Dec 21, 2008

The Accidental Game

My friends and I went out for dinner on my birthday a couple of months back. While we were there, one of my friends asked about the status of my games. A couple of my friends do playtesting for me, so we spent a few minutes discussing my games, including Privateering.

My friend misheard the name, later referring to it as "Pioneering". My testers laughed at the mistake. I joked that that would be my next game and be an Oregon Trail ripoff; everyone had a good laugh at that.

While they were laughing, I started thinking. By the time I had went to sleep that night, I had the broad outlines of what I would eventually name Pioneer.

I've already posted a picture of one card from the game. Since then, I've had one test with my playtesters. It went well, and we identified some potential changes. I will post a recording that I made of that test soon.

After that, I had an unexpected test with some family members at our (pre-)Christmas gathering yesterday. That test gave surprisingly rich feedback, and more changes are in the offing.

I don't think there will be many more revisions to coem for this design. Pioneer is a fun, simple, and fast game. Ninety percent of its mechanics were crafted in my head during dinner one night. It's funny how a game I came up with by accident could turn out so well.

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