A friend of mine, Stras, had this great idea to start getting together and have game design brunches. What’s a game design brunch, you ask? Well, we get together and eat brunch and talk about game design.
So far, we’ve had two. It’s such an excellent idea, though, because it gets us together and makes us put together something to work on. Everyone is encouraged to bring something to work on – ideas, things needing fixes, playtests.
This past weekend, two of our crew were awesome and actually cooked food in-home for us. This changed the atmosphere. Suddenly it was a safer environment, instead of the cold of a restaurant with interrupting service. It made it easier to bring things up.
First, we playtested my husband’s new icebreaker game, where you pretend to be superheroes out of costume trying to figure out each others’ identities. Great fun! It worked out well and we only had a few points of improvement – I think it’s in great shape now. Then, we discussed how to gather playtesters for another friend’s game. We also talked a bit about refocusing how he is pitching the game.
The game is a traditional-style game, and he wanted to refocus his pitch from being about how it’s different from other games and instead focus on the reasons why it’s fun and interesting. I think we made some good progress. He’s got a good game going and I think the brunch gave us a good place to talk about it.
We also looked at my game, Clash, which I’m playtesting and hoping to crowdfund in the spring. I had gotten some playtester feedback and was looking at how to integrate it. I got some great comments and think that it is going to make a difference when I’m putting this in place.
Last, we looked at another friend’s playbook for an Apocalypse World cyberpunk hack he’s doing (which looks sooo good) and helped him brush up some stuff. It was fun just to get a peek at what he’s been working on – I’m a big fan of Shadowrun but the time investment and crunch can be a little much when I want something quick and easy to pick up, which his game seems to be.
I just wanted to write a little about how much we got done in just a few hours, and how this format really made a big difference in our attempts to discuss design. It focused us and the environment was so conducive to constructive discussion.
Have you gotten together to talk design with your gaming groups? What have you done to create an open, welcoming environment when you talk about games and game design?