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Developed A Card-Based Boardgame - Would Like Help Testing On Tabletop Simulator


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A friend and I have been creating a boardgame, that we started during the first Covid lockdown. We've got it to a point where it's feature-complete, but needs testing by people who aren't going to tell us it's good because they're our wives! We think we might have a couple of balance issues that we're a little blind to, because we're too close to it.

 

I've created a Tabletop Simulator version and would love it if some people from here could give it a bash and let me know what you think.

 

The game is a 2 - 4 player co-operative crisis management game. You're the crew of a spaceship caught in a meteoroid storm and your ship is taking damage every round - which the players have to repair, whilst trying to avoid or mitigate what's about to hit them in the next round.

 

Game length can be quite variable, ranging from 60 - 120 minutes. You'd have to expect your first game to take quite a while, while you figure out what you're doing. Or, you might run into those balance issues I talked about and explode really quickly! (Game length can be tweaked by reducing the number of rounds you need to play, so if anyone wants to play a short version I'll show them how).

 

We've split the game into Beginner and Advanced modes, and currently the Beginner mode is available for testing in Tabletop Simulator. The Advanced mode is the real game, but we split a few features out after our first round of playtesters said there was too much to learn all at once. It's actually not that complicated but it really does need you to know everything all at once from the get-go, so I guess it can feel overwhelming.

 

I'd like people who already know their way around TTS to give it a go, so that it can be proper blind testing, without me hovering around and butting in saying, "No, no, you're doing it all wrong!". But, if you'd like to help but don't really know your way around TTS, I'd be happy to do a session with you to show you the ropes. 

 

We've got physical prototypes, too, but they're with other people at the moment, but I'm up for paying to print a couple more to lend to an enthusiastic volunteer.

 

We've never made a game before and I've never done a TTS module before, so there will be rough edges, but I do think we've got a fun game on our hands, here. I would really appreciate feedback from casual or hardcore gamers. The TTS module is private at the moment, but I can send links to it to anyone who'd like to have a look.

 

Here's a video of me just randomly playing with the TTS module, not specifically playing the game... 

 

This is the manual that has been stripped down to just the Beginner Mode (needs a lot of visual polish, but the words are all there) - Beginner Mode Manual

This is the full manual and the TTS version for it can be put together with just a few hours notice - Original Full Manual

 

The Beginner Mode manual will have the Advanced Mode added to it, and then the second PDF above will be retired.

 

The game comes with 10 random objectives* that give a slightly different way of ending each game. 8 of these are available in Beginner Mode.

We're also working on a scenario book of 30+ scenarios that will be playable standalone or as part of a campaign mode.

 

We'll be aiming at polishing the visuals and incorporating testing feedback and then hopefully putting a kickstarter together in the first half of 2022, if not the first quarter.

 

Ok, please let me know if you'd like to have a play with it!

 

* Some of the random objectives are quite hard, so we might, as part of a balance pass have to divide them into easy/medium/hard objectives. If you play the game and randomly draw an objective you don't fancy, just discard it and pick another for now!

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If anyone wants to just dive in and have a play, here's the link:

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2704764507

Not sure if it will just "work" without me letting you in, or something...never done this before.

If you do get in, then:

 

1) Assign players to colours

2) Click "Setup A Game" (grey button at the top)

3) Click "Reveal" (purple button, top left)

4) Look at the two revealed Threat Cards. Pick one and move the other to the Threat Discard Pile.

5) Click "First Deal" (blue button, top left)

6) That is your first two Threat Reveal and Deal phases of the first round taken care of. From now on you have to manually deal cards to players*

 

*(tracking how many cards to deal to players will require a lot of scripting, and the TTS module is meant to be a low-effort testing aid, so I don't want to spend weeks coding stuff players would have to do manually when playing physically anyway)

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Cool, sounds intriguing. :)

 

I'll try and find some time this week to give it a go. Not that I've got any friends to play with, but assume you can set it up and play as two players?

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Hi, yeah you could play as two players on TTS. Just go into Hotseat mode and take it from there. 

 

I think the TTS conversion kills the mood of the physical game, because you don't get that lovely tactile feedback from touching stuff and the buzz from other players, which is important in a game like mine. But from the point of view of testing the game mechanics, it'd be fine to play alone as two players. And of course I'll be grateful for anyone at all taking a look. 

 

Has anyone else got a project I can help them with in return for looking at mine? Bit of reciprocal back scratching. 

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  • 4 weeks later...

Apologies, but only just got around to giving this a go. TTS foibles aside I think it's a good little game. I've had three goes so far (playing as two players) and have lost each time :)

 

Very much reminds me of a panicky round of FTL, getting smacked by fires and asteroids and trying to balance crew and fire against integrity damage. I thought the cards worked well, although I wonder why 2 players only get 10 cards between them, while other group combinations get 12. 

 

Each round's steps took a while to get used to, especially the Player round. But after playing through once I think I'd picked it up okay. I don't feel like my losses were unfair, albeit it felt harsh at moments. I do think I can beat it though, so will keep trying it. 

 

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Ah thanks, man! Glad you enjoyed it. 

 

There are a couple of tiny niggles with the TTS scripting that I'm working on. It's already in an infinitely better state than when I first posted here. I'm actually glad you took a while to get to it. 

 

The thing about fewer cards for 2 players is meant to reflect that 2 players can probably coordinate their hands more readily than even 3 players can. Whether that stands up in practise is one of about a million playtesting questions I have. 

 

I knew this thread was a big ask, when I posted it. Time is precious and looking at this for nothing more than a thank you is massively appreciated. Really, Danster, thanks very much indeed. 

 

If anyone else did want to just stick their heads into TTS and give it half an hour, just to get a feel for whether they might like, or hate, it, I'd be chuffed. 

 

Got a story you want me to read, a game to test? Something like that, I'm happy to trade. (Edit: Oh, and I'll go first!)

 

Manual

The TTS Mod

Instagram

 

Another edit!: If you give it a go and you have questions while you're playing it like "Ok, how the fuck do I even start?", send me a message on Discord: Rhino5#5451 (or Insta?).

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