Archive for May 2012

Open Call in Massachusetts for Play Testers

Josh and I have created (Fantasy) Turf Wars, a strategy-combat game that makes use of well-known fanstasy races that are each vying for domination over the land.

We have played it 16 times (as of 5/28/12) now and it has progressed to a point where we’re hoping to get it played by many more people.

If you are interested in being involved in play testing, please respond to this post. We’ll likely get you on a Saturday (or Sunday) as week nights are difficult to coordinate and the location will either be Quincy or Malden.

All of this is in preparation for a campaign we hope to launch just after Labor Day.

Play Test #16: Turf Wars

Today we played with 3 new people all of whom are not really game players. And one of the new people won with the secret win condition: strength in numbers (having 35+ troops)

Game play was fine after a while. The non-gamers asked some questions that no gamer would need to ask and that was helpful in terms of trying to have things be a bit more clear for that audience.

They liked the game but it is probably not something they would gravitate toward.

And now we know. TW is more of a game for gamers… and that’s fine. 🙂

Play Test #2: DYKYN?

Last week we played this for the first time and since then we’ve made many changes.

We came up with incentive and a reward for identifying other players — when that’s done successfully, the identifier receives a bonus mission which can be applied to his team’s score when identified.

The players thought it was fun and Josh and I picked up some tidbits while watching how people interpreted certain cards, etc. We’ve taken down some notes on potential clarifications so that things are clearer.

We will also add a list of the Phases and what they entail on the player mat that displays all of the neighbors.

Fantasy Turf Wars: Game Testing In Progress

We are 15+ games played into our first creation—Fantasy Turf Wars. The premise is a command and conquer type board game with fantasy creatures and humans fighting over their home turfs.

There are several ways to win the game, many factions to choose from, and the replayability is excellent. Everyone is enjoying it so far and even after play testing nobody is sick of it yet. With small mechanic changes being ironed out after each play, artwork design has now begun and we are slated for a September kickstarter launch.

We hope to see you there!

Play Test #1: DYKYN?

We played the revisited version of the game we concept-tested a couple of weeks ago.

We played with 6 people so there were 2 of each of kind, wicked and fickle neighbors.

One of the players was extremely meticulous in her keeping track of questions asked of other players and the way they played their action cards and she pretty much figured out who everyone was. No one else got anywhere near as close as she did to figuring out identities.

Of course, there was no incentive to do that, so we’re going to work on figuring out what might interest players in identifying other players and if they do, what reward might make the most sense.

We also discovered that it’s pretty easy to throw off missions so that their proper values are not attained — which leads to a victory for the Fickle Neighbors.

Mission Adjudication
Two missions are played, simultaneously, each round. The player with the First Turn Token (FTT) is the team leader and picks a team (half of the players) that he thinks will enable him to meet or exceed the mission’s value. Mission values range from 1 to 3 points and players play kind or wicked deed actions. Kind neighbors score if the net value of deeds played lean toward kind. Wicked Neighbors score if it leans toward wicked and if the value isn’t met, it is a score for the Fickle neighbors. Essentially, the net value of kind/wicked deeds played needs to be at least as much as the mission’s value.

It was a good game and it was fun while providing a LOT of feedback to consider before we play it again.

Play Tests #13-15: Turf Wars

That’s right. We played TW 3 times today. AND, we also got to test the 2p version of the game.

We played with one of the people who may end up doing art work for the game so we thought it important that he play the game a few times to get an idea of what we were doing, the nature of the game, the feel of it given the way we’d written cards, etc.

I was concerned that the 2p game might seem contrived b/c it’s a game with fewer available turfs (needing to only control 3 home turfs to win), no teleporters because the board size is smaller and with just one other player, you clearly want to kill them.

It ended up being fun anyway. Needing to navigate around the board did make it slow and ultimately the DP win condition kicked in and I don’t like the game to end with points as the deciding factor. But it’s got to happen some of the time if it’s a valid win condition.

We then played 2 6-player games. This was the first time we were able to do that as well. The max so far has only been 5 players. So, a 2p and 2 6p games with 3 new sets of eyes to give fresh feedback…

The 2nd game ended in Round 2. ROUND TWO. That’s not possible. This sparked the discussion that will forever be known as the Siren Wars of 2012.

The scenario:
Josh was playing the Sirens who’s faction power allows him to take 2 troops from anyone but the attacker to use as additional troops when he’s defending against an attack. He had a nemesis in play and that player only had 2 troops due to an event mishap that killed off too many of her troops. Pestilence (kill 2 troops in every controlled turf) will get ya every time…

So he borrowed her troops. And I was attacking him and was going to win.

So, we just stopped it right there and had a half hour discussion on order of operations, the spirit of the nemesis kill win condition, faction powers, death by defensive action, etc. It was heated and lively and it resulted in a rewrite/clarification of the Siren powers and a rewrite of the nemesis kill win condition and the secret win conditions that involving the secret killing of the player to the right or left of you.

It was very useful and actually had a domino effect on many different cards and mechanics. Good times.

The final game wasn’t nearly as eventful.

The feedback from the 3 new players: It’s a fun game.

We then went on and tested our other game but… that’s a different post.

More Play Testing: Turf Wars

Played two more games today (#11 and #12) and somehow, the secret win condition: encircle is how the win was achieved both times. Encircle involves surrounding a troop on all sides.

We were able to uncover the need for a minor revision to specify that there be a minimum of 5 exposed adjacent squares in order for encircle to be valid. One of the wins only required 3 squares based on the position on the board (with dead spaces also surrounding the encircled player).

Any game that uncovers something is useful. It’s also good to hear that no one is bored with this game despite the fact we keep making people play it. 🙂

Play Test #10: Turf Wars

We’re playing TW a 2nd time with the group of friends we sometimes get to see on Wednesdays.

They marveled at how much the game changed in the 10 days since they last played. They were also a little shocked/scared to hear that we had changed it up and played 4 times between that last game as well.

“We at Cray Cray Games are cray cray for games!”

So… yeah. The game ended quickly because a secret win condition (protecting the swamps) ended up triggering because no one was in any swamps in the 5th round. Something to look at… potentially… because we don’t want any too-cheap wins.

Concept Test: CoS

CoS are the initials of a game we concept-tested last week. Josh and I played with one other person to see how this detective-based game played.

The Verdict:
It didn’t really play all that well for a variety of reasons.

We met again tonight to do some brainstorming on how to adjust the game so that it would be more fun and better intertwine players together. In the process of that brainstorming session we forked the game production into two potential games. CoS will sit on the back burner for a while because we should focus on getting something produced first.

We will, however, move forward on a new game we’re calling: Do You Know Your Neighbors?

Anywhere from 5 to 15 players play as kind, wicked or fickle neighbors, whose identities are kept secret. They complete missions by playing appropriate deed cards in the hopes of scoring the proper amount of points so their team (of other kind or wicked or fickle neighbors) can win.

Play Test #9: Turf Wars

Didn’t I just play this yesterday? Oh yeah…

So, we’re playing with 2 people who last saw the game in the first play test session for games 1 & 2 on 4/14.

Seeing all of the changes that were implemented in the last three weeks, one said: “This almost seems like a completely different game given the amount of work that’s been done. It’s cool.”

Some comments were given on the troop-loss cost given to winners and discussion was had on how that should be calculated. Overall, there was no substantive feedback given.