So I'm pretty much done with the game Zombology. The feedback from the blind playtesters was fairly critical and hence very useful. Most of them played the game 'right' (i.e. they played the rules as written and intended) but didn't follow the spirit of the game, as a result, they didn't enjoy it.
Most of my other playtesters do really enjoy it, so clearly I need to improve the rules to make it clear the 'real' way to play the game.
One of the other main criticisms was that the game was too random. They didn't like that aspect of it all. However, it's intended to be a 10-15 minute chaotic drafting game, it's meant to be random. If you don't like short chaotic games, then you are not the intended audience. I wanted it to feel a bit like 6 Nimmt! in that you've got a little bit of control, but your opponents' actions can complete scupper you. I think it has a similar vibe.
With my new plan for route to market, I want to get it out there as soon as possible, rather than radically changing the game to cater to a different audience. Before I do however, I want to improve the art, which in some places is quite nice, and in others is really quite pants. So I want to boost the art a bit before making the tiny hand-made run or uploading the print on demand files.
I've made a tiny bit of progress on that this week (I got back from holiday on Monday, was in London Tuesday and Wednesday and then went away for the weekend, so not much time available) and this week is going to be another busy one (I'm in London Wednesday night through Friday night), but I'm babysitting for friends on Tuesday, so that'll be a chance to make some decent progress, I should have three or so hours of concentrated art time.
As a little teaser of where I'm going, here's a quick look at the new Zombie:
The rest of the art of the game is quite simple and iconic (not unlike 6 Nimmt!), so I wanted to improve the current (really bad) Zombie icon and knock it up a notch. This is clearly a work in progress, but I think the direction is clear (above the nose!).
Let me know what you think...