Reflecting on Breakout Con: Developer Blog #4

Dev Blog_04

It’s been nearly two weeks since our very first convention as Dundas West Games. From March 16-18, both Ross Rifles and Zany Zoo were offered as part of Breakout Con’s Family Track programming that was coordinated by Lead Designer Daniel Kwan!

The convention was an absolute success and the response to the latest build of Ross Rifles was encouraging. What we were most excited about was how “family friendly” we’ve been able to make the game. Despite the inherent violence of the historical backdrop of the game features, children as young as 11 were able to have a fun and engaging gaming experience.

We got a lot of amazing feedback from friends and strangers alike and immediately went to work updating the game after some reflection. The rules, moves, and structure of the game have undergone a significant transformation since the release of the Quickstart Edition on DriveThruRPG nearly two months ago. Notably, we’ve made significant changes to the Threat Point system, Vigilance moves, and have written a Morale system that will be used to encourage cooperative role play. We know many of you would like a copy of these updated rules, but we don’t want to release these to the public just yet. We’ll be diligently playtesting them at local events and conventions in the coming months leading up to our Kickstarter in November this year!

Despite the positive reception that Ross Rifles received at the convention, what excited us most was our first Zany Zoo playtest run by DWG Business Manager and Co-Founder Daniel Groh. For our playtest, Daniel chose the New York Central Park Zoo to be the setting of the game. In the group of player-created animals, there was a snow monkey who had a personal grudge against the GM/ Zoo Keeper, a penguin who was fed up with the neglectful GM, and a red panda who was upset that its friend had been transferred to a different zoo. The Zoo Keeper for the game was named David, who came equipped with a golf cart and net. In the end, the team of animals was able to work together, outwit  David the Zoo Keeper, and escape the zoo in a yellow cab on 5th Avenue. Daniel G used a real map of the Central Park Zoo to give the players more context during the role-play session. That’s one of the great things about Zany Zoo – it can be played using both fictional and real zoos!

When playing the game, a father and son duo mentioned that this was one of their first tabletop RPG experiences. By the end, the two of them had fully adopted their animals roles and really started to role play. For Daniel G, this was certainly the highlight of the convention – being able to share a game that the team at DWG was has been working on for months.

Stay tuned, because Zany Zoo is going to be released to the public soon!

The DWG Team

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