Surveys, Playtesting, Solo Mode, Special Potion Art

Hi all!

Apotheca is moving along nicely. We are trying hard to deliver the finished files to the manufacturer by December 1st. If we do that, they should be able to get the games manufactured and freighted out of China before the Chinese New Year holiday occurs in February (that's what they told us). I'll keep you updated on that as we move along! Here are your other updates:

  • Reward Surveys: Our pledge manager CrowdOx emailed out the surveys on Friday, October 9th. As of now, 78% of backers have completed their surveys - thanks! If you are in that remaining 22%, please fill yours out ASAP. This helps us get an accurate count on the number of copies we need to order. If you have not received your survey, check your Junk/Spam folder. If you still don't see it, use this link to have CrowdOx re-send it:
  • Blind Playtesting: The blind playtest last Tuesday went really well and we got great feedback. It was neat to see playtesters play the game as if they had just bought it (i.e. a successful game with no assistance from myself). I would give the playtest night an "A-" grade -- almost everything went smoothly, we just need to make minor wording changes. We should have another blind playtest in the next couple of weeks.
  • Solo Mode: Among other game modes, I was tuned into the solo games played on playtest night. One thing I noticed is that the end-game scores didn't quite have enough variance. They tended to range from 15 to 19, where the max. possible score is 31. This is consistent with our internal playtesting as well. Variance is important so you have good games and bad games - it makes you think about your strategies and come back for more! So, I spent time testing a bunch of new variations on the scoring method, and I've arrived at something really compelling. I'll be testing this in the next blind playtest. The actual moment-to-moment gameplay hasn't changed, but the scoring has more variance now, and this new version lends itself to more small victories throughout the game.
  • Kickstarter-Exclusive Special Potions: Eduardo has finished the art for the special potions! We haven't paired the illustrations with the potion name, ability text and typical background texture yet, but here are the illustrations. Blue is Cloning Potion, Yellow is Peeking Potion, Red is Fireball Potion:
  • Gems: The new gem prototypes I have are not representative enough of what the final products will be - two colors are swapped, one's size has changed, and the translucency level is minimized - so I'll hold off on a gem picture until we have a more developed version in a future update.

Have a good week!