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Subject: My dumbest playtesting mistake yet... rss

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Filip W.
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Yesterday I sat down to test the v0.11.2 ruleset for Bagdad. I've been doing a lot of solo testing and balancing for 4 players and now it was time to test it out more throughly with other player numbers.

I decided to run with 3 players and set the game up. It was a bust - after 3/4 of the game there came a situation where no player could do anything that wouldn't cause them to suicide (Bagdad's got player elimination). ARGH! angry

Well, it might have been a fluke. So I tried again. Two turns in the game ends with a completely random win. WTF?!? This hasn't happened in any of my 4 player games - if there's an early win it's because somebody did some brilliant deducing and gambled. Ok, I'm getting worried. I try again.

Game ends by turn 3. No matter what anyone does it's a clear win for one player. A random clear win. Oh, no, my game doesn't work with 3 players! All that time balancing it for four and it's completely broken with less! It can't be, I'm tweaking the rules on the fly and try again.

3rd turn game end - and short of rewriting all the rules I can't see anything I can do about it! This is a disaster. They've only gone 1/3rd of the game and there's already more rioters than all the players together can handle. Wait. Wait, wait, wait. There's eight rioters on turn three??? That shouldn't be possible. How many influence markers are there? Eight. And I've added four rioters. O-oh.

I've been adding rioters at a pace for 2 player games in a 3 player game.

For four games. shake

That's an entire evening's playtests down the drain. soblue

Doh!

Well, at least I didn't break my game. That comes tomorrow. whistle
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Scott Nelson
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I drove 200 miles to test my latest design at a BGDG playtest meeting, and in the hurry to get down there, I actually forgot to bring the game with me. shake
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Filip W.
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ropearoni4 wrote:
I drove 200 miles to test my latest design at a BGDG playtest meeting, and in the hurry to get down there, I actually forgot to bring the game with me. shake


... which you then re-created it using nothing more than drinking cups, cut-up plastic straws and old french fries.
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Joe McDaid
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One thing to remeber about flukes, is even if it only happens once to you, if you sell 1000 copies of the game and thoes copies get played 2 times each, there's a good chance that fluke come up again and ruins the experience for the people playing. So if you get a fluke, you're actaully lucky, cause then you can take steps to fix it so it never happens again.

When it comes to game design, you can't let rare bad events go just because they are rare, played enough it'll happen more often than you think..:3
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Filip W.
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Yeah, I'll need good graphic design to make counting the markers for each number of players easier. Right now it's just plain white background.

On an up note, I playtested it with the correct number of rioters and the rules worked fine.
 
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Scott Nelson
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filwi wrote:
ropearoni4 wrote:
I drove 200 miles to test my latest design at a BGDG playtest meeting, and in the hurry to get down there, I actually forgot to bring the game with me. shake


... which you then re-created it using nothing more than drinking cups, cut-up plastic straws and old french fries.


maybe if I had the time, that would've worked ninja
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M J
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filwi wrote:


That's an entire evening's playtests down the drain. soblue





well playtesting revealed a crititcal error in your design so that was deffinitley time well spet

may i suggest a dummy player as the quick and dirty solution
 
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henry moen
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I've had some bonehead nights like that too, but maybe that also helps you identify the "Best when played with" number.

There are a bunch of games that claim they are for 2 or 3 players that I won't play unless I have at least 4

There are a bunch of games that claim they support 5 or more players where I shy away from with larger groups.

anyway, you need to read your own rules!!! laugh

good luck with your game!
 
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