W4 S2: Building Momentum (25th Feb – 3rd March)

Weekly Goals:

Necessary

  • 2nd User testing session completed, 
  • Write up feedback from session and implement strategy to further refine the game,
  • Establish a basic set of working rules to take to the next session,
  • Complete more artwork,
  • Reflective Journal completed and handed in next Monday.

Start thinking about

  • Start planning marketing strategy (related to Reflective Journal),
  • Need to create Death Token Design,
  • Need a list of components necessary for finished game,
  • Think about kick-starter (or another crowd funding source to finance the game).

Contents

Reflective Journal

  • Complete Reflective Journal (All week).

Games Development

  • User-testing Session & Reflection (Monday), ✔
  • New Rules Written up (Tuesday),✔ – Needs updating with visuals.
  • Artwork (Wednesday & Thursday), –
  • Strategic Planning (Friday).✔

Games Development

Monday

User Testing Session

  • Printed out 2 Decks, and some more counters,
  • Refine rules for play-testing,
  • Complete session and compile feedback.

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Mondays user-testing session went better than planned. What I learnt throughout this process is that initially explaining the rules to players takes time, however, through play each tester managed to grasp the rules well and were able to enjoy a competitive experience with their friends.

Each players had the same deck filled with 62 cards (based on the experience of play I will certainly reduce this number in the future – this is to ensure that players get the best experience of play and are able to draw useful cards during their turns).

One tester noted the following after a conversation about the possible addition of back story and lore:

“I can imagine that people who are really into these types of games would really love to get stuck in and learn everything – that’s where story would work best!” 

This response I felt was appropriate and very promising – adding story to the game would give players a whole world to explore – adding a lot of additional value to the game that players could enjoy. Casual players can enjoy the game without the lore too, as evidenced by the testing session. 

Players added after the experience that they enjoyed the game and found it fun once they’d started to understand the rules. Some potential improvements could be added to improve the games play-ability; this was found through multiple plays.

  • Defense position could be given a defense roll in order to block potential attacks,
    • Potentially give defense players attacks – at a reduced cost or reduced damage overall (needs testing).
    • Implement a shield item card (to add more defense to characters, supports and Totems),
  • Think further about the weapon mechanic, as it has the potential to be overpowered, I had implemented strategies for this before the play testing session, however, these cards were not drawn during the short duration of each test. (The cards that prevent the OP effect of weapons are disarm spells and equip spells; both make it harder to both equip weapons and keep hold of them over time).
  • Counter system works – however – the potential of adding in a new way to calculate health and stamina might be appropriate (such as: a slider or digital counter),
  • Players could understand the written rules quite well, I would like to produce a visual version to reinforce these ideas and aid in solo play.
  • It would be possible to introduce more players to the game and have a two vs two game mode (each two representing one team) this would be achieved by allowing each player control of one lane while sharing the Hand with their teammate to make joint decisions. Two attacks per player might be added in order to make the game-play more fun (this needs testing to validate),
  • White text on the cards should be thickened, enlarged and made more visible on the physical cards (improved printing should assist in this matter). 

The Take-away

These tests proved that the game currently works, and is fun! The new mechanics (highlighted in last weeks blog) make the game-play smoother and more enjoyable overall. 

A few changes need to be made to create more balance and to provide further use to the defense cards and weapon cards. 

I want to test the capabilities of team play as a new game-mode.

The rules of play take a while to sink in as there are quite a few (this is standard across most board games and create a good level of enjoyment overall so I don’t plan on changing this element). It is important to make this learning process smoother and simpler for players – especially when they are learning the game at home by themselves. I would like to create visual examples of each rule and additionally produce a video guide for new players (this doubles as a promotional tool). 

Now is a great time to start producing more artwork for the game.


Tuesday

 


Friday

Strategic planning: What’s left from my weekly Goal? (also some extras that I am currently thinking about).

  • Implement strategy to further refine the game,
  • Need to create Death Token Design,
  • Need a list of components necessary for finished game,
  • Think about kick-starter (or another crowd funding source to finance the game).
  • Create a few short stories – so they can be posted on social media,
  • Cards (once drafted how long does it take to finalise a card??? – helps to refine schedule)

Schedule: Current Timescale 

March

  • Next 4 Weeks – Creating Artwork for 75 – 100 cards,
  • Want all Artwork completed by April.

In order to complete the cards before April (100 as a contingency), I must draw up ‘3.225’ cards a day, including weekends.

In order to complete the cards before April (75 in Total), I must draw up ‘2.419’ cards a day, including weekends.

How many cards can I realistically create in day?

  • I’m aware that certain cards like items, spells and weapons will take significantly less time.

Card List (Illustration Type) 75 Total

24 CCs, 6 Supports (Might become regular CCs), 6 Stories:

32 Highly Illustrated 

43 Less illustrated

Goal by April

Cards Completed,

Produce Patents and Copyrights.

April (University Half Term)

  • ‘HERO’ Towers & Components finalised,
  • Packaging designed, marketing material Designed,
  • Social Media is working,
  • Kick-starter begun (donator incentives – unique Totems, Cards etc),
  • Add illustrations from the cards into a publication for the kick-starter and shows,
  • Send cards for printing, produce packaging and components professionally,
  • Have a 1st build ready by the 1st of May.

Goal by May

Mat, Dice, Tokens & Totems finished,

Lore completed,

Working Build Finished.

May

  • Design Boxes, Promo Stands, Video, Merchandise (all extras),
  • T-Shirts Made,
  • Business Cards and Leaflets sent out to businesses and hiring managers,
  • Create take-away/promo packs (perhaps make a take-away box with a leaflet, card, business card and photos) for the Shows,

Goal by end of May

Video Created and Published,

Extras for the show are finished,

Self-marketing starts using the Game,

30th May (Final Hand In)


Saturday

3rd User Testing Session

I’ve asked two of my friends to help user-test the product, they both have very different backgrounds – but both enjoy games – I’d love to get their feedback as they are both potential audiences types for the game. As well, this gives me an opportunity to test some of the new refinements from Mondays Session to see how they are functioning. (being rescheduled).


Output Total

  • 2nd User Testing Session Completed,
    • New rules added into rule-book (other refinements have been added),
    • Analysis done & game concept has been validated by happy players on the 2nd Session,
  • Strategy is looked at and refined:
    • Project timescale is analysed and everything is running at a good pace, should be finished before the ‘hand in’ in early March. 
    • Cards will be finished before April,
    • All extras will be worked on in April.

Not Done

  • 3rd User Testing Session Completed,
    • Feedback from Session written up (need to reschedule).

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