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Iron Kingdoms An Ancient Dark Awakens


Weird War 1 - A Shattered World

Designer Diary -- Panic Pre BETA Testing

Through the Fires of Failure

Panic: The Bad Sci fi Movie Game has had several play tests this last month, but the original game was created way back in 2003.  Huge Board, it was a tactical fighting game, with people doing funny lines.  My first play test with a friend and his wife resulted with the comment "it was fun but I was not sure why I was killing the viruses?"
I was back at it trying to resolve the tactical nature of the game with the funny lines and the virus player mechanic for a few years.  Then I had another play test at GhengisCon in Denver a few years ago; with   myself, a very savvy  woman player, and 2 teenagers.  
After the setup the kids had created a pod with like 20 viruses inside and both chose to start there.  The Woman went first, being a very savvy gamer, use a gas line explosion to kill everyone in the pod, game basically over, as there were not enough viruses for the virus players to win.   Back. To. Drawing. Board.
The last play before the current version was with some very old friends, all pretty savvy and hardcore board gamers.  This was just shortly after my dads passing so I was a wreck any way.   The result was the mixed failure that inspired the redesign we have today.  They came back with "tactical was not fun, the lines and the killing viruses was,  virus players still had too few options, and yet it was still really fun"  The same feedback came from a group of players at a Monday Night Savages meetup a year ago.  I had not done enough to move away from the tactical nature and the goals of the virus players needed to be the same as the other players, or you have 2 games with  2 sets of players, the virus players doing tactical things and not lines and the stuff that made the game fun.
These play tests, and the comments of the many players who tried it, drove the changes to panic becoming a fun (sometimes silly) game of player sabotage while trying to save the world and looking good for the camera. So

This weekend I hope to run 2 play tests, at least one artist commissioned, next week looking into manufacturing costs.

To get more details on the major changes check out the Panic: The Bad Scifi Movie Game Design Detail page.

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