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An Army of Blind Playtesters!

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Garage Gamer
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Joined: 11/07/2014

Greetings BGDF'ers! (hmm perhaps another name...)

I am currently in the process of designing a card game and I was looking people that are interested in helping me with a closed, blind, playtest. The game is kind of a poker meets 'A Song of Ice and Fire' backstab-fest where players are lords competing to become the new King of the Realm.

The playtest would run from late December to mid January. There would be a short term NDA (with as little restriction as possible) and I would ask participants to fill in a feedback sheet. The prototype I will be sending out will be print-and-play with placeholder art.

If you are interested, leave a reply bellow and send me a private message. When the game is published those that help out will be mentioned in the credits of the game as its official playtesters. Your feedback will help me make the game the best that I can.

Best Regards,
Garage Gamer

chriswhite
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Joined: 07/10/2011
Tentatively interested

You should include the number of players required, approximate complexity, and length, as it's quite difficult to commit to, otherwise.

How much preparation does the print-and-play require? What materials are required?
From one designer to another, you're much more likely to get good responses if you make it as easy as possible for the testers.

Garage Gamer
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Hey Chris, Thanks for the

Hey Chris,

Thanks for the reply! The game is called "Reign: The Card Game" it is for 3-7 players. Complexity level is on the low side of medium, it isn't very mechanically complex. It make up for that in social complexity. The game lasts 45 to 60 minutes.

As for materials. There is a total of 108 cards (12 pages) that would be required to be printed out, cut and glued/sleeved. The rules are currently 2 A4 pages.

If there is anything else you would like to know feel free to ask.

DrFro
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Joined: 10/27/2014
Sign me up

I will be happy to playtest your game Garage Gamer! - DrFro

X3M
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Joined: 10/28/2013
Well, I could give it a try.

Well, I could give it a try. However, I would be playing the game all alone. My friends are only interested in... ahem, "killing" games.

I could test it how good it is in a solitary test.
But 'no' is an answer. ;)

Dralius
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Garage Gamer wrote: There

Garage Gamer wrote:
There would be a short term NDA (with as little restriction as possible)

An NDA opens the tester’s to a potential lawsuit. Since there is no benefit monetary or otherwise for helping you test your game why take that risk?

Garage Gamer
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Hey Dralius, Thanks for your

Hey Dralius,

Thanks for your comment, your concern is very valid and that is why I am being very upfront about it. If you are worried that it would happen I would suggest not to participate. The main reason for the NDA is to avoid a potentially flawed game getting to reviewers before I want to send it out. Also it is to protect myself from any potential problems that might arise. In fact, I at the end of the NDA (Late Jan) I would very much like it if my playtesters did review the game/blog about the game/etc. As to why should you do it without monetary benefit, if that is what drives you to want to playtest then I would advise against it. However, the playtest would allow networking between fellow game designers and allow a build up of mutual trust. This would allow relationships to be built for the future. I believe that the playtest would therefore, not be without benefit.

Kindest Regards,
Garage Gamer

Beggarking
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Joined: 09/09/2014
Happy to give it try, can't

Happy to give it try, can't commit until I have a chance to carefully read the NDA first though.

chriswhite
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Joined: 07/10/2011
All this silly fuss about an NDA...

Dralius wrote:

An NDA opens the tester’s to a potential lawsuit. Since there is no benefit monetary or otherwise for helping you test your game why take that risk?

Beggarking wrote:
Happy to give it try, can't commit until I have a chance to carefully read the NDA first though.

What silly fuss about a little NDA... sheesh...

The only companies that seriously need NDAs are large companies with major releases on hand, particularly those that are attached to major brands (e.g. D&D) or major franchises (e.g. Star Wars). For example, if the playtesters of Castle Ravenloft had let slip what an awful game it was prior to release, they would have certainly galvanized the market against it, and it would have significantly impacted sales. Similarly, I had to sign an NDA when I did testing for Star Trek: Fleet Captains for Wizkids... so I wasn't able to complain about it online prior to release. Companies that sink a large amount of money into acquiring rights to a franchise have a lot to lose if anything goes wrong.

In certain rare circumstances, a specific mechanic (e.g. deckbuilding, worker-placement) or a component type (e.g. clix figures) might be so revolutionary and obviously appealing, that a designer might want some kind of legal protection against another company appropriating her idea. For example, consider Dominion: The deckbuilding mechanic is basically the entire game – the rest is just adequately tooled content. It's a reasonable possibility that an accomplished designer could get wind of the deckbuilding mechanic during the Dominion playtesting period, and crank out a full design and get it on the market to before Dominion's release, which would have devastated Dominion's prospects on the market.

But here's the only thing you need to think about as a potential tester regarding NDAs: Any company with the resources to hold you to an NDA is probably a company that has a lot to lose if you violate it.

If GarbageGamer is an unpublished independent designer, he almost certainly does not need an NDA, and requiring one is just paranoid self-aggrandizement. It's also useless, because he probably doesn't have the financial resources to sue you if you violate it. But whatever. Just humor him, sign the damn thing, and forget about it. There's no need to be pettily obstructionist if you're earnestly interested in helping the man.

On the other hand, if GarbageGamer represents the development wing of an established company, then the NDA is probably well within their interest, and they're not going to do anything to you unless you commit some grievous lack of judgement. Would you really have wanted to miss out being a playtester for Die Sidler von Katan because you couldn't send the prototype to your friend who works at Hasbro..? You really have to be quite an ass to violate an NDA... I wouldn't worry about it.

xiantek
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Joined: 11/19/2014
Count me In.

I will be happy to join the playtest for your game.

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