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How do you know your blind-playtesters got it right?

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BenMora
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When doing true blind-playtesting, how could you possibly know for certain that they got it right? Aside from giving them a video camera to record the whole thing?

I just got my game back from a group who played it. They gave some feedback on a few minor things and said overall it was good and fun! I asked how long each game took to play...
...He said 30 minutes...
...It takes me 2 hours...

Thankfully I was able to figure out exactly what they got wrong about my game that made it go so much faster, but what else did they do wrong? How could I possibly know?

Frank West
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For me, I ask some questions

For me, I ask some questions to probe their experience such as

"What did you focus on"
"Did you gather any resources"
"Did you try any quests"

and as long as their answers "make sense" and they had fun and enjoyed the game.

Then I don't mind if they made mistakes here or there. Games need to work when players play them wrong, as more players will make mistakes with rules than get them right (unless it's a very simple game).

Of course, you still want to get their negative feedback and try and work out any problems. But I wouldn't start blind testing until I was confident the game was pretty solid.

It might be worth going back to normal playtests and observing?

Or yes, ask them to record it!

Mokheshur
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Short questionnaire?

I've had that question in the back of my mind too. Maybe ask testers to answer a short questionnaire or survey - ask them to describe what certain components are for, how much something costs, what certain icons or places on the board are for, etc. Then you'd find any discrepancy in how they might've understood something wrong from the rules.

The Odd Fox
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Other ideas

My brother in law kickstarted his game, Word Domination, last year and one of the ways he did blind play testing prior to his campaign was to sit in the back of the room with a notebook and pen and watch. He let them know that he wouldn't respond in any way to questions or comments. I know this breaks the "blind" part of the play testing to some extent, however, the information he gathered from doing this was invaluable and helped him to know if he was on track when he later did more traditional blind play testing.

Gabe
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BenMora wrote:When doing true

BenMora wrote:
When doing true blind-playtesting, how could you possibly know for certain that they got it right? Aside from giving them a video camera to record the whole thing?

You really could record the playtests. That's what Rob Daviau and Matt Leacock did for Pandemic Legacy...that worked out pretty well.

I'm interviewing Rob next week. I'll try to get the ins and outs of how he does it.

I Will Never Gr...
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BenMora wrote:When doing true

BenMora wrote:
When doing true blind-playtesting, how could you possibly know for certain that they got it right? Aside from giving them a video camera to record the whole thing?

I just got my game back from a group who played it. They gave some feedback on a few minor things and said overall it was good and fun! I asked how long each game took to play...
...He said 30 minutes...
...It takes me 2 hours...

Thankfully I was able to figure out exactly what they got wrong about my game that made it go so much faster, but what else did they do wrong? How could I possibly know?

Without asking the right questions on a questionnaire, you really won't know.

You need to find the right questions for your game and make sure every blind play-tester has a copy of those questions to answer and return. Then you have to sit back and analyze the responses to those questions.

Realize that if they are getting something seriously wrong then changes absolutely need to be made in the rules to clear up those mistakes. You won't be there to guide anyone who buys your game at retail!

I Will Never Gr...
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The Odd Fox wrote:My brother

The Odd Fox wrote:
My brother in law kickstarted his game, Word Domination, last year and one of the ways he did blind play testing prior to his campaign was to sit in the back of the room with a notebook and pen and watch. He let them know that he wouldn't respond in any way to questions or comments. I know this breaks the "blind" part of the play testing to some extent, however, the information he gathered from doing this was invaluable and helped him to know if he was on track when he later did more traditional blind play testing.

This is actually a great way to do it, if you can. It's still a blind play-test if you do not interact in any way at all beyond observing and making notes.

Doing this with as many groups of complete strangers as possible would be incredibly helpful!

radioactivemouse
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Blind Playtesting

BenMora wrote:
When doing true blind-playtesting, how could you possibly know for certain that they got it right? Aside from giving them a video camera to record the whole thing?

I just got my game back from a group who played it. They gave some feedback on a few minor things and said overall it was good and fun! I asked how long each game took to play...
...He said 30 minutes...
...It takes me 2 hours...

Thankfully I was able to figure out exactly what they got wrong about my game that made it go so much faster, but what else did they do wrong? How could I possibly know?

Blind Playtesting is like sending your kids out for the first time. If anything, you're looking for consistency. If there's radical differences in gameplay time, it's either you're not communicating your rules effectively or your game is only getting through to a few people.

But to try and figure out if they're doing it right...you should really ask yourself if your rules are truly consistent. Can some part of your rules be confusing? Ask them what they understood about it and have a discussion.

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