The Curse of Alfred Packer

Posted on October 11, 2017 By

A few weeks back, I noted that my Packer’s Last Resort card game had reached a point where I could no longer playtest it solo; I need to get other folks to play it too. Turns out, that was easier said than done.

First, I made plans to test the game at the local game designers’ playtest night. But as I set out for the meet-up, the battery light on my car lit up, and the engine started making a most unwholesome groaning sound. Fearing being stuck on the road yet again, I returned home. Turns out, that was the right decision. The battery was fine, but the alternator and serpentine belt were both on their last legs, and had made a suicide pact that would have left me stranded.

A week later, I tried to attend another playtesting event. But I left the house late, the night skies were pouring rain, and the event was an hour away at a venue I’d never visited before. I was starting to feel cursed.

Despite everything, I did arrive safely, and had time to get a couple plays in with other people before the venue shut down. To my relief, those people enjoyed the game. They didn’t looooove it, but felt it was pretty fun, which is a good place to be at this point in the process. And based on that test, I think I’ve figured out how to shorten the game so that it ends before the fun runs out — which is an issue I’ve been struggling with since its earliest incarnation.

I don’t have an updated print-and-play file. Not yet, at least. If this is something you’d like to see, please let me know in the comments (or on Twitter) and I’ll add it to my to-do list.

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