Gnome Grown had a blind playtest this week. Blind playtesting involves the designer watching while people who’ve never played the game before try to work out how to play from the rule book alone. Whilst I was nervous before, the experience was overwhelmingly positive. The rule book is solid and only needs minor changes. The components are good, though some need slight colour changes to highlight key information. The game works well. There were just a few things that were a little clunky and difficult to understand, but those have been smoothed out with discussion. I made 7 pages of notes, and these small changes are now being put into action. Almost ready to send to the printer!
I spent more time working on an imp game with imp cards. I created a game called “Impound”. It works, but is unsatisfying to play. There is too little choice and the random draw of the cards can prevent one player from being able to claw back from defeat. It looks good on the table, but that is secondary to the game play. (A lot) more work needed on this.
Finally, Stand By Your Beds has had its first solo playtest. Stand By Your Beds is a game about smuggling contraband into your room by putting it under your bed. It used to be set in an unpredictably guarded prison, but now it has shifted to a strangely controlled boarding school. During the game the rules, bonuses and victory conditions changed multiple times, but I’m getting close to having something worthwhile now. There are 5 dice with different numbers of sides and a load of contraband cards. Players have to decide how far to push their luck to gain the best reputation by having the coolest stuff in their room. I want it to play with 3-5 players, so I need about 16 more cards. Those will be created, a few tweaks made, then I’ll take it out for playtesting.