Designer Diary #4: The Primary – Freelance Development

Thanks for checking out the fourth entry in our Designer Diary! Read on to learn about our progress with the solo variant and freelance development for our game, The Primary.

BACKGROUND

The Primary is a light, election-themed game where each player is a candidate during a United States presidential primary election. Over the course of the game, players campaign across the country – gaining influence, running advertisements, lobbying to Super PACs, and more – all in the hopes of winning the most delegates. Simultaneous action, area control, and action programming mechanics keep each round exciting until the very end!

Check out our previous Designer Diary entries for more insight into our game design process for The Primary.

The Primary

STATUS

We have been continuing to tweak the new solo variant for The Primary. There is a fine line to balance between the original multiplayer game and accommodations made for the solo variant. We don’t necessarily want to sacrifice the experience of the multiplayer game to allow for a solo variant. It’s also challenging to balance the overall difficulty of the solo variant. Finalizing a target for how often the solo player wins should help with this. We have seen feedback that solo players should lose at least half the time. There is some good news, though. The solo variant keeps some key elements from the original multiplayer game and can be a fun experience.

A couple weeks ago, Board Game Design Lab released a podcast with Coalition Games, that discussed remote playtesting and the freelance development services they offer. Due to low participation in our remote playtesting efforts (see below) we have decided to partner with Coalition Games for some development work and playtesting. Things are just now getting underway, and we are very excited to get their input on The Primary and playtesting feedback!

ISSUES

Remote playtesting continues to prove difficult. Over the course of 4 weeks, we have had 31 people sign up or show interest in remote playtesting and we have mailed pieces to 7 potential playtesters. So far, we have only received playtest feedback from 1 playtester (a big shout out to govmiller on BGG for playtesting and providing great input.) We are very grateful for all the interest so far, but are struggling to get feedback from remote playtests.

NEXT STEPS

We will continue to reach out for remote playtesters, and in parallel, work with Coalition Games to get more professional feedback.

Thanks for reading our Designer Diary! What else would you like to hear about? What did you find boring? Feel free to share your thoughts and comment below!