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question of time

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Katherine
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Joined: 07/24/2008

Hi all,

Has anyone any ideas on how long it takes to playtest / improve a game before it is ready to "go". I thought that ten "no change" games would be enough but for some reason, on the fourteenth "no change game", we encounted the unexpected and I don't know how to fix it.

The play time of a "monoply clone" game I am working on jumped from a consistent 40 mins each time, to 105 mins last night. We have play tested the game regularly for the last three months and made no changes or adjustments during the last month.

the play testers tell me not to worry and that it doesn't need fixing but it irritates that it has happened and I want to figure out why.

FunkyBlue
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Joined: 08/11/2008
I don't know how to answer

I don't know how to answer the "how many licks does it take to get to the center of the Tootsie Pop" question, but you could take the scientific approach to what made that 14th game take an extra hour. Look back at the last 3 or 4 games that took appoximately the correct time and then think about the long game. Were some of the players stalling? Was is a stalemate in resources? Was it simply that dice rolls were missing what people needed to win? You can't really say there's a problem unless you can pin down what made that oddball game run so long and then you can say if it's a problem that needs to change the game.

I played a 2-hour game of Settlers one time and it was solely due to the cut-throat nature of the group I was playing with combined with timely placements of the robber and bad dice rolls. We would cut each other off as much as possible, trade very little, and the robber ended up on big numbers.

If you can't find something specific about that one game that made it run that long, it may not be a flaw but instead just a quirk of the game mixed with the people you're playing with.

fecundity
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Joined: 07/28/2008
shazzaz wrote: Has anyone any

shazzaz wrote:

Has anyone any ideas on how long it takes to playtest / improve a game before it is ready to "go". I thought that ten "no change" games would be enough but for some reason, on the fourteenth "no change game", we encounted the unexpected and I don't know how to fix it.

As an aside about playtesting: If you are playing with a group that uses the same strategies and styles of play game after game, no number of successful games is enough to show that a game is ready to go. A player with a different approach can reveal problems that never would have arisen with the familiar group of players.

So, as funkyblue said, you should consider whether anyone played differently in the long, fourteenth game or whether it was just a matter of chance. How to fix the problem depends on what the cause is.

You also need to decide whether it is a problem that the game might run an hour and a half. Almost any game can run long if players take longer on their turns. Was the playtest group just a bit groggy?

kodarr
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Joined: 08/04/2008
Number of Playtests...

As to answer how much you need to play test a game well that really depends on the type of play tests you did. Were you always present, were you always a player, or did you just sit there and watch the playtesters, or help them with the rules?
There is no definate number of times to playtest a game but you shouldn't try to make the same decisions with each play test remember your trying to break the game through your playtests try and find strange loop holes and other such things that will need changing to prevent certain outcomes or maybe even new strategies that you think need defined more so they may work. Anything that allows players more options on what they can do is a bonus in my book.
In other words the number of playtests is vastly different for every game created. Just make sure you don't always play test with the same people you need other people to try different things and different people play games differently.

monica99
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Joined: 07/26/2008
playtesting...

As long as some of your playtesters are seasoned Monopoly players - I think you have nothing to worry! Congrats!

SolvexSoft
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Joined: 12/04/2008
how to test games at

how to test games at home?

Brykovian
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Joined: 07/21/2008
Is SolvexSoft a

Is SolvexSoft a spammer?

Necro'd a thread with an ambiguous reply ...

-Bryk

MatthewF
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Joined: 07/22/2008
Brykovian wrote:Is SolvexSoft

Brykovian wrote:
Is SolvexSoft a spammer?

Necro'd a thread with an ambiguous reply ...


I'll give him a chance... I removed his sig.

And yes, testing games at home, or at game stores, or what have you. Not videogames, physical boardgames.

Rick-Holzgrafe
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Joined: 07/22/2008
Reiner says...

I asked Reiner Knizia this question once, at a seminar. He replied that he considers a game "done" if it survives a month of playtest without changes. The caveat here, I think, is that Herr Doktor Knizia has much larger playtest resources than most of us. His "month" probably involves several different groups and dozens of plays.

So for the rest of us, I'd guess that a half-dozen plays from each of four or five different groups might equal Reiner's "month".

Katherine
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Joined: 07/24/2008
I think we solved the problem

I think we solved the problem of a long playing time by halving the tale deck and introducing a choice of using the card or paying a penalty. No changes since my original post. YEAH!

SolvexSoft
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Joined: 12/04/2008
i'm not a spammer

MatthewF wrote:
Brykovian wrote:
Is SolvexSoft a spammer?

Necro'd a thread with an ambiguous reply ...


I'll give him a chance... I removed his sig.

And yes, testing games at home, or at game stores, or what have you. Not videogames, physical boardgames.

Thanks for chance, just i want to know how testing computer video games.

Also i want to have a sig in test format only

Brykovian
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Joined: 07/21/2008
To find out about testing

To find out about testing video games, you should probably post on the forums at http://www.gamedev.net, since they deal with video game development.

This forum is for board game design & development, so we wouldn't be much help in that regard.

Thanks,
-Bryk

dungeonlooter
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Joined: 02/16/2009
well it took me about 3

well it took me about 3 months to fully play test my game and get the rules written. And honesty it is a very simple game with basic mechanics and scoring. Check my site out dungeonlooter.com you can find the rules online and perhaps looking at my game will help you determine how much may be involved in play testing you own.

and make sure you have a lot of people read your rules, specifically people that have never seen your game and know nothing about it, those are the best people to play test with in my opinion.

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