Friday, February 2, 2007

Playtesting XZH

In play testing, one of the things that I found lacking was a reason to get the hunters moving. Otherwise they would just sit in a defendable spot until they kill all the zombies in sight. The dropcases of goodies did help to motivate the players somewhat, but if there's not one near you, & you haven't had a weapon break, they aren't as enticing. So, after contacting the game's author for some ideas, I decided to add sponsors' billboards. These were pasted to the sides of buildings. If you were able to do your plug in front of your billboard, you got a larger paycheck, $500 I think. (I used all the sponsors in the book, but made them all pay out $100). Then I planned to have a prize at the end of the game for both the most zombies killed & the most money made.One other important thing I learned in playtesting was that the size of the board was critical. Expecting up to 6 players, I initially tried the game on a 4x6' board. That was way too big. It caused the players to be too far apart, so they didn't interact, & the zombies to be too spread out, allowing the players to easily kill them off. Also, with the number of buildings I assembled, the board was too open. At the convention, I went with a 4x4', using the same number of buildings as on the 4x6' board & things seemed to work much better, much more cramped. I did have about a 1x1' open park area with trees so that it wouldn't all be streets & buildings.The game's author had been working with SeattleGamer to reformat the rules. Both the author & SeattleGamer were very helpful in my preparing for the convention. I addition to discussing different scenario ideas, SeattleGamer took the time to make the very spiffy looking billboards & even graphics that I gave away to the players. The graphics were "I [chainsaw] Zombies", where [chainsaw] is a picture of a chainsaw (kind of like the I [heart] XXX stickers). SeattleGamer made these graphics using a number of different weapons: shotguns, baseball bats, hockey sticks, etc. So, thanks to them for making the game look extra good.

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