So, first time posting, and first time going to a community to talk about this, but hey, first time for everything.
I'm working on a tabletop RPG that uses Mechs as it's characters if you will. It was brought to my attention by a friend that there are very few systems out there that allow you to play as a Mech suit/pilot, so I figured I should look at actually getting what I have playable for a larger audience than my friend group.
So, explaining aside, I'm mostly looking for advice. I'm fairly sure it's a project that will be zero profit. While the core of the game has been made from scratch, the system uses so many IP's from all over the place that it is a nightmare. If a video game or anime had mechs in it, it is most likely in this game. So with that, the big questions are...
What would be needed for the game to be 'presentable' as it were. So, ready for it to be uploaded and people could just grab it and play
What's the best way to test the waters for such a system, to see what kind of audience there is for the game
What advice can people offer to someone who has never done this before? I still have only a very rough idea of where to even start
Thanks in advance :)
You need to make a prototype with all the components, but the art, the style, this is, it's look and feel, doesn't need to be final. Then you play with more people, as many as possible, and make adjustments to the rules, or even to the components if you think you must add or remove something.
When you think it's a good game, based on your own experience and feedback from playtests, you then start playtesting even more, but this time with people you don't know at all and who you don't giving them any advice or instruction. This is called blind playtesting. Players play on their own, as if they had bought the game themselves, and they must read the rules and try to play a game without even asking you a single thing. This will tell you if your rules are actually comlete and clear enough and if others also think your game is any good.
You'll most likely will have to do more changes after blind playtesting, unless you nailed it, but this is usually not the case.
As for your merchs, you won't be able to print a game, not even a prototype most likely, at least here and many other sites, if you are using someone's else IP. You need to create your own art, or ask someone to do it. Hiring an artist is the common route.