Playtesting Tabletop Games (from Mike Hutchinson of Gaslands)

Great article from the maker of Gaslands about playtesting.

Key take-aways: watch for moments of not-fun, and ask about what’s wrong with your game, not what’s right.

I would dearly love the chance to playtest my systems, but so far its been an elusive goal. I’ve run a few short-lived PbP games using various drafts of Badass Kung Fu Demigods but sadly I haven’t found any chances to get others to try it out and run tests without me being hands-on.

And that’s just for my primary system, since my secondary system is card based it’s almost impossible to play online (which is a not insignificant problem in general, but it is kind of built around the gimmick) and face-to-face playtesting is even harder to arrange.

@oriongates - check out - it lets you create basically any tabletop experience you want. I bet it would allow you to playtest online with your card game. I just heard about it last night at our game design meetup, so I haven’t used it, but it looks pretty cool.

Where do you live (if you don’t mind me asking)? I take it there’s not a lot of gamers around you?

I’ve definitely considered experimenting with Tabletop simulator, it looks like a bunch of fun.

I’m in the Eugene, Oregon area myself but the main issue isn’t lack of gamers (I’m fairly certain there’s a decent population in my area) it’s more one of scheduling. I work evenings and my days off are smack in the middle of the week. So finding a crew able and willing to playtest with a matching schedule is a big challenge.

Sticking to online play through roll20, I’ve been able to get players for more conventional games that fit my schedule but calls for playtests have largely produced no results.

Ahh yeah, that’s a pain. Scheduling is definitely the biggest problem in gaming. Working off hours from most other people has to be even worse.