UnPub Mini, Part One
May 19, 2012. It was a beautiful Saturday in West Chester, Pennsylvania. The weather was hot and dry, the sky clear.
My father and I worried that nobody would come to a little card shop on such a day to try out unpublished games — that everyone would rather frolic in the sun.
Game designers appeared, naturally. We promised to bring the main attraction. If nobody else showed up, at least the game designers could interact with each other, and provide experienced criticism for their colleagues' games. Would that be as valuable as feedback from the uninitiated in game design, the actual players we expected to court in the future?
Thankfully some actual players walked in the door. Not in droves nor legions, but throughout the day at least twenty sun-fearing folk came to The Games Keep, who may not have normally. Two gentlemen sat down at Pilatch's table. Finally! The moment we had been waiting for. Real live gamers, other than friends and family, who could provide unbiased critique of the games we had been developing for years.
Their names were Rob, and... Rob. They did not smile, spoke without emotion, maintaining deadpan expressions at all times. To help us differentiate, Rob #2 offered to be called Bob. What a relief!
Because multiple types of games can be played with a Pilatch deck, I asked Rob & Bob what kinds of games they usually played. Bob answered, "Euro Games." He was the spokesperson for the dynamic duo. The thinner-faced Rob preferred to avoid speaking unless absolutely necessary. If you're not familiar, Euro Games is the genre that was made popular here in the States by Settlers of Catan, and has little to do with anything Pilatch has to offer [so far]. So, you can imagine that I just wanted this play session with Rob & Bob to be over about as quickly as it began, because they did not seem like the sort of players Pilatch would attract. I asked if they played poker. "Not really," Bob replied. I selected a betting game for them anyway, Tournament Pilatch, because I guessed that would be our flagship game.
We played a hand with some colorful clay poker chips I had brought, though no value was attributed to the chips. At the end of the hand I asked, "Would you like to try another hand, or something else?" To my surprise, Bob wanted to try another hand, then another. We played at least ten hands before he, and Rob too, by silent consensus, were satisfied. I had no idea whether they actually enjoyed the game or not.
To be continued...
Recap of the UnPub Mini event in West Chester, PA, from May 19, 2012.