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Referral program

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Lofwyr
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Joined: 02/16/2010

I have been wondering. Is thier a referral program for finding playtesters within the bounds of BGDF? If thier isnt one this seems like an obviouse resource to make available.

If someone wished to playtest a game they could be given a review on what kind of feedback they offered, perhaps haveing someone like the BGDF founder or his current web manager makeing note of your skills as a palytester.

I personally could make use of a group of playtester. I am currently in a transient state moveing from city to city for my wifes job and am unable to gather a good group of folks. Other individuals located in remote areas or unable to find a good game store may be in a similar state. Haveing playtesters that are willing and available, who also have some vote of credibility, would be a boon.

I would be more then happy to not only mail a demo copy of my game to a playtester with good references...but order them pizza anywhere in the US on game night. I simply cant express the value of this kind of resource.

Any help would be appreciated.
Thankyou E

Dralius
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Joined: 07/26/2008
I too have more games than i can test.

This is an interesting idea. I’m surprised I’m the first to comment on it.

I guess one hurtle would be getting willing and capable testers signed up. I wouldn’t want to write up critiques of testers unless that’s something they knew would happen from the start. Being ranked or otherwise publicly judged could put people off.

Providing compensation whether it is pizza or something else desirable is another matter. Just putting together a prototype and mailing it is not cheap especially if you don’t get it back which is a potential problem when dealing with strangers. Mailing a game with a $20 attached seems like a craps shoot. Maybe systems were testers earn points which can be turned in for merchandise like games. This could be supported by the designers. Designers that get published would be expected to make additional contributions to shore up the prize bank.

Now with all this brain storming I am remembering someone starting a playtest website. Anyone have a link or did it go the way of the Dodo.

provfrog
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Joined: 07/31/2008
Game Tester Here!

I am in Atlanta, GA and belong to 3 different gaming groups and have a group of non-gaming friends I have had help me playtest the few games I have created. My non-gaming friends have been my best and worst critics, if that means anything. : ) If anyone has a game out there they want tested, depending on the type, I'd be happy to try it out. I am very interested in learning more about the playtest site mentioned in previous post.

InvisibleJon
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Joined: 07/27/2008
Other play test opportunities...

If you're looking for playtest opportunities, there's:

Protospiel: July 9, 10, 11 in Ann Arbor, MI
http://www.protospiel.org/

Protospiel South 2010: May 28,29,30 in Austin, TX
http://protospielsouth.com/

If they're local to you, I recommend attending 'em.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
This is one of those things

This is one of those things that gets suggested somewhat frequently, but unfortunately, I'm not sure it ever goes anywhere. There are just more people who are looking for playtesters than those who are looking for games to playtest. This is especially true of BGDF; if I have a group of playtesters, I may be unlikely to ask them to playtest someone else's games, perhaps because I'm selfish and prefer they play my games, perhaps because it seems like an imposition on their good will to use them as guinea pigs for someone else. BGDF is essentially a gathering place for designers, but what you really want to find are game groups that love playtesting.

I want to say that someone tried setting up a database of this sort a while back, but I can't remember the address. I think it's been tried at BGDF without very much success. Probably your best bet is to start a thread at BoardGameGeek requesting playtesters. Although that, too, will give you widely varying results. But most "I'm looking for playtesters" threads at BGG seem to get at least a couple of responses. I don't think that's as generally true at BGG.

Many cities have local game groups that you could try to connect with; some might advertise on BGG, or a city might have a "meetup" group, if those are still in vogue these days. Those are usually good ways to find potential playtesters.

Good luck!

-Jeff

Pastor_Mora
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Joined: 01/05/2010
Blind Playtesting Experience

From my personal experience, I could suggest blind demo playtesting, if your game allows it.

Set up a post here (or BGG, or wherever) with a complete print and play demo of your game. Playtesting doesn't always require actual playing of the game. Experience players and designers can tell you up front if your game "looks" broken just by reading the rules and taking a look at the boards or some cards.

I have a Romance of the Three Kingdoms game running around and I had some great feedback from playtesters that contacted me because they were interested in the theme and there is nothing like that around anymore (all print out). I'm from Argentina, and I got the game tested in remote (for me) places like Singapore (I contacted them), Korea (they contacted me) or Lisbon (they actually presented the game in a fair). You can imagine I didn't order them pizza or anything.

I know it's risky (some say suicidal) to show off your game like that. But if I loose this one today, I make another one tomorrow, look just as nice. On the other side, if I don't show it off, I loose anyway.

Good luck with that. Keep thinking!

Lofwyr
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Joined: 02/16/2010
Sublimation of Urges

I find it difficult to not rush off and send the game to RPGnow.com or something in a desperate bid to get the game out thier and being played. I admit i certainly wanted to get the game published in paper but getting it playtested could be done on a broader scope useing the print to play model.

I have been combing the forums for users here that seem both intuitive in thier general knowledge as well as in thier own game designs. People I feel I could call piers in my work. To these people it is most likely I will nicely ask if they would like a print and play copy of my game, or perhaps a free demo mailed to them. Trying to get a sense of charecter based on forum posts is challengeing to say the least but better then launching the game as print to play and then seeing what happens :)

I very much appreciate the attention my post recieved. On the points of people not wishing to estrange thier own playtesters or give up time from thier own works to review another, I find this to be just as frustrateing as it is true. You have an excellent point.

scifiantihero
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Joined: 07/08/2009
Hmmm . . .

'Peers,' even?

:P

salish99
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Joined: 02/22/2010
great idea

sounds like a good idea!

RacNRoll Gaming
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Joined: 05/12/2010
Playtesting Services

My partners and I have discussed several times about creating a Play Testers Network...

There would be a fee to join but it would be earned back upon completion of the play test assignments. This would help ensure that designers weren't wasting their time and money sending play test kits to "deadbeats"

The initial idea was to send them a play test for a game that doesn't and will never exist that has not so obvious holes in it to gauge their ability to point them out. We would also base their inclusion in program on their ability to articulate the results of their play tests. Some play testers are like some game reviewers and don't want to say anything "bad" so they can get more games.

It's a huge undertaking though so we kind of shelved it...for now anyways.

salish99
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Joined: 02/22/2010
concept good

I like the concept.
I don't see many designers interested in paying reviewers, though, but maybe that's just me....

RacNRoll Gaming
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Joined: 05/12/2010
salish99 wrote:I like the

salish99 wrote:
I like the concept.
I don't see many designers interested in paying reviewers, though, but maybe that's just me....

They wouldn't be paying them...they would be getting their "security deposit" back.

As far as designers paying reviewers...they kind of do every time they send them a game...the reviewers aren't required to send them back. As far as play testers go it really is up to the designer/company...for example we "pay" our main play testers with a copy of the finished game...other companies (i.e. Z-Man Games) have a credit programs where you earn credits you can use to purchase any of their products.

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