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Looking for Playtester on TTS for our game "Para Bellum"

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blindcyclops
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Joined: 03/05/2021

hi all! I am looking for 2-4 play testers (preferably blind playtesters) that are up for a roman themed card and dice game that we are currently developing.

https://steamcommunity.com/sharedfiles/filedetails/?id=2037523777

her you find the rulebook (top menu) which is probably nicer to read than in TTS. we also did some how to videos but the videos are not up to date anymore due to the last play testing sessions.

https://www.blindcyclopsgames.com

Also if you are not into blind play testing but would like to try it let me know and I would be happy to show you how the game works.

cheers
-vic

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
You're asking the wrong thing

Welcome to BGDF.com ... However I believe you are asking for the wrong type of HELP! This website caters to "Game Designers". We each have our own games that we DESIGN and work on. Often times, there comes point with our "designs" need input or we are stuck trying to find an answer and these are the times to reach out to the DESIGNER "community".

I'll say things go as far as reading and commenting on rulebooks.

But to ask "Game Designers" to be "playtesters" ... Is a bit far-fetched. I may be wrong, but I don't think you will find those individuals among this group.

However fear NOT ... I do have someone who CAN help you!

Joseph E. Pilkus III

Who is HE? Why he is a "GAME DEVELOPER", he takes a design, proof-reads the rulebook, provides design analysis and also has SEVERAL Playtest GROUPS that do what you are looking for: Blind Playtesting.

While his services do come at a fee ... All-in-all I think the services you are looking for would come in the range of about $500 USD. But I sincerely RECOMMEND checking out his website and the list of his services:

http://professorslab.com

Check him out... I have PERSONALLY worked with him both on Tradewars and now TradeWorlds... He is also a DESIGNER and designed our SOLO-SCENARIO for "TradeWorlds" (the Adversity AI). But Joe has been DEVELOPING games for a while now and has even WORKED for Stonemaier Games (Jamey Stegmaier)...

So if you are looking for BLIND PLAYTESTING ... Please speak with Joe. He is the best person to set you up with his groups and provide FEEDBACK concerning your game. Cheers!

Locus
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Joined: 01/01/2020
confusion

What is the intended purpose of the "Playtesting" forum?

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Glad you asked

Locus wrote:
What is the intended purpose of the "Playtesting" forum?

Let me be REALLY HONEST: That forum exists to discuss YOUR OWN playtesting results. Like what happened when you did THIS and tried THAT and you wanted feedback from other designers.

I do know that SOME designers have "pitched" they prototypes and have asked if anyone would WANT to playtest their games. Again being REALLY HONEST, I'm not convinced most of those designers have had very successful results.

Yes some designers have offered to TRADE services: "You test mine and I'll test yours..." Again I am not sure that there has been real success in doing so.

Again some designers have been successful in getting OTHER "Designers" to playtest their games... But I'm not sure this is the BEST avenue for your Game Designs. Again just telling it the way I see it. Most of our regulars partake in the rest of the forum and are busy answering questions, offering feedback, commenting on rulebooks, etc. TBH most do not have the time to do playtesting ... unless it is for their OWN games.

SO... If you want to be SERIOUS about PLAYTESTING, my opinion is that you do go out there and find a "Game Developer". They will be able to critique your rulebook, analyze your design and do playtesting. Some also offer Blind Playtesting as another service.

But what do you prefer?

A> Asking people who are busy designing their own games to playtest.

B> Asking people who are interested in playing novel prototypes.

I think most people will "think" and say "B". Again rulebook drops are a bit of a "pain" ... Most people don't even want to review rulebooks. But again if you are SERIOUS about your game... Look for a PROFESSIONAL that can help in the right department.

When it comes to PLAYTESTING (blind or not) ... Joe is a great resource and we are very happy to have him with us on BGDF.com. He's worked since 2012 on being a Developer and has worked with many people, myself included.

So with the AIM of INCREASING success with the request for PLAYTESTING. If you are serious, I'd recommend finding a professional such as Joe... Who can HONESTLY help and provide in-detail analysis of your game.

