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Getting them in the door

6 replies [Last post]
Anonymous

I recently advertised for a gaming group for a ephic "anime" styled pena nd paper Role Playing Game our group just completed. I advertised in plaecs where I thought my main market would go. (RPGHost.com and RPG.net). But I havn't gotten a single reply in a month. Did I do somehting wrong? How do you get your playtesters in the door?

Anonymous
Here's a thought...

I don't know about online... yet see if your local hobby store or comic shop holds game tournaments and schedule a play session in the store. Perhaps to coincide with some other event and try and lure people into wandering over. If you really need playtesters, open your wallet. Run a small event at the store in which the playtesters receive something, usually a small denomination of store credit for the winner or particiants

Anonymous
Getting them in the door

I don't have any money to spend, and In another discusion about playtesting, I heard you should'nt need to have any incentive more than they are getting to play a game before it's released, and mention in the book of the final version

Anonymous
Getting them in the door

I'd say your best bet is a local hobby store. I'm sure you could find some people there willing to playtest your game. Just print up a flyer and ask the vendor if they would mind hosting your playtest session, then tape your flyer to their door or whatnot.

You'll get more replies that way if the game sounds interesting enough.

jwarrend
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Joined: 08/03/2008
Getting them in the door

I couldn't tell you how to find rpg testers, but I think a few common-sense maxims might be a good guide.

First, I don't know if it's wise to approach things from the perspective of "just getting to try out a new game should be sufficient motivation." I know that wouldn't be for me. On the other hand, I don't think I'd particularly be looking for enticements, either. What I would think is that I'm going to give up some of my gaming time, so I'd want to know I was going to be playing a game that worked reasonably well. Not that I'd want it to be flawless, but I'd want to play something that doesn't have any basic or fundamental flaws. I'd want it to be something you've put some time in on to try to give me a pleasant gaming experience.

Also, I would say that there's probably zero chance I'd ever respond to a request for playtesting on a message board (such as this one). I'd be much more likely to respond to a direct request, or to playtest at a local session. I'd be most likely to get involved in a playtest game if one of my friends was the author.

Based on that, I think your best bet is to join a local group and play regular games with people; make friends with them, get to know them. Then, ask if they'd be interested in trying out your game -- they'll be far more likely to say yes. Or, find someone on the discussion boards who posts a lot and seems like someone whose opinion you'd value, and just flat-out email him/her and ask whether he'd be interested. It's much easier to ignore an advertisement than a direct request. (which, I guess, is why telemarketing works).

good luck with your project!

-Jeff

Anonymous
Getting them in the door

I have to agree that, although expensive, bribery works. Hehehe... I have convinced some of my friends to playtest my games before by offering the winner of the playtested game rare Magic cards from my collection as a prize...

FastLearner
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Getting them in the door

I'm with Jeff on this one. I've found playtesters for my games amongst the players of several gaming groups by first joining to play some games and over time effectively proving that I'm not an idiot, that I understand games and why they're fun. Then when I ask if folks would like to playtest something they know that it's much less likely to be a piece of crap.

PNP RPGs are especially tough because if I ask someone to playtest a boardgame I'm only asking for a 90-minute or so commitment, but when you ask someone to playtest an RPG you're probably asking for at least 3 to 4 hours, and would probably prefer that they become part of a regular testing group so you can see how character growth and development works out. In such a case for me to participate either (a) the designer or publisher would need to have a proven track record, or (b) the designer would have to be someone I've RPGed with quite a bit so I know his/her style, tastes, and skills. In the case of (b) I'd most likely want them to have GMed some other known game for me first so I knew they were a good GM.

It's hard enough finding new players for any RPG, much less an untested one. I think you're best off getting a group first, preferably one who likes anime, and then later trying to playtest.

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