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How to playtest a storybased game??

3 replies [Last post]
Joined: 09/25/2012

Hi there,

I'm looking to get a final set of rules down before playtesting my superhero based storytelling game. Now it is broadly similar to pandemic/darkest night, where on each turn a crime occurs in a region and an event hits the superheros and the doom track moves on one. After this they move around solving the crimes (which will be represented by the storytelling element) or opting to find clues to the big bad boss, or leveling up their character.

The game is lost if the doom track reaches 0 or if the superhero's base has 5 crime tokens on it (the bigbad has found the heroes and they are doomed).

My question is, the main focus of the game is the fun stories being read, and the heroes dealing with them. However, most of these will boil down to a roll or test against the heroes powers, meaning that they can be abstracted for playtesting purposes.

Would you write a few stories and playtest post being set up or would you abstract it out and just see if the core mechanics are worth continuing.

Any other thoughts would be neat...

Joined: 07/29/2008
Abstract It Out?

I would abstract it out to see if the core mechanics work first. I would think that you would need to find out what works and what doesn't work before you could continue with the design of your game.

Those are just my thoughts without knowing anything more about the particulars of your game.

Good luck with your game design.

sonofman's picture
Joined: 11/22/2013
Definitely abstract it

I'd say you should abstract it out to test. If the game's primary mechanics aren't providing compelling choices, it will put a lot of undue pressure on the reading of the stories to maintain interest. Unfortunately, that might also make it less replayable since once the players are familiar with the stories they will lose some interest.

lewpuls's picture
Joined: 04/04/2009
Long past time to playtest

"get a final set of rules down before playtesting my superhero based storytelling game" ? Sounds like you should have started playing it solo some time ago. The rules are going to change a *lot* when you start to playtest it, even solo. Solo testing may be difficult for a story-based game, but you can do it if you really try, and you'll learn a lot.

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