Worker's Paradise got a very decent playtest, which decidedly useful, if mixed results. In attendance, were Chefs Krilov, Nixon and Lehman.
The feedback and observations during the game were fascinating. Most gratifying was the fact that the mystery-investigation-injustice thread played out very well. Given room to move in, we had a particularly entertaining persecution of a poor expatriate smuggler.
The most inciteful critique made was that, as is, Worker's Paradise is a two-session throwaway game. Which was sort of how I intended it, but there's the real result that it doesn't have much revisit value, without more character development in the system.
So, it's back to the kitchen to get under the hood and tweak a few components before trucking the thing back out after the judging for a second dry run.
Pssst... lemme tell you about Repertoire - oh, merde, that's my cue.
The playtest was very revealing - as in, damn but there's a lot of holes in the rules. Also, the GM has waaay more power than I had originally thought, but not in a bad way at all. Basically, the GM gets to control the pacing of the entire game through how long they draw out Action scenes, which is cool and something I need to talk about in the text. The biggest problem was that the game basically starts in a vaccuum - the players suggested, and I agreed, that there needs to be about a 2-page writeup on the background of the squad itself, in order to have pre-existing dynamics to riff off of.
And as advertised, Blood and Bronze got it's playtest last night.
The game is sliding more and more towards the boardgame end of the scale rather than the RPG end, but it's also getting more and more positive response as it goes through the iterations.
The next major revision will be a first draft of a "sale" version, with layout & components roughed out, examples of play and snippets of flavour text. Hopefully I'll have that ready to go for GenCon and can rope some fellow Game Chefs/Indie designers to run it as a blind test for me.
By my count, we have 5 games that have made the first half of the playtest challenge and one that is intending to do so. The rest of you have 24 hours or so left...
C'mon, if you can write a game in 9 days, you can play it in one....