Friday morning is one of the most fun times to be a Hansie (what we at Blankhans call ourselves) because it’s playtesting day! Everyone in the company gathers in our game, Coreborn: Nations of the Ultracore, to see everything new that has been added to our internal build.
The playtest has a number of uses. First, it ensures we are all on the same page. We all have an understanding of what new systems are, how they work, and what they are going to be. Next is bug testing; while we have fantastic team members who do this as well, it always helps to discover new things that might be interacting in the wrong way causing weird bugs. We’re also having a lot of fun! It’s something I’ve been documenting for our TikTok and later YouTube channel, for example, here with infinite spawning trees.
Beyond the tree of infinite spawning, which is a bug, not a feature, one of the best things is getting to see everyone’s work with regularity. As a remote team, we can’t just wander past someone’s desk and see what they’re doing. However, we can gather in the world we’re creating. This leads to praise for the developers behind these things and the development of new ideas.
For example, the town system, a feature allowing players to establish their own town that others can join and build within, has just begun to be implemented into our internal build. This is a prime opportunity for everyone to interact with it and begin adding new ideas. What I like to call the “wouldn’t it be cool ifs.”
This is a core part of how our company works, with everyone being actively encouraged to be involved in the development process. Whatever part of the company you are in, if you have an idea, you should share it. Now, a “wouldn’t it be cool if” doesn’t always make sense for the game, but nothing is ever just shot down. If an idea doesn’t make sense, someone will take the time to explain why. More often than not, there is always something interesting in an idea, though.
From these ideas, Coreborn becomes a better game. While there is a hierarchy within our company, the hierarchy of ideas knows no bounds. Everything is open and fun, with everyone here involved in the process. This is the Friday playtest, a mix of awe, laughter, and ideas. It really is a magical way to start a Friday (at least in my time zone!).