We set a goal in November to have print and play files and beta rules ready for testing in early January. At about that same time we completely revised CyMS rules and had to re-balance and revise characters and some of our core rules. We just barely got a draft done of the rules, including the “Quick Start Guide”, right before I went to Minneapolis for the holidays. The timing was perfect for me to trick my friends and family into sanding off the really rough edges of our rules; our first blind playtests!
My first test subject was my stepdad. Every time I go home for any amount of time he and I dig into a game. Last year it was “Gloomhaven”, the year before “Imperial Assault”, before that it was “Duel of Ages” (I love that game, such goofy fun). My other guinea pig was Steve, my sister’s partner. The first time I visited him and my sister in Portland, we ended up going through a bunch of his old RPG books and campaigns and looking at his ancient 40k models. He’s down to game.
I set them up with the “Quick Start Guide” and all the components and tried my hardest to keep my mouth shut and observe. It was very enlightening, Bernie and I have spent so much time living and playing in our own world that we inevitably took a lot of knowledge for granted. Watching blind playtests really helps us see where our rules are unclear.
My third tester was my good friend Matt. We were roommates for a couple of years and I watched him playing at the edges of every video game we had, experimenting with the laws of the game and finding glitches to abuse and bugs. Since he moved to MN he has taken up tabletop gaming. He helped identify a lot of issues in the “Quick Start Guide” and I am confident he will help us discover mechanics ripe for abuse and game breaking edge cases in the future.
Thank you playtesters!
Playtesting is so important for making a good well balanced game, and creating a quality rule book that is easy to understand. We really appreciate the help. Lynn, Steve, Matt, thanks you so much for being the first blind testers. Thank you to everyone that has played so far and given us feedback, you have already made the game better. Thanks to all of you that have signed up for our private beta. We are very grateful to have people helping us make this game as good as it can be.
If you’re not part of the private beta program and you want to be check this post for instructions on joining up.