Sunday, January 13, 2008


For the last few months, I've had the opportunity to play a friend's prototype game. It's a lot of fun - and I'm learning a lot about what's involved in playtesting a game. I have a lot more sympathy for the team at Wizards of the Coast that has to decide what's balanced and what isn't for their Magic: The Gathering collectable card game.

My friend's game has significantly fewer abilities to balance, and already there have been long discussions on timing issues and the interaction between abilities.

With each revision of the rules, some elements get simpler and the game itself becomes more elegant.

It helps that it's a really fun game. He's thinking about entering it into the Seventh Annual Game Design Contest at KublaCon.

I also have a friend who is a publisher who asked me (totally out of the blue) if I knew of any game projects worth publishing.

I've previously discussed some of the magic of holding a prototype in your hands. And I've played some mediocre prototypes. This isn't one of them. I think that, if a publisher gives it a shot, it'll likely make it a good long ways. Even if it's not eventually published, it'll mark my friend as a designer to watch.

I don't want to say too much about the game itself, because I don't want to endanger its chances of publication in any way. But I'll keep you in the loop on its progress.

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