A Call for Playtesters

As a designer, getting feedback is the best way to refine the idea that’s in your head, and John and I gotten a lot of great feedback on Gothic Doctor in the past few months. One of the elements that we love about the game is that experienced players are always at an advantage because of the strategy involved in balancing treatment and action cards and whether to collect to treat Dracula next turn or treat a Bite Victim right now. However, even a first time player still has a shot at winning thanks to some luck elements in the game.

One of the pieces of feedback that we’ve gotten, though, is that some of the players who are looking for more strategy don’t care for those luck elements, especially the luck-of-the-draw aspect of getting a Panacea.  Since we’re happy with the luck/strategy balance where it is now, we’re not thinking of changing the main game.  (Part of being good at getting feedback is knowing when to say no, after all.)  However, we do have a few ideas for add-ons that might help players get more strategy into the game.  But with the Kickstarter coming in the early summer, we don’t have time to personally do the year of playtesting that we did for the current version of the game – and we’re not about to put something out that hasn’t been carefully playtested.

So, we need some help from people like you.  We’re looking for a few more people to be official playtesters of the game.  Here’s how that would work:

  1. You drop us at email at info@meltdowngames.com and let us know that you’d like to be an official playtester and will promise to get in five games with rule variations within a month from when you get the deck.
  2. If you’re in the first ten or so people to get back to us, we congratulate you – because you’re going to get a free prototype deck of the game with all of the final artwork sent to your door.
  3. If you’re not, we thank you for your interest, let you know that we’ve filled the free deck spots – but still give you a chance to help us out by sending you a link to a PnP deck with the final artwork once we’re ready to roll everything out.  (Also, if you’re outside of the US, thanks to shipping costs, we’ll have to send you the PnP files even if you’re in the first ten respondents. Sorry, but international shipping is a beast.)
  4. You get your deck, look through Jeff’s art, pick your jaw up off the floor, and then do some playtesting with some of the rule variations we’ve come up with.  Then, you fill out a quick online feedback form to let us know what you think.  In addition to helping us make these rule variations as awesome as possible, filling out the form also lets you log your play.
  5. About a month after the decks are mailed (and the PnPs are emailed), we wrap up playtesting.  Anyone who has logged at least 5 games trying out the variations earns the title of Official Playtester in the official rules for Gothic Doctor.  AND, each logged play will enter your name into a raffle, when we’ll be sending out some awesome things to lucky playtesters.  We’re still finalizing what those awesome things will be – but trust us: we’ll see to it that you’re happy with your prize!

So, if you’re interested, email us at info@meltdowngames.com to claim your spot! It will be a little while before we get printed decks from Medieval Man Studios, who are doing some short-run printing for us – but if you want one of those printed decks, remember, it’s first come, first served.

Until next time, folks, happy doctoring – and we hope you’ll be doing some of that doctoring with Jeff’s final artwork soon!

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