Final Exams

I’m losing count how many changes we’ve put into this thing. I can recall them if we go through the mountains of textual changes Phil and I have put into the item, character, and rules cards. But actually list them in one go? Impossible. I think we’ve said it before, writing a game is like programming marching orders for the entire animal kingdom.

BaRPG has now come to what we’ve now decided is the final play test. And it’s nerve wrecking coming back once again from the drawing board, knowing what went wrong last time, wondering if anything will go wrong now, questioning if the changes may themselves induce new problems this time round. You’ve got to stop somewhere and just push on forward.

I took the game along on a night stop at work again, and was in luck this time round. We had an extra crew member along on nightstop as part of her work-place training, meaning there could be four players with me observing from the sidelines. Best of all, and I am trully blessed with my colleagues in this, all four were keen to give the game a go. So, for the last time, I pulled our plastic-sleeve-protected home-printed cards out of the ziplock bag, shook out the dice, and placed the pile of cards in the center of the table. Final exam. Did we do enough?

 

I watched as Lisa, Patricia, Sandra, and Alex pulled the pack apart, read through the rules carefully, and set up their cards and take their items. So far so good. The dice was rolled, and Lisa as the BarBarian got both one of the best and worst answers I have heard in play testing history so far. Sober points were dealt, drinks taken, and then the market round opened up. So far great!

This kept up until someone pulled the Trappe card. And before I knew it the group decided it meant Patricia (who pulled it) could swap her character with another player. A bug! Damn! I had to hold the game for a minute, and asked them how they read the card the way they did. “Not In Play” along with the word “Swap” were causing confusion. Fair point, again we’re running into the realm of non-native speakers combined with non-gamers. This needed clarification.

The game continued, and after the typical 4 rounds all four players were throwing goblins, cloaks, and dainty hands at each other. It was the usual hilarity of counter-attacks upon counter-attacks, and something I love to see happen in every play test because it’s exactly how we ended up playing this game with our friends those many many weeks ago. Before we knew it an hour had passed, and we decided to end the game as my fantastic test subjects wanted to go to a few more bars, and it felt like the right moment to finish up. I was elated. Besides the trappe card, everything else was working beautifully, especially the rules card with all it’s updates.

We’re gonna be adjusting the Trappe Card and the Vengeful Liver (because that also contains an element of character recycling). From there it’s the scary step of collating the cards, building them into one single document, and sending it off to the printers. We’re going for 200 copies. At 65 cards a deck, that’s 13,000 cards… I feel sorry for the postman!

Expect more news from us on this soon! Once the decks are in, it’s the box, and then we finally will have our Beta decks for sale! Most importantly we will have something for you guys to sink your teeth into, and we’d love to hear how your games go so we can ramp in better changes for the final First Edition of BaRPG!

Until then,
Keep Questing you Fine Drunks,

~Johno =)

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