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Other Games, Development, & Campaigns => Design, Development, and Gameplay => Topic started by: catty_big on April 08, 2020, 02:28:59 pm

Title: Pay 2 playtest?
Post by: catty_big on April 08, 2020, 02:28:59 pm
I was talking in the news and ads forum about producing a limited run of print copies of my public alpha to give away at cons and such, and someone said that I should instead spend the money on 'specific gaming groups where they have committed to X sessions where they will provide detailed feedback'.

I came to the conclusion a while ago that paying people to playtest my game was the only way it was going to happen, but previously when I asked about this on forums and FB groups etc., the answer was always 'People will playtest it bc they want to, you shouldn't have to pay them'.

I don't hold out much hope of garnering paid playtesters either, but tbf I haven't put out any calls for them, so I don't know if it would work or not; moreover, it's the only thing I haven't tried so far, so I suppose it's worth a try. So my question is, do any o' y'all have any experience of that area yourselves, or know of any publishers that have gone down that road successfully?
Title: Pay 2 playtest?
Post by: Spinachcat on April 08, 2020, 08:46:16 pm
I belong to a local boardgame playtest group and instead of direct payment, here's what we get: free drinks, free snacks, and a raffle for a stack of games donated by the designers hosting the event.

RPGs are unfortunately harder to playtest than boardgames. We can give most card or board games a serious wallop with a couple plays in a four hour slot. Usually more than enough data for the designer to digest for a month.

In a perfect world, RPG designers will get enough dedicated playtesters for free simply out of the joy of the game. It's easy for the big dogs to get dozens of groups to playtest for free, but in my experience, its much harder for small publishers to get playtesters. Even with promises of their name in the book and a free copy when its published.

Of course, always try the free route first...BUT if that doesn't produce quality results, I suggest considering the "throw me the idol, I'll throw you the whip" method.

If the CoronaChan leads to the nigh-Depression our screeching media salivates over, I'm quite sure there will be gaming groups happy to record their sessions in exchange for a couple pizzas delivered during their game.
Title: Pay 2 playtest?
Post by: catty_big on April 11, 2020, 07:22:37 am
Oh, boardgames are no trouble at all to playtest. For one thing, as you point out, you can fit several plays in a four hour slot, and if your game plays out in less than ~30 mins you're golden. With RPGs otoh, one usually struggles to fit preamble, game and feedback in that timeframe. Plus, for some reason people (even non-gamers) are much more willing to test board and card games than RPGs.

As regards free vs paid, for various reasons - lack of a regular gaming group, can't afford to go to loads of cons, unkown publisher etc. - I've garnered very few playtesters via the free route, so paid for is about the only option remaining. Actually no, it isn't. Using boosted posts on my FB page to build a dedicated playtest group (simply posting about it in gaming groups on FB in general is pointless) is something I haven't yet tried, so I guess I should explore that avenue before giving up completely.

Btw, since you mention board and card games, I have a card game trundling its way towards publication, prior to which I'm going to upload a PnP version to BGG. If you're interested, check the press release forum there over the next month or so, or if you like I can PM you when it's up.

Anyway, thanks for all your input.
Title: Re: Pay 2 playtest?
Post by: ryadd on November 01, 2020, 05:59:38 am
As regards free vs paid, for various reasons - lack of a regular gaming group, can't afford to go to loads of cons, unkown publisher etc. - I've garnered very few playtesters via the free route, so paid for is about the only option remaining. Actually no, it isn't. Using boosted posts on my FB page to build a dedicated playtest group (simply posting about it in gaming groups on FB in general is pointless) is something I haven't yet tried, so I guess I should explore that avenue before giving up completely.




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Title: Re: Pay 2 playtest?
Post by: catty_big on November 01, 2020, 07:56:22 am
?
Title: Re: Pay 2 playtest?
Post by: Thondor on November 04, 2020, 11:52:55 pm
I've usually had good luck getting people to try new game systems (with the designer) at small local conventions