In September there were a lot of firsts for Magnate: we got our first ever review, did our first podcast interview and the first ever “pretty prototype” was assembled. Now our first big show is upon us!
Tabletop Scotland a huge success & our first ever review
At the beginning of September, I travelled north of the border to Perth to playtest Magnate for, what I only realised later, was the inaugural Tabletop Scotland.
The playtesting was a huge success. It allowed me to test out a solution to the longstanding problem where players are mystified by bidding for turn order on the first round. I am glad to say that solution worked very well. I also got a chance to test Magnate with children for the first time. Our young players absolutely loved it, as I thought they might. It re-affirmed my belief that the wider market prospects for Magnate outside of core group of hobbyists are strong.
I won’t go into more detail here, but if you’d like to learn more about what happened, you can check out my article about why Tabletop Scotland was the best convention I’ve been to so far.
Even more awesomely we were reviewed by Mrs Meeple of MeepleLikeUs in her round-up of the whole event. I am very glad to say that she was impressed: “I loved it. Magnate is the game Monopoly should be.” I couldn’t have asked for better feedback; that’s literally the original design goal. And when a game reviewer of such unquestioned good taste likes your work, you must be doing something right!
1st pretty prototype complete
Well that escalated quickly!
A month ago we were still workshopping style, throwing around some graphic design ideas and I had only just commissioned our awesome new artist duo, Czepeku to do all of the terrain. Pretty much the only thing we had that was far along were the buildings; and they were far from going off to the 3D printer.
Now we have accelerated – after one absolutely crazy month – all the way to what I am calling our first “pretty prototype”: the 1st ever version of the game that resembles a finished product. It involved several people working very hard to get here, including me dusting off my very old (and very imperfect) graphic design skills. But I am really proud of everything we’ve made so far.
It is, however, so new that even *I* haven’t physically held it yet. When this post goes live, it will be in the middle of being assembled, ready for transport to London tomorrow. Here’s a few photos of my home printed versions and pictures of buildings that I’ve just been sent by my manufacturer:
At some point, I might write a more in-depth piece about the art direction process – there’s so much to it. It was a lot of fun, but really, really hard. But it was made much easier by working with great collaborators. I am already looking forward to working with them again.
Interviewed by Unlucky Frog
Last week I was interviewed on the excellent Unlucky Frog podcast. Charlotte and Ben were brilliant hosts; managing to ask some very insightful questions while giving me lots of time to ramble on about Magnate! If you’re interested in Magnate, representing social issues in games in general, the history of Monopoly and even brutalist architecture, this podcast is for you!
Magnate is at Tabletop Gaming Live this Saturday
Our first big show – Tabletop Gaming Live – starts in less than 48 hours. All day this Saturday and Sunday, the pretty prototype will be on display at stand G37 at Alexandra Palace.
A huge amount has been building to this moment and it’s the first time we’ll be demoing it, so please wish us luck! We would love to see you there so we can show you the game in person. Tickets are only £10 so it’s a really affordable event if you’re in London or not too far away.