Monday, March 19, 2012

HeroCraft Playtest #1

In my last blog post I wrote that I would be inflicting the first test of HeroCraft, my board game, on my hapless roommates. After working on this for more than two years, and with multiple vast revisions, I was expecting nothing short of a catastrophe. A session in which I flipped through rules trying to answer basic questions from increasingly bored players. Much to my surprise the play-test went well. Very well, in fact.

Instead of detached looks, the three of us were having fun. Or at least they were pretending to. In any case the rules held up and the pacing was exactly what I was aiming for. To say I am excited is an understatement. Designing this board game was different than video games in several ways. The most frightening was the sheer lack of feedback I receive while creating the rules. When testing levels, for example, I can throw in a rock and immediately test how it feels in relation to the player: jumping over it, the scaling, etc. When I was designing HeroCraft I was writing a Word document, and hoping this elaborate scaffolding I was constructing would actually stay standing, let alone be fun.

I definitely received my share of feedback after the test, despite the absence of any game-halting issues. I'm sure they'll rear their ugly heads sooner or later, but for now I have a nice list of suggestions, bugs, and tiny changes to make before we play again.

Since I do plan on releasing this game at some point, I'm keeping it under wraps for now. In the interest of fun, here's a shot of the prototype game board so far, complete with bottle caps as player markers and my lovely art.

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