Public Playtest:Devil’s Staircase Wild West Role Playing

So this is completely off topic and probably of little interest to Rolemaster players but…

I have been mucking around with my Playing Card powered wild west game. Well, this week I have released the public play test version. What I need is constructive criticism. The more feedback the better the game should be.

I do not expect this to be of much interest to Rolemaster players. It is fast and loose and doesn’t have the RM grittiness and realism. On the other hand if you know gamers that like ‘lite’ rules then maybe you could pass on the url?

The play test version can be found here…

Please feel free to pass this around as much as you like!

22 Replies to “Public Playtest:Devil’s Staircase Wild West Role Playing”

  1. I’ve posted about this on the Azukail Games site and I’m including a link in Saturday’s mailing. I’d be interested to know if they generate any downloads, although I doubt the site will. The source codes are AzukailGames and AzukailEmail.

    1. Thanks.

      I have asked just about every blogger I know to plug the playtest. So far I have 78 downloads, one suggested change to the wording and one 5 star review. I will let you know how if I get any recorded marketing sources.

      1. 119 downloads so far.

        1 5* review and two bits of constructive criticism.

        I had hoped for more but I will keep plugging away at getting playtesters.

  2. I’ve got a blog post scheduled as well. I don’t know if it’ll bring in very many people, but you never know. 🙂

    I plan on giving the game a run-through this week(end) and will let you know how it goes.

    1. Thank you!

      The latest count is 132 downloads.

      Interestingly RMU Beta 2 only has 136 downloads. If you weighed my breadth of contacts as an individual blogger with what ICE could have called upon as one of the iconic brands of 1980s role playing, the RMU playtest could have been massive and far reaching.

  3. I sent out the link to my group of players and asked them to give it a go. You ask for feedback to the forum, but I don’t see a topic for it and I can’t create one at the level of the board. Can you make a thread for it please?

    Do you want typos and errata from the text as well or just gameplay feedback?

    1. Hi, I will sort out the forum glitch!

      Yes, all feedback is welcome including errata and typos.

      What topic did you want me to create? Errata?

      1. Good morning mate. I see the new threads n the board. Thank you for that. I can’t create a post within the Errata section. I can only view. Do you have to open the permissions to post or am I in the wrong section to start a post?

        1. My mistake. That should be fixed now.

          This is my first time using phpBB so it is a bit of a case of solving each issue as it arises.

              1. I used to be pretty well versed in phpBB – the Advanced Dungeons & Rabbits mod is what led me back to RPGs – but I’m more than a few years obsolete now.

  4. I have been reading through Quickstart.pdf. What are the differences between that file and QuickStart 26-10-2018.pdf? Which one do you prefer I start on first?

    1. In 26-10-2018 there is a slight change at the bottom of page 3, first column. A boxout was added making it clearer how to handle unskilled skill tests.

      You may have had an email saying that an updated version was available a couple of days ago. That version has your typos on Page 2 resolved.

      So the answer to your question is to use 26-10-2018 if you have it.

      Incidentally, as of now I have had 175 downloads of the playtest document and quickstart. The difficulty now is getting people to make that next step and join or start the conversation on forum.

      1. Yes, a lot of people will simply pick it up because it’s free (heck, I regularly do that).

        On the plus side, that means at least some of them are now on your mailing list and you can communicate updates to them. Which may get them involved.

        1. That is all true.

          I have certainly made some mistakes that I wouldn’t repeat. Next time I would create a twitter account for a new game from the moment I started work on it. I would share updates about the development but also loads of art, even stuff that got rejected. The tweets would be hashtagged to try and broaden the appeal. The intention would be to have an active following in the hundreds before we got to the playtest stage.

          I still hope to organise a ‘barn raising’ for the forum. Try and organise as many people who have downloaded the rules and anyone I have had contact with to all be on the forum on the same day at the same time. That way the first question asked should hopefully get half a dozen responses almost immediately. Also Ask everyone who attends the barn raising to ask one question each and I will answer them all on the day. The plan is of course to fill the forums with active questions and answers so it is immediately useful to the next person to come along. We have the problem right not that when one person turns up it all looks deserted so they leave, the next person comes along but it looks deserted so they leave. The forum gets no traction. If the forum looks active then people will be more inclined to join in.

          There is a lesson here for RMU.

          In 3 weeks I have had 175 downloads of the playtest and quickstart. In 3 years RMU has had 137. I had virtually no audience to call upon and the little audience I did have were mainly RM players and GMs and my game is as far away from RM as it is possible to get in level of detail and style of play. My game is also Wild West which is definitely a niche genre and one that is already well served with Boot Hill, Wanted!, Eights & Aces, Wild West, Western Hero, GURPs Old West, Dust Devils, Gunslinger: Wild West Action! and Ubiquity Old West just to name a few. So no audience, no existing community and loads of competition. ICE on the other hand with their reputation as a name of long standing could have commanded a huge audience for a public play test. They have an existing community already so the forum problems I am dealing they would never have had. If they could have brought in 1000 play testers then that many voices would have found the problems in a fraction of the time that the half a dozen active play testers are still finding problems. I would have shouted to the world about Beta 1 back in 2012.

          1. Yes, I certainly think you’ve been more successful at getting people to at least take a look at the rules – an important first stop – than ICE has. Sure, ICE’s downloads may be higher quality – everyone is interested in RM there – but quantity is important as well. And, for RMU, people outside the community, who ICE really should want to attract, needed to be brought in in greater numbers. Or perhaps any numbers. Or at all.

            Getting involvement on any forum is difficult. Even ones I’ve been a member of that are technically busy are often deserted. There have been a few with many, many members all on at the same time, but this is rare and RPGs are very niche.

            Have you thought about other forum related to the game but not the playtest? Such as Kickstarter, marketing and anything else?

            I haven’t really had a chance to do more than glance at the rules as yet (and I’ve managed to damage my right arm from typing too much and my left leg with sciatica which is hindering me at the moment!).

            1. As the project progresses I will add more. This is obviously the play test version. I was planning to kickstarter it but it makes more sense with this one to indiegogo fund it. So I will create forums for the supporters at that point. Once the game is released then I will create players forums and so on.

              1. What are the differences between Kickstarter and Indiegogo? My main impression is that Kickstarter is bigger, to the degree that people use the name as a generic for crowdfunding (which I tend to do).

                You might find this interesting:


                The opinions I’ve read so far seem to be that the Kickstarter had too many stretch goals and was too successful. That Sandbox article by Kevin Crawford mentioned the problem of too many stretch goals.

                1. The difference between the two is that kickstarter funding is all or nothing. If you make your target then you get then funding less their 5%-8% fees.

                  Indiegogo in contrast is pay as you go so if you get £10 funding out of your £500 target you will get the £10 less the fess, which are the same.

                  For a first crowdfunding campaign and one in which I have invested so little up front then indiegogo makes more sense. If you tried to kickstarter for just a few hundred pounds then it looks like why bother with crowdfunding for so little.

                  I intend to set a low success threshold but the put a larger margin on the stretch goals.

                  I want to be able to claim a successful first campaign.

                  1. Ah, that’s actually quite a significant difference. And a successful, and successfully delivered, crowdfunding project is a big plus when doing more in the future. I would say it’s more important than the company doing the crowdfunding; a small operator with a record of successful projects has a higher reputation than a big company with a poor history.

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