Game Prototyping


The Curse of Alfred Packer

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…

Share

Packer’s First Milestone

I’ve hit a milestone on my Packer’s Last Resort card game: I can no longer playtest it by myself. Oh, I can still make sure most of the mechanical tweaks are working, and that my math hasn’t turned the game into a collapsing, flaming wreck. But as I simultaneously played four different hands during my…

Share

Too Little Misery

I’ve continued to bang away at Packer’s Last Resort a bit since last week. The latest iteration (which you can still download here) is better, but still has some problems: Too much food! There’s still too much food, and not enough desperation. The problem here is two-fold. Not only does it tamp down the game’s…

Share

Watching the Sausage Be Made

I’m still hacking away at Packer’s Last Resort, but if you’ve got a stomach for games that are lumpy, uncooked messes… you can hack away at it too. I’ve uploaded the latest iteration of the game as an ugly, crudely-done print-and-play file. The file includes a version of the rules and cards so new, I…

Share

Packer’s First Prototype

As promised earlier this week, I recently plopped the revised prototype for Packer’s Last Resort onto the table for a playtest. It was a cold, lonely playtest in which I myself played the parts of four different players, like some sort of game-designing Peter Sellers. It’s fine, though. I prefer to keep these initial playtests strictly internal….

Share

Up From the Ashes

Last week, I wrote how my original design for the “Alfred Packer Leads a Bunch of Noobs Into The Mountains and Ends Up Eating Them” game was no good. “Burn it down!” I wrote. And so I did. And since then, I’ve completely revamped the game, written a new set of rules, and put together…

Share

Burning Cannibals

One of the challenges of game design is knowing when to stop designing. Sad to say, some designs are just dead ends. It’s better to shove them into a well-labeled box somewhere, take a day to clear your mind, and start over from scratch. That’s where I’m at with the “Alfred Packer Cannibal Card Game”…

Share

And Now, the Robots

As I left the grocery store, a mousey woman stopped me. Her three children wriggled around and climbed her legs like kittens. She ignored their antics as she fixed her gaze on me. “What’s new with the game?” she asked. “You know. The one with the robots? Dropping?” “Ah,” I said. “I see what’s happening…

Share

Robots Dropped, Rules Changed

I finally fought my way free of the Sarlacc pit long enough to do some playtesting on that Robot Drop game I keep muttering on about. And, as I suspected, the game as written was as dull as a butter knife sealed in rubber and wrapped in bubble wrap. The biggest problems were these: When…

Share

Dropping by Design

Last week I casually brought up that I was working on a new game, and rambled on like a senile old man about its components. (“Back in my day, we didn’t have numbers on game pieces. We had shapes like triangles and birds’ feet, and you just had to count ’em!”) Today I’d like to…

Share