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BGG» Forums » Board Game Design » Seeking Play Testers

Subject: Playtesting vs. Proofreading rules (amongst others) rss

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Peter Nauta
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I'm a little bit confused. It's been quite some time since I was active on BGG (I noticed my Patron '09 as well) and you are all nice people, so please help me out here.

I see quite a lot of requests for play testing in this forum (here as well as e.g. on the Board Game Designers Forum). However, reading the forumposts that have a lot of replies, I see lots of suggestions and questions based on (proof)reading the rules. So, my question is:

In your experience (for those who have it), are people actually play testing or mainly giving comments/feedback without actual play? And if people are play testing, is this a significant (I know, it's subjective) amount of people?

I've tried to contact a few designers asking for information on play testing on the Board Game Development Forum (via PM), but without any success thusfar. I was hoping (m)any of you could help me out here.

Thank you in advance.


@any Admin: looking at the descriptions of the fora (and the question itself), I got the feeling that this is the right location in the Board Game Design section.
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Ken Lewis
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In my experience, for every playtest report I get, I probably receive at least a dozen or more read-through comments, with at least half of those being about grammar or presentation. Every once in a while I will also get what I can only describe as a read-through comment disguised as a playtest report.

I appreciate all of the comments, but I tend to ignore the grammar and presentation comments (except egregious errors) until I feel I have gotten the rules "set in stone", only then will I start "cleaning up the game".
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Peter Nauta
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Hi Ken,

thanks for your reaction. It's greatly appreciated.

So although not immediately gong with the grammar/presentation comments, you do work with the other comments, if I understand you correctly.

And looking at the amount of actual (not diguised) playtest reports that you get, would you say that the amount is 'significant' (= enough or more for what you are focussing on in your play test)?
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Ken Lewis
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I don't think you can ever have enough playtesters, but sadly getting a significant amount of them, that give detailed reports, is not an easy thing to do.
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Adrián García
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Hi Ken,
Have you ever considered paying for detailed playtesting reports? After playing with a number of people, I'm now trying to have my boardgame assessed by industry experts. I would be open to paying for it. Any idea on prices and companies providing this kind of service?

I've found this group so far: http://gaming-rules.com/game-development/
 
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George P.E., PMP, DM
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It's a lot easier to read a rules document and comment than it is to assemble a PnP or get a prototype and play the game, so that's my guess as to why there are more rules commenters than actual playtesters.

Has anyone tried offering digital prototypes, like on Tabletopia or Tabletop Simulator? That avoids the time and expense of a PnP, so I'd think it would attract more playtesters.
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Adrián García
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Interesting George. Those online platforms are paid and require playtesters to have an account. I've already created a playable version on Tabloro which is free for anyone.
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