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10MTF: First Round of Playtests - 6/5/16

posted Jun 5, 2016, 2:16 PM by Andrew Smith   [ updated Aug 10, 2016, 9:51 PM ]
10 Minute Task Force has seen public playtests at:
  • SwampCon 2016 in Gainesville, FL (Feb 13-14)
  • Prototype Con 2016 in Kissimmee, FL (Feb 19-21)
  • My local board game Meetup in Tampa, FL
The first iteration of 10MTF was very well-received. I got a lot of positive feedback, and some excellent suggestions from several designers and testers. Today I'll be covering in detail the top 3 things that came out of these sessions.

1. Player Reference Cards - This was one of the biggest suggestions that came out of all three of these test sessions. There's a lot going on all at once for every players and having to stop everyone's progress to ask a question about gameplay (versus quickly discussing strategy) can be the difference between winning and losing. I figure the following things should be shown:
  • How to flip over a new room tile
  • How to move into an already-placed room
  • What to do with your timer after completing an action
  • The character's Expertise based on their role
  • One time-use ability (considering calling this their Special Skill. I'll be testing various versions of these next round.)
Here's a prototype version of what I'll be using for the next round of testing:

https://sites.google.com/site/goldsealgames/blog_full/_draft_post/hacker_jumbo_trimmed.png

2. Moving through rooms - A suggestion given at Prototype Con was making it a bit easier to move from room to room. A lot of time in each game was spent rolling dice just to get a bunch of Sneak symbols to move into a room. This tended to get somewhat boring especially near the end of the game, as players have completed a mission and are just on their way out of the building.

The first attempt at this solution was to change the existing, "All other players must complete Sneak Actions to move between rooms once they are revealed" to something a bit more manageable; "To move between rooms once they have been revealed, all players must roll all of their dice to any combination of Sneak and the symbol matching their Expertise."

For example, the Hacker could roll any combination of Sneak and Hack symbols to move into unsecured rooms that have already been revealed. 
This change was implemented immediately, with excellent results. It greatly sped up the movement of players, making it much less cumbersome to move around the map.

3. Patrolled Rooms - "
Some rooms will have Guards patrolling them. These are indicated on the Mission Card under the Intel section. Upon flipping the named map tile, place a Guard meeple on the room tile for each Guard present in the room. The Guards must be dealt with before any players may exit out of that room."

When playing at SwampCon a lot of players missed placing the Guard meeples on the room tile when it was revealed. It became very apparent that simply having the information on the Mission card wasn't going to cut it as players are much too focused on their dice and timers.



I headed over to The Game Crafter to pick the brains of the various designers that frequent the chat. The overwhelmingly popular suggestion that came from there was to have cards/tiles mixed in with the room deck with, quantity and difficulty determined by the mission that is being played. So rather than the players having to remember to place Guard meeples on certain rooms, they would be flipping over tiles that say something to the effect of, "Look out! There are 3 Security Guards in the next room!" Players would then flip over the next room tile, and place the indicated number of Guard meeples eliminating any chance of them forgetting.

I didn't have a chance to implement this change before testing at Prototype Con, but the same suggestion of putting "events" within the deck was made.

Next time
In my next post I will explore the idea of "Alpha Gamers."