[Business Solutions] Playtest

edited November 2007 in Pitch
Hey Friends,

I'd like to try out Snail's Pace and facilitate a test of a game I'm working on. It's a three-player game and I'd love to get three people and just see what happens - it's still deeply in playtest and probably has some mechanical problems remaining. Business Solutions is a game about the lives, loves and adventures of photocopy machine technicians. It is strongly influenced by media properties with "Office" in the title, as a point of reference. Let me know if you are interested, and I'll send you a current draft to look over. It's a very simple game and at the table plays to a conclusion in about two hours. I have no idea what that translates to in Snail time.

We'll use a wiki to keep track of stuff.



  • Yeah, I'm interested. How regularly would you like people to post? I can manage roughly once a day, but more than that gets hectic. Also, I'm not good at following multi-tread games. Do you imagine it would need more than one?
  • This is a new format to me, so I don't really know what works and what doesn't. I'm open to suggestions. I want to keep it to one thread myself and am OK with mixing OOC and IC stuff. I'd imagined a faster pace than one post per day. Also - any suggestions on how to handle playing card draws?
  • Ooh, cards are a tough one. It's very possible to do... ...if you're capable in coding php. There's currently not a card-draw extension for vanilla, which would mean going to some outside source, sorry.

    I can probably manage posting more than once a day for a short period, but living in Japan means I'm usually active when everyone else is asleep. Maybe this isn't the game for me.
  • I think it might not be - I need feedback more rapidly and establishing the elements of play is very collaborative.

    As for cards, I think I'll just shuffle a deck and tell everybody what they have to work with.
  • Hi Jason,

    I'm interested.

    Re card draws - is it only numbers you are after or do suits matter? If it's only numbers, maybe the built-in dice roller can roll a d13.

    If suits play a part, or if you are using specially designed cards, then I suggest you simply draw them yourself and tell the players the result.

  • Hi Per, welcome! Glad to have you. Whisper your preferred email address and I'll send you a draft.

    The game's designed around a single deck of cards, suit is irrelevant but card mix is important.
  • edited November 2007
    oh, so once a card is used, it shouldn't show up again? hmm, that is tricky.

    Otherwise, you could just say 1=Clubs, 2=Diamonds, 3=Hearts, 4=Spades and do

  • Thanks Dave,

    Everybody draws 12 cards from the same deck, so you can't have any duplication. Numbers are important.
  • Hi Jason,

    Sign me up! I'll whisper my email address shortly.

    If you really want a digital deck of cards, the Foundry has one. However, if you're happy with privately telling us what we have, that's probably simpler than getting everyone acquainted with the intricacies of the Foundry.

  • OK, we're full. That's great. Brian/Kuma will join us shortly (assuming he gets approved!)

    Simon, I appreciate your interest but I'd like the game to move more quickly than it sounds like you can manage right now. I'd still value your input and feedback, though (whisper your address and I'll send you a draft).

    If there's more interest I can facilitate a second three-person playtest and maybe we can have a shared OOC/rules/cards thread.

    But either way, this game is almost ready to go!

    Card handling and resolving conflicts are the pieces of primary concern for me. At the table the game has, so far, worked very well in terms of characters, structure, effective and engaging interactions. I'm quite open to suggestions and observations about any aspect of the design, though.
  • I've been approved, and am ready to cook.

    As for the two concerns: If you're only acting as facilitator, Jason, then I'd just deal a deck of real cards, then whisper yourself the distribution in the thread. Then whisper each player their hand. The player then whispers you back with their distribution of cards between their Client, Noob and Main characters.

    Without the introduction of an off-site database and some PHP or AJAX (which I think would be an interesting challenge, actually), automatic handling isn't really an option.

    Conflict resolution (again) would be a whisper to you, Jason, with you revealing the plays in a post and making edits to the master list, like an asterisk to show the cards played.
  • No worries Jason, I'll bow out. Start an audience thread though, if you want to, to get feedback from non-players.

