One little play test can change a lot

I’m making leaps and bounds on my game project, but I wanted to see how understandable what I’m writing is. I got my nephew to try the game out, he’s heading into grade 8 and has played dungeons and dragons with his friends already.

Turns out I could have been a lot more clear! That said he only hit a wall once, and missed out on noting a few things down along the way. I helped him past those points, but the thing that makes a good play test is letting people fail and flounder, noting down where they did, and why, and then going back and fixing those things.

Tough watching him struggle at points, but I explained to him how it worked before hand, told him I wanted him to ask questions, but that I wouldn’t answer anything, that I needed to know if he could get through making a character with just what I had written. I used the words “If you struggle or can’t figure anything out, ask me so I know, but remember that any time it’s hard, that’s my fault, and I need to write the book better.” He understood and he rocked it as a tester, I was super impressed. I’ve known lots of people that would get frustrated and quit if I didn’t help them along, it’s just human nature.

In the end he had a character made but the writing wasn’t where I needed it, he wouldn’t have managed without me there, so I have lots and lots of work to do!

Very cool experience, can’t wait to get these changes down and try it again on a new guinea pig. I’ll get my nephew to help again soon to try out the combat rules as well, so there is definitely many long hours ahead. Couldn’t be more excited!

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