Griller Z had an intensive play test last Friday night (6/12/15). Many important features and ideas were put through their paces. Parts of the game worked flawlessly, and made the cut, but there’s still a lot of fat to trim (pun intended), and work to do.
Things that worked:
Spoil Checks – spoil checks may be the most functional component of the original rules. The difference between the Human’s and Zombie storage architecture relies heavily on this concept, and it’s great that it feels significant.
Shop Cards – shop cards worked very much as intended. There was some fear that giving players to little, or to much control over the cards would break the game quickly. Players seemed to easily get part or all of the food they needed, and EVENTS (even hard ones) were completed.
Working on it:
Event Cards – event cards felt either easy, or way to hard to complete. This was amplified because the player event draw was significantly lopsided in favor of Zombies, and most players chose Human characters. A new system is in the works to fix some of these glaring issues.
Burners – The rules for turning on burners did not convey to players well. Resource management, and order of operations needs to be drastically tightened. Scope creep is a likely culprit, and simplifying how Burners operate is the most logical fix. The GAMEBOARD/grill is getting a much needed overhaul.
Rule Book – Oh the poor rule book. Moving and shifting rules so that they flow naturally and function is tough stuff. Scope creep again is a likely culprit for the difficulty players had grasping certain concepts. The rules were read by each player prior to testing the game, with no advice or direction was given (with the exception of suggestions for where to find specific rules in the book). By in large players were able to play the game without help from Frank (the designer). Simplifying the rules and rule book is at the top of the stack of things to accomplish.
The first internal Alpha was by in large a huge success. Super important problems were highlighted, and fun was had by all. When the ball got rolling, players were rapidly completing events. There’s still a lot to do, but for a first run, we couldn’t be happier with the results.