This evening I held the blind playtesting session for It's Alive! in a local pub. I'd invited a few friends and some people from the local games club. It was a great night. It's Alive! was played probably around twelve times in total with 2 to 5 players. It was a fun evening.
The feedback was overwhelmingly positive - much better than that for Border Reivers when I did the same thing. Here's the breakdown, I've done the scores for everyone, and excluding my friends:
|Aspect||Gamers Average||Full Averages|
|Gameplay: Choosing a card||8.25||8.00|
|Gameplay: Buying a card||8.00||8.33|
|Gameplay: Selling a card||8.50||8.83|
|Gameplay: Auctioning a card||9.25||9.50|
|Gameplay: Winning conditions||8.40||8.57|
|Gameplay: Game Length||9.60||9.71|
In addition, five out of seven ordered a copy, and the remaining two were maybes :-)
As with Border Reivers, before the playtesting I got last minute nerves and was worried the money I'd already invested was a false economy, but I'm now full of confidence again. I've not had a chance to fully digest the feedback, but it's clear that the clarity of the rules is the weakness again, I need to make sure they are more clearly explained.
Clearly I've still got stuff to learn about games publishing, but I feel I've learnt a lot in the last year, and I hope it shows in the selection and production of It's Alive!