be attending the UK Games Expo for the first time in three years, and meeting up with some likeminded friends. In the past, on a Saturday night, we've borrowed some games from the Games Library at the Expo and ended up in fits of laughter as we attempt to play them. However, this year, I hope to be able to persuade them to help me playtest my new card game.

With that in mind, I got out my prototype deck, reread the rules, and set about playtesting it myself. I'm really glad I did, because it immediately helped me see where the rules need clarifying - something I probably wouldn't have realised so easily had I playtested it back over Christmas - and possibly where there might be some balance issues.

The game itself lasted about 30 minutes, not including the rereading of the rules. Player L was knocked out very quickly, on the draw of two cards, while Player K, who was hanging on by the skin of their teeth for most of the game, ended up the winner, with Player S meeting the same fate as Player L, only much later in the game, and Player F being worn down by a relentless war of attrition. A completely unexpected outcome, but quite a satisfying one.

As a result, I am now drawing up Version 2 of the rules and considering rebalancing the deck. Once I've done that, I hope to playtest it myself again before heading to Birmingham. I thought it might be interesting to others, as well as helpful to myself, to keep track of how the playtesting goes, hence this blog post, and the others like it that I will write from time to time, hopefully until the game itself is released. So, watch this space...

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