AstroColonies – Playtesting

Before the game

My Minecraft playtesting, though it definitely had its hitches, revealed a lot more about my game than I thought it would. The main things we noticed in the process was:

  • Making the board smaller, no opportunities to contest arose.
  • Make Prospect cards have more benefit.
  • Objectives were too difficult to reach and needed to be on a smaller scale.

I also found that the current turn-based system quite dull, and the other players agreed with me. Turns were long so most of the game just consisted of waiting for your turn with nothing to intrigue you in that time. To fix this, I adapted a new system. Turns will turn into phases that all players will participate in at once–The resource phase, where you collect, tax what you have and trade, and the building phase, where you spend your resources and expand your colony. Each given phase ends when each player agrees to it upon it. You cannot expand your tiles or anything during the resource phase, and you cannot trade during the resource phase. This means that, for example if during the explore phase you explored and collected enough points for a card, you’d have to wait until the next resource phase.

Resource collecting

During the second round of playtesting we conducted this new system felt much better to myself and the players. This made the final objective, reaching 35 power, much more interesting though. We had all reached or surpassed this objective within the same building phase, so at the end we decided whoever had the most points was the winner.

Post, red declared victorious.

We definitely got sidetracked at points, another of our friends even building a wall around the play area as the game went on, but I think that it was still incredibly insightful in ways that would be harder to spot between only two players which I’d be stuck with at home. I finished with many insights on how to improve the experience of my game, and I have many ideas going forward. Next I’ll be writing up the official draft of the rulebook and playtesting again.

One thought on “AstroColonies – Playtesting

  1. I think it’s good that you were able to transition away from a turn-based system, and into a simultaneous phase-type game. Usually I find that in order for turn-based games to be good, the turns have to be short, or players need to be able to think and plan or otherwise engage with the game during other players’ turns. I can’t really think of any simultaneous turn games that I’ve played extensively, so I’m pretty interested in how your final game will turn out!

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