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80 playtesters available for your short game (late January 2016)

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gamelab.shizuoka
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Joined: 06/13/2013

Hi Everyone -

I teach at a Japanese university and students in a 1st year course have 3 weeks with every professor in our program. I use my turn in January to introduce my research field (games and education) and to have students use their English to learn and playtest a game.

If you have a short game prototype and would like 80 people to try it in January, please get in touch with me (send a PM on bgdf or an email to dehaan@u-shizuoka-ken.ac.jp) by the end of December 2015.

This might be a good way to get initial feedback on an idea, or stress test a specific mechanic or to balance an aspect of your game.

I have the students for 90 minutes once a week for 3 weeks. In the first class, we will read and discuss your rules (I'll help them with the English) and prepare the materials and components and hopefully try a turn or two. In the next class, they will play the game as many times as they can and take notes. I will assign them another play of the game for homework. In the third class, they will discuss the game and give you feedback. I will ask my students to complete any online questionnaire that you prepare for us.

Ideally:
- the rulebook should be less than 1000 words, and written in clear English. There's no need to simplify your rules (jargon and technical terms are fine, but the rules have to be understandable).
- the game should be playable in less than an hour. A short card game or micro game (playable in less than 30 minutes) would be best. I'd like my students to be able to try the game a few times to understand it and give good feedback.
- the game should be a print and play of around 10 pages. I will print in A4, so please either submit in that page size, or make sure that my resizing Letter to A4 won't affect gameplay. I will make photocopies, so if your game is for 4 players, I will need to make around 20 sets of materials. The game should be playable in greyscale (I can't make color copies). I have a few hundred D6s in the lab, and some random tokens, but not enough colored cubes if your game requires a lot of different colored tokens. It's ok to ask my students to provide their own player tokens (coins, etc). If you have a lot of components, symbols would be better for us than colors.
- the online questionnaire should be smartphone compatible, complete-able in about 30 minutes, optionally let the students enter their names if they would like playtester credits, and optionally let them enter their email address if they would like to continue working on the game or answer further questions you might have about their response.

I may be able to video tape one or two groups the 2nd day, and depending on your time zone, it may be possible to Skype with the class or a group as well.

If students enjoy this 3 week experience, I support them to keep playtesting BGDF games through the Lab.

The class dates are 1/26, 2/2 and 2/15. I'll be in touch through the end of December, then work with my students to choose the most appropriate game (if more than 1 designer gets in touch), then collect the rules, materials and the questionnaire in January.

I hope this helps someone. I think that the more focused your game, rules and questionnaire are, the better experience this should be for you and also my students.

Feel free to post questions or suggestions. Thanks!

Jonathan

Game Lab at the University of Shizuoka
https://sites.google.com/site/gamelabshizuoka/

gamelab.shizuoka
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Joined: 06/13/2013
Game Chosen

Hi Everyone -

Thanks for all the emails! We've chosen one game to playtest next month. I will be doing this again next year, so please keep us in mind!

Jonathan

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