Steve Darlington
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Every game designer I've ever met has trouble finding playtesters, so...

...I'm considering starting a world-wide registry of playtesters.

But no point doing it if it already exists!

And how would you control quality? Need something like ebay...a rating/feedback system.

Your thoughts?

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Mercury Nonymous
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I think this is an excellent idea, but you'd have to offer something to the play-testers to make it worth their while. For example, a free copy of the game when its done (maybe that's a perk only highly rated testers get?)
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John "Omega" Williams
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This has been discussed and tried before with groups trying to rent themselves out, organize playtesting, etc.

Problem is, playtesters are so varied, like everything else in the gaming biz, that you really need to get your playtesting groups for a game within your target audience.

One of the problems with getting playtesters is you can only spread your attention so far. On the BGG alone there are four PNP contests going right now, and 4 or 5 independant designers after playtesting on top of that.

Now add in non-BGG sites like BGDF, and individual publishers and the playtesting gets spread pretty thin.
 
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Andrew Meredith
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This is a great idea. I would suggest that potential playtesters have to answer a series of questions (Multiple Choice) and Game Designers can see the answers given, so as to tailor their playtest groups. An example of a question might be:
When playing a new game would you consider yourself:
A. Analyst. Someone who immediately starts to pick apart the game, looking to optimize your total experience.

B. Breaker. You want to min/max the game until everyone else if blue in the face, looking for every weakness, and optimizing that weakness because, well, you can.

C. Casual. Someone who immediately works to build a fun atmosphere, working past any problems the game may have and looking for the fun in it.



That might be just one question. A common NDA might be available on whatever website you put this up on too.
Anyway, great idea. I look forward to seeing what you do.
 
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Rocco Privetera
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Here's what I would do (and would participate if it was like this):

Game designers register, game test teams register.

So the flowchart would be:
1. Designer publishes a game to be tested. Designer posts rewards for successful tests. May include things like "you get to keep prototype", "free copy of finished game", "name listed as playtester", A Cash value paid via paypal, a geekgold payment, etc. Maybe more than one.
1a Designer may specify "testers must assemble PnP" or "we can ship prototypes if you can't assemble", etc.
1b Testers may counter-offer on reward; a highly rated test team might be able to argue for the higher reward.
2. Test team creates a test event against the game. Test event specifies things like "we will assemble a PnP" or "Need PnP/prototype shipped to us" or "will meet designer at public event" if they are geographically close.
3. Designer approves request.
3a if designer needs to, they ship a copy or schedule event
4. Test is held. Gameplay report is filled out and one picture is taken of event (to prove event is held and/or PnP assembled)
5. Designer approves final report and assigns Karma value to Tester; Testers rate game and assign Karma values to Designer. Disputes moderated by site owner.

Good designers who pay as they indicate get better reputation and more potential testers; good testers who provide good reports get better reputation and are courted by designers with better offers.

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Dan Cassar
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Rocconteur wrote:

Good designers who pay as they indicate get better reputation and more potential testers; good testers who provide good reports get better reputation and are courted by designers with better offers.


A sort of social marketplace for playtesters and designers, driven by community ratings? This is a GREAT idea. I would definitely also participate in a site like that.
 
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Terence Jones
Australia
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you could set up a database of individual playtesters like the following


Name:
Location:
Intrests:
Play Tests:
Designers Feedback:
Overall Rating:

So for example ill use myself.

Name: Terence Jones
Location: Eastern Suburbs, Melbourne, Vic, Australia
Interests: Cooperative games, Eurogaming
Playtests: (what board or cardgames tested with a link)
Designers feedback: (link to what the designer thought of testers feedback helpfull not helpful ect)
Overall rating: Based on each designers feedback ect

Because i sure most playtesters would have a regular gaming group they could take the game to and then run.

just my 2c
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Rocco Privetera
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I would prefer playtest "teams" ideally as well as single players. Or maybe each entry would include one person and their team.

Do you have some kind of site or something in mind?

 
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Terence Jones
Australia
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you could add an team affiliation under the name that way you could get either one person to run a play test or you could click the team name and get the entire team so here's what i think we both mean

Name:
Group: (or team)
Location:
Intrests:
Play Tests:
Designers Feedback:
Overall Rating:

So i would list my group/team as follows

Group: D-ARGH (anime and gaming group i run in Geelong)

That way the name and group/team could be hyperlinked with email address' so that they can be contacted by clicking (or copy link address for those of us who don't use outlook)
 
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