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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 9:21 am 
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I've often wondered about the viability of GenCon for non-WOTC companies. Everything that I've heard suggests that booth space isn't cheap, plus you have to send people there and pay for hotels in addition to paying them to work the booth.

And to me GenCon isn't as cool as it used to be. Years ago there were lots of small-market quirky games out there and you could find things at GenCon that I'd never seen or heard of before. Maybe the internet is making game conventions a lot less special.

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 10:56 am 
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It probably isn't cost effective for small companies but I think that must be weighed against the potential negative impact of not being there. If a company isn't there, it makes them look like they aren't serious or are unsuccessful, perhaps even about to go out of business. Also, fair or not, if a game doesn't have any events running at Gencon that makes it look like it isn't popular or may even be dead.

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Fri May 20, 2011 12:42 pm 
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mshensley wrote:
fair or not, if a game doesn't have any events running at Gencon that makes it look like it isn't popular or may even be dead.

A valid point, but I often wonder how many games at GenCon are actually "sponsored" by the company who wrote the game. There are often games run for companies that no longer even exist anymore.

Certainly, the "games run" factor is a lot of free advertising.

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 8:28 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
mshensley wrote:
fair or not, if a game doesn't have any events running at Gencon that makes it look like it isn't popular or may even be dead.

A valid point, but I often wonder how many games at GenCon are actually "sponsored" by the company who wrote the game. There are often games run for companies that no longer even exist anymore.

Certainly, the "games run" factor is a lot of free advertising.


I'm not saying you have to sponsor tables and rooms to get the game out there. But having a booth with a few tables running quick 4-5 person demos really gets the word around. 25,000 of the most rabid gamers all at the same place is BOUND to generate excitement. I played Pathfinder, Savage Worlds and Burning Wheel at booth demos. Got all of those games. Of course, I also tried 4e and stayed away from it.

It just surprised me that Goodman was going to skip GenCon. They were there when WotC went 4e and Goodman was supporting them whole hog. Now they are going head to head to head with the current bastion of 3.5 (Pathfinder) and the rpg heavy weight (WotC). But not drumming up excitement at the biggest gaming convention in the world. It IS surprising but I wish Goodman luck. They have inspired tons of good will and I look forward to Free RPG Day. :)


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:42 am 
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Just imagine the impression to be made when (if) GG is at GenCon 2012, and he has a game to demo, and a bunch of adventure modules to go with it!

This year, he's got a game coming in November... Next year, there'll be the Rulebook and (I'd guess) 6 to 10 modules in print, and more in the pipe. (Not to mention fan support on the web at that point.) Which makes the bigger/better impression on you?

I think he's a smart guy, that Joseph.

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 8:35 pm 
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GnomeBoy wrote:
Just imagine the impression to be made when (if) GG is at GenCon 2012, and he has a game to demo, and a bunch of adventure modules to go with it!

This year, he's got a game coming in November... Next year, there'll be the Rulebook and (I'd guess) 6 to 10 modules in print, and more in the pipe. (Not to mention fan support on the web at that point.) Which makes the bigger/better impression on you?

I think he's a smart guy, that Joseph.


I hope you're right. I just think Goodman is hamstringing themselves early on. Paizo gained a massive amount of good karma by doing an open playtest. I would have loved to see Goodman do the same. Remember, they are going against SOME ill will because Goodman sided with 4e and abandoned 3.5. Now they are going to try and release a 3.5 derivative. Goodman Games has some fence mending and heart winning to do. Again, I wish them well and look forward to their game.


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Sat May 21, 2011 9:46 pm 
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I wish that Gooman was coming to GenCon, too. Lost opportunity.

Elf_NFB wrote:
Paizo gained a massive amount of good karma by doing an open playtest. I would have loved to see Goodman do the same.


Huh? Isn't there an open playtest starting in June? :confusion:

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 7:35 am 
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Elf_NFB wrote:
I hope you're right. I just think Goodman is hamstringing themselves early on. Paizo gained a massive amount of good karma by doing an open playtest. I would have loved to see Goodman do the same. Remember, they are going against SOME ill will because Goodman sided with 4e and abandoned 3.5. Now they are going to try and release a 3.5 derivative. Goodman Games has some fence mending and heart winning to do. Again, I wish them well and look forward to their game.

