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BoardGameGeek» Forums » Board Game Design » Board Game Design

Subject: Playtest, lack of feedbacks rss

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Steven Long
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In my first playtest session, there is too many feedbacks and recommendations to contribute my game from players.
In second session playtest (after i correct many rules, twist many things), the game is more improved but there is lack of feedbacks, just few opinions come from.
This is good or bad sign?
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Darrell Hanning
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Jacksonville
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Are you conducting the playtesting face-to-face with your playtesters? Or are you present during the playtesting? Or are you getting feedback without being present (i.e, blind playtesting)?

If you're present when it's being conducted, feel free to ask questions - what they specifically like and dislike, what takes too long, etc.

If you're not present, you can still distribute a questionnaire to the playtesters, asking the same kinds of things. Think about what you want to know, specifically, and ask those questions on a sheet to be distributed to each playtester. Try to phrase the questions so that most of them can be answered simply. (That is, don't expect all playtesters to be willing to provide you an essay on what they think.)

You don't have to be driving the playtesting sessions, or even be present, but it always helps if you can give the playtesters specific questions to answer, particularly if they're new to playtesting.
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Steven Long
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DarrellKH wrote:
Are you conducting the playtesting face-to-face with your playtesters? Or are you present during the playtesting? Or are you getting feedback without being present (i.e, blind playtesting)?

If you're present when it's being conducted, feel free to ask questions - what they specifically like and dislike, what takes too long, etc.

If you're not present, you can still distribute a questionnaire to the playtesters, asking the same kinds of things. Think about what you want to know, specifically, and ask those questions on a sheet to be distributed to each playtester. Try to phrase the questions so that most of them can be answered simply. (That is, don't expect all playtesters to be willing to provide you an essay on what they think.)

You don't have to be driving the playtesting sessions, or even be present, but it always helps if you can give the playtesters specific questions to answer, particularly if they're new to playtesting.


Yes, i was there, face to face. They are new playtester, and new to boardgame, too.
You're right, maybe i should ask them specific questions, they quite passive... But i don't know why in first play they very actively?
And what are questions should i asks?
Thanks!
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Carl Nyberg
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In designing board games, I usually playtest like this:

1. test game myself
2. play game with friends or family: get feedback
3. repeat 2 until game works well
4. blind playtest (give game to people to play without me being there)
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Steven Long
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Thank you, what are questions you ask playtesters to get more feedbacks?
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Carl Nyberg
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black white wrote:
Thank you, what sre questions you ask playtesters to get more feedbacks?


The questions I have on my questionnaire are:

1. Was there any part of the rules or game play that was unclear?
2. What was unclear?
3. Did you like the game?
4. Were you able to think of a strategy?
5. From 1 to 5, 1 being uninteresting and 5 being very interesting, how would you rate this game?

I would also like to add, that, especially if this is one of your first designs, there will be glaring errors in the game such as "there was no way I could win!" or "all you have to do is this and you win every time". Or worse, there will be errors that make the game impossible to play.

Take your playtesters' criticism seriously but also with a grain of salt; they may have found something that breaks your game but also if they have only played it once they may not yet see a good way to play.
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Chris Hawkins
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Less feedback could be a good sign or a bad sign. If people say, "I really like it!" then there may not be much else to say - especially if they are novice gamers. On the other hand, if people were completely unimpressed, they might be quiet because it's hard to tell someone that their work is a waste of time.
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Mark J
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bill437 wrote:
black white wrote:
Thank you, what sre questions you ask playtesters to get more feedbacks?


The questions I have on my questionnaire are:

1. Was there any part of the rules or game play that was unclear?
2. What was unclear?
3. Did you like the game?
4. Were you able to think of a strategy?
5. From 1 to 5, 1 being uninteresting and 5 being very interesting, how would you rate this game?

I would also like to add, that, especially if this is one of your first designs, there will be glaring errors in the game such as "there was no way I could win!" or "all you have to do is this and you win every time". Or worse, there will be errors that make the game impossible to play.

Take your playtesters' criticism seriously but also with a grain of salt; they may have found something that breaks your game but also if they have only played it once they may not yet see a good way to play.


And probably lots of "oh, wait, that doesn't work".

One I just hit in the game I'm working on now: I had some cards that gave you an advantage any time you were in a space of the same terrain type as the space where you picked up the card. Basically "you know how to navigate this type of terrain". And then you kept the card indefinitely. So ... after a couple of turns, how do you know what space you were in when you got that card? Is the player just supposed to remember? Easy if you just have one, I guess, but it could quickly get confusing if you had 2 or 3. Plus you have to keep track of cards drawn by all the other players unless you just trust them to not forget and/or cheat. I was just playing the game against myself to test it and I forgot. Had to rework that idea.

One I saw that made it to publication from a major game manufacturer: You could accumulate some sort of "initiative points", and at various levels of initiative, you got certain bonuses. There were three levels, so they made a track with three boxes marked -- I forget the exact numbers, not important -- "Level 1: 0-4 points", "Level 2: 5-10 points", "Level 3: 11 or more points". The rules said to put a marker in the space for level 1, and then as you accumulated points advance it to level 2 or 3. Except ... say I'm at level 1 and I get 2 more points. Am I still at level 1 or do I advance the marker to level 2? Unless I'm keeping track of the exact number of points accumulated so far somewhere else -- whether on paper or in my head or whatever -- I have no way to know when to advance to the next level. And if I'm going to keep track somewhere else, what do I need this track for? It was useless.

Okay, tangential ramble.
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