Speaking of the Gerrymandering and Outflank, I did update the rulebooks for both games, Outflank before I decided to hold off, and Gerrymandering so it will make a better impression if/when it goes on as well as a better look for Tabletop Simulator.
Which brings me to Tabletop Simulator! I’ve been running playtests and playing in other player’s playtests for the past two weeks, primarily on Tuesday’s, but I’ll also be on tomorrow trying out someone else’s social deduction game (in exchange for them playtesting Orphanage of Fear, though even if they can’t, I’m still happy to playtest their game).
I believe I’ve said before, but I’d like to reiterate: playtesting other people’s games is almost as important as playtesting my own games. It’s part community building (building a regular group of testers from places I cannot visit is critical to testing my games), part learning experience (what questions did they ask, why did they ask them, what should I ask), part community service (because you should put back in some of what you give, why should you expect others to play your games if you won’t play theirs?), and part development (that’s an interesting mechanic, let me see if I can implement something like it in a later design).
Of the two platforms: Tabletop Simulator and Tabletopia, I think I prefer Tabletop Simulator, which seems to have an easier time loading games and seems more stable overall. It also has a larger number of players who get into games. Tabletopia is by no means bad though, and I just received an update explaining that they’re expanding into mobile market, which could spell big things for them.
Now for what I’ve been playing:
Stones of Fate, 2 players
Animus, 2 players (demo) *played for the first time
St Petersburg 2nd edition, 5 players
Marvel Codenames, 5 players
Outflank, 2 players X4
Tiny Epic Galaxies, 4 players
Slide 5, 6 players
Century Spice Road, 4 players
Viticulture, 3 players *played for the first time
Village Pillage, playtest 3 players *played for the first time
Outflank, 4 players
A Christmas Carol, playtest 2 players X2 *played for the first time
Terraforming Mars, 4 players
Brain Freeze, playtest 4 players