Last class everyone finally got to play each others games. I decided to be the one who stayed back as the coordinator for our game, because I was especially curious as to what the comments would be. Some comments I was happy with, others were rather irritating.
The first play test had an equal learning curve between all the players, including myself. Although I was the one to create the game, I actually never played it with completely new players. It was interesting to see the actions new players were executing between the building, buying, destroying, and stealing options. I did however have to help some of the players throughout the game, which defeated the purpose of the play test. It was necessary though, because otherwise the game would have never moved on. I wish our group would have produced a rule book that all the players could have read before the play test so all questions could have been addressed before the game started. I had players getting frustrated that they had to continually had to consult with me, and some made comments that this is a downfall to the game. I was offended by this comment! Of course you have to consult me, I made the game, and there is no rule book, therefore I AM the rule book.
Anyhow, the second play test was executed slightly different because of the fact that I had just played one round five minutes earlier. I now had an advantage to what techniques work the best, and a fresh recollection of what options are available. During this round is when I realized that playing with paper cards is probably the most frustrating part of a play test. Although Hai Anh designed extremely aesthetic cards, every time someone took a deep breath the cards were flying. This is a nuisance especially in our game, since building cards are directly placed in front of the builder. However, this did not bother anyone besides me, because I knew it was part of the theme of the game. The new players were more focused on how our cards looked like a professional game!
The last play test round was when comments and details got nitty gritty. There were only three players (including myself), and I realized that this game is NOT worth while if there are less than four players. The game runs too slow, buildings aren't built, and it is just plain boring. The two classmates that played my game seemed tired from playing games for 3 hours now, so they were not putting as much effort as the first two groups I saw. However, one classmate did take time to tell me that the theme of our game is wonderful, but she had a lot of issues with the mechanics. I appreciated her criticism, but how exactly does she expect me to change my entire game because she did not understand the techniques the other 8 players easily adapted? This comment is what put our group in the most trouble, because at our next meeting we had to simplify the game for those players who believe there are too many options. We tried to make the playing field more leveled so both creative players and logical players can adapt their own techniques.
I personally enjoy playing our game each time we play, and I am not just saying that I took part in creating it!