I've been designing a euro-style board game with multiple play methods (competitive, co-op and team) which I have now prototyped (printed a few sheets of card and sticky-taped them together, painstakingly cut out a few hundred playing cards and moulded some really awful looking play pieces from silicon putty).
I'm happy with where I'm at so far, as it was designed from an inspiration I had a while ago which happily translated well into a game. I've played it a few times with 3 groups of people at various stages through the design process, but only once since this prototype was made and the rules defined, with a good review.
My issues are, my partner is very competitive, is new to euro games (but loves catan) but she hates losing, so her review of the game is largely dependent on if she wins. And she's lost interest in it a little after playing it twice through the draft stages which needed a bit of work.
My friends who I play euro games with (the 3 hour plus epics) live interstate, and my other friends who play games are more into party games.
So from here I really need to test the mechanics multiple times, for all of the methods of play and different numbers of players. Anyone have any advice which way I should go? Perhaps make an online playable version and release it for anyone to have a go, including my distant friends? I'm happy to pay but want to make sure it won't be a fruitless endeavour.