Tuesday, 26 April 2016

April Playtest Meetup

This Sunday last saw the latest meetup of the Edinburgh Playtest group at the always excellent Tabletop Cafe. We had missed out the last month due to both myself and my fellow host being rather busy so it was nice to get back into the swing of things and look over some designs in preperation.

I had made some fairly major changes to Conspiracy since the last session and was keen to get that back to the table to see if they would finally give me the game I was looking to create. In addition I wanted to try and get Upstart to the table, which is a new design about investing in ridiculously named tech start ups. I'll post up soon about all the stuff I'm working on along with some basic P&P files.

Anyway on the day itself we had just the 4 of us but that was enough to get through 3 designs over the course of the afternoon. Up first was Sarah back with her mining game called Oresome!

The beginning of a game of Oresome. Look at those lovely pieces!
It was great to see Sarah back again and still enthusiastic about her design. She had made some great changes to the game since I had last seen it making it feel a lot more dynamic with some more interesting choices in the movement and when to hand in your contracts. Colour coded tiles for each player were now more valuable giving you something to aim for as you moved around and the ability to hand in contracts from anywhere rather than just the central square led to a good pace of points acquisition.

Sarah balancing some ore carefully in her awesome 3D printed carts

There were some rules questions that came up for sure, and we made some 
suggestions towards rules clarifications on some of the cards, but the core dextrity part of the game I enjoyed so much last time remained and the changes made so far really helped the pace of the game. Thumbs up all round.

Next up was Conspiracy from myself and I was really hoping that the changes would lead to the puzzly game I wanted. Thankfully I was not disappointed. Since last time I had removed the control abilities, making the control position into something that could use the now single ability on each card at will. 

Not as pretty as Oresome but seems to work!
We found there were lots of nice little combos that emerged from the abilities on the cards and they led to a nice combination of 'look how awesome my move is' and 'look how awesome there move was' moments. We did grind to a slight halt once everyone had most of their agents on the board leading me to introduce a new rule to allow the extraction of already placed agents. This rounded things out nicely and this rule, along with one about taking over already controlled cards will be in the next version. Really happy with the way this game is coming together and I think it is almost baked.

As it was just myself and Sarah that had brought along designs I squeezed in a playtest of Upstart towards the end of the session. The core of the game revolves around the creation of silly named tech companies and then investing in those companies for more resources. The winner of the game is the person to float three companies first. 

Hopefully you can make out the wonderful company names being floated here.
The core of this proved suprisingly compelling first time out and people enjoyed the silly names and the secret bidding aspect. It's still got a long way to go, but it was nice to see that the fundamental idea holds promise. I'll be sitting down to write new version of the rules shortly and hope to take it to Expo with me alongside Conspiracy and Minions for further testing.

It was really nice to get testing again and I should be holding another session in a few weeks time before heading off to Expo to seek out more opportunuities. If you meet me and fancy trying a game out just let me know, especially for Conspiracy which might be at the blind testing stage.

Iain

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