Playtesting, Feedback and Iteration
Funnily enough, based on feedback from this blog, I have decided to start creating video development blogs to go along with these written blogs.
2 Weeks Before Printing!!!
The video covers very briefly the two weeks of development before the game was sent off to printing. To make the game as perfect as possible, as well as fair and fun as possible, I playtested the ever loving hell out of this game with my friends, members of the Crab Studios community, and random people online.
Before these last two weeks, playtesting was all about finding the fun. I had the theme, I had the art, I had the mechanics, but was it fun? It took a long time to get to that point, months and months of "Is this actually fun?" Finally, we got there. Adding in some quality of life mechanics, changing the visual design of the cards, making the game longer so players could enjoy the engine-building mechanics for longer, all contributed to making the game more fun and more engaging.
Thankfully, after much feedback and iteration, I think I got there... hopefully.
The core difference between regular playtesting and blind playtesting is that blind playtesting involves players that have never played the game before, and in a covid world, this is really hard to find. Not only are playtesters difficult to find, because you can't just go to a board game cafe or a convention and get people to play your game, but once you do, you can't use them again, which makes things even more difficult.
Thankfully though, due to me starting a Discord server (join here), as well as posting on Reddit, I managed to run three different blind playtesting sessions. But why? Because I needed to test whether players could understand the game. This means I had to test the visual design of the game, as well as the rulebook.
So in a blind playtesting session, I would give the players a pdf of the rulebook, sit back, and just watch them figure it out as if they had just opened the box at home (like people will once they get the game for real). These sessions went really well, not only did they understand the game from the rulebook, but they really enjoyed the game as well, which is always good!
One major change from these sessions, as well as feedback from Reddit and from the Discord, was changing the rulebook from black to white, to white to black. This was due to finding out that black background with white text isn't very user friendly towards people with dyslexia. Another was adding in some visuals for which card decks were which at the start of the instruction manual.
There has been many more changes, and I'm sure there will be even more to come, but I'll leave this blog post here for now. Next month I should have the copies arriving from the manufacturer, so I will make sure to do a blog post talking about that then.
Niall from Crab Studios.
Hello, my name is Niall Crabtree, and this is my comprehensive blog showcasing all of my game development endeavors and successes, as well as essays on game design.
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