Some Thoughts On Playtesting
by Devin Lewis
December 8, 2014
Devin Lewis, my intrepid Hireling, has been running Munchkin playtests now for over a year. I asked him to write up some thoughts on the subject. Here's Devin! --Andrew
One of the most important part of game design is the playtesting phase. Once you've got the basic structure of the game done, you need to start playing it until it breaks.
Munchkin has been, upon occasion, spectacularly broken. For example, there used to be a card in Munchkin Steampunk that stopped all other players from playing cards into the combat. I can practically hear the Munchkinly wheels turning in all of your heads right now. Suffice it to say, my playtesters loved this card, while I took note of the fact that 8 games in a row were won by use of it.
An "I win!" button would be nice to have in life, but has no place in a competitive card game. We have since edited the card so that it can not be used to gain the winning level, making the overall game experience fair for everyone.
While playtesting, what I want from my players is to push the cards up against the rules. Let me know that this card is awesome, but probably too powerful, or this class ability is far better than the others. Just as useful would be something like 'this card is boring' or 'this joke isn't funny'.
Munchkin sets don't just materialize out of the aether (as much as we wish they would!), it takes a lot of hard work and a lot of playtesting to get it out of our office and into your hands!