Anyway, this was the first time I had playtested the game with anyone other than one of my local friends, so I was hoping to learn some new things about the game. I knew already that the game end was woolly, balance was poor, and pacing was uncertain, but what else...?
|About mid-game, with most of the worker cubes on the board, |
and some very fine elbow modeling from the testers.
Overall I think the game was less dull than I had feared, but was very much underwhelming -- though, given its early stage of development, I'm not going to beat myself up over that. Some of the key observations we had were:
- The trackway got completed rather quickly, with chieftains (player pieces) still only half way along.
- Once a load of worker cubes had been placed, competition for the various action/scoring spots pretty much stopped.
- The dice for scoring and action difficulty were reasonably popular, but seemed too chaotic in the way they are being used.
- The various types of card are probably the key to the game, but at the moment they don't quite get there, and the incentive to acquire them might not be enough as yet.
- There was a feeling that the game is entirely tactical, and you can't really make any strategic plans.
There were a load more comments, which I have noted in my logbook, but I think these are the main ones I want to address in the short term. My plan for the next iteration is to remove cubes from action spaces every time an action is completed, and to try a different way of handling the scoring dice to make them more predictable. I also need to work out a smarter end to the game. From then on, we'll see...
This was, of course, an afternoon that was not all about my game, and I was able to test and give feedback on several other prototypes. This time we had a clever auction game, a sneaky negotiation and voting game, a tense cooperative alien hunt, and a frantic real-time dice game, and missed some other great stuff at other tables. Looking forward to next month already...