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Markgraf Forge

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markgrafn
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Joined: 03/01/2015

Hello all!

I am an aspiring game designer much like many who frequent this site. I have taken the opportunity to develop a website that will showcase games I created and are planning to create. Only problem I have is finding willing play testers - hence I am here to advertise my new website.

Please visit markgrafforge.wix.com/home and take a look at all the effort I put into the games listed. You'll be able to view the rules directly on the website as well as view some of the images of the games. Please take the time and consideration and offer to play test a few. All help and criticism is highly appreciated.

http://markgrafforge.wix.com/home

Thanks for reading and I hope you check it out.

kos
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Joined: 01/17/2011
Welcome

markgrafn wrote:
Please take the time and consideration and offer to play test a few. All help and criticism is highly appreciated.

Welcome!

As you say, finding playtesters is both vital to the success of a game and sometimes difficult to achieve. You'll find plenty of people here who would also love feedback on their games, and you may have some valuable input based on your experiences to date.

Now, on to the games.

THE TRIAL

Objective: Looks clear.

Setup:
- "Draw deck" is undefined on first use. You might start with: "Shuffle the Attack cards and place them face down at the center of the table to form the draw deck. Deal each player 5 cards from the draw deck."

The Attack Cards:
- The first sentence is unwieldy. Maybe: "The Attack deck is comprised of 4 types of cards: 3 different elements plus the Null element."
- Inserting images into the rules would help at this point; a picture tells 84 words.

The Turn:
- In step 2, it is not apparent why somebody would want to play cards not of the same element; it is is not allowed, why is there a rule for it?
- In step 3, is the elemental bonus applied against each card separately, or against the combined total?
- In step 3, the term "party is destroyed" is undefined. I can figure it out by reading the rest of the rules, but it may be better to be more precise in the wording of this step.
- In Scoring, does the phrase "untied attack value" mean that if players A, B, and C have scores 5, 5, 4 respectively, then player C claims the beast card?
- This section uses the term "beast" instead of "creature". It may be better to be consistent throughout.
- Given that I could play more than 1 card per round, but only draw 1, I could easily run out of cards. Is that deliberate?

THE MESSENGERS

Objective: Looks clear.

Setup:
- There is no mention of the message reserves in the setup section, but later on the rules say that there are cards that start in the message reserves. So I'm a bit confused.

The Distractions:
- The explanation of the number track lacks clarity. What is the purpose of the middle number (I couldn't see that term used elsewhere)? Or is the "middle number" the "number the card is", while the two outer numbers are the "numbers which can be played on the play stack"? Either way, the sentence is ambiguous. It may be clearer if split into two sentences.

The Turn:
- It is not clear how a player gets a card out of their message reserve area. Is that one of the effects on the cards?

GENERAL COMMENTS

There are quite a few typos and incorrect punctuation (especially possessive apostrophes) on the website, rules, and even on the sample cards. While functionally typos make no difference to the gameplay, from a presentation point of view you wouldn't want typos to deter potential players and thus undo the many hours of hard work that you've put into these games.

The text of the website indicates that the games are available for print-n-play, however I could not see any download links, nor instructions on how to obtain a copy for playtesting. Given that you are asking people to help you (for free), you would want to make it as easy as possible for them otherwise you risk deterring potential playtesters.

I wish you all the best with your games.

Regards,
kos

markgrafn
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Joined: 03/01/2015
A Great Thanks

Thank you for all the sound criticism. You actually comment on less than I expected. I have done the work to resolve most of the comments and I hope you take a second look and other do as well.

Please visit the below site to view the games, including the rules. Please contact me on the CONTACT page to receive play test assets.

Thanks

http://markgrafforge.wix.com/home

Nicholas

Soulfinger
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Joined: 01/06/2015
I heartily agree with Kos. It

I heartily agree with Kos. It looks like you are a non-native speaker, but even so misspelling "thier" on your front page shows that you didn't even use a spellchecker. Word choice is also an issues, as saying that you "fester" over your creations attributes neglect and indifference at best. The write-up on the "About" page is awkward, particularly that you included a feedback quote attributed to yourself. The Risk variant that you mention has been part of the actual Risk rulebook, as Capitol Risk, since 1993 with the concept introduced in 1986 as part of Castle Risk.

markgrafn
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Joined: 03/01/2015
Another Great Thanks!

This is more the smack in the face I was expecting. I believe I have resolved the concerns. I appreciate the Risk history lesson and ultimately removed the statement from the site despite its importance to my creative development.

I hope you take a second look and other do as well.

Please visit the below site to view the games, including the rules. Please contact me on the CONTACT page to receive play test assets.

