Dev Diary - Project 2: Final Playtest

Today was the last day to work on the project and playtest the game. As a class, our main objective was to test out the new rule book, to see if it's cohesive and easy to understand. My team had 2 animators come in, who have never played the game before. The rule book was given to them and after they read over it, we decided to play the game.

They understood fairly early on, the initial game setup, round phases, tile placement and tokens. One of them did try to connect a blank tile to a path though, which I think is due to our diagrams not showing blanks. There is an image that displays what valid placement of tiles is, compared to non-valid placement of tiles. The image though, doesn't show a blank connecting only to blank edges, so the misconception was understandable.

Overall, the playtest went well. Whenever they asked a question or didn't understand a mechanic, I always said to try and find the answer in the rule book. Throughout the playtest, I was constantly referencing the rule book, since that was the main thing we were trying to test. Here's some of the issues that they had with the rule book:

  1. They were constantly flicking through, trying to find different mechanics. They suggested we have each category on a separate page. Hazards, tokens, tile placement, etc, each on a separate page so that it is much easier to navigate around and pick out what you need.
  2. There was some contradictory information. This was minor, but things like the number of tokens in the game and some tile placement rules were different around the rule book.
  3. There was information missing. How condition cards work and how the cat enters the game were elements that were totally missing from the rule book.

These issues are mainly small errors and formatting problems. For the actual flow of the game and conveying the order and process that things happen, they said it was good. And that is what we were mainly trying to do. Previous versions of the rule book were just the game mechanics thrown under headings. There was no start point or order of play. It left the playtesters asking more questions, the more they read. Now though, the rule book seems to be mainly intact and usable in a real world situation. This meaning that if we gave it to a bunch of strangers and left them to their own devices, they should be able to play the game the way it was made.