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Subject: Questions for Playtesters rss

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Lindsay Carter
United States
Bonneau
South Carolina
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Hello all! I'm looking for some play testers for my game! It's a silly card type game. It's got exploding goats, grumpy giraffes, pizza, cards that test your texting skills and a game board that you make along the way. If you're interested please let me know!

Sorry if I'm not supposed to post this here but I had a couple questions I wanted to be directed to game testers and developers. Please bear with me.I'm a graphic designer and I'm usually only in charge of making things look pretty but a group of us have decided to start a game and I'm in charge of the planning.

When I think of play testing a game I think of taking an approach to it like I do with some of my artwork and when I did website and app testing with people. I send over a document to the "play tester" for them to sign kind of like a confidentiality/trade secret form and usually they would scan or fax it back to me. I would then send them a copy of the artwork, app or website with my watermark on it along with a survey type form that would tell me a little about them as far as demographics go. It would have questions and spots for them to list what they thought about different aspects of the game.

As a graphic designer and photographer who has had my designs stolen in the past I'm really careful about what I post places which is why I watermark everything in a way where it can't be easily photoshopped out. I was going to post my card files and just watermark then on here but I was told by someone else that my watermarks were very annoying and no one is going to want to test it because of it.

So play testers does it matter to you if you are testing a game that has a big annoying watermarks on it?

Would you be okay with signing a confidentiality agreement before play testing the game??

Thanks!
 
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Mark McGee
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Cary
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I wouldn't sign a confidentiality agreement before playtesting a game.

If you're worried about your artwork being stolen, you can just leave it out of the prototype. The rest of the game isn't legally protected, so there's no benefit to any documents if you don't have your artwork in it. And without the digital files, it'd be pretty hard for someone to steal your artwork from a board game anyway.

So I think you're safe (and better off) without having any confidentiality agreements.
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Justin Blaske
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TLDR: Playtesters are hard enough to get in general, don't make it harder with an NDA.


I agreed with Mark on this, having a NDA wouldn't really help your cause at all. It's hard to get a board game to market, and that's going to stop more people than an NDA.

Also Copyright works in your favor. Once you post your rule book (the only thing aside from art that can be protected) and say it's yours, it's protected by copyright.

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Jeff Warrender
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As the others have said -- definitely don't bother with the NDA. And, playtesters should expect that prototypes don't look production-representative; anyone bothered by a watermark is not going to be a good playtester!

All that said, if you're only just in the very early stages of your first game, it's probably not yet the right time for you to seek outside playtesters. First comes "alpha testing", which is probably just you and your co-designers mocking up some components and playing around with the game concepts to see if there's a game there. Tinker with that for a while, and once you have something that's semi-playable, playtest it to death with your friends or game group or family or whomever. You'll get the most information when you're present in the room playing or watching the game, so this "beta" phase is the most important and you really don't want to outsource it.

"Blind" playtesting, in which you send the game out to outside groups, really only makes sense when the game design (not necessarily the art) is nearly complete and you're looking to get feedback on the rules, make sure no edge cases come up, etc.

Good luck, and have fun!
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Lindsay Carter
United States
Bonneau
South Carolina
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Thank you for the replies and advice. I really appreciate it! Thanks for putting up with someone who has no idea what they are doing.

I know where I can find the play testers I need I just don't like handing over digital files or physical copies of my cards even with a watermark and copyright info when it's still in the unfinished stages to people I don't know. Some of the instructions on the cards are part of the artwork so leaving if off would be kind of hard. The reason I asked about the NDA is because I was going to give a copy to my friend to play at the gaming guild at his college because they like play testing games and he acted like a NDA was nothing out of the ordinary but I wanted to ask about opinions on it. I know some people don't like that kind of stuff. I have to keep telling myself that this isn't like the work I'm used to doing so it's going to have to be done differently. If it's going to deter game testers then I'll just have to trust the internet that my stuff won't get stolen again.

This was a collaboration project between a bunch of my online following plus the people that are involved in my entertainment business. We have played it but I feel like they aren't going to give me a real read on the game because they're just excited about it and wanting to see it because they had a hand in making it. I've got some people that are already ready to give me money now to pre order the game and it's not even finished yet and they don't care. It's still in a very unfinished stage. The cards and artwork are pretty much done but I know rules and such will still get changed a lot before it's finished.

I'm wanting to get some feedback on how many of each card should be in the deck as well as the rules. I have my opinion on the cards but I'm wanting to get ideas from people who game a lot more then me. Is that too unfinished of a game to post here?
 
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