I finally got a chance to playtest Campfire Memories yesterday!
Some parts worked really well.
The game's tones came out brilliantly and organically. The Camping phase was hilariously awful for the poor characters. Then, in the Reflections phase, things shifted in a sincere, heartwarming way.
This was possible because of 2 things, I think. For one, the game's setting and genre is personally familiar to everyone. If we haven't been camping, we've been on a roadtrip or something else that functioned similarly. No one needed to have seen a certain movie or read a book to know the appropriate tropes. Secondly, watching the characters struggle in the camping trip gave everyone a great look into their characters. We connected to them and cared for them in a real way.
But there were definitely some things that really didn't work. The kinds of complications that needed to be introduced to scenes was not immediately clear to everyone at the table. The dice mechanic was too predictable and the resources were available in the wrong quantities and there wasn't enough reason to use them.
I made some changes to the game to try and fix those issues.
But the thing to remember is that the game worked remarkably well for a first draft! It is definitely playable!
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