Sunday was a great day at the Game Design Gala (1st edition!) at Wild Goose Creative. Al Jam organized a wonderful afternoon of meeting and demoing for the game designers and players alike. Things started off a little slowly, which worked out well as it allowed those of us who needed it to finish setting up, but became pretty packed quite quickly. I had hoped to try out some of the other designers’ games, but ten minutes into my first fifteen minute game (go Jewelies!) I had to bail because my own table filled up and stayed that way until closing time.
As in nearly every game, the players came up with questions requiring tweaking of the rules or rewriting the card text to clarify. One of the joys of designing games is learning all the places other people can go with your vehicle. The simplest of games has little or no wiggle room for interpretation, but something as big as Grisleigh End: Estate of Confusion has seemingly endless arrangements of moving parts to play with, and the possible combinations of conditions continues to be unveiled.
Players often approach a piece of the game in a new way or try something no one has before. For example: I have been evaluating the abilities of the various staff members for balance, seeing one or two of them being the last chosen in game after game. The Detective Inspector seemed to be the least-desired, often left unused in games of less than six players, and his ability to detain other staff rarely used even by those who had him in tow. Recently, however, this took a complete turn in two separate games wherein the player with the Detective took control of the board, trapping half of his opponents in his company by detaining their staff for questioning! Goes to show that time invested in playtesting continues to be valuable no matter how far along the game design seems to be.
That’s why Grisleigh End continues its journey, to seek out new venues and new players, to boldly go where no game has gone before! Where will we meet you?