Feb 27, 2012

Dreamation 2012 - Sunday

I capped a successful convention off with another test of Municipality on Sunday morning.

There were two people pre-registered. One of them didn't show up, but two others joined. The two alternates were both people who had played Municipality at previous conventions. It is always gratifying to have people actively want to play my games a second (and for one of these players, a third) time. It shows that I've created a positive experience for them, one good enough to be worth repeating in an environment where there are plenty of alternative games available.

This is a good reminder of what my ultimate goal is as a game designer: to create something that people will enjoy and share with others long after I've stopped working on it. If I can make a game that even a few hundred people are still playing a couple of years after it is printed, then I will feel like these past seven years was worth it.

I also played so I could test if a specific strategy was viable. I wanted to see if someone could focus on campaign manager to almost the complete exclusion of everything else. It turns out that this strategy is extremely tough to pull off and requires that everything goes just right, but is a genuine strategic choice. I was happy to be able to pull off a solid victory with this when two of the three players had played before, one of whom had bested me in a heads-up match, and even the new player is generally quite excellent (read: unbeatable) at eurogames.

The only issue that came up during the game was that the player card was not perfectly clear on one of the roles. Two players mistakenly thought that, when controlling the Zoning Board, if they chose to take one permit and play one, then the one they played could not be the one they just took.

Other than that, the players were fully positive in their evalutation of the game, a marked difference from its reception on Friday. It seems that Municipality is strongly appealing to some players and a total misfire with others. I think that that is okay. People who love a game will purchase it. They will evangelize it. People who only kinda-sorta like a game won't bash it, but they also won't buy it. I would rather have strong feelings in both directions than a lukewarm positive review from everyone.

One of the players even told a passerby who asked about the game as we were playing that it was an "excellent game".

I felt very proud at that moment.

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