There is not anything in this that is not complete wrong or backwards.

I can't decide:

Is Elf_NFB so totally uniformed that I should tell him to read this forum more closely to get up to speed?
OR
Is Elf_NFB cleverly showing how misinformed people can be about DCCRPG if they don't read this forum and since you can't force people to read the forum you need to be at conventions like GenCon to set people straight?


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 8:41 am 
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Paizo conducted a good marketing exercise. I don't think it was a solid playtest.

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 9:36 am 
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Elf_NFB wrote:
I hope you're right. I just think Goodman is hamstringing themselves early on. Paizo gained a massive amount of good karma by doing an open playtest. I would have loved to see Goodman do the same.


Hi Elf_NFB,

Thanks for the commentary -- our boards are always open to different perspectives. Just wanted to clear up one factual issue, regarding the open playtest. DCC RPG will indeed have a large open playtest. The beta rules are currently in layout. They'll be released on or shortly before Free RPG Day, coordinated with the release of the free adventure module that will be available in participating Free RPG Day stores.

As for Gen Con, some of you may know I run Goodman Games "for fun" and also have a life outside of it (including a wife and non-gaming friends, a "day job," dabbling in amateur boxing, etc.). Believe it or not, Gen Con is a tremendous amount of work for a publisher. It's a lot of fun, but it also takes a complete summer to prepare for (at least, if you do it right). I spent the first 8 years of Goodman Games without any kind of "summer vacation." In odd years, Gen Con also happens to overlap with my bi-annual family vacation; let's just say I've had a few too many years of having to explain to my cousins and aunts and uncles why I'm yet again the one guy who never makes the whole reunion. In 2011, I'm skipping Gen Con and going to my family reunion - end of story. In 2012, I'll be at Gen Con again (with the whole crew) and already have some plans about an awesome booth. But for 2011, I'm leveling up in some sort of Wisdom-based class and pursuing balance. :)

As for DCC RPG, trust me, skipping Gen Con will in no way hamstring it. There may be doubters but "time will tell," and I think we'll end up all right. Gen Con is a great way to reach out to gamers...as are local cons, if you find your "core audience." I spent the Gen Con budget on a dozen or so local cons over the year. We've reached the "core audience" even more effectively at GaryCon and North Texas RPG Con, plus other local cons like DunDraCon, CondorCon, GenghisCon, Tacticon, Anonycon, Fal-Con, etc. Plus all the events at local game stores. I'm losing track of them all! Strictly from a business perspective, the same budget spent on smaller cons has already reached an audience that exceeds the number of people who swing by our booth at Gen Con.

Hope that helps. As always, this is a business run by a "person," not some faceless corporation. I reserve the right to appear to be irrational. :) Although you will often find there is logic behind those irrational-sounding decisions, once you inquire!

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Sun May 22, 2011 12:22 pm 
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goodmangames wrote:
Thanks for the commentary -- our boards are always open to different perspectives. Just wanted to clear up one factual issue, regarding the open playtest. DCC RPG will indeed have a large open playtest. The beta rules are currently in layout. They'll be released on or shortly before Free RPG Day, coordinated with the release of the free adventure module that will be available in participating Free RPG Day stores.


Sweet.... sorry for my lack of understanding. I appreciate the open, honest and sincerely happy response.... unlike some of the others. The only reason I dropped a post was I really have enjoyed Goodman Games products in the past and am looking forward to this one. AND I really want it to do well.


goodmangames wrote:
As for Gen Con, some of you may know I run Goodman Games "for fun" and also have a life outside of it (including a wife and non-gaming friends, a "day job," dabbling in amateur boxing, etc.). Believe it or not, Gen Con is a tremendous amount of work for a publisher. It's a lot of fun, but it also takes a complete summer to prepare for (at least, if you do it right).


First off, I completely understand how much work a show a can be... and how important family is. Second, amateur boxing? Remind me to say NOTHING but good things at your booth next. Don't want you to go TKO on me. ;)

goodmangames wrote:
Hope that helps. As always, this is a business run by a "person," not some faceless corporation. I reserve the right to appear to be irrational. :) Although you will often find there is logic behind those irrational-sounding decisions, once you inquire!


Fair enough, sir. :)

I look forward to Free RPG Day, the playtest, and seeing your booth at GenCon 2012.

Cheers!


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Tue May 24, 2011 1:01 pm 
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I have been playing D&D since I found it in an offcampus bookstore in Valparaiso Ind., in 1973. I want to say, I am intrigued by DCC and want to take a close look. I also have read most of the appendix n books, not as a mission, just because. I hope your game is better than it's other 3'ish competitor, I found that to be a munchkin game.


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 5:30 pm 
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We'll be at NTRPG this coming weekend, putting two of the latest DCCs through the paces. Hoping to see some familiar faces there.

North Texas is a small con in the best sense: very personable, and a great opportunity to hang out with some of the legends. Let me know if you'll be in attendance, and let's see if we can't throw some dice together!

//H

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 6:05 pm 
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rj4378 wrote:
I have been playing D&D since I found it in an offcampus bookstore in Valparaiso Ind., in 1973.

That's really cool. Particularly since OD&D wasn't published until 1974. :P

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Mon May 30, 2011 6:06 pm 
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geordie racer wrote:
Paizo conducted a good marketing exercise. I don't think it was a solid playtest.

Agreed. Having an "open playtest" generated a lot of interest and good will, but overall I'm not sure it accomplished much since their final product (Pathfinder) was essentially the same as D&D 3.5 edition.

Not much design benefit for Paizo for the playtest, IMO.

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ADRP Since 1993, OD&D player since 1975

"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
-- Dave Arneson


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 7:49 pm 
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finarvyn wrote:
geordie racer wrote:
Paizo conducted a good marketing exercise. I don't think it was a solid playtest.

Agreed. Having an "open playtest" generated a lot of interest and good will, but overall I'm not sure it accomplished much since their final product (Pathfinder) was essentially the same as D&D 3.5 edition.

Not much design benefit for Paizo for the playtest, IMO.

Read the first Pathfinder playtest. It was a bit further away from vanilla 3.5 than the final product ended up being. The open playtest told Paizo a lot. It told them not to change things in 3.5 unless there was a good reason. You might call that a marketing exercise. But it did shape the overall resulting game.


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 6:46 am 
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I'm really looking forward to the Beta, I'll need to convince my group to let me run a game with them. They weren't interested in the Pathfinder playtest since they saw no reason for the game to change, although we're fine with those they made.

Is there going to be formal reporting structure? Or can we just post here?

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:19 pm 
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Chello!

Arawn76 wrote:
I'm really looking forward to the Beta, I'll need to convince my group to let me run a game with them.


Same here. I might be able to convince them, though. We're day-tripping to NTRPG on Saturday. All the DCC games were full when we registered, but we'll see if there's any open demos going on.

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 6:02 pm 
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Lord Kjeran wrote:
All the DCC games were full when we registered, but we'll see if there's any open demos going on.


Lord Kjeran!

Thanks for making the trek to NTRPG. If looks like there is room at the table, don't be afraid to ask to jump in. It seems like last year we ran with a ton of players at the table (9 maybe? 10?) with everyone running 3 PCs. Good times.

//H

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 8:12 pm 
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geordie racer wrote:
I don't think it was a solid playtest.


So few playtests are, IMO. I've been involved with several -- mostly for indie game writers.

Some background first. I have experience running usability tests for users of web applications. It's part of my day job.

So I'm used to creating "scripts" or designing activities to test different parts of a design or feature and then observing the user in action as objectively as possible, recording results and then gathering data from a sample of participants. Then analyzing and presenting that data in some meaningful fashion.

Playtests aren't that. Most playtests are groups gathering around and having fun with a game. That's not as hard as you might think. Once in a while, they might hit a logjam with a mechanic -- which results in a change to the rules most times.

But most playtests aren't designed to stress the system. Or to gather data in a meaningful fashion. Or present any sort of analysis of that data to figure out really what went wrong, where, why and what people are getting hung up on.

Because a lot of the time, people just get stuck on something and they think this one thing is a solution when, in reality, it's this other thing that's throwing them off. And that solution might actually make something worse because, well, it's a new variable that's untested.

So, while a good marketing exercise, I think it's important for Joseph to stick to his guns with DCC. Sure, some interesting ideas might develop from the feedback he receives. But he's not getting any real data from us. Just hearing where (or if) we're having problems.

Open playtests, IMO, are more a test of (A) are the rules comprehensible and (B) are there any glaring mechanical horrors that somehow slipped through the cracks. The feedback should be taken with a minivan-sized grain of salt.

Just my opinion. But I'll point out that 4e went through how many hundreds of "playtesters" without ever realizing that a combat that lasts 90 minutes is too long, skill challenges (as printed in DMG1) were broken, the stats for monsters were off (see adjustments in MM3) and PCs failed to effectively scale with the monsters (see the Expertise feats for more on that)?

So what exactly were they "testing"?

Not to diss on 4e. Their playtesting shared the same flaw as most RPG playtesting. Not to say I don't want to playtest DCC. I'm planning on it. I just recognize it involves more "play" than "test".


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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Thu Jun 02, 2011 11:00 pm 
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To expand on my original comment - Paizo had a situation where any poster suggesting the numbers didn't work or the spell descriptions were open to abuse was met with a wall of 'DUDE, you're playing it wrong, my game rocks!' then getting censure or banned by the forum mods for being anti-the game. Hence, many problems remained or were exacerbated. So for me, the important aspect of any public playtesting is whether the publisher actually allows the game to be deconstructed in public.

But even destructive playtesting doesn't reveal all. Looking at the 3rd ed. D&D situation - it took a while before the mad uber-optimized builds (e.g.'Pun Pun') came to light. Some aspects of any game emerge over time - like how Vampire: The Masquerade was being played as less a passion play dealing with questions of morality and humanity and more as a dark super-heroes/villains game, whatever the designers intentions. Even long playtests can't prepare for every eventuality, so we can't expect that the game may not become something else over time.

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 3:52 am 
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smathis wrote:
Just my opinion. But I'll point out that 4e went through how many hundreds of "playtesters" without ever realizing that a combat that lasts 90 minutes is too long, skill challenges (as printed in DMG1) were broken, the stats for monsters were off (see adjustments in MM3) and PCs failed to effectively scale with the monsters (see the Expertise feats for more on that)?

So what exactly were they "testing"?
A great point. Somehow one of the most obvious flaws in the game got lost in the enthusiasm of the play and the options.

For the DCC RPG, this may turn out to be the spell layout. The biggest netative comment I get about DCC is that each spell requires its own success chart. I hope that this doesn't become the factor that causes players not to want to play in the way that lenghty combat discorages 4E players. :(

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:04 am 
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finarvyn wrote:
Somehow one of the most obvious flaws in the game got lost in the enthusiasm of the play and the options.


That wasn't a design flaw, longer combats were actually one of their design goals. It just happened to be something that not everyone wanted.

It's the same thing with the design of DCC. Unpredictable magic is something that not everyone is going to like. The weird dice is another thing that is going to push some people away.

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 6:22 am 
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Whilst I'm a little uncertain about the dice I do think the magic sounds very cool.

4e (and to a lesser extent 3e) length of combat and for 3e prep time is what drives me to new pastures. I have high hopes for DCC rpg that it will effectively capture all that I enjoyed in earlier editions whilst providing me with new fun.

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 Post subject: Re: Upcoming playtests of DCC RPG
PostPosted: Fri Jun 03, 2011 7:44 am 
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goodmangames wrote:
As for Gen Con, some of you may know I run Goodman Games "for fun" and also have a life outside of it (including a wife and non-gaming friends, a "day job," dabbling in amateur boxing, etc.).

I think that most of us see successful game companies and get this notion of a room full of full-time guys sitting around making decisions. Goodman Games has put out so many products that I know that I think of the company that way.

This puts it more in perspective.

I find that GenCon is expensive and certainly can see how it would be even worse for a company to send people, pay for hotels, rent booth space, etc, and keep in mind that there isn't even a DCC RPG to sell yet. (I know that GG has other products, but the discussion was about DCC exposure.) Having a Goodman Games presence at GenCon next year makes more sense, since by then there will be a hardback RPG to sell along with some modules.

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"The worthy GM never purposely kills players' PCs, He presents opportunities for the rash and unthinking players to do that all on their own."
-- Gary Gygax
"Don't ask me what you need to hit. Just roll the die and I will let you know!"
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