I’ve recently been editing the Nightmare cards for Brevity. The game is played in real time and upon receiving a card you have ten seconds to read it, execute the rules on it, propose a trade with another player, agree and swap cads. This is already a tall order and it’s not helped if the wording on the cards is obtuse, so I yesterday I found myself going through it card by card and asking “Is there a quicker way to say this?” Getting into the nuts and bolts of this task has lead me to refine some of the concepts I discussed last month in the simplest rule.
This past month has been characterised by lots and lots of playtesting. Testing in my house, testing at friends, testing in the office, testing at gaming events, testing on tabletop simulator, testing by lending out prototypes, testing by making print and play files available. I found that I’ve started writing things at my notes along the lines of “X is a problem because we’re playtesting here” and thinking more about how the venue for a playtest is affecting the outcome of that test and how to interpret the data for developing a game that’ll predominantly be played in different environments.
At the UK Games expo I picked up a copy of XCom, I’ve played games before that have used apps to enhance the experience, but I was curious to see how well the game held up with a mandatory one. Now I’ve enjoyed it a lot and think it does a load of really neat things, but in order to contextualise my love for it I feel the need to rant about how awful an idea app supported gaming is and how much I hate smart phones.