Skip to Content

interested in paid playtesting?

18 replies [Last post]
krone9
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2017

I'm considering whether this might be a useful service to people.

There are already services out there who do detailed in-depth consultation (and I'm considering using them myself) - this isn't that.

I'm thinking of a large gaming group where there are multiple bookable slots for the evening and the charge is largely to cover costs of the booking service, the venue and pizza/fuel for the gamers.

Is that interesting?

ssm
ssm's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/06/2017
I have thought about this,

I have thought about this, but feel that the resultant cost would be prohibitive to most designers.

There would be other costs involved besides what you mentioned, including shipping of games, filming/recording/editing. I think you would need to foot the bill for some things in order to get it going, and it may be tough to find actual unbiased play testers that will stay that way, and will maintain a professional attitude throughout; what may be funny to you or a group at a table may be offensive to the person paying for the service.

I think having a reliable source for revolving play testers would greatly help, like being tapped into a university where students can make an extra buck.

Thinking in terms of 'fuel' might be a little short-sighted. Anything that you HAVE to do becomes work, and the more there is the more you want to be compensated. But if you have the revolving play testers, 'fuel' can definitely work to an extent.

BHFuturist
BHFuturist's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/01/2008
The type of meet up

The type of meet up you are talking about sounds like an unpub or unpub-mini. Such things are very hard to pull off without an established community of designers in the local area who would be willing to participate.

If you want more information on how this sort of thing might work check out the following links:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-ax6bUpVlv0

http://www.http://unpub.net/

http://www.boardgamebuilders.com/

@BHFuturist

krone9
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2017
(typical bloody game

(typical bloody game designers - give them a question and they start looking for a problem to solve.... :p) 

 I already have access to a community group and can make the logistics work.

Question is would people pay £10-20 per half hour testing slot?

Given the nature of the group there would only  be so many slots available and booked in advance - but balanced with published games so its not the whole evening for them.

Squinshee
Squinshee's picture
Offline
Joined: 10/17/2012
It ultimately depends on what

It ultimately depends on what your feedback structure is.

krone9
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2017
Squinshee wrote:It ultimately

Squinshee wrote:
It ultimately depends on what your feedback structure is.

any suggestions? I have some thoughts but would be good to hear from others

ssm
ssm's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/06/2017
krone9 wrote:(typical bloody

krone9 wrote:
(typical bloody game designers - give them a question and they start looking for a problem to solve.... :p) 

Question is would people pay £10-20 per half hour testing slot?

If that is the question, why not ask it at the beginning?
For me, no. For others, yes & no. The better the reputation you craft, the more you may get.

BHFuturist
BHFuturist's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/01/2008
Humm

krone9 wrote:
(typical bloody game designers - give them a question and they start looking for a problem to solve.... :p)

Sorry I guess?

krone9 wrote:
I already have access to a community group and can make the logistics work

If you have access to your target audience then why don't you ask them directly?

@BHFuturist

krone9
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2017
Obviously I wasn't clear

Obviously I wasn't clear enough in my initial post :)

I know a venue which hosts boardgame nights which could be interested in offering playtesting services to games designers. I would be happy to arrange this, and sort out the necessary logistics if there was interest in using it, and am fairly confident the price could be kept reasonably low.

its literally as simple as that - would be print and play unless physical copies of the game were supplied, with the cost being enough to cover pizza/coke etc and a contribution to the venue.

Feedback would be paper form and possibly video.

So I'm happy to receive advice but the question was "would this be interesting to you guys as game designers who need playtesters", not really "tell me how to do this". I see a lot of people struggling for playtesting and thought this might be a useful service. (given the lack of responses biting my hand off, it may not be!)

BHFuturist
BHFuturist's picture
Offline
Joined: 11/01/2008
It is hard to get past the

The key here is that we on the forum are not LOCAL to you and that makes this sort of thing less appealing. I would rather use a service and have the game tested fully rather than pay for a single NON-LOCAL event when I don't know what value I will get out of it. You won't find much interest in an event like what you are planning unless the designer is able to attend.

Now that I know what you are asking. I am not very interested in such a service for any price based on a bihourly rate and would not take part unless the priced was per game played and the feedback was in video form.

Most designers do have trouble finding groups to playtest their games. But they also want the games tested a set number of times and in most cases after some true searching, they will be able to get it done for a low-cost locally, where they can be involved and take notes. Most of the time designers just end up doing what you are suggesting. They will take their games to a local game night and just pay for snacks.

However, I think if you were to do a test run of your idea and post a video of a game from that playtest night so that designers can see the sort of feedback they will get for their money, you would get more responses. You will need to do work to clearly sell the value of the idea.

Being clear in you questions is key to getting the sort of answer you are looking for.

I wish you well as you work to help designers test their games.

@BHFuturist

evansmind244
Offline
Joined: 04/09/2015
Absolutely

I would love to use your service. The question to me is..... Do you have play testers who can provide unbiased feedback for a game that they wouldn't normally play?
If I pay for play testing I don't want personal opinions of why my game would never work, I want feedback on Rules comprehension, Mechanics, Theme, Accessibility. In fact any personal opinion on the viability of the game's future, to me, is worthless. We all believe in our Game, and we all want to make our game better.
If someone set Monopoly in front of your group of play testers, would their feedback be the typical Hobby Gamer response? Monopoly is the worst game ever!!! Or would they play the game and give feedback on the positive and negative's of the game play, comprehension of the rules, how the mechanics of the game fit with the Theme etc.....
When can I send you my game?

krone9
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2017
I hear you :)I've found

duplicate

krone9
Offline
Joined: 01/28/2017
I hear you :) I've found

I hear you :)

I've found (largely from watching other designers) that you can help yourself by providing structured questionnaires to get the feedback you want.

