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Blind Testing Doughnuts

Doughnut Dash was blind playtested this week. In a blind playtest, the players teach themselves the game from the rule book while the designer just watches and takes notes. It is really difficult not to dive in and start explaining things that players have picked up on incorrectly. But blind playtests are a really important part of the process and interfering is pointless. If players can’t learn just from the rule book, then the rule book needs changing. So instead of interfering, I stuffed my hands in my mouth and shuffled nervously in my seat.

In Doughnut Dash, players control two thieves that move around stealing doughnuts from the factory and from each other. Players play direction cards that determine the movement of both their thieves. Thieves move until they reach a square that contains a doughnut, another thief or a barrier. Barriers affect movement around the board and can send thieves in the opposite direction or through teleporters. Players create a stack with their stolen doughnuts. Some doughnuts are worth more points than others. The player with the most valuable doughnut stack at the end of the game wins.

The blind playtest went well. There are a few passages in the rule book that need slight rewording and a couple of key omissions that need adding. The game slowed down a little near the end, but a couple of small but great suggestions from the playtesters should sort that issue out. So now, the revisions will go back to the graphic designer and the game will be ready before the spring. Get yours in BuzzleBox 2.

New Coaster Games

The first Dark Imp Coaster Game – Letter Market – is already available. It is included in BuzzleBox 1. Letter Market will be one of a set of 6 coasters. Over the last week, I’ve been working on some more games to join the set. There’s a game for two players about moving along a pathway and accumulating treasure. The game, as yet unnamed, employs negotiation, bluffing and betting and is based around the Prisoner’s Dilemma mechanic – share or steal. 

In the second new coaster game – Ice Cream Cart – players each control a fledgling ice cream cart business. Each turn they must spend money to buy in icecream. The amount they sell depends on the weather, which is randomly generated by under-table-coaster-manipulation. Players can also choose to invest money in upgrading their businesses, which may well bring higher returns in the future. 

Finally, the third new coaster game will be about orbiting the sun, moving round a rondel, collecting space dust and visiting planets, which give you a set collection bonus. This game is still in the early design stage, but the other two are ready for playtesting. There are lots of playtest sessions booked in this week, so the coasters will be in their rightful place on the table soon.