Written by: Calvin Kammer
This last weekend I had a small milestone: the first playtest of our first game!
It’s quite a magical moment, when all of the effort you’ve put into a project can finally have something of a payout. There’s always a moment when something clicks; either wow the game is actually fun or oh no this is horrible. My reaction is typically dependent on how players receive the game.
The feeling of when the game clicks and your players have legitimate fun is one of the most rewarding feelings out there. Especially when you get a diverse group of people who have their own favorite parts of the game.
Having your passion project be played (and therefore lowkey judged) can be intensely personal. The slightest bit of criticism can cut deep, even if it wasn’t meant to.
As someone who has had their games judged by all manor of people I have to admit I still care about what they think. At the end of the day I want to make games for people to enjoy, and if that isn’t happening something is going wrong.
When the game isn’t fun it means the a hook or mechanic didn’t “click” with the player. There can be any number of reasons why it didn’t “click”. My top 3 likely reasons:
- The game is not fun
- Didn’t hear/ misinterpreted the rules
- The hook or mechanic is not interesting to the player
The game fun is entirely subjective. Have fun with that. I combat this by starting off with a hook, mechanic, or theme I find fun. If at least I find it fun, then my game already has at least one player.
Longwinded rules explanations can lead to all manor of rules being forgotten, unused, or otherwise misinterpreted. Poorly written rules are the worst offenders for why rules get misused.
If the players simply don’t find whatever it is you have fun or interesting, they are the wrong kind of players for you. Not that they are wrong in their thoughts, but they are wrong for you.
Thanks for reading! If you found this to be engaging please engage in the conversation by commenting or sharing this post. I'm always open to feedback, and am looking forward to continuing expanding on Blurbs from the Bloated Toad. -Calvin