Version 2 (August 11, 2019)
It’s still summer! And while I’m personally far from water, working through JUST RUN Version 2 has sometimes felt Jaws-like in scale and intensity. Here’s the latest.
The most consistent feedback I have received about the game’s components has been that the cards in JUST RUN are difficult to read. I’ve altered the design in minor but significant ways. I hope this help players better understand and use every card in all three decks. We will know more once the Version 2 sample print run is finished.
The scenarios in JUST RUN have gone through many changes over the last year. Without going into great detail, I can tell you that we’ve settled on six scenarios, with three ways to play each one. That means that every copy of JUST RUN has 18 different versions of the game! Even better, each version has the same high level of replayability.
PS: Two bloody thumbs up for Gene at the last Congress of Gamers conference, who playtested a new two-player variant of JUST RUN and helped brainstorm the design of the sixth and final scenario Rescue Mission!
Getting the Word Out
The best chance of funding JUST RUN in our early 2020 Kickstarter is to have a dedicated fan base--the larger the better. I’ve been toying with the idea of a subscriber drawing to give away pre-release copies of JUST RUN once we reach certain milestones--for example, for every 250 subscribers added to the newsletter list. I’m still ironing out the legal and logistical issues, but keep an eye out for updates in an extra edition of this newsletter.
I received a printed prototype of JUST RUN in late March. Since then, brave play testers have run the game’s various scenarios using the new game components about ten times. This is what I’ve learned:
The basic mechanics are done. Testers seem pleased with the current rules. This is great news. But we aren't relaxing. We will continue to strength-test the basic rule set and work to make the game scarier, more competitive, and even more fun throughout 2019.
The scenarios are where the action’s at! I am focusing most of the play testing efforts on expanding and balancing the game’s six scenarios. They are getting better and more fun every time. Not only that, I am seeing that the game mechanics are flexible enough to support other scenarios, game expansions, and add-ons. Again, super exciting news.
The drafting phase needs an alternative. One of the unique elements of JUST RUN’s game play is its initial, timed card drafting phase. I designed this phase to be fast-paced and a bit chaotic. The intention was to create tension and a bit of panic before the game even really starts. You are, after all, being chased by a horde of zombies! Even though playtesters liked that element, some also asked for an alternative drafting method that is less nerve-wracking. I’m currently testing some options.
Some game pieces are perfect; others not so much. I’ve gotten a fair amount of feedback on the actual game pieces--cards, tiles, tokens, markers, and pawns. All of this advice will be rolled into a final design if the game is funded.