Brendan and I just got back from a weekend of demoing, playtesting, learning, and meeting other game designers at the Pacificon Protospiel, so I'll keep this one short. What a weekend! Besides teaching the game roughly 6-8 hours a day for 3 days in a row and getting invaluable feedback, we also met a lot of great game designers and event organizers who we'll definitely be keeping in touch with in the future.
Some key things we learned from the weekend are:
Having the painted buildings and all painted models was the right decision. Boy did it attract attention, even from people who had zero interest in playing the game! A nice lady kept checking out our game, even after us asking her multiple times if she wanted to try it out. Finally she came by and asked if she could take some photos, and then went away. =)
Our "Learn to Play" format was a huge success, especially in getting non-miniatures gamers interested in the game. We even had a couple playtesters try out the Learn to Play and then immediately play a full demo with us.
We're on the right track for deciding on self-publishing. One person on the Protospiel "How to Self Publish" panel said it the best. "You self publish if you want to manage a business." Yup. That's us.
Some major graphics, icons, and text size changes are in order. Got a lot of 50-70 year old playtesters and our small fonts and hard to read colors on the Character Cards definitely need updating!
We have a new phrase to describe the game (thanks to a great playtester's feedback): The "accessible miniatures game".
With that, I want to call out Luke Laurie and his team who put the Pacificon Protospiel event together and ran a tight ship. That was a blast and we're definitely going to continue to be plugged into the game designer community in the Bay Area from now on!