This month I’ve had 24 people play test Stranded Spacecraft/Solar Storm (we’re going through an identity crisis and changing the name of the game). This has been at the UK Games Expo, which Playtest UK do a fantastic job of running, and Meeple Mayhem, who are very generous in lending us their space. Scott Moore and Richard Buxton did a fantastic job there in steering players towards games. I can’t thank them enough.

The Feedback

The feedback has been positive on the whole and I’ve learnt a few things about my game and about running playtests. I’m going to talk about the former first for those that are just interested in the progress of the game. For those that are interested in getting good information from play testers, I’m going to write that in another blog very soon.

Here are the five main things I have taken from play testing this month:

1. Reference cards: I need to put them back in. To be honest they were only left out this month because the actions list needs updating. That been said, a lot of people asked for them and I didn’t realise how much people would depend on them. People didn’t really want to share the back page of the rule book for a quick reference, which is totally fine as I planned on adding them back in anyway. However, what I took from a few play tests is that players also forget who is which colour. After a couple of weeks, I’ve come up with a solution to this. I’m simply going to match each pawn colour to a reference card. that way players can look at the reference cards in front of their teammates for visual aids.

2. Protection tokens need to be numbered: Something I ran into pretty much every time someone used the protection tokens was that they couldn’t remember which ones they had placed and which ones their teammates had placed. My solution is pretty simple. I’m going to number the protection tokens and then add four cards that match them. Players will then take the card that matches their placed token. Fingers crossed that works OK.     

3. Event cards: I had 3 players over different games figure out they could card count and work out the likelihood of a room being damaged next. I’m not too sure how I feel about this. The feeling I am going for is one of uncertainty which this brakes a little, especially at the start of the game. However, those play testers still didn’t beat the game so therefore their tactic didn’t help them enough to win. I’m in two minds of what to do about this. I could either leave it as it is as some people have suggested to me, 
or I could add event cards and then have players remove a few blindly at the start of the game. I will need to think on this one, so if you have any suggestions then please feel free to let me kn

4. Name change: about a fifth of play testers said that the name Stranded Spacecraft sucked. After taking it to a poll in a Facebook group Stranded Spacecraft got a big fat zero. 85 people voted for SpaceshipyMcshipFace, and 71 for Starship Survivors. I was going to go with the latter of those. However, my friend Paul came up with the name Solar Storm and after putting that in a poll in another group, it came out on top. What do you think, and which do you prefer? I think we’ll go with Solar Storm, but I am not 100% sold on it yet.

5. The majority of people liked this game: I’ve had one person ask if they could buy it there and then, and I’ve had six others ask when they can buy it. The average score that the game has received is 8.96/10 and 13 out of 24 have said they would buy this game when it is available. This for me is a major turning point. I have spent 10 months designing and developing this game with the majority of the feedback being that it needs improvements. However, this seems to be a turning point. Players are mainly just picking up on the little things and not the massive game changing things of the previous 9 months.

And there you have it. The five things that I have taken from June’s play testing.

Have you play tested one of our games recently? What did you think and what should be one of the important things we should take from it? Let us know on one of our social media pages (links found below).

Until next time, goodbye and good luck.