The Safe Zone Prototyping

Play testing became an integral part of the game design process. The first couple of play tests focused on testing whether the rules I had decided on fit in with the game and the mechanics. The later play tests revolved more around testing out the finalised rules and design with different size groups.

Play test one & two

This was the first time I had anyone else play the game and look at the design. This play test was with the minimum people allowed to play (two). I still didn’t have a board that went with the game so I borrowed elements from board games that I have. In this first play test it was determined that thirty health was too much and that rolling the set of four dice up to three times was too many. We had both completed the game with health levels in the mid-twenties and the game was over in fifteen minutes.

Set up for play tests 1 & 2

Play test three

This game was again played with two people. I used this to test out what had been discussed in the previous play test. This time, three dice were used and we were only able to re-roll once.

Play test four & five

These two play tests took place during class time and were the first I had done with the maximum number of players (six). Play test number four was played with three dice and play test number five was played with two. Two dice worked much better with a larger group of players and the game lasted longer and players were able to move further on the board. During play test four, players were only able to get to the second or third column on the board, whereas players were able to complete the board during play test five.

Set up for play tests 4 & 5

Feedback during these two play tests was to have two different dice systems for the different number groups.

Two to three players:

  • Two action dice: these two dice both have numbers 1-3, an infectious attack, a direct attack and health on them.

Four to six players:

  • One action die: contains two infectious attacks, two direct attacks and two health sides.
  • Number die: numbers 1-6.

These different methods allow the game to take place similarly, even though the number of actions is different.

Play test six & seven

These two play tests were more about narrowing down the different dice methods for the different groups of players. This time three people were playing. The first play test took place with the number/ action dice. The second was with two action dice. Both methods worked for the smaller group but feedback showed that the two action dice was more enjoyable.

Set up for play tests 6 & 7

Main changes:

  • Being allowed to roll the dice up to 3x down to only rolling them once.
  • Introducing a safe area onto the board (black zones). Landing on this means that players aren’t impacted by the actions on their dice.
  • Rain symbol on dice impacts everyone in your column.
  • Lower health from 30 to 15.