Testing 1,2,3 Or it’s my ball you can’t play with it..

Testing 1,2,3
Or it’s my ball you can’t play with it..


When people say they play tested a game, what does that mean? Is it that they run all the possibilities did they can check and then double check. So we can say, do the rules work?

Playtesting the game is work and frustrating (very,) not just for the writers, and the creators and in all honestly for the play testers as well. Because things change and change creates a hurricane of havoc..


In simple terms if I present a game to you guys and through your feedback it results in four weeks major changes happened, however the play testers that were playing liked the way the game played as it worked in their favor. Then we run into other obstacles and problems down the road. I have been designing homebrewed games now for a while, in fact for over 10 years I’ve made 20 different games with unique game systems, and obviously in different settings.

Each time the play testers were satisfied I was never satisfied I wanted to make the perfect game that was my quest and I spent my younger years pursuing a quest on a fool’s errand. Now that I’m older and more wiser and  I understand there’s no perfect game it’s great to pursue it but I’ll never get a product on the market if I pursue that ideal of the perfect game. So that being said I thought I was very close to having a game that is fun moves fast easy to play and understand. For a game designer and a player that is in a way the definition of a good game.


That was 2015, we did have a dice crunch where, we use similar mechanics to any multiple D10 system. But it was based on successes in each die rolled over the target number was a success. When the comments came in


on the first kickstarter and people saw the gameplay, i realize it’s not  your basic skirmish game. Now I was okay with it in the beginning but you know as time progresses I realized that some of the comments were right, and I was maybe wrong (playtesters work along a fine line between player and backseat designer, so of the feedback is very relevant, others try to influence the design and some people have the quantitative ability to get where you are trying to go and make very direct, constructive yet objective observations to what they are seeing when playing the game.)


The system we used was based on a role-playing game that I’ve made earlier in 2012, and like any other game role-playing games and skirmish miniature games don’t quite go hand-in-hand with the same type of mechanics, it’s hard to have a game to do both very well. And that’s why we talked about in the previous blogs about the one dice. And believe me it was hard to go from the D10’s I invested money into the D10 system I believe that it that it was going to work.


Sometimes it’s better to let your pride go and go with something that works for the masses than a system that is designed for slower combat and skill driven RPG game. (Matt’s note, when one was chatting to Derek early on after the second KS, this very point came up and it is very difficult as again it comes back to not wanting to be a back seat designer but at the same time wanting to try and be honest without ‘being a bit of a di*k’. Thankfully one has been a playtester for others and after chatting to a couple of industry friends they both said just be the one that’s honest. So one’s response was ‘Is this a rpg or skirmish game?’)


So for me the biggest difference between an RPG game that uses miniatures and a skirmish game using miniatures is that in RP games the players are united against a common enemy or foe ran by the referee, GM or dungeon Master. And therefore so what if combat takes few hours to resolve, no one really cares though they have a good time with their friends.

Now the seriousness of skirmish games is, one cannot just only think of speed, simplicity or being invested in a system you know that works well for role-playing games. When you forget one important aspect of the skirmish game tournaments and competitive play.

Sky Relics is now a driven game not just with skirmish rules, but to be eventually set up to have tournaments at conventions, that’s important. See the first kickstarter, I didn’t care about point values because you’re choosing a captain, you are going to play against a GM, not against your friends so it’s not head-to-head matches. Then we realized that the skirmish side of things is what a lot of the players wanted and we understand that like anything else Wargames need to set up right to be successful.


Now board games really have taken over on kickstarter too but this isn’t just a board game, it’s so much more than that, and I will get to that later in another blog. So later in 2015 my brother and I went back to the drawing board we had to make a game that had point spending fairness, that can be easily used tournaments, at conventions in essence to be a contender in the game space. So we rolled up our sleeves and went to work,  in the last six months I’ve playtested, playtested and play tested. But were not done yet and as you read soon in our next blog on how we’re improving our next range of play testing groups.

Hopefully you keep reading and learning more about our wonderful world of Targus and Sky Relics

About Matt Adlard 19 Articles

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