Our playtest of Cruel 2BKind was lots of fun. Since we conducted it with other class members, we ran several iterations of the game. Each time we played, we improved upon the last one by modding it in a subtle way to make it more fun and playable. Other puppet masters modded the game by reducing the wait time to 5 seconds or new win stipulations. Both of these modifications enhanced the playability of the game directly by correcting flaws in the rules.
I decided to take a different approach in modding my playtest. Others noticed friction in how some of the player dynamics were played out and acted upon it. I, on the other hand, thought it as strange that we had to run away before engaging in another head-to-head battle. Thus, I took that part and made it even more strange. Before each battle, you were required to run around a table three times. I thought it would be an even more fun way to get your blood flowing, and endorphins pumping, and ease into the game a little more by being more physical. In the first run around, people were laughing at the silliness of the mod. However, towards the second and third times, it seemed as if people were huffing and puffing a little too much. Feeling bad, I announced that everyone only has to run around the table once instead of three times.
In retrospect, this might’ve been too much exercise for an icebreaker. However, people did comment that running around provided people more time to collude on a strategy. Without this time, items were uncoordinated and often started to match without a coherent plan.
In the end, everyone had fun, including me, and I thought it was a great way to bond with the team and class.