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Subject: OBG 44: Study for Your Playtest rss

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Donald Dennis
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Round table about playtesting your game design, but Erik, Scott and Donald also talk about creating copies of games and respond to listener feedback about prototyping.

Erik's Expansionpalooza!

Giles and Donald talk about buying games for school and library game programs.

Donald and Nick Review Kachina by Bucephalus Games



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Donald Dennis
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One thing we didn't really do was give a breakdown of the traditional phases of play testing as provided by video game and software developers - Alpha, Beta, open Beta, and whatnot. Anyone feel cheated about that? Should we cover it or was there enough information about the topic in that episode?
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Magnus Esko
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After listening to Donald and Giles I want to pitch my own game (The King Commands) a little from your perspective

It's not out yet so I don't know the price but it contains 114 cards and a simple rules sheet so I don't think it will be expensive. I also don't know how durable the cards will be but you won't be playing them back and forth so not a lot of handling involved, although you hold them in your hand until they are played. There's no problem if you loose a few cards, there are multiple copies of all cards so it's still very playable.

The game takes about 5 minutes to teach. Each player have a reference card that summarizes most of the rules, very handy the first couple of times you play. These cards makes teaching the game a breeze, you don't need to remember much. Once everybody knows the game it will only take about 20 minutes to play, regardless of the number of players. 2-6 players are supported but I find it most fun on 3-5. The game is very light and very fast paced and people generally laugh from time to time when playing.

A few small warnings though. There is some blood on the swords and the shield on the cover and back of the cards. I don't know if this would be a problem in schools. This game is all about attacking each other and I know kids can have a problem with that. But there's no reason to attack the same player over and over so all will be attacked. And you won't suffer personally from being attacked either, it does not affect your own score. It is easy to cheat in the game though, you have to give specific cards from your hand when attacked and someone can just pretend not to have any.

The theme is loosely Arthurian, it's basically a game about swordplay. Or you could say it's a game about collecting cards and playing combinations of them. There are a lot of options on how to play your hand which is what I like about the game.
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Giles Pritchard
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Awakening wrote:
After listening to Donald and Giles I want to pitch my own game (The King Commands) a little from your perspective

It's not out yet so I don't know the price but it contains 114 cards and a simple rules sheet so I don't think it will be expensive. I also don't know how durable the cards will be but you won't be playing them back and forth so not a lot of handling involved, although you hold them in your hand until they are played. There's no problem if you loose a few cards, there are multiple copies of all cards so it's still very playable.

The game takes about 5 minutes to teach. Each player have a reference card that summarizes most of the rules, very handy the first couple of times you play. These cards makes teaching the game a breeze, you don't need to remember much. Once everybody knows the game it will only take about 20 minutes to play, regardless of the number of players. 2-6 players are supported but I find it most fun on 3-5. The game is very light and very fast paced and people generally laugh from time to time when playing.

A few small warnings though. There is some blood on the swords and the shield on the cover and back of the cards. I don't know if this would be a problem in schools. This game is all about attacking each other and I know kids can have a problem with that. But there's no reason to attack the same player over and over so all will be attacked. And you won't suffer personally from being attacked either, it does not affect your own score. It is easy to cheat in the game though, you have to give specific cards from your hand when attacked and someone can just pretend not to have any.

The theme is loosely Arthurian, it's basically a game about swordplay. Or you could say it's a game about collecting cards and playing combinations of them. There are a lot of options on how to play your hand which is what I like about the game.



It's funny you should mention that Magnus - Zev just sent me the cover art and rules so I could do a short write-up for the next Z-Man Games Newsletter!

Looks like a really cool little card game!

Cheers,

Giles.
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Donald Dennis
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What did you think of Erik's Expansionpalooza? I thought it was a great way to explore expansions without having to put in intro music for each darned review, so it allowed me to be lazy! Woohoo!

Oh, and Erik did a good job at gaging the impact of expansions.
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Donald Dennis
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caradoc wrote:
It's funny you should mention that Magnus - Zev just sent me the cover art and rules so I could do a short write-up for the next Z-Man Games Newsletter!


We should talk about your indentured servitude to Zev on a future edition of OBG. Let people know what you are doing, Being a company rep might be a good thing for us to talk about as a whole episode because all four contributors have done it for at least one company.
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Giles Pritchard
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Eric's Expansionpalooza was excellent! I enjoyed the format and his description of the impact of all the expansions. My favourite expansions are probably On the Brink (for Pandemic) and Call to Arms (for Battlelore).

Both change the game significantly - if you want them to!



Walsfeo wrote:
caradoc wrote:
It's funny you should mention that Magnus - Zev just sent me the cover art and rules so I could do a short write-up for the next Z-Man Games Newsletter!


We should talk about your indentured servitude to Zev on a future edition of OBG. Let people know what you are doing, Being a company rep might be a good thing for us to talk about as a whole episode because all four contributors have done it for at least one company.


Sounds like a date... a... ahem... recording date that is! Yes - I have been mulling over talking about this for a while, wo it'd be a good thing to do.

Cheers,

Giles.
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Magnus Esko
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caradoc wrote:

It's funny you should mention that Magnus - Zev just sent me the cover art and rules so I could do a short write-up for the next Z-Man Games Newsletter!

Looks like a really cool little card game!


Cool, thanks


Walsfeo wrote:
What did you think of Erik's Expansionpalooza? I thought it was a great way to explore expansions without having to put in intro music for each darned review, so it allowed me to be lazy! Woohoo!

Oh, and Erik did a good job at gaging the impact of expansions.


I liked that one. Been considering getting On the Brink for some time now. I own Pandemic and I quite like it myself but it doesn't get much table time because one in my group doesn't really like to play co-op.

My favorite expansion has to be Cities and Knights of Catan. It makes the game feel completely different. BTW, I got all 4th ed expansions. We are planning to combine them into one massive game of Catan but we need at least 5 people for that and every time at least 1 didn't show.

I'm looking forward to an expansion for Castle Panic. There's definitely room in the box and since it's all cards and counters it would be easy to add more. The game just begs for an expansion if you ask me. Just thought about how cool player powers could be.


caradoc wrote:
Sounds like a date... a... ahem... recording date that is! Yes - I have been mulling over talking about this for a while, wo it'd be a good thing to do.


That sounds like an interesting topic
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Bob Wieman
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Walsfeo wrote:
What did you think of Erik's Expansionpalooza? I thought it was a great way to explore expansions without having to put in intro music for each darned review, so it allowed me to be lazy! Woohoo!

Oh, and Erik did a good job at gaging the impact of expansions.


I liked Expansionpalooza a lot. Erik's focus on the impact was extremely valuable -- really, the most important thing an expansion review could have. And I thought the format devoted as much time to each expansion as it deserved (that is, less than a complete game, typically).

Of course, really you should have _multiple_ musical interludes, on several different stages, for the title to really fit.
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Ken Dwyer
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caradoc wrote:
Eric's Expansionpalooza was excellent! I enjoyed the format and his description of the impact of all the expansions.


I'd like to second this. I'm normally not very active on BGG, but this segement was so useful to me that I really wanted to express my appreciation to Erik.

I am now very interested in checking out the Pandemic expansion (which I knew about but hadn't heard any reviews) and the Zooloretto expansion(s) (which I didn't know existed, but sounds like it would revitalize the game). Thanks again!
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Erik Dewey
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Thanks, both of you for your kind words. Sounds like I need to buy some more expansions and have Expansionpalooza II.
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