Getting to London was a bit more problematic than usual as the rail line I usually travel on was closed, so I had to take a detour via Oxford and end up at a different London terminal. On the plus side, on the train from Oxford there were a couple of young women handing out free promotional chocolate, which went nicely with the coffee I had just bought myself.
Anyway, when the playtesting started up I was allocated a table in the first 90 minute slot, and had three other designers joining me, including two who had played an earlier incarnation of the game.
|See? Actual people playing with me! Thanks to Rob Harris for the photo.|
Another issue was the balance of the cards in the colonial activity deck, and some aspects of how they work. The approach I use works pretty well, I think, but there are points where things can be overlooked (like when the colonial aggression level changes), and the way things played out there just wasn't enough colonial presence on the board by the end of the game.
All of this is very fixable, and our discussion after the game came up with some good ideas, so I'll be trying some of them out in the coming weeks. Unfortunately, though, this means that I won't be doing something that I was hoping to do.
Each year there is a contest run by a German games club called Hippodice, where the club members and a group of publishers combine to judge a variety of unpublished games. A couple of my friends at Playtest UK have actually won this contest. It's quite a prestigious contest as these things go, but one of the big benefits is getting blind playtesting and written feedback from the club members if your game is selected for the "main round" of the contest. The deadline for submission of rulebooks and supporting blurb is only a couple of weeks away, and with the amount of work I still want to do (and test) on Invaded, I feel that I'm just not going to get there in time. It's a shame, but no big deal. Maybe next time.