Coder, Maker, Gamer (he/him) 🏳️‍🌈

18Mar 24

Ultimate Quest - The first public playtest!

Part of the 🧙‍♂️ Quest project.

Advertising the playtest

This year at Airecon I booked a playtest slot for my game Ultimate Quest. I've been working on the game heavily for the last 6-8 months and knowing that Airecon was coming up had given me a date that I knew I needed to have the first Quest fully playable. I was seeing it as a deadline to create a vertical slice of the game (the whole game but with only enough content for a single adventure) so I could determine if it will play anything like the game I have in my head.

Despite my impending deadline I still made a huge last minute change to the game. At a Leeds Playtesting group some fellow designers gave me some feedback that I'd already heard before and had been playing on my mind. They said we love the concept (Dungeon Crawl X Yahtzee) but execution doesn't push the yahtzee dice play far enough. Hearing this again solidified that I needed to take drastic action. So with 5 weeks before Airecon I took the decision to change a fundamental part of the game: I moved from using Polyhedral dice to standard D6's with different colours representing different skills. I leaned much more heavily in to the Yahzee idea so now to kick down a door you would need a double red dice (red = physical). It was a lot of work changing everything but the game played so much better for it and what I presented was something I'm super proud of.

The new D6 dice

For the first quest of the game I have the would-be-champions performing the rather mundane task of investigating what's happened to Georgie the old tavern cat. This will serve as an introduction to how the game playes and some low level enemies. For the finished game I imagine quests will range from these small jobs through to exploring cast caves, temples, fighting dragons and perhaps at the end, even venturing to hell itself! I made some "I Saved Georgie" badges and these would be rewards for anyone who managed to complete the first Quest! -Who doesn't want a cute cat badge?

Snaps from the playtesting

The night before Airecon I played the first quest through in solo mode. I played as the Witch (a mostly support role - I was curious if this would be possible) and I had a Stone Ogre Companion, I managed to scrape throught quest and had an awesome time doing it. This game at least meets my objective of being something I found interesting and exciting, and is a game I want to play!

Snaps from the playtestingSnaps from the playtesting

I ran 5-6 games of Ultimate Quest over the weekend and several coveted "I SAVED GEORGIE" badges were won with each adventuring party having their own unique adventure. One party encountered Vampires and another managed to save an young child from giant spiders! We had a Centaur Warrior torn to pieces by a pack of zombies and these are just a few of the most memorable moments!

Snaps from the playtesting

I've received some great feedback and ideas and I've come away feeling even more inspired, motivated and excited for the future of Ultimate Quest! A huge thank you to everyone who joined me on the adventure and played the game. I can't wait to see where this games goes!

Snaps from the playtesting

Extra thanks goes to beckyriotus for taking some lovely photos and compiling a couple of lovely video clips of the gaming action!