Game Design

How to make the final improvements to your game and know that people love it

Last week we talked about how to blind playtest your game like a pro.

You’ve gathered lots of valuable insights, but what do you do with this next? And how close are you to being able to pitch to publishers or publish your game yourself?

Let’s dive right in!

Take observations and note where your rules were confusing

As you’re observing your blind playtests, make plenty of notes on where rules were confusing, misplayed, or where they possibly didn’t make sense.

After a blind playtest, you should also ask players what it was that was confusing about any part of your rules. You will catch most of this strictly through observation, but it can also be helpful to get further clarification directly from your playtesters.

Identify anything that was clunky or unnecessary

Were there any rules that players questioned why they even existed? Did you have any workarounds in place to deal with issues that felt like a Band-Aid fix?

Watch to see how players interact with your game and the rules. Note any time that your game felt clunky to you or the players, that is, where the experience could have been much smoother.

Update steps in rules and anything that relates to the gameplay

Now, take all this data you’ve gathered, and update anything that was unclear in your rules.

If you’ve identified any rules that seemed out of place or were thoroughly confusing, see if there’s a better way you can word this, or determine if the rule is even necessary. Of course, you have to test this again to see if the game plays better without any rule you have removed or any changes you make.

It’s all part of the process of improving your game and making it more publishable.

Repeat blind playtesting

As always, one playtest will not give you all the information you need. You’ll want to continue blind playtesting with multiple groups, smoothing out all the rough edges in your rules with each playtest.

Continue to improve upon your rules with more images, examples, and clearer wording throughout.

Once you’re consistently seeing players understand your game completely while continuing to enjoy the experience, you’ll know that your rulebook is working well.

If people are asking where they can buy your game, especially when they have to learn the rules completely on their own without your help, then you know you’re ready to pitch your game to publishers or work towards self-publishing your game.

Take action

I want you to continue to blind playtest your game. You’re going to get really good at observing players and understanding where they are finding any confusion or uncertainty in your rules. Take tons of notes, then update your rulebook to make sure it is better understood. Just keep blind playtesting your game until it’s running smoothly every time.

Over the past couple of months, I’ve shared all the basic steps you need to take to get your game from an idea to finished game that’s ready to be published.  I hope you’ve enjoyed this series of articles and that they have helped you move your game forward.

If you want to get even more in-depth and you’re ready to take your game further, check out The Board Game Design Course. It’s filled with tons of videos and resources, and also gives you access to the private membership area and twice monthly calls where I answer all your game design questions.

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