Portal Games Informant – Playtesting. Again.

Portal Games Informant - First Martians

Today we received the final final final sample of the First Martians from China.  And this is exactly how it works, that  they have everything prepared, everything is ready to print.  They print one copy, they send one copy to us.  We check every single detail, every card, every token, like every single thing. Of course rulebook, etc etc  And if there is no single mistake (there was no mistake, we didn’t find the mistake) we say: ‘Yes,  start printing.’  And then there is a start button. And in two weeks or something like that everything is just printed.  Production of the game basically is like a weeks and weeks of exchanging files, proofing, checking files exchanging emails, preparing tools for the tokens etc etc  So there is weeks of preparation, then we have a sample, we say Go! and then just in a couple of days, machines go very fast and you have game.  So when you are watching this video probably we have all games printed.

Or almost printed.  And this is the print that is done in China, this big print that will be realeased this summer  so, as you see in the video everybody was super excited  On one hand to have this final game, final sample, on the  other hand everybody was  afraid if there is a mistake because it was really really late to start fixing it.  But there was no mistake or at least as I mentioned we didn’t find any mistake  The game looks just perfect.  I saw Marek recording how they play and I thought what an ugly prototype and immediately I thought  this is quite interesting insight because so many of you ask me questions: how I should send a prototype to the publisher,  how should I work on a prototype in terms of artwork and graphic design.

This thing looks like a shit.  And you know that the release of the game is quite close and we are finishing developing of the game, it is almost ready  in terms of the game play.  Ralph who is our artwork manager has ready artwork for the ships, ready artwork for the planets  And still we play on the shitty prototype.  Because we change the game again and again.  And it’s how it works.  So don’t put too  much work on a ‘how the prototype looks’ because it is a waste of time.  I have no idea what happened but here is a message from EpicGameNight which says YOU ARE A LEGEND.  The rules has evolved into a something new again.  Since I am responsible for writing the English rulebook I have to keep up with all the changes.

We want the rules  to be easy to comprehend and we want you just to sit down and start playing.  At the same time we need to retain the 4x character of a game.  The designers are doing the best to combine all these.  The game is almost ready. When it is, my task begins.  So after these all months of play testing First Martians in the office  it was really hard to find another person  that doesn’t know First Martians yet  but we hired a couple of months ago a new person  and it was a Pako.  The whole team was cheering and asking every single day if he died already or did he make it.  He won the first scenario in campaign, second scenario the campaign, he almost was dead in the third one.  And finally he lost in the fourth scenario of the campaign, after four days of play testing with me.  Right now we are in the middle of designing the plastic insert for Alien Artifacts game.

Apart from the usual stuff, so how to divide the components into each slot  How many slots we need.  I think the most difficult part is trying to forsee how many expansions we will make for this game  because it is a Portal Games so there will be expansions  and how to fit them in the box.  Friday afternoon, we are done with this week and it was super intense five days for us.  We got nominations for Origins Award. We got nominations for  The Dice Tower award for the Cry Havoc  so we are super, super, super happy.  And for the 51st state, Robinson Crusoe.  We had six play testing games of First Martians, you probably saw it in b-rolls  We had four or five play testing sessions Alien Artifacts  It was a lot of play testing.

And this week we had new item in our webstore. We had Terrain Tiles for all Neuroshima fans.  And on Monday we are releasing the Scavengers pre-orders as well.  so there is a lot of that, I had three job interviews because we hiring here in Poland.  Marcin is going to leave Portal Games but we are hiring two more people in the sales department, so we have changes in the sales department  We had to move some desks here and make room for the new people  So basically that was one of the most intense weeks of couple of last months, super super busy and super amazing time at Portal Games.

And we are looking for that for Monday to continue the crazyness at Portal  I wish you great great weekend and see you in next Portal Games informant. And we go to a weekend to play some games at homes..

Leave a Reply