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Subject: Solo Playtesting: Feeling the Fun Factor? rss

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Timothy Yordy
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So how do you know if you've got a problem with your game or if it just doesn't have that fun factor when playing by yourself?

I've got two games that I'm working on right now. One is a light strategy game for 2 people that I've been having a lot of fun with solo playtesting and hopefully when I start opening it up for other testers, they will feel the fun in it too.

The other game though is a children's game which involves a little less strategy and is for 2 - 4 people. I made my first prototype of it tonight and solo tested it. It was mildly enjoyable by myself, but nowhere near what the other game is.

So, what I can't tell is if it's a problem with the game, or if it's just not quite as fun because it's meant for children (though I want it to be fun enough for parents to not groan when their kids want to play).

I guess I'll have a better idea when I get my son to play it, and that will also tell me if my target age range is appropriate.
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Scott Nelson
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Playtesting alone is hard to feel the fun factor. Make sure it plays, then find some guinea pigs to feel actual gameplay and the angst and nail biting when it comes to making choices. It also does help to make it available as a solo game as well, or some way to play it with random player actions so you don't have to play all players turns.
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Zach Rosenfeld
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The way I see it, solo playtesting is more about making sure that the game works and that none of the mechanics are obviously broken. You want to see how the game economy plays out in real time, how powerful certain units are compared to others, whether player choice actually exists and you don't feel like there's always "one obviously right choice" for every situation, whether the game is "solvable" or not, etc.

Fun-factor is definitely one of those things that's harder to pinpoint without other people around.
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Philip Migas
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First Solo Game is not to determine if the game is fun.
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Walt L
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pmigas wrote:
First Solo Game is not to determine if the game is fun.


Agree 100% Get the mechanics figured out first. A lot of the fun factor is tied into the theme but with out a good mechanic you don't have a good games, and games that aren't any good aren't usually fun either (usually).
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John "Omega" Williams
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If its a solo game then you can get a baser idea. But you really wont know till you hand it off to others to play.

If it is a multi-player game then you cannot playtest it solo because all you are doing is playing against yourself. You may see some nuances and possible issues. But again. Real testing requires others to have a go at the game. The broader the number the better.

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Timothy Yordy
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Thanks everybody. The game mechanics certainly work okay. I'm sure I will have to tweak some of the features the more I play.

I guess I'll just have to wait to have fun until I play with other people
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Timothy Yordy
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Not trying to bump my own thread but...I played the game tonight with my wife and son and they both really enjoyed it.

There is one card type in the game that allows you to blow up another player's unit and I could always tell when my son picked up one of those cards from the deck because he would get a big smile on his face.
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