1A Games: How are you connected with 1A Games?

Lisa Markus: My involvement with 1A Games is through my husband Kris Miller (Sales & Marketing Manager), but I’ve been playing games my whole life. Growing up, we would play games like MONOPOLY, CLUEDO and SORRY. The first non-traditional game I played was when I moved to South Carolina and we went to a game convention in North Carolina. There I played something called SETTLERS OF CATAN, and that’s when I branched out to playing really different games.

1A Games: What appeals to you in a game?

Lisa Markus: Several things. There’s the social aspect of sitting around a table with other people and interacting. Then there’s the learning experience. It’s very thought provoking as you’re planning, thinking about what to do next, considering your options, and making decisions.

1A Games: How many games have you tested, and which ones?

Lisa Markus: There were several games that Kris tested for Game Designers’ Workshop, including BLOOD AND THUNDER, and I helped with the testing process in an unofficial capacity.

1A Games: What’s involved with testing a game?

Lisa Markus: Looking through the rules for anything that’s hard to interpret or not clear, overall playability, and making sure the game is balanced, so that each side has a reasonable chance of success. It’s all about the balance of the scenarios, the clarity of the rules, and the writing. It also helps to know a little about the history, to make sure that it’s reasonably well represented.

When you’re play testing, you’re looking not just at how we played the game, but how the game played. What would happen if we tried a different tactic or strategy? Does everything make sense? Could anything be done differently?

1A Games: What have you concluded so far from testing Tide of Iron?

Lisa Markus: I really like how the introductory scenarios help you get right into the game without having to understand all of the elements. In the first scenario you have troops, along with three different kinds of weapons, and then the second scenario introduces just one more thing, the vehicles.

1A Games: What do you like about being a game tester?

Lisa Markus: It’s a fun way to get together with friends and play a game, and then sit back and really talk about it. Not just about how we played the game, but how the rules were presented, how the scenarios were set up, and maybe even have a role in making the game better.

1A Games: What’s next for you as a 1A Games tester?

Lisa Markus: We’ll be starting to test the TIDE OF IRON STALINGRAD expansion in the next couple of days.

Thanks for your help, Lisa!