Game Designer Meetup and Playtest

On Monday, I was late to the Board Game Designer Meetup (it’s every 2 weeks) because I stopped in and visited a friend who opened a game shop this week. They’re still in their “soft open,” with the grand opening scheduled for April 5th, which is also International Tabletop Day. I’ve volunteered to run games for that, as well as start running a biweekly game night (probably board games to start out) at the shop starting in April.

Anyway, I was a bit late, so I missed any announcements, but I did bring Night of the Barrel for playtesting. I anticipated that this game can take 30-60 minutes. One guy won the game in about 3 minutes, without the 2nd playtester (we had 3) getting a turn.

So, that needs work, obviously. We discussed and brainstormed a lot of the ways to fix it, and how you would play and package this game, from the coaster aspect (“but, are you really going to want to pay $20 for a game that is one-use only?”) to where you’d play it (in a bar), and how. A third member stopped by to encourage me to re-theme the game to be more family/kid friendly (I will present without comment the confirmation that he did not make any such suggestion to the male designer who brought a game 2 weeks ago about welfare moms tricking potential dads into taking paternity tests….), which I politely appreciated, made a note, and moved on. I did point out that, ultimately, this game’s theme of beer has little bearing on the actual gameplay itself, but he kept trying to push me towards making it kid-friendly.

In general, I had fun. It’s always challenging to see your idea hit the table and fail, but both of the players, even the one who didn’t get his turn, enjoyed the game and said it’s one they would play again, if it had some replayability.