It was definitely a bit of a frenzy to make last minute changes to the game before Breakout Con. Luckily I wasn’t too busy at work and had the time to put the stickers I printed onto the dice I had bought. The con began during the day so needless to say I was really antsy to get out of work and start enjoying the con. Seeing as work wasn’t busy I ended up slipping out early and headed over to the hotel it was being held at.
Please follow along with the development of our first table top game, Primal Ordnance.
It’s been a few months since my last blog post but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been busy iterating the game. Initially I made most of the changes I outlined in my last post. I recreated the entire board about 20% smaller which took quite a while. But it helped since now the board more easily fits on tables, especially the ones at Snakes & Lattes which are fairly narrow. I completely revamped the end game.
Playtesting continues and it’s already proving fruitful. After only 7 tests, some with my family, and some with folks at Snakes & Lattes, I’ve gathered enough perspective and feedback to make some fairly major changes to the game. Here’s a list of the changes I’m currently mulling over and the reasons why. Overall the game is still way too slow. For the last week’s designer night I successfully fixed the turns taking too long by having players take only a few actions per turn until each player passes (like Terraforming Mars) but each round still took close to 30 minutes.
Since finishing the prototype, playtesting has commenced. I began by playing with my wife and son several times. I should note that this is definitely not the type of game they are used to playing, but they both learned the game fairly quickly and we were able to play 2 -3 rounds each test. While nothing game breaking occurred (which is great) it was quickly apparent that each turn and round was taking way too long since those 2-3 rounds took a little over an hour.
After many months of slow but steady development I am happy to say the prototype of Primal Ordnance is complete! I even playtested it twice this past week and nothing game breaking occurred which is great. Even just two playtests consisting of two rounds each has shed light on several small issues that I might have to address. But for now I will share some photos and the basic mechanics of the game as it is in this first iteration.
I know in my last post I said that I would make this blog post about the gameplay of Primal Ordnance, but since then I attended two prototyping events and wanted to discuss my experience. The first event was called Proto T.O., a tabletop game prototyping event held here in Toronto. I had first heard about this event while I was attending Fan Expo back in August. After one of the panels I had the pleasure of meeting Pam Walls, the founder of the event and a game designer herself.
A few weeks ago I took the opportunity to learn more about game design and publishing by attending several different panels on the subject at Fan Expo Toronto. I am really glad I did because not only did I get a lot of great information and advice, I also got to meet a lot of awesome game designers. This more than anything was worth the price of admission for the whole weekend.
So it’s been a few months since my original blog post. I’m not sure anyone has even started reading these yet but the plan is to post much more often now. Development of my prototype definitely slowed down over the summer months. A new job and the kids being home from school definitely attributed to that. But recently I’ve been giving myself more time to work on it in the evenings and I’m happy to say it is almost done.
Welcome to Mesa Game Lab, a company devoted to developing fun and engaging tabletop game experiences. My name is David Diaz and my partner in this endeavor is Bryan Howard. With this blog we hope to track the growth of our fledgling company, as well as provide you, our readers, with an inside look into our development process, from these early stages, so you can learn from any of the pitfalls and successes we may encounter along the way.