Desolate Front: Playtest… playtest… playtest
One of the first things every game developer will tell you (if not THE first thing) is the importance of getting diverse people to playtest. I had a great group on Saturday night that really went out of their way to break the game. Anything that they could try, they did. It was one of the best playtest sessions I ever had because, though they were polite, they had no problem pointing out kinks that needed to be worked out. What they didn’t know was that I had changed the game for them from what I had run on previous nights to see what the effects would be.
It was interesting to see how changing one thing would completely alter the game. And when I discussed the change, their ideas for fixing it were exactly what I had done originally. I think it was important for me to play through with an untested mechanic so that I could see what the effect would be. Sometimes players offer suggestions and this one, that if offered, I can cross off as unworkable in the game as it is designed.
If I had just run this with people that knew what i was trying to create and played it with that in mind, I would never have gotten the feedback that I received on Saturday.
My next chance to try it out in a convention setting will be DeCon in June/July. Then I have multiple games running at GenCon with the hope to go to Kickstarter or release it before the end of the year (though a lot of that could depend a=on the art getting completed.)