Three playtests in three days! This past week I tested the game with my target audience: good friends. SO MUCH FUN! There’s nothing like laughing hard uncontrollably.
I also tested new equipment for documenting gameplay (new camera, mics, extra light for nighttime, and a gimbal). Taking cues from Kickstarter game campaigns, I realize that it will be more effective to show the game and not just talk about it. Not only did I learn considerations for how to do that better, but I also realized important aspects of the game through my camera lens that I had not yet noticed.
Here’s what I observed from the playing the game with my friends and filming them play:
First of all, this game jumps to a whole new level with good friends because you have a sense of when they are speaking out of character or telling a flat-out lie. And when you catch them it’s even more hilarious.
With the physical cards, gestures are a big part of the gameplay, such as the dropping of words on the table and the flipping over of one to prove a point.
The end of the game is a regular highlight because each player reveals their snuck words and recounts the moments and contexts in which they were used—thus retelling a story of the conversation.
In all three cases, groups played an hour of straight, only to be cut off by previously-scheduled commitments.
While players took advantage of choosing their new question cards throughout each round, sometimes it wasn’t necessary. Everyone kept on a roll, often jumping off on tangents from the original topic question.
Playing to a target of four cards to win felt too short, so they often sent the goals higher themselves.
One group made up an entire new way to play the game in which you start with 4-5 words in your hand, and the first to get rid of all wins.
I’m so glad I practiced video documentation. Here are the topic points for me to remember for the future:
Get the main mechanics: the initial taking of cards, the reading of the topic question, guessing right & guessing wrong, the word reveal at the end.
Lighting is key, of course. For the two afternoon sessions, I scouted ahead and found bars with corner tables and tons of natural light. But my new camera performed quite well in the
Smooth shooting: use a gimbal or tripod if I can.
Audio, especially in a louder venue, such as a bar, is tricky. My new camera has a pretty good mic, but lavalier mics capture individual voices better.
Field of view: I need to make sure you can see the cards go down on the table and how folks have arranged their cards in their space.