Athenge Ops Playtested

Over the weekend Snarky dropped by for some ribs and playtesting. I think of early playtesting as scientific experimentation and had a specific question I wanted the session to answer: is the design of the core gameplay, op combat, any fun?

It’s pretty easy to design a game looks fun on paper but doesn’t actually work in practice. Maybe you have too many or too few rules, maybe players never have to make a serious decision, maybe it just feels... off, which means your playtesters are too polite to tell you it’s not fun.

So, we played. And quickly discovered poorly-defined terms, gaps in the rules, bad instructions (up there with Time Walk), worthless options, and gigantic imbalances.

But it was fun.

We spent as much time talking and tinkering with the design as we did playing, but the fundamental gameplay mechanic was, thankfully, fun. So I know it’s worthwhile to spend the time developing that for the web so it can get lots of playtesting and improvement and balancing.

This is a nice milestone, so I’m going to mention that I’ve picked a name for the game: Athenge.

It doesn’t really mean anything, I was playing around with words and my brain connected the high-tech @ sign in email addresses to prehistoric henges. It’s short, spellable, pronounceable, doesn’t sound like any offensive words, and, most importantly, the domain name was available. I’ve tagged my earlier posts on the web game, so they’re collected on the tag page if you’re curious.