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Drexel University Research Study

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Joined: 04/28/2016

Hey all- my local game design meetup was tapped by a researcher from Drexel University who is doing a study on Tabletop Simulator and its efficacy as a prototyping framework and I thought it might be worth boosting his signal here since I really think that TTS and tools like it are game changers and invaluable once designers learn them. Participants get a free copy of Tabletop Simulator and the guy (Joe) seems nice.

The next study component is June 5.

Details/etc below:

My name is Joe Baranoski, and I am a MS Student of Digital Media at Drexel University. I am writing you because I am conducting a study for my Master’s project that requires the participation of members from board game design meetups around North America. I think participation in this study will provide a valuable opportunity to you, as a tabletop game designer, to playtest your games with other designers using cutting-edge digital technologies. Additionally, all participants will be provided a free copy of Tabletop Simulator at the start of the study and $20 upon study completion.

I am researching the effects that the availability of emerging digital prototyping tools has on the prototyping and playtesting behaviors of board game designers. Tabletop Simulator is a digital tabletop gaming platform, commercially available on Steam, that allows users to recreate and upload a digital version of any tabletop game and play that game with up to 9 other players on a digital “tabletop”. The experience on Tabletop Simulator is unique in its accessibility and accuracy in recreating a tabletop gaming atmosphere in a 3D virtual environment.

Members of your group can participate in this study if:
• They are at least 18 years old.
• Have a playable tabletop game prototype that they have play-tested at least once at one of your meetings.
• Have access to a computer with Steam, and preferably also have a microphone to be able to communicate with the other designers via Tabletop Simulator’s built-in chat functionality.

The study began in late May and the first meeting is already past, but I will host 2 more required virtual meetings via Tabletop Simulator on Sunday June 5 and Sunday June 22. Additionally, there will be smaller optional, informal virtual meetings every Monday and Thursday at 7 pm from now until the end of the study to help get less experienced users of digital media up to speed. The actual time commitment will be approximately 3 hours over the remaining period: approximately 1 hour for each of the two meetings and up to 1 hour for the pre-study and post-study questionnaires and prep-time. There are plenty of ways to sink quite a bit more time into this study including the optional meetings and creating a nice, polished digital version of your game on Tabletop Simulator, but none of that is required or expected.

Again, I will provide a free copy of Tabletop Simulator upon commitment to the study, and will gift an additional 20 U.S. “thank you” dollars via Steam or Venmo as long as you fill out my questionnaires and attend the 2 remaining sessions. I expect these digital meetings to be as flexible as your regularly scheduled, physical play-testing meetups.

If you are interested in participating in this study, please contact me directly.

Email (Preferred): jbrnsk(at)gmail(dot)com
Text or Phone: (570) 793-1927

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