The first ever digital playtesting of Algomancy is now available for open access! To get started, you can follow the video tutorial below.
For now I am using Tabletopia, because it is free for everyone. I am planning to expand to tabletop simulator as well, for those who have that software if there is interest.
Pre-Alpha Playtesting Objective
Please read this! We are still in the early stages of playtesting so the game is not “complete”. Aesthetics aside (which I will talk about later), this playtesting is somewhat intentionally like a collection of cards. I wanted to include a variety of different effects so I could get a feel for what the players enjoyed before I tried too hard to sculpt the card pool to its final shape. There are always surprises and I don’t want to lean too hard into one direction until I have other eyes on the game to help me understand what the core of this game really should be.
So when playtesting I want you to think about which aspects of the game you enjoy and which you don’t enjoy. Do you like interacting with your opponents? Comboing off with crazy grafting interactions? The fast paced gameplay? Perhaps a specific tribe or aesthetic really speaks to you. These are the things I want to know. If a ton of people love something, I can try and highlight that aspect of the game more.
Similarly, think about things you dislike about the game. Is it too complex? Too slow or fast? Does the complexity of grafting not provide enough benefit? Do you think the font is too small? Etc. As above, I will take this feedback and try to minimize the aspects of the game people generally did not like.
How to Give Feedback
When providing feedback I am mostly looking at the raw feelings or emotions you are experiencing. It can be very tempting to self diagnose and say “oh I felt this way because of this, therefore that thing needs to change”. But often there can be a simpler and more elegant fix than the initial reaction. Think of it how you would describe your symptoms to a doctor “I’m a bit tired, my head hurts, I have trouble sleeping, etc”. You wouldn’t go to the doctor and say “My leg needs to be removed”. That’s the doctor’s job to listen to how you are feeling and come up with a diagnosis and course of actions.
It is the same for a game. It is much easier for me to aggregate basic feelings (and much easier for others to give their basic feelings). If you felt the game was bland, its more helpful to just say that instead of saying “you should add this”. If you thought the game was too long or too short, hearing that is more helpful than “The life totals need to change”.
TLDR: Tell me how you feel when playing the game and let me try to make changes to address those concerns or highlight the good parts.
Suggestions vs Feedback
This doesn’t mean I don’t want suggestions! I just want to make a clear distinction between suggestions and feedback. One helps me understand the game as it is, and the other gives me ideas of where I could take it. I am very open to suggestions, but of the two I think feedback is the more important.
Below is the link for creating a playtesting lobby. Once you make one, you’ll need to share a link to your room with someone else (this will be a different link than the one below, otherwise you both will be hosting your own rooms). The video above mostly explains how to get started.
You are more than welcome to playtest with friends and family. The demo is open access for a reason 🙂
When getting started, I would recommend playing a few games without the grafting mechanic. Then once you get a feel for the game, adding it in. Of all the mechanics, I am most interested in how that one is received.
If you are looking for people to play with, In the discord I will make beginner and competitive playtesting channels, so choose the one that seems appropriate for you.
I will be making changes to the game and card pool very frequently, likely daily if I get feedback fast enough. So keep an eye out for that. I’m also open to feedback about the changes, so if I take out a card you really like, let me know!
The above video is the most up to date explanation of how to play Algomancy, but the articles below may also be helpful as a written guide. The major deviations that have since been updated are the grafting mechanic and ability combos, which are explained by following those links.
Please keep in mind that the appearance of the game is very much a work in progress. Many of the art choices, card names, icons etc are just there for playtesting and do not reflect the quality of the final game. There may be some very obvious placeholder art that does not match the card. I will be updating these as we go, but figured it was good enough to get started with.
Also, right now we only have 2 of the 5 factions for Algomancy, so there is a lot of game yet to come! But I figured it would be best to start playtesting with a smaller group of cards to make things easier.