Last night I met with Ian, Mischa, and Chris to do some playtesting. Here’s the scoop:

We started the night with playtesting my game Salvage. Salvage is a card game for 2-4 players that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the landscape is a junk yard, and you are there to salvage, build, and survive. The main mechanic of the game is card drafting, similar to a booster draft found in collectible card games. Players go through hands of cards picking the components they want to keep and pass the remaining to the next person. After the draft is over, they use that junk to build one of four types of projects: camps, tools, weapons, or vehicles. The projects are double-sided cards and players can spend junk cards to upgrade them (flip them over) as well. That’s pretty much it in a nutshell.

I tried out a new rule for my weapon upgrade. It states that on the turn you upgrade the weapon, until the end of the turn, whenever someone else builds or upgrades, they must discard a card. My goal is to create balanced abilities on all the cards that only become powerful when used at the most opportune moment. For example, this one wouldn’t be good to use when everyone has few cards in their hands since they probably aren’t going to build. It worked out pretty well in the game we played. What I didn’t expect is to have two different players use them at the same time causing a two card penalty for building. That was pretty cool though. As it stands right now, it gives both the weapon user AND the weapon victim a choice. “Do I build now with a penalty or wait until next turn?”

It was also suggested that I experiment with the quantities of the projects available to build. I tested out last night with 8 of each project. The tools and camps were the first to go. There were about 2-3 each of the weapons and vehicles. I’ll have to test this out more. I don’t want limit any one strategy. If a player just wants to build vehicles, then I want that open to him.

I’ll write more later about the other games. Please comment with your thoughts about this playtest.

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