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Playtest exchange

7 replies [Last post]
Joined: 01/17/2009

It occurred to me that the number of people posting about wanting people to playtest their games is far greater than the number posting about playtesting others' games. Why not turn a problem into a solution? I've explained further on BGG. Please follow the link if you'd like to participate, but any questions can be addressed here. I'll copy my original post to save virtual mileage.

Hi all. Please direct me to the thread if somebody's already implemented this. I've had trouble getting playtests going, especially since I haven't been able to get out to visit my local gaming groups due to scheduling conflicts. It strikes me that quite a few people may have this problem to greater or lesser extent. So here's the concept: send me a prototype and I'll send you mine. We each agree to playtest a set number of sessions, then return. I suggest the following format:

username, Country
Name of Game (or working title; BGG page if applicable)
Sessions: (number of sessions required to play/willing to play in exchange), # players (a range for what you'd like tested)
Additional Components: (components that will not be included in the prototype)
Brief Description: (...of the game; I put this last as the sections above may be enough for a person to see they will not be able to help; should include genre, similarities to familiar games, mechanics, hook; all under 100 words)

I'll do mine, which has a pretty big caveat.

rtwombly, USA
Sessions: 2+, 2-6 players
Additional Components: cube tower and cubes from Queen Games' Shogun, Wallenstein, or Im Zeichen des Kreuzes; meeples in 6 colors (can use cubes, in a pinch); miscellaneous tokens (pennies, chips, whatever)
Brief Description: a path-finding/set-collection game using the cube tower to simulate events in a 1930s Private Eye's life, with Ameritrash sensibilities to the characters and special abilities; Ticket to Ride meets Android with scoring from Agricola

As you can see, my components are a big hang-up, but I can't see mailing my copy of Shogun around the world. Anybody think this would be of use? Even if you can't (or don't want to) playtest for me, feel free to post. If enough do, maybe we can take a math-trade approach.


Joined: 08/06/2008
Yea, that's got to be tough

Yea, that's got to be tough to dig up playtesters.

Of course, it's not that different than a sales pitch. If you can get people drummed up enough to playtest it, then a publisher would probably be a little more interested.

I'd be interested, but yea, the components are a bit of a hang up and it really just doesn't sound like my kind of thing. I wouldn't touch Android with a 10-ft pole and I don't really like Agricola that much.

Best of luck with it!

Joined: 07/24/2008
End of Time Games
End of Time Games's picture
Joined: 04/16/2009
Would it follow reason that

Would it follow reason that the best playtesters are people who are not your close friends, and not bussy game inventors?

Jpwoo's picture
Joined: 03/26/2009
I donno. fellow game

I donno. fellow game designers should have a critical eye and will hopefully be willing to give you solid feedback.

I think testing with your friends is ok too, because usually you can tell the difference between feigned enthusiasm and the real deal.

randrews0317's picture
Joined: 03/23/2009
Depends on your friends ;)

We ran our card game through friends first to work out the more obvious kinks. Of course, these guys are picky about games they do like, and aren't shy about their opinions either.

We are now branching out to have it play test outside the normal gaming circle to make sure it plays the same.

starflier's picture
Joined: 01/09/2009

I've got one, but I'm afraid my aditional components are limited to chess and scrabble pieces...

Starflier, Canada
Name: Recycler ( )
Sessions: 1-2, 2-8players
Additional Components: All components are print out papercraft models, but meeples might be easier...
Brief Description: Recycler is a bit of a spin on the concept of programming a robot, as seen in Robo Rally (and as my brother points out, a really annoying puzzle in 'The Island of Doctor Brain') Instead of a single robot, you play three, linked together via wifi to form a robotic meta-brain. You have to predetermine the moves to be made, but you can decide which robot makes the move on your turn. The robots have a simple directive, find garbage and dump it in the recycler; But things are going haywire, and the People In Charge of Things Council are threatening to shut down the project. Only the most productive robots will survive. All others receive a one-way ticket to... The Recycler! (Please excuse the unnecessary dramatics)

Dralius's picture
Joined: 07/26/2008
Jpwoo wrote:I donno. fellow

Jpwoo wrote:
I donno. fellow game designers should have a critical eye and will hopefully be willing to give you solid feedback.

This is the whole idea behind Protospiel. The feedback you get is much more focused and knowledgeable. Many of our designers are published and we have people from the industry that do development on a daily basis.

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