As the administrator of BGDF.com ... I don't want people to waste their time ... thinking: "How come I posted on the playtesting Forum and nobody replied or even asked anything about my game..." Instead I am suggesting that "Game Designers" looking for playtesting support seek out the RIGHT people who can, say, handle BLIND playtesting.

I don't want to discourage anyone ... But I see the "playtesting" forum more about "Discussing YOUR OWN results" with playtesting. "I did this and that was the result". OR "What should I do to make this better next time around?" Things like that.

Asking for explicit playtesting which may occur... Some designers (and I won't mention them by name) do take an interest in playtesting prototypes. But we are a SMALL community. And people are busy. For example @X3M has a long list of TODOs before he gets to "writing his rulebook". He would not be a good candidate for playtesting...

And the list goes on... Like I said there may be a couple of members... Again the "You playtest mine and I'll playtest yours" might be a better avenue... Not sure of the success rate of that concept.

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news... Best.

Note #1: With the current crew of regulars ... DISCUSSING matters is the best possible avenue for soliciting interest. That's why I say: "Discussing your own personal playtesting efforts and asking for feedback and/or opinions about them..." would yield far better results than merely ASKING for people to PLAYTEST.

Note #2: Notice that the DESCRIPTION of the PLAYTESTING forum is: "A forum for discussing the fine art of playtesting your game."

It doesn't say "Ask for people to playtest here!" Again the idea is to DISCUSS the ART of playtesting... Things like "HOW should I approach this...?" OR "I tried this and it backfired ... What should I try next?" It's really about DISCUSSING PLAYTESTING and how to do it. NOT ASKING for people to playtest your own designs.

Again your millage may vary and you may find someone who is interested in playtesting YOUR prototype. But from what I know... That forum is not very successful in terms of convincing people to playtest prototypes.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Something of interest to everyone...

Locus wrote:
What is the intended purpose of the "Playtesting" forum?

Another GOOD topic would be: "What kind of feedback should I expect from my Developer?" Now this is something that could interest the BGDF.com community because it shows how different people approach the SAME problem differently. This could even help the "Developers" hone their craft and provide the RIGHT amount of feedback required by each design/prototype.

That's what DISCUSSION is all about. I'm just pointing out the difference between how people USE BGDF.com. Some of us SHARE our ideas, look for feedback, ask questions, etc. We don't design in a "Black-Box". We are OPEN with our designs and explain the various facets to them and allow for the community to exchange with us ... when it comes to our designs.

But if you prefer to design ONLY on your own or operate in a "Black-Box" ... Well then I really don't see how BGDF.com can help you ... Unless you have a very SPECIFIC type of trouble that you can't find a solution to... Then ASKING for HELP in the one of the forums (according to the topic) makes 100% perfect sense.

And I think this is mostly how NEW designers to BGDF.com use our forum. Some of our regulars like "@let-off studios", "@X3M", "@questccg" (myself) use this forum to share in our designs. We open our designs to allow the members to discuss the design and whatever particular troubles we may have.

But not everyone operates the same way ... So some designers are less willing to share their designs and approach things as a community and that is fine by me.

My point: use the forum to the way it suits you. But asking for people to playtest in the "ART of playtesting" forum ... Will probably yield POOR results... Cheers!

blindcyclops
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Joined: 03/05/2021
Playtesting

Thank you for pointing me in the right direction. I found the link to your forum on an article for useful links regarding "play testing" so I gave it a shot :)
cheers!

let-off studios
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Joined: 02/07/2011
Instructional Videos

I've watched a handful of your "how-to-play" videos and I am impressed! I think reaching out now to prepare for your KS campaign is a smart idea, and all these videos can be used as resources to make it that much more comprehensive. These kinds of accessible resources - practical as well as eye-catching - can make it easier for a potential backer to say yes. It's also helpful to potential playtesters, who can watch these on the go and be encouraged to give the game a try.

Hopefully I can set aside time to look at this on TTS and give it a go on my own time. In the meantime: best of success to you and your team!

PS: "If you're feeling creative, give a speech. No, really..."
I was chuckling during that explanation. :)

The Professor
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Joined: 10/25/2014
At your service...

vic,

I checked out your rules and the game itself and it's quite intriguing. If you're interested in having a conversation, just let me know and we can conduct an informal 30-min Skype session. I appreciate that Kristopher did mention me, and I'm always happy to assist my fellow BGDF.com designers.

