Friday, February 06, 2015

Game Design Attack #3 - debrief/report

Last weekend, 4 designers from California and 1 local joined me for Game Design Attack #3, another great weekend of design talk and playtesting. We got a lot done, and everyone got games to the table and seemed to have a really good time.

As these games are unpublished, I won't be able to say too much about them, but I'd like to sum up what went down at the event...

Tim Fowers got in a couple of plays of his upcoming cooperative game, which will be on Kickstarter before too long. It's very thematic, and I think people who like those Solitaire By Committee game will dig this one. We also brainstormed some card abilities and effects for Tim's hit deckbuilder, Paperback.

Ta-Te Wu had a few different quick games: a party style game, a team deduction game, and one I missed out on. He also had a larger 2p game about a sub vs a destroyer which seemed like a pretty cool idea, though it's not so far along yet.

Trey Aslup had his High School Horror Movie game again, which was a bit abstract, but seemed to work well. He also had a Resistance-style game which he's working on with Matthew O'Malley, who joined us last year fro GDA#2. That one didn't work very well, but Ta-Te made a suggestion which we tried out, and it worked a whole lot better!

Trey also described a quick, Love Letter type of game idea he had, and we all thought it sounded like it would work, so over the course of the weekend, he made some proof-of-concept cards and we gave it a try. It revealed some aspects that needed to be addressed, and I think Trey got some ideas to work with.

The other Californian, Rob, is more a developer, and is helping Tim with some of his projects - he didn't have any games of his own.

David Short joined us Thursday night and half of Friday. He was able to get a couple of his quick/micro games to the table, but neither of the larger games he had with him.

I managed to get 3 games to the table: Crusaders, Pony Express, and Dungeon of Fortune. Crusaders and Dungeon of Fortune might be too far along to get a lot of useful feedback from a designer meetup - many of the comments amount to "make another, different game." But I did get to try my new Build Bonus tiles for Crusaders, and I got some feedback on he game end trigger... the short version is that the Bonus tiles seem to be doing their job, the current/original game end trigger is probably fine, and I should increase the Level 4 building score. Most players wanted the Level 4 buildings to have abilities instead of scoring... I'll have to think about that. Tim had a neat idea to have the Farms confer additional cubes for your rondel, which is a cool idea thematically, but I was planning on that for an expansion.

I did get some good feedback on Pony Express though, that game is in a much earlier state, perfect for a design meetup.

I had hoped to get Odysseus: Winds of Fate to the table, or some discussion of Draft Fighter, a 2-player deck-learning fighting game I'm working on with Brad Talton. But alas, there's only so much time in the day! Maybe next time.

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