I went to a meeting of the Sandy Board Game Design club last night. We played Ryan (of Red Raven Games) Laukat's new game, which is based in the same universe as Empires of the Void.
It was a 4x game which combined mechanics of area control, drafting, and combat similar to Cosmic Encounter, and it was pretty fun. Alison liked it, which is surprising since she has never liked a 4x game before this.
I tested the combat of the game (every time I design a game like that people never really fight enough to test the combat fairly well, so I thought that would be a good thing to do), and it was pretty easy to understand and seemed balanced fairly well (with a slight bonus to the defenders that made them have enough of a boost that you had to think about attacking a planet).
We also played a game of Dancing Robots, which went fairly well. After the game was over there was a short brainstorming session and we discussed how to speed up the game. A drafting mechanic was discussed for building robots (every player getting a draft hand and passing the hands around like in 7 Wonders) which might speed up the game, as well as the option of dancing simultaneously (which is done with more experienced players anyway). I thought that the drafting parts mechanic was a really good idea.
They also said that my recent change to make all of the parts double sided was way too confusing when building a robot. I still like it, but understand how it is confusing. One option that they came up with was drafting without knowing the back side of the card. I like that idea. I will definitely try out both new ideas.