Playtesting Approaches >> Wish Me Luck!
It's been a fairly herculean undertaking so far. I've spent countless hours already setting up big Excel spreadsheets to track all the different card types, card attributes, deck composition, etc.
The good news is that I've wrapped up almost all the data for the initial cardset. Bottom line -- I finally have everything in place for a rough playtest prototype. One of the biggest hurdles has been taking that raw data from the spreadsheets and formatting it into cards I can print out. But now that's almost done, and I'll be ready to give the system a try.
I expect the first playtest to be VERY rough... I have the core mechanics designed, and literally several hundred cards in the entire set (of which the prototype will use roughly a quarter -- selected arbitrarily to set a starting point). At these early stages, I'm most interested to see if the underlying concepts and mechanics work well enough to fulfill the project goals.
I've already been in touch with a dozen or so prospective playtesters, many of them my gaming regulars and buddies from BoardGameGeek... Once I get the first round of playtesting completed and apply some feedback, it will be passed along to the publisher for more thorough playtesting by folks who won't have the game designer sitting around to answer questions or walk them through it.
I gotta' admit, I'm pretty nervous. I think the concepts and mechanics are sound. Time to put that to the test. Wish me luck!