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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Feedback on playtest rules rss

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nicholas callis
United States
Michigan
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Hello, I'm posting here see if anyone could look over my playtest rules and give me some constructive criticism. It's only 2 pages and a good amount of it is taken up by illustrations, so it should be a quick read. I'm really aiming for clarity and I want people who don't come from a background in trading card games to understand it (No, my game is not a TCG).
The game is called ESPERS. It's a quick, 2 player card game about telekinetic battles.
The rules can be found here: http://docdro.id/Zol41YE
Anyway, thanks for your time.
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Rob Harper
United Kingdom
Wantage
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I've had a quick look through and it's good to see a short set of rules without loads of extra fluff. I think I could play the game from these rules, given a deck of cards and an opponent. Of course, questions may come up in play.

A few thoughts...

If you have 3 copies of a card it isn't unique - maybe they are individual or distinct cards rather than unique?

"PSI points" might be considered a weird term, particularly capitalised like that as I assume it is actually the Greek letter psi, or short for psionic or similar, rather than an acronym.

I come from a roleplaying background and know what an "HP" is, but not everyone does.

"Mulligan" is a widely used term, but it is not universally understood; consider explaining what you mean here.

Where do PSI points go when they are "removed"?

When a card is resolved, what happens to it?

The whole section about suspending and resolving cards is, I think, understandable, but it is dense and confusing. I think this needs to be split into bullet points and possibly heavily reworded; the concept is not hard (if I understand it correctly) but it appears to be so important to the game that you need to work on making it as clear as possible.

Good luck with your game.



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nicholas callis
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All good points. Thank you!
It's such a help to have someone else look at it and notice all of my blind spots.

Yeah, the whole active phase is pretty dense. I've been struggling with the language of that section for a while and that was the simplest that I had come up with, though bullet pointing the process might be clearer. Maybe I could illustrate it, too.
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Paul Spencer
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Hi Nicholas

Maybe I'm just a bit slow but I did have to read it a few times to understand what was going on.

I think in terms of layout it might be nice to separate out the Active section and the definitions for suspended, opportunity and resolved.

Do you have a link to the cards?

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michael brown
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The rules seem to be fairly well written.

I do wonder, however about how the decks for the game are constructed. Is this a LCG?

Additionally, Opportunity is never defined. It is obvious to someone that has played MtG what it means, however you might want to define it.

Finally, this:
ascruplepen wrote:
Do you have a link to the cards?


The fact that the rules are concise, fairly well written, and not gaudy makes me want to look more into this game.
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nicholas callis
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I can have a link to them shortly. It's a constantly growing list, as the playtest demo started as ( what I've heard called) a "minimum viable product". After the few playtest sessions I've run so far (each with different people), the cards have been slightly tweaked and the playtesters have even suggested cards they'd like to see in a game like this, which I've created my own versions of.

Stay tuned, I'll have the list up soon,
 
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nicholas callis
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michael brown,
My idea for the game has been a medium package containing two basic preconstructed decks and a large selection of additional cards. The idea being that you learn with the straight forward decks, then take the additional cards and build new strategies (maybe have a sheet with some suggested builds for inspiration). The idea is to have a box with two "playsets" of every single card. I think that might be how LCGs work, though I don't have any ideas planned for expansions just yet.


 
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nicholas callis
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Here's my attempt at clearer rewording of the Active phase:

To play a card, place it down on the table and pay its cost by spending Psi points, moving them into the Spent Zone. Your card is now considered Suspended and does not yet take effect.

Your opponent now has the Opportunity to play a card in response.
Whenever a player plays a card, before it’s effect takes place, they must pass the Opportunity to play a card to the other player. This process repeats until neither player chooses to play any more cards.

After which, the cards begin to resolve from the latest one placed down to the earliest.

As each card resolves, its owner gains the Opportunity to play a card once more and may play additional cards if they wish.

After a card has resolved its effect, it is placed into the discard pile.

You may play as many cards as wish during your Active phase.
 
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nicholas callis
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Here's, at least, one card. I just finished this mock-up and wanted to share it. List soon...
http://i66.tinypic.com/2mwggvn.png
 
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nicholas callis
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Here's what I have so far. http://docdro.id/5AUpBC3
The lines that divide the groupings represent each time we playtested and wrote new cards with the playtesters.
 
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nicholas callis
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I've made updates based on both the feedback I've gotten here and from my play-testers. Here's the updated version: http://docdro.id/GgZDEIH
**Edit** Fixed blank page.
 
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michael brown
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you might not have noticed, but it goes onto the third page now.
 
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nicholas callis
United States
Michigan
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I'm not sure why that third page is showing up...
 
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P Santos
United States
LAS VEGAS
Nevada
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As previously mentioned, you'll need to define what is "HP" (mental health, psyche, etc).

Also, the cards mention "damage" but the rules don't say what it is. It might be familiar to some, but maybe not for others. Best to explain what is damage and how it works.
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nicholas callis
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Michigan
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I changed the HP bit in the updated one a few posts down, But you're absolutely right about damage. I'll have to clear that up next. Thanks for looking.
 
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