Monday, October 15, 2012

The Bratii and a new game

I've been designing my own board game and yesterday the Bratii came over so I got to playtest it with them. I knew testing was important, having worked in QA in the past, but I've never been in the position of designer before and I can now look back and appreciate their reactions more. My urge to simply dismiss criticisms of the "How will the user/player know to do this" type were barely suppressed, but I just shut-up and made mental notes.

I won't deal with specifics, but an entire mechanism simply did not get used (except once by myself) and a loophole was quickly discovered and exploited by Major to boost his holdings. In terms of the way it was played it ended up with little competition between the players and more between the individual and the game. So that's how I'm going to redesign it. Remove the loophole and the unused mechanic, make it co-operative and tighten up a few of the other rules.

Gosh this is fun!


Dan H said...

That's a coincidence: I've been making a game recently too. An Android game rather than a board game, but still a game you play in a group, so I've been play-testing it too. Like you, I've had the experience of features not being noticed and used. I've also had the reassurance of things that I worried would be difficult, turning out easy. For example, to save space I took out a button with text on it, and gave an existing indicator the new duty by making it clickable. At first I worried that a new user wouldn't realise that they have to tap the indicator to make it go, but when I tested it on humans, I got to watch eight people take turns of saying to themselves, "How do I make it go? Oh, the big flashing thing." It's fun!

FlipC said...

Ah Android apps that's where the money's at :-). I just find the screen size limiting for the type of thing I'd like to do; hence the board game format though that comes with a lot more production issues.

Let me know when you go live, in the meantime have fun with the testing and tinkering.