Saturday, August 25, 2012

Playtest Day!

Good morning, everyone!

Today we have another playtest scheduled for 1pm, the conclusion to our first two-week-long playtesting sprint.  We've gotten a lot of great feedback and have been steadily making changes and modifications to the Infinite Earths ruleset.

One of the biggest blows to our egos came this week with playtesting our social dynamics.  As it turned out, we were too successful at making the social system more robust (like combat).  Specifically, the players approached it like a combat, using words to beat up the NPC like a piñata until he gave them what they wanted.  Additionally, what would have normally taken probably about 10-15 minutes took nearly an hour and a half.

As we discussed the flaw with this afterward, thanks to feedback from our Tuesday-night playtesters, we realized that "wear them down until they can't argue with you anymore" does put you in the mindset that yes, the NPCs are basically just there to be verbally abused in order to gain advantage.

It's obvious in hindsight.

So we spent the last few days building a completely new social mechanic that emphasizes that where combat tears somebody down, social engagement builds relationships.  We'll be testing that today to see if it works better--we're very excited about it.  Additionally, today's playtest group will be checking out our new Swashbuckler and Tosser fighting styles, and we'll be introducing a new, simplified magic system as well.

This will be our last playtest day before a two-week playtesting hiatus.  We'll be spending the hiatus building out the system some more and fleshing out the chapters before hitting it again on September 11th.  One thing that the past two weeks has taught us is that we probably only want to run a single playtest a week, to ensure we can fully incorporate the changes we make to Infinite Earths between playtests.  So, given that, we'll probably be moving some playtest dates around in October and later.

We'll have a journal on how today's playtesting goes later this evening, and next week we'll follow up with a postmortem on new developments in Infinite Earths thanks to the playtesting.  Talk to you later!

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