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Playtesting with someone who knows the game for years

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X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013

This play test buddy works wonders for my game.
In the past, he already offered insights in crippled mechanics. But last time was almost a miracle in my opinion.

I have made, once again major changes to the game that look like notching. But have a big impact on the entire game. At least, they feel like major changes. But they might as well be considered small changes to other players.

How do you guys feel about having such a buddy?
I know that friends and family are less honest about things. But it seems that I have hit a jackpot with this guy. Does anyone else have someone like this?

Down here a tldr results of last play-"test". Not that it matters much. But I like to share what he did for me.


- Combat Formations.
Any combat formation, is now reduced to a maximum of 3. A front line, mid line and back line. No more polonaise for the longest ranges. Which looks stupid and confused new players.
The Event Cards, regarding hitting another line than just the front line make more sense now. And 3 groups of targets matches up 3 lines.
To add things up, melee weapons in the last line ARE ALLOWED now to hit their targets too. If the targets are close enough in the targeted region. So that reduces another issue to notching. Because having a ranged 2 unit in the 4th line would mean it could not fight. But in the third line was allowed. Very confusing!

- Bonus Rule.
A pain in my eyes. But I reverted it back to the simplest form now.
Range and Speed are implemented again.
This has 3 consequences.
Players are using the same numbers for bonus as for costs, for 90% of the units.
Units with many projectiles, are now considered as a set. Meaning that if an unit has 6 projectiles, you don't apply bonus to 2 projectiles. But you need to pay for all 6. And then all 6 get this bonus. This is fair towards units that have a big cannon that costs just as much.
Fast and long ranged units seemed to have a very unfair advantage in close combat. Fast units are supposed to run away, not fight. Long ranged units are supposed to have no overkill in close combat.

Despite the complexity of the game. I manage to make 2 mechanics easier to understand. And easier to play.

ElKobold's picture
Joined: 04/10/2015
I could never work in a

I could never work in a vacuum.

You need someone to bounce your ideas off or you will end up in an echo chamber trying the same tricks over and over.

So yeah, I totally get you. I have a short list of people with whom I try my early designs before they even remotely resemble a prototype.

Joined: 03/20/2016
Agree completely its

Agree completely its impossible to design games in a vacuum.

I design with a friend of mine and we found that co-op design works really well. I imagine everyone has there own way but for us it helps to stop getting hung up on your own ideas and forces you to look at each concept from different angles.

We did find tho that purely working as a team resulted in iteration loops and a lot of theoretical discussion so we now each work as leads on our own games and come together to discuss / playtest.

Have you ever thought of asking your friend if he'd be interested in working together?

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
JamJam52 wrote: Have you ever

JamJam52 wrote:

Have you ever thought of asking your friend if he'd be interested in working together?

That is a nice question.

We worked together in the past. We decided on a mmo game 10 years ago when we where "kids" (well, he was). Our inspiration was O-game.
My speciality was math, and his programming. We had a little over 100 players.
But lack of time on each other part lead to the end of the game 2 month's later. Glitches and bugs where deadly to the gameplay.

Perhaps, in the future, we do this again. But this time, he may come up with the idea. Just to make it more fun for him.

Right now, I design a board game. He screws up any mistake that he can find.

Joined: 03/20/2016
Wow thats super cool! An MMO

Wow thats super cool! An MMO must have been a crazy amount of work for two people!

Its great working with different personalities, I have a similar thing with my co-designer. I'm all over the place with ideas and changes and hes more practical and methodical, work well :)

X3M's picture
Joined: 10/28/2013
I could go into details. But

I could go into details. But honestly, it was a very small and easy game. The only hard part was, making sure, everyone had only 1 account. You build up forces each day. By choosing what you wanted to build. And if you wanted to attack someone who didn't build yet. Just to steal resources. The game calculated damage and distributed amongst the chosen enemies.

It was textbased too. With some drawn pictures that where scanned. A kids game if you will.

Let's just say that Monopoly would be more complex.

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