Playtesting with "Cartel: A Card Game"

While playtesting is a lot of fun, especially for those of us who love tabletop games, it requires a lot of work to perfect.

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Playtesting...

and playtesting

and playtesting...

The process of making "Cartel: A Card Game" has reaffirmed a lifelong lesson of mine and that is none other than "anything worthwhile won't be easy." For me, this has proven to be a lifelong maxim along many aspects of my life - as a cadet at West Point, as an Army Officer, and especially as a game developer.

To put this in perspective, I came up with the idea to make this game almost a year ago. I wondered what kind of effort would be required to complete this project, and as I wondered about this process my curiosity grew ten-fold.

"How much would it cost to create a deck to sell?"

"What will my cards look like?"

"How much will it cost me to hire an artist for the game?"

"How long will it take me to perfect the game?"

 Playtesting session at Gamehaus Cafe in Glendale, CA.

Playtesting session at Gamehaus Cafe in Glendale, CA.

At first, I naively thought I could make this game within six months: that proved to be completely wrong. The initial artwork alone took one month for Allan Ohr to complete for just the first version. Eventually, Allan and I went back forth and it took probably six different playtest sessions before I noticed some serious changes had to take place in order for this game to function in a fun, competitive way.

Today, I just received in the mail the third update to this game. This puts me at month eleven in the whole game development process. Eleven months is a long time, but here's what's happened since then:

  1. I playtested my game several times, including at GamEx.
  2. I revised the format of my game at least three times.
  3. I designed a 3D plastic box for my game (it's still be revised in order to create a mold.)
  4. I grew a Facebook following of at least 400 fans.
 Fortunately, I have a lot of great friends willing to help me work out the mechanics of my game! :)

Fortunately, I have a lot of great friends willing to help me work out the mechanics of my game! :)

All of these things require time and effort and some money. Not a whole lot of money, but enough to take some enjoyment out of life. (Gotta make sacrifices somewhere.)

If you have any questions about this process, feel free to hit me up in the comment section below or just email me at andy@andythegamemaker.com.