Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Goin' Home

No real updates this week, just wanted to wish all of my U.S. folks a Happy Thanksgiving.  :)

Thursday, November 17, 2016

On with the Show

And now, back to our regularly scheduled program!

Sorry about the delay, but Life kinda distracted me.  Nothing horrible or tragic, just...Life.  Work, family, friends all swirling about, and before you know it, a couple of weeks have passed.

Enough of my lame excuses, you're not interested in that!  Let's talk about what I've been up to, and how far along I am with my Mystery Mechanic (maybe I should TM that?).

Update #5

  • Mechanic update - Tested alternate mechanic and found that it over complicated the process.  However, I do need to implement additional resolution parameters to make the numbers work.  The percentages are even for certain results except for these two; it's mainly because they're set as a pair instead of being separate values.  I've been thinking about implementing these two values as story effects (Positive and Negative), which could then be used to interpret the dice.  Haven't had the chance to playtest this yet, but it's on my To Do List.
  • Speaking of my To Do List, it's starting to really fill up.  I've been so focused on development, I've let other points slip; setting up an LLC, TM a couple of items, registering domain name for the future, etc.  Most of these items are for the future, so I've been ignoring them as a result.  I'm kinda bad about that.  :(
  • Setting(s) - I've been jotting down notes here and there, collecting art for inspiration, and doing a bit of research.  I have a firm idea of what the first setting will be, but I don't want to give it away just yet.  I hate to tease, but I want to make sure that it's solid before I present it to a larger audience.  Expect an elevator pitch soon!
  • Playtest - I'm starting to think I should create a page just for playtests!  Data was collected, and the players were very informative.  Simple character creation was conducted, which was completed in a short amount of time.  Next step will be to include more character creation options, and see how they effect game play.
  • Preliminary writing - Typed out the Contents page, which will change over the course of writing.  Still, it was nice to see what it could look like in the future.  Also started outlines for several chapters, and some initial writing for those as well.
  • Art - Not even on my radar yet, but I have high hopes!
Well, that's all I have for now.  I don't have any more testing planned for the immediate future; upcoming holiday and family come first, after all!  I'll be more diligent in the future concerning updates, so stay tuned!

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Try a Little Harder

Completed another round of early playtesting this past weekend, with interesting results.
I had a simple outline for the group that evening; give a brief rundown of the core rules, explain character creation rules and create characters, and end with running some combat simulations.  The group understood the rules easily enough, created some diverse characters to test the combat system, and we were off.

Combat flowed fairly well, with some good input from the players.  I was doing one-on-one combat with each player instead of group combat, mainly because I wasn't quite ready to test out that mechanic yet.  Players gave their input after a few turns of combat, and I jotted down notes during and after each combat.

The playtest was pretty much done, and there were some good conversations about the mechanic and how to implement it in this setting or that; I have to admit, I was feeling pretty stoked.

Then one of the players asked a question about the resolution mechanic.  It gave me pause, because I didn't have an immediate answer.  The group discussed the issue, and delved deeper into the root cause and potential fixes.  More testing started up to quantify the issue, and how to resolve it in the future.

This may seem like a failure, but I count it as a huge win.  Sometimes, you're so close to what you're working on, you fail to see what may be wrong; that whole, "Forest for the trees" thing.  I can't stress enough how important playtesting is when developing.  Even when you think you're done, do it some more.

I'm also very fortunate to have some very sharp individuals for playtesting.  They really dove in with little guidance, and put the mechanic through its paces.  That last part about testing and trying to resolve it?  That was all them.

I've run some simulations, using the mechanic as is, as well as a revised version.  Interesting results thus far, and there may not be as much of an issue as previously thought.  I'm hoping to do some extensive testing this weekend, using some scripting to get a large batch of results.  AnyDice is great, but I need something a little meatier.  Hopefully I won't have to reinvent the wheel; developing an RPG system is enough work as is, thank you very much.  :)