What do The Logan Theatre, C2E2, Revolution Brewing and The Nerdologues have in common? We suspect a lot of things, but among those is a love for all things nerdy. That’s why, each November for the last six years now, these local institutions have teamed up to host the annual Playtest Party. Part of Nerdy November Happenings at the Logan, this event is one of the highlights of our year here in Games & Tech, and it’s happening this Saturday Night at the Logan Theatre from 5 to 10 pm, for FREE.
Every year, we (and everyone else who attend) get a chance to play as yet unreleased video and tabletop games, and even talk to the developers themselves. What’s in it for them? If they’re lucky, and their game impresses the panel of judges the most, one tabletop and one video game will be chosen to receive their own booth at C2E2, where they’ll get to show off their hard work for even more people.
Game development is no easy task, and developers need support along the way. The Logan’s Playtest Party serves as a sort of grassroots campaign to get these games up and running. And this year, as we thought about all the new games we’d see and what was in store, we thought back to the great things we saw last year and wondered “Where are they now?”
So, we headed to the internet to check it out. Here’s what we found out about some of the games we saw at last year’s event:
Let’s check in with last year’s winners first. Cold Calling by Can’t Get Enough Games had a great booth for C2E2 and got a lot of great exposure from it. As of today, the game is still in development, with a free demo available via indie game platform itch.io. Updates have happened as recently as November 8th, and the team is headed back to the Playtest Party at the Logan tomorrow, so be sure to check out how far Cold Calling has come.
Last year’s tabletop winner was Too Many Poops by Neat Games. Since last year’s party, Too Many Poops has really taken off, from a successful showing at C2E2 to a successfully funded (in under 24 hours!) Kickstarter Campaign. Manufacturing samples for the game arrived in May, preorders closed in June, and the game shipped to all backers in October. Now the game’s in full production, available on Amazon, and the team at Neat Games even has a brand new game, Mint Condition Comics, in development, with its own Kickstarter campaign. Keep up with Neat Games and Too Many Poops on Twitter or via their website.
As for the other games we saw? Many, like Project Lantern by Salsa Games, Barfight! By Foxbo Games, Kakatte Koi Yo and The Grate Cheesemancer, are listed as still in development, some with more updates than others. Onsen Master has changed to a multiplayer focus, billing itself as a sort of Overcooked/Spirited Away combination, and after a successful Kickstarter campaign, is working to bring the game to consoles. This is just a small look at where everyone is at. If you’re curious about a game we didn’t mention, check back with last year’s article and follow the game’s social links to find out more about what’s happening with them now, and don’t miss tomorrow’s event in case a few familiar faces return.
You can’t go wrong checking out the Playtest Party. It’s free to attend, and the evening is always a great time, with snacks, drinks, and plenty of people who love games–whether they’re creating them or simply trying them out. It’s not every day you get to see games in their beginning stages and ask their creators questions–or give live feedback on the games as you try them out. It’s a great chance to try out new games, meet new people who love some of the same things you do, and get acquainted with the fantastic video and tabletop gaming scene in Chicago. We’ll see you there.