This was a very busy convention for me, but it was also my favorite Metatopia to date.
I playtested The Wounded King, Redshift, and held a discussion group on MURDER PENIS. All of which yielded great feedback.
The Wounded King is paradoxically the closed and furthest from completion. It's props and procedures work well, but it is missing some pretty fundamental grounding that's required to delve deeper into the game's themes. Thank goodness I had some very strong players that could navigate that. This was one of those playtests that was simultaneously rough and encouraging, but there is a clear path forward.
Redshift went very well. Everything seems to be working as intended, which makes me very glad. Truth be told, I was expecting this playtest to be rough. I had to scramble to get it in a playtestable state, I woke up late and had no time to mentally prepare, and this is just a more ambitious project than my other works. But, despite all of that, it went fine! I'm looking forward to doing some full playtests, which is the next step for this project.
I decided not to do a proper playtest of MURDER PENIS and instead opted for a small discussion group. This was the right choice. It's an explicit scenario and it's difficult to fully inform players in convention settings. We talked through it and discussed options to refine the techniques, and I think this will make the game much more approachable.
I also got a few opportunities to introduce Peaceful Play, and impressions were favorable. I didn't get to see it used much, but it seems like it's on the right track.
Finally, I sat on three panels - Going Dark: On the Value of High Impact Play, Ally 101, and Harnessing the Healing Power of Play - but I'm going to talk on those subjects in greater depth in the near future, so stay tuned.
Redshift is my top priority since it has a deadline in early January, which means that in all likelihood The Wounded King and MURDER PENIS will have to wait until early 2018. I do hope to formalize Peaceful Play into something releasable before the end of the year though (it's a pretty lean project, relatively speaking).
Though Metatopia comes at a time of year that is usually difficult for me personally, it's a bright spot that sends me away with encouragement, insight, and enthusiasm. It's one of those events that I recommend to anybody who is even just thinking about game design. Mark your calendars, and I'll see you at Metatopia 2018!