Thanks

http://markgrafforge.wix.com/home

Nicholas

Soulfinger
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Joined: 01/06/2015
I apologize if I came across

I apologize if I came across as insulting. My tone usually seems brisk at best, and in this case, I was in a rush to comment before leaving for a conference. In particular, I realize that I should not have assumed you were a non-native English speaker. Some of your word choices had led me to believe so, but I'm sure that came across as a slight if this is not the case. Please keep in mind that my professorial role model for editing technique was a chronic alcoholic who was harsh in his editing to the point of using profanity. He inspired me to dream that one day, I, like him, would make teenage girls cry and dash the dreams of aspiring authors everywhere. :)

That said, here's a bit of an overview on what I think would improve your front page.

markgrafn wrote:
Welcome Internet Travelers to the Markgraf Forge and Home of the Emerald Embers

In my experience, anytime you write something like this, read it back to yourself in the voice of Comic Book Guy from the Simpsons. If it doesn't sound like a direct quote, keep it. In general though, the 'welcome travelers, have a cup of ale' approach to Interwebz commerce has limited appeal. There was a guy trying to pull this off for a make-your-own-mini company a while back, and he was unanimously told on another forum to change the content. How I'd write it:

"Welcome to Markgraf Forge."

markgrafn wrote:
This experimental and revolutionary new website will be the home of my creations as I seek the aid of the world to fabricate history. As a "Print and Play Test" website, I will allow the creations I mold for hours, days and months to be witnessed by the willing play testers of the world. With their guidance and assistance, I will morph what I have created into something beyond that of one man's limited imagination.

Don't bill your website as "experimental" or "revolutionary" unless it really is. Very few sites are either. Not even Games Workshop or Fantasy Flight can claim to be the Facebook of gaming websites, so you blow your credibility right away with statements like these. That you are fabricating history is one instance that led me to believe you were not a native speaker. It is wonderful to be capable of grandiloquence, but it is rarely a practical skill. To fabricate means to construct in the sense of manufacturing an industrial product, that or to falsify. In attempting to be eloquent, people often overlook the most pedestrian words, which are in common usage on account of being the most accurate and practical options. Better to use the present tense than what you "will" do. Having your products "witnessed" is another instance of grandiose overtones. Those last two sentences have a messianic/serial killer vibe to it that is very off-putting. How I'd write it:

"I am an aspiring designer looking for play testers to try out my games."

markgrafn wrote:
Please look around and request to play test. I look forward to bringing these creations to the physical realm with quality components - but only after the fires burn hot and the shape takes form. This is only the beginning and far, far more are to come.

"I look forward to bringing my ideas to fruition," or ". . . my projects to production." Bringing them to the physical realm implies that you are Gozer the Gozerian, and there is already a KS with the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in it. How I'd write it:

"With your help and feedback, I hope to one day bring these projects to fruition." Notice how your paragraphs can be boiled down to a single sentence once the embellishments have been eliminated. Start simple, because good copywriting is a tough skill to master.

You stretch your final metaphor way too far with the coals and molding, especially since it is better to avoid florid language in favor of concise statements of fact to begin with. At a casual glance, mention of molding makes it seem like you intend on casting figurines.

markgrafn wrote:
And this, a final cry for assistance. For a game to succeed, many must like it. Please try out my games and offer your insight to make them better. Tell your friends and tell your mother. With your ideas and input, we can shape the hot ores I provide in the Markgraf Forge!

The first sentence gives this the tone of a suicide letter. Married with the rest of your content, it looks bipolar. Don't bill your site as trailblazing. Frankly, the majority of websites are inconsequential. It is one of the many social mediums that you will be using to promote your games. Finding playtesters can be difficult for anyone, because there are not people combing the Internet for playtesting opportunities. Far more often, what you see is designers begging for help. Emphasize the games, because at a glance, they look alright, and that is all anyone cares about. What is important is demonstrating your competence and professionalism. As a consumer, I am far more interested in knowing what you have done with your degree in Digital Entertainment and Game Design than your awkward high school years. Really though, rather than trying to build up the next big thing, consider exploring the resources already available to you -- like this website. These suckers help out for free. :) However, I think you would benefit, as Kos so slyly implied, from playtesting some games by other people. You'll probably learn more about what you need in terms of playtesting doing that than slinging up a website.

Your site needs work, and I think that it needs to redefined from the cult of personality approach to a true showcase for your upcoming products. I've given examples, but one thing I've seen time and again, is people rectifying specific examples without reassessing the body of their work. Your errors include misspelling the title of your own game in one instance. You need at least one careful edit, but understand that the editing process typically involves numerous reads and revisions.

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