Post Mortem for Stars Up
When me and Rongye first got Commodity Speculation as our game mechanic, we were very confused and didn’t know what game to make. Then I thought about the betting game we played in class, high society, and we came up with an idea that similar to high society, but with game boards. We came up with an idea that players bid on furniture and building their stars for their hotel or Airbnb house. The difference is player who bought the furniture draw an incident card to decide whether good or bad will happen on the furniture. At first we decided to give each player a floor plan as game board to place the furniture, then we realized that the game board is actually useless, then we gave each area of the floor plan a function to make the board more useful. It took us awhile to decide how much money each player gets, and we want to give the players enough money to make the game more competitive. Also in order for the game to be balanced, we need to decide how many furniture cards and pest cards, and how many good and bad incident cards are there in the game.
We began playtest one with not functional game board, players can put the furniture they bought anywhere on their floor plan. We gave each player money that have different values, such as 50, 100, 200, 300, 1000… The first playtest was very competitive, but I found that having so much different kinds of money made it very hard to keep track of how much money I have left. Also, the calculation is a problem, I would spend minutes to calculate the money I put down. The game board seemed useless since it was only for placing the furniture. After the first playtest, we decided to change the amount of money each player owns, give player less amount of money, therefore players can keep better track of the money they have left. We decided to keep the game board as it was and try to figure out what to add on next playtest.
The second playtest was similar to the first playtest, except the playtesters this time are little quieter. Since this game is a betting game, it would be more fun and competitive if players talk to each other. We didn’t get to finish the game and we only bet on 3 or 4 furniture. The money problem was still there, we decided to switch all the bills to 50, 100, and 500 after the playtest. Rongye came up with an idea to give each area of the board a function, so we upgraded and labeled the game board.
I was sick on the day we did playtest 3, Rongye and other playtester from the class played the final version of the game. I got the feedback that the money is easier to calculate, and players would able to keep track of how much money they have left, and planned accordingly for each round of bid. The final version of Stars Up went well on playtest 3, they were able to bid on every single item and finally finish the game. Overall I am happy the way this game came out.