The first public playtest of Ross Rifles

Well, here we are. Two days out of our first public playtest and we have so much to talk about! During the 401 Games Designer Night, we ran two one-hour games of our upcoming RPG Ross Rifles. During our first game, we played through one of the battalion objectives of the “Bloody Passchendaele” scenario. For the second, our players assaulted a machine gun nest at Vimy Ridge. Feedback was constructive and quite positive! Our playtesters were a diverse group that quickly became engaged with the darker subject matter of the First World War.

Daniel K. – I’ve been public speaking, playing role-playing games, and teaching for my entire adult life. It’s a part of who I am. Going into this first public playtest, I was extremely nervous – more than I have ever been for a project. I was scared that the public would hate our game. Immediately after we set up, two 13-year-old teens at 401 with their families joined our table. I immediately went into teacher mode, ensuring that they would have a safe, educational, and inclusive experience with our game. We taught them about diversity in the Canadian Expeditionary Force, particularly 10th Battalion, and the horrors of trench warfare. They really got into the role play aspect of the game and even applied what they learned to their experience!

Patrick K. – After two months of writing, editing, playtesting, and hard work, we finally got to share our game with the world. I remember walking to the store with Kwan, discussing the game, and realizing just how much work we had put into it and we were finally going to be able to see how other people reacted to our creation. It was almost surreal to see something that had just started as a simple idea that the three of us had one day, to a physical thing that other people could interact with. In particular, I had a lot of fun just looking around the table and seeing the reactions of the playtesters. Two high-school age kids were there to playtest our game. When they succeeded in taking out a German Machine Gun nest and audibly celebrated, it suddenly became real for me. We had made this game. Just based on the reactions of the playtesters, I’m super excited to see where Ross Rifles takes me and I’m very excited to share it with a wider audience. I hope you’re excited to play it, too!

Daniel G. – This was not only the first time that we shared the game with members of the public, but it was also the first time I was able to play the game as a player character. I found it was extremely enjoyable to be able to develop unique strategies with my brothers in arms to complete our objectives. A personal highlight of the playtest for me was the ease of which both veterans of tabletop games and fresh-faced players were able to pick up and understand the game’s mechanics. Thanks to the storytelling tools within Ross Rifles many of our playtesters were able to develop truly unique and rememberable characters. I can’t wait until our next public playtest so I will be able to play with another large group of players

Get all of the latest updates on the status of Ross Rifles, playtest events, and more on our social media accounts!


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