Thursday, July 03, 2008

An Organic Process

I sent out the July newsletter this week. Not a lot to really talk about except a progress report on how playtesting is going. In many ways it’s an organic process: of the people who have shown an interest, at least half have not been able to actually take part. Half of those couldn’t do it for technical reasons of one kind or another. One person didn’t have steady internet access and another person needed the rules in printed form (which is a hefty 240 pages). Since I’m incorporating the testers’ comments into new drafts every couple of weeks, it’s vital that the testers receive the drafts via email (as opposed to regular mail), so internet access is very important.

Another group of people who ended up not taking part simply disappeared. I basically stopped getting email replies. I assume those individuals simply decided to do other things (or perhaps they just really hated the game). I don’t think that last part is the case, although there’s no real telling. In the end, those who remained have made very good comments and I’ve found their input invaluable.

To that end, I’ve been making several changes since publishing version 0.3 of the draft rules. Most recently, I’ve added a whole section to the Starship chapter involving component damage when a ship takes a critical hit. This was directly due to the comments from playtesting that suggested the rules needed it. I had thought of it before, but left it out, but apparently I did so in error. :-)

During this period, I should also work on a supplement to the game: namely, paper miniatures. I’ve mentioned this before, but I haven’t really done much since. They are 28mm miniatures printed on paper (or card stock) that players can cut out and use to play the game. A handful of others offer paper miniatures, but mine will be tailored especially for my game, including creatures and other baddies featured in the rules.

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