Sunday, December 16

Out Of Stock!

After a run on It's Alive! orders, I'm now out of stock temporarily. I sold ten this week, which cleaned me out, and I can't even make any more until the boxes arrive on Tuesday. I can't take Tuesday off work though, as I've my departmental Christmas meal at work, so I might not get them until Wednesday.

As a result I've decided not to go on the radio, since telling everyone what a great Christmas present It's Alive! would make will backfire if I can't get any ready in time to deliver before Christmas.

Instead of making games, I've managed to get a few games of Jorvik (soloing still) in today around my weekend chores, plus a first play of Codename: Harvest - my latest submission. Jorvik went well (including taking down the extra information I mentioned a couple of days ago). I tried one strategy that I thought might be unbalanced, and although it got a much large score than before, the other player won! Choosing that strategy boosts your points, but it also helps your opponent.

Playing Harvest brought home to me the importance of blind-playtesting - where you give the game and the written rules to someone who has not played it before and get them to play the game from the rules. Although the rules seemed very well written when I first received them, it's not until you try playing the game that you realise where all the small cracks are - what do you do in this situation? Does this card work like that or slightly differently? I've now got a bunch of questions to email off to the designer. First impressions were promising though.


Neil said...

Well done selling out!

We have this problem with rules for new games. It doesn't matter how hard you try, as someone who knows a game inside-out (or should), getting all the rules a person who has never seen the game needs, is very tricky.

This on its own is a good enough reason for blind playtesting, let alone working out any issues with the game itself.

Jack said...

Thanks, I hope to get some more boxes today or tomorrow, so I can continue to make the initial 300 copy run.

As for blind-playtesting I couldn't agree more. If you know the game well (especially true of the designer) you'll assume a bunch of things are self-evident and leave them out of the rules (either intentionally or not), it's not until someone new to the game picks up the rules and tries to play by them that the gaps come out into the open.