The first playtest is always an interesting one. It’s the playtest you have where you know everything will be extremely dodgy and nothing will work, but you can’t quite figure out how to solve these problems yet; hence turning to a collective audience seems like a great idea. What follows isn’t exactly a play through of the game, but rather long discussion between turns about what should or shouldn’t be allowed (or perhaps that’s just the wonderful group of friends I had surrounding me: shoutout to Bernice, Ben, and Daniel for staying back at Church with me until 1am when none of us could function anymore).
One of the things that I had discussed with another friend (thanks Jonny), was the need to keep track of turns in a way which didn’t involve me placing risk army units onto the cards, and we came up with the idea of a board – something which you can place your cards on and move along a timeline in order to keep track of how many turns have passed until the rewards on that card can be collected.
Some of my cards had things written on them to limit the number of cards on field (which was a max of 5 at this point), so for example the part time jobs meant that you couldn’t take on as many freelance jobs. One of the ideas which was brought up during this playtest was the use of ‘units‘ to keep track of how many things you can have on the field. After discussion, we decided a universal code would work best, allowing a max of 6 units on field at any one time, with freelance jobs being worth one unit each, part time jobs being worth 2 units each, and full time jobs requiring no active units on the field in order to take the job and win the game.
One of the elements of the game is the use of turns to determine whether the card rewards can be claimed. Someone in the group suggested that explaining this as ‘days of the week’ would be a good way to understand this within the rules in order for others to understand; thus making each rotation worth one day.
A problem we identified is that my units of skills/exposure/money were not super balanced, and this is something I will need to fix in future prototyping.
A suggested input in order to create more value to skills rather than having a mad rush at the start to obtain skills and then no longer having it as an asset which is of value to obtain, was to add tiered skills, which would make it more difficult to collect the higher tiers, creating a more competitive environment.