The 3rd annual Stonemaier Design Day was held this past weekend in St. Louis, Missouri. It's a really great event that's hosted by Jamey and Alan of Stonemaier games. I'm going to mostly talk about my experiences, but if you want to learn more about the event I highly recommend reading Jamey's blog post on it here.
It was a long weekend. I went to the pre-party on Friday night. Then the event itself from 9am-10pm. Then an afterparty. The pre-party and afterparty were great. I met a lot of great people and I feel like we definitely became friends by the end of the night.
At the pre-party I learned how to play Captain Sonar. I love Space Cadets: Dice Duel, so I was really looking forward to this. I was the captain of our team, and unfortunately we lost, though it was very close! We then played at least two games of my copy of Secret Hitler (which I may have proudly mentioned to you in a message). I've never played a bad game of this, and I think everyone enjoyed it quite a bit. We ended the night in possibly the best way: by playing Telestrations.
The next morning I attended the design event itself. First up I playtested a worker placement called Anytown. I enjoy worker placement games quite a bit, and enjoyed this one as well (which I don't believe was impacted by my having won our playtest). It had some unique mechanics to it, and the designers were very nice and put a lot of thought and care into the game.
Next up, the game I was supposed to test was a no-show, so I playtested a game by a local designer who I know, which was a pleasure. It was called Teotl, and was a team game played across three separate mini-games. It's a very interesting concept and is seeming very promising. Unfortunately we had to end early in a tie due to the time slot ending. I'm sure I might see it again at another local design event and would like to give it another go.
It was then my turn to teach a published game, and I opted to teach Secret Hitler. I've already gushed about this game enough, so I won't do more so here. Especially because my playtest sessions were up next.
I did two playtests of what is likely to be our next game, Space Gypsies [working title]. It went great! The people who were kind enough to playtest my our game seemed to enjoy themselves. When it came time to ask for feedback, I had three questions prepared. If you're doing any design work, I highly suggest that you come up with some good open-ended questions to ask after playtests. Here's what I asked:
I got some great feedback, and can't wait to start working on implementing them after this campaign is over.
After my playtests I was taught how to play Champions of Midgard and The Manhattan Project. I really enjoyed getting to know the people I played with, and appreciate people taking the time to teach me how to play.
After the event, I went to an afterparty where we played Dead Last and more Secret Hitler, and then passed out for a number of hours.
The event was amazing, and I was so excited to see the next day that our game, Space Gypsies, had placed in the top 5 designs, just like The End is Nigh did last year! I could not have been more excited, especially when I saw it was ranked #2! It's a huge honor.
I hope you enjoyed reading, and that I didn't ramble too much! Thanks for everything you've done to help us get to this point. We're excited to see what's in store.
The End is Nigh is LIVE on Kickstarter!