Everyone has an opinion on your game - and they are all valid thoughts, opinions etc (well 90% of them). Thing is - its your game not theirs. I've had people give me great suggestions for my games that just aren't in keeping with what I'm trying to achieve so I listen, write it down and then disregard (but keep for future reference on other games). And thats fine - noone owes anyone anything.

I just make sure I get the feedback on the things I actually want.

This playtesting is intended to be more "buy us pizza and we'll try your game" rather than "formal consultancy on game development" so I think you'd get real feedback, some better than others no doubt but equally at a price you could do this regularly without breaking the bank.

I'd expect them to be a mix of veteran boardgamers with OPINIONS (shudder!), to irregular hobbyists. I doubt there would be any "new to boardgames" type people if I understand the group.

Next step will be to sort out a little booking mechanism - what state is your game in? PnP or you have a physical prototype to send?

kevnburg
kevnburg's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/02/2014
Interested; Shipping Cost?

I would pay $10-$20 for this service, as I have a game that needs more blind playtesting.

Big question for me would be additional shipping costs on my end. It costs me ~$12 to produce a prototype of my game on the Game Crafter, and it would then probably cost me ~$5 to ship it to you if you are in North America.

For this (and other) games, the shipping cost round trip is probably always going to be cheaper than the cost of producing the prototype.

If the game were to be shipped back to me (or potentially purchased by one of the testers instead, with me being compensated for the cost of the prototype if this happens), I would be interested by that as a way to lower costs.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Gamers don't want to buy Prototypes

kevnburg wrote:
...(or potentially purchased by one of the testers instead, with me being compensated for the cost of the prototype if this happens), I would be interested by that as a way to lower costs.

The problem is that you are selling a PROTOTYPE. Nobody wants a prototype - not even "reviewers". They all want as close to FINAL version of the game to make certain that what they are investing their time in reviewing will be more or less the same game.

That's not to say that some reviewers will review a KS prototype for a fee. Yes some reviewers do that too... But then you have to pay them (and if there is a video being made -- it's even more costly).

So what you are asking: "Can someone buy my prototype - to offset my costs?" Is like asking "Do you want to buy this car? It looks Amazing but there is no engine..." Your prototype is not "final" and will require work for it to actually be considered a REAL GAME.

kevnburg
kevnburg's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/02/2014
I understand that. I would

I understand that. I would not do this with the expectation of somebody wanting to buy it, but in this particular games' case I have had situations where playtesters have told they want to buy a copy and I have sold them one.

Realistically, the hope would be getting the copy shipped back, but if this is a gamers group and somebody, after playing, said they wanted to keep the prototype, them buying it for a lower cost (i.e. the cost I paid to produce and then ship it there with the Game Crafter) could be convenient to me as an alternative to me paying to both ship it there and to ship it back.

questccg
questccg's picture
Offline
Joined: 04/16/2011
Ok now I understand

You don't "expect it" -- but it might happen. Your game must be pretty "fancy" if people want to buy the PROTOTYPE! LOL

No I'm being serious... It must have AMAZING Artwork, FANTASTIC Graphic Design and be a VERY FUN game to play...

I say this is all honesty because even with my own prototypes (bought from The Game Crafter), I would never want an "unfinished" product to be sold on the market... I personally believe there would be too much confusion.

I have the problem today with TradeWorlds: there is a TGC version (Early Access) and the Exterra Edition (Published by Outer Limit Games, LLC). Just having those two (2) versions leads to enough confusion -- such that I would not want PROTOTYPES (and we've had over dozen prototypes) to also be around to confuse the BRANDING of the product.

Just saying, you don't want many VERSIONS of your product circulating... An honest observation. But of course you can not heed my warning and do as you like -- it's your game. I'm just saying with 2 Versions there is enough confusion as it is with my own WIP.

Cheers.

kevnburg
kevnburg's picture
Offline
Joined: 05/02/2014
questccg wrote: Just saying,

questccg wrote:

Just saying, you don't want many VERSIONS of your product circulating... An honest observation. But of course you can not heed my warning and do as you like -- it's your game. I'm just saying with 2 Versions there is enough confusion as it is with my own WIP.

Fair point. It's just two copies that I sold so far, and only to close playtesting friends I know personally and that have now been helping to get the game playtested with others. I definitely do not want to reach a point where the prototype is considered a widely purchasable version of the game.

Cheers.

let-off studios
let-off studios's picture
Offline
Joined: 02/07/2011
Worth Considering, For Sure

BHFuturist wrote:
However, I think if you were to do a test run of your idea and post a video of a game from that playtest night so that designers can see the sort of feedback they will get for their money, you would get more responses. You will need to do work to clearly sell the value of the idea.
Especially if you are considering providing video feedback to your designer candidates, this would be a worthwhile investment of your time.

I also think that it would make it easier for someone to say "yes" to your offer if you did a lot of (one-time) work up front for them. You mentioned other services out there, so pattern your offering after them to create some appeal:
- standard feedback forms
- a bill of services to let someone know exactly what they are paying for
- standard shipping rates included in the price
- simple online payment method
- guarantee of a certain number of play-through attempts (I note "attempt" here because sometimes prototypes are in such horrible shape that either game length or clarity of rules prevents a design from being played to the end)
- something else...?

Personally I would consider it sight unseen, because it seems like you're good-hearted about this venture and it doesn't hurt to put my game idea out there to another potential market. Impartial feedback is almost always worth seeing, and a one-time payment to send something out with an assurance of formalized feedback coming to me at the end of it may be worth the price, depending on the bill of services you offered.

Syndicate content


forum | by Dr. Radut