21 Others: First Revised Edition

Certainly far from the last.

I've been fairly busy this week with the proper jobs in my life, but that didn't take some time to go through and fix some of the problems that plagued the game in the first two tests. I feel like I've addressed some of the biggest concerns of the game, particularly as it concerns some the vestigial elements I mentioned last time, fleshing some out and removing some others. Six cards have been eliminated from the deck completely [I'd like to add four cards in their place, but one step at a time, I figure], and I reprinted several cards with clearer... I guess instructions would be the word to use. I guess that's yet another swipe from MTG - "if it's written on the card, it's the rule."

I changed the names of a couple things too. Wanted to give a shout out to the lady who gave me the most helpful suggest last time through.

There's a possibility I might get another test in on Monday at my friend Caitlin's birthday, which I guess was the reason for wedging this in when I had things I should have been paying more attention to.

The only regrettable part about all of this is, for at least right now, the game is 3-21 players. The 2 player mode just raised too many questions, and is something I'm going to try and figure out later on down the line. I've thought about possibly hosting some sort of event here at my house [I have a long table, in an attempt to get some other people who are more at my skill level or lower with games to give it a shot too, hopefully with some hardcore table-toppers thrown in the mix.

21 Others - First Play Test

Thanks to the help and enthusiasm of Terry Bartley, I was graciously invited to play test my card tonight with his games group. They usually get together for a D&D campaign, or a new board game, but were incredibly generous to give up one night and their tabletop to play the first two games of "21 Others" - as well as give me a lot of really great feedback about the game. All these guys were veterans when it came to gaming too, so their feedback had a lot of good stuff, a lot of stuff I can, and will, use. The "special thanks: for this game is building up fast.

I was a bit on edge during play. I've never really had problems getting feedback on my work, but with a game, it is just so much different, watching people engage with what you've produced, and getting to engage with it to, with them, and sort of feel all the various successes and frustrations in real time.Very exciting. A little terrifying. But they were such a great group.

Got a game going with seven players, tweaked the rules a little the first time, at the behest of those at the table, and really got into the play of the game. Right now, it looks like a good game would come in close to an hour long, which seems okay, seems like something people would be okay with, in practice at least. That's probably the biggest relief - overstaying my welcome with a hardcore group of tabletoppers would official be a death knell for this, but I feel like my little game passed that test, and am pretty heartened by that.

I have about four pages of notes in my garbage short-hand, well less "notes" and more cues to the problems that we run into while playing, and a couple of more in-depth things which were immediate improvements on play. There were more than a couple of "why didn't I think of that?" moments too, which are lovely and humbling - and a lot of things were pointed out to me, underdeveloped things, things I wasn't sure if I'd use, which for some reason I kept calling "vestigial tails" out loud [because I just couldn't stop saying "vestigial"], which I think I can develop, which I think I have to develop further - opportunities to reach out beyond my "keep it simple, stupid" philosophy a bit.

There is one play mechanic that seemed... wildly off, really unpleasant for folks, and from the comments, most definitely flawed, and I may actually focus just on overhauling it for the next week or so, maybe even before the next play test. I'll keep you updated.

I'd like to thank everyone again, too. Feel like I've shaken a lot of my dread now, and I might be able to hunker down and actually make a game people will have fun playing.

"21 Others" Games Played Count: 2