Tonight’s play test had a dual purpose. We wanted to test out some tweaks we’ve made to the game play and how the contracts work. In addition, since we think we’re getting pretty close to a final version, we wanted to test it out on a new player to get a fresh perspective.
All in all it turned out to be a pretty successful night. The changes we’ve made seem to work well, and the feedback from Jim was very positive.
I had a slight concern early in the evening that the contract mechanic might be a bit too complicated, and that the game was taking too long. However, around the half way point, the rules seemed to click and the game became much more free floating and I think enjoyable all round. In retrospect, it was always going to be tough on Jim playing with us since we’ve been playing the game for months and we know how it works. I guess it’s the same for any new game, you need to play a few turns to get the hang of it and understand all the interactions.
We had a long chat after the game and, in summary, the feedback was :
– it’s a good game with a lot of potential – tick!
– he’d pay good money for it – double tick!!
– we need to think about the amount of luck involved in the game. At the moment there’s not much, which is how we like our games, but that might not be to everyone’s taste.
– we need to think about replay-ability and maybe randomizing the starting resources on each asteroid.
– we need to work on the end game a bit more. The recent changes we’ve made have improved the early and mid game, but they resulted in a runaway leader at the end. We want most games to end in a close finish so that none of the players lose interest.
So, we’re getting close, but there’s still a bit to do.