The prototype games designed by others that I played were a "Simon Says" style party game, a very nearly done game of city building, a real-time (app assisted) action, and a game about not being too good at your job. Lots of good stuff in varying stages of development.
The game I took with me was the Steampunk Workshop game, having mutated into its "Big Machine" version and lost most of the features from its first couple of iterations and become something very different.
|The machine is slowly extending, but has some way to go.|
So the headline news is that most of the details of the game are broken -- the balance is all to pot and there are points where things can get gummed up -- but it looks like I have finally found something approximating a game here, so I can start working on tidying up the details.
The biggest issue here was that it took too long for players to be able to afford to buy the gadgets that act as victory points and special abilities. I did end up giving everyone some additional resources part way through the game to help this, but I think it was too late to see how the gadgets really effect the game. Furthermore, there is one of the gadgets which shunts other players around, and this was seen to be overpowered and frustrating if you aren't the person who has it. I rather like this particular gadget, but if it turns out to be more of a problem than a benefit (and it could dictate the flavour of the game) then it will have to go. It will be interesting to see how it works in a game where everyone has more gadgets available to them.
There were plenty of other comments and observations, but the notable point is that they were pretty much all about details rather than the big picture, which was mostly left unscathed. So I think I now have the basis on which I can build this game. It actually doesn't include the mechanism that got me started down the track, but that is not a particularly unusual thing to happen.