    Sidenote: If anyone were to script a card-drawing extension for Vanilla like the dice roller that's already installed, they would never again want for internet props.
  • OK, this is great. Brian, Per, and Darcy, we can get started. Once we have all the technicians and clients written, I'll just "hand" you your cards, and you can divide them up as you like. I'll assume you've all read the draft - any initial questions? Need more time? Let me know. Otherwise, let's decide on the tone of your game - remember, I'm just here to help you along.

    So - Funny? Melodramatic? Slice of life? Preferences? Arguments pro or con?
  • Hey Brian, Hey Per.

    It's nice to be playing with you.

    As for tone, I'll prioritize them in descending order of preference. However, the spread between them is actually quite small, I'd be ok with any of them.

    Slice of Life

  • edited November 2007
    Hi Jason,

    I'd like to clarify a few things.

    Just to be clear: the BSI forms are owned by individual players, right? So, I get "A", Per gets "B" and Brian gets "C" (as a for instance).

    The weekly schedule is intended to organize player roles on each day. Again, for instance, on Mondays, "B" is playing the client, "C" is playing the lead employee, and "A" is playing the trainee (who also happens to be the target for the troublemaker?)

    What happens if the Client plays a Joker?

    Can you call tech support when you're playing the Client? If so, how does blame get assigned?

    Let's start there.


    -edited to not dis Per with a miniscule 'p'
  • Hi guys,

    Nice to be here :)

    I'd prefer Slice of Life, and can live with Melodramatic, but would like to avoid Funny.

  • Posted By: Darcy BurgessHi Jason,
    Just to be clear: the BSI forms are owned by individual players, right? So, I get "A", per gets "B" and Brian gets "C" (as a for instance).
    Right. Let's do it that way - Darcy is A, Per is B, and Brian is C. Pick the correct sheet and you'll see who to play on each day/scene.

    The weekly schedule is intended to organize player roles on each day. Again, for instance, on Mondays, "B" is playing the client, "C" is playing the lead employee, and "A" is playing the trainee (who also happens to be the target for the troublemaker?)
    Right, in each of the six scenes you'll have one of the three roles you've created, and they alternate. Every tech will appear twice, and every client will appear twice. Each tech is in trouble in one scene.

    What happens if the Client plays a Joker?
    Had not considered this, thanks. I think a joker played by the client behaves like an ace. is that too fiddly?

    Can you call tech support when you're playing the Client? If so, how does blame get assigned?
    No. Since ties go to the Client and there's no Client win condition, this isn't an option. I'll clarify.
  • Two votes for slice of life ... Brian?
  • Hi Jason,

    I think that the Joker-as-Ace is too fiddly.

    Why not simply disallow its play when you're the Client. It enshrines an assumption I had (that I wouldn't, not that I couldn't), and puts pressure on the player to get the Joker out of his hand before he's stuck with it.

  • OK, requiring a technician to play it is logical and simple. Let's go with that. It amounts to an irritating little betrayal at worst and a monstrous hosing of your fellow tech at best.
  • edited November 2007
    Unless Brian strongly objects, let's go with Slice of Life. I've never tested that one so all the better. So:

    The six Attitudes are Lonely, Troubled, Curious, Hard Working, Good Natured, and Unfriendly.
    The six Roles are Retiree, Student, Immigrant, Single Parent, Expert, and Family Guy.

    You guys choose an attitude or role for one of your technicians, one at a time and taking turns, until all twelve have been claimed. So if you really are hot to be the Student or Curious, for example, grab that first.

    Who's first?
  • Single Parent

  • edited November 2007
    (I'll add these to the wiki as you choose. Or you can.)
  • Don't know about you guys, but I had kinda hoped for a bit faster pace, especially over the weekend where I actually have time to play. The last post was Friday, now it's Sunday night (my local time).

    I think Jason thought of at least one post per player per day, and I think that's the bare minimum if it's not going to take ages to complete.

  • Yes, for this to be useful for me it needs to proceed at a steadier clip. Two posts per day at a minimum, I'd say. If that isn't your cup of tea, let's talk about it.
  • I'm thinking this isn't going to work after all.
  • I wrote Brian and if it turns out he can't do it, are you guys OK with recruiting another person and continuing?
  • Absolutely :)

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