Cheers,
Joe

Rick-Holzgrafe
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Joined: 07/22/2008
I don't think the OP's

I don't think the OP's request is out of place here. I playtest frequently with other designers; they give great feedback.

questccg
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Joined: 04/16/2011
Just to be clear ...

Rick-Holzgrafe wrote:
I don't think the OP's request is out of place here. I playtest frequently with other designers; they give great feedback.

I said MOST people will not be satisfied with the results of posting a request for playtesting services. If, you, @Rick have success in doing so and you have managed to find other BGDF.com members who are willing to take a look at one (or several) of your prototypes, that's great.

But if you take a historical look at that forum... Most people did NOT have much success in finding playtesters. So while, you, @Rick have been lucky, most of the current designer members are too busy with RL, Work, their own designs, whatever... Most do NOT have the time to playtest game requests made here on BGDF.com.

That's all that I am implying. Again your mileage may vary...

Note #1: See I said SOME designers enjoy playtesting other games... Maybe @Rick has the time to take a look at "Para Bellum". Just Private Message (PM) him and see if you guys can workout a time to TRY out your game. See I told you that there are SOME designers who like to playtest prototypes... But for most, they don't have the time to do so... Good luck whatever road you choose (Developer or Designer)!

questccg
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TradeWorlds cost us $450 USD for 4 playtests...

Unfortunately Joe's Groups were NOT available to playtest TradeWorlds in one of its last development cycles ... and so we had to outsource Blind Playtesting to another group. We had specific things that we wanted tested but in a specific order. We had 4 Blind Playtests scheduled and the cost of said Blind Playtesting was $450 USD.

People were asking me "How could they charge to playtest games???"

Well the truth is that there are quite a few developers and some services for actual Playtesting... You just need to do a bit of research into them and bam... You will find them. I don't promote anyone because one of the services/sites I promoted, one of our members said they "ripped him off" or did a poor job... So I don't explicitly promote that service/website.

The bottom line: Joe is a PRO. I'm sure he can negotiate a nice deal for anyone who needs playtesting via himself or his groups. Cheers!

The Professor
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Joined: 10/25/2014
As a Developer

Just a quick note on some of Kris' comments as I've been at this for more than 10 years, and nine of them as Professor's Lab.

As a designer, I thoroughly enjoy getting "under the hood" of other designs to see how they work and those designs certainly inform my own. As to play-testing prototypes, if they're well constructed (as is the case for those from the Game Crafter), I'm amenable to playtest them; perform design analysis, etc. I DO NOT any longer accept Print and Play designs...primarily for two reasons which I talk about at length in my blog.

First, the time required to do so takes me away from my main service which is to playtest the games a number of times. Second, those activities eat-up a quarter to a half of the service rate paid by the designer and I don't feel right about that. Better for the designer to spend the money and have the game professionally created and shipped to me.

To whomever was "ripped off" by a developer, I'm very sorry to hear that as it's a black eye for the rest of us in the industry. I have worked with more than two dozen published designers and equally that many yet-to-be-published designers. My rates are exceptionally low compared to anyone else as this is NOT my full-time career at the moment. I absolutely enjoy assisting others and I'm happy to have heard from Vic and we'll take the time to chat this week.

Maybe his game isn't a great fit for Professor's Lab or Professor's Lab may not be the right fit for him...we'll know much more after our conversation which is how I start any business relationship.

Cheers,
Joe
Professor's Lab

The Professor
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On Para Bellum

Fellow Designers,

Vic (designer of Para Bellum) and I just finished a 40-min Zoom Call where we focused on his title, the game's mechanics, rules, and myriad other subjects. His game is far and away in an advanced state which I seldom see out here on BGDF and I strongly recommend that other budding designers check it out for ideas and inspiration. Among the areas of note:

1. Excellent TTS implementation
2. Rules with accompanying videos at their website
3. Beautiful artwork and illustrations

As with all potential clients, I'll work up a proposal for services, but I can't stress how important it is to have that initial conversation. To Vic, thanks again for sharing your vision and passion with me for Para Bellum.

Cheers,
Joe
Professor's Lab

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