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

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