Game Design Status Report #6: First Playtest!

Sorry about that bit of japery yesterday, folks. Dice! In! Spaaaaace! is not getting published or Kickstarted. In fact, that’s not even a goal here. (The sweet-ass artwork I ripped off for the cover image came from here, by the way.)

No, the real status of the project is much less bright, though it’s moving along. Last week the game endured its very first playtesting!

I had previously softened Matt up in preparation for this day, and also made sure he had beer in him and no easy escape route.

We didn’t play a complete game; there was really no need to. I mainly wanted to see everything in action and get a sense of how (and whether) it worked.

The result: currently fair to middling. Matt said there’s something there, but we both agreed it needs work. I made notes on possible changes, and here’s what I had after maybe a half hour of play:

The main issue, which overshadowed all else, is the dice themselves: too often they come up blank and nothing happens, which isn’t fun. So I need to retool them both to make the main portion of the game actually work and to make the differences between dice more significant. The next goal after that will be to integrate the dice more into the goals of the game; right now things are heavy on the pick-up and deliver and light on everything else. I want it so that there’s a reason to buy the various kinds of dice.

The playtesting was a huge success, not that it revealed my game was awesome and complete, but because it gave me some definite steps to take next. I’m hoping I’ll have time to get some of them addressed before Sunday, as I will be meeting with a gathering of game designers in Northampton. I’m aiming to have a new version ready by then to show off and try out, since I think Matt’s defenses will still be up.

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