After much anticipation it’s here: The first fancy physical prototype of Halls of Teknor. My dungeon crawler board game. The game is not even halfway finished so why spend money on making a physical prototype already?
When I started this a year ago I had some simple ideas: You play a lone adventurer looking for the tomb of a cybergod. You explore rooms, slay robotic foes, and find mysterious objects which you can have identified by a shopkeeper.
After months of testing digitally these themes remained but much of the mechanics have changed and instead of a lone adventurer you now play two lone adventurers. I’d say rules wise we are halfway into halfway into a finished game but I made a little campaign anyway. Just some areas, some items, and some weapons. It took a lot of time for me to get this ready for print and approached it as if it were a finished game where everything would be under the scrutiny of consumers. That means I even went as far as making a fancy box. (Those who follow us on Twitter may have seen some design musings)
Apart from the first few weeks most of the testing was done on a computer. It was just quicker for me to do it on there and easier to get people to test it. I’d say around 20-30 people have tried it but few have actually touched it on a table. And lemme tell you: This game is NOT the same on a table.
For starter it apparantly takes up way may more table space than I’d like it to, shuffling cards before starting a session is less work than I feared (I do not like shuffling!) and there is apparently a ton of co-op strategy. Some of these are just not apparent until you put your game out on a table. Also: Something I feared was hard for players to remember was actually easily remembered by everyone.
Once it was printed it’s not easy to make adjustments. That last part is actually a plus for me. In the past, whenever I did a session with some one I’d get ideas and immediately change some mechanics, adding or removing whole systems. As a result, No two people played the same version. The following weeks, perhaps months, I will play this short and early version with locals and they will all play the same version. I’m curious if this leads to different conclusions. In the new year I will continue digitally and build a new version with all that feedback.
I’m feeling VERY good about Halls of Teknor and honestly I have to hold myself back to not make a whole game with the rules I have right now. As always I hope that next version will be solid and we can get to making cool powers and characters and little trinkets of lore. Who knows. For now. Before we hit the drawing board, let’s hit the table!
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