What a great way to start a convention. Shortly after arriving I found out that four people had pre-registered for the Titans of Industry playtest. Unfortunately, one had to bow out over concerns about another event starting before we would finish, but I jumped in and we still had a fun four-player game.
I went for a real estate / university strategy (which proved successful). The players enjoyed the game and four different level three advancements were purchased, not including the ones I bought. I am confident I have found the right mix and will send this version to a publisher (barring some catastrophe in the next playtest tomorrow).
After a break for dinner, it was time for a Municipality playtest. Again, three people had pre-registered and one more signed up at the convention. Vinny (the con organizer) had told me earlier that every single one of my slots had pre-registrations. This is very cool news. I'm happy if I get people for two of my four sessions at these things. I think my persistence in running playtests at the Jersey conventions is paying off. If I end up having to Kickstarter one of these two games later this year, then I know I will have some nonzero network of people who have played the game to hopefully start spreading the word.
The Municipality test itself was a mixed bag. One of the players didn't realize that this was a prototype beforehand and prefers not to play prototypes. I told her that I would understand if she dropped to play something else, but she pressed on. Unfortunately, she also doesn't enjoy bidding games, and the two-way bidding is the core of the interaction in Municipality. The other players had generally positive feelings and said they liked it enough to want to play again. There were some aspects for which they suggested changes. Unfortunately, all of their suggestions have been tried in previous versions of the game, so I didn't hear anything I think will improve it at this point. So I ended up with one like, two positive but unsure, and one didn't like. I'll pocket that as positive on balance.
Update: I forgot to mention that one of the Titans playtesters was about 12 or 13 years old. After the game, I asked him what he thought and he responded "It has an interesting market dynamic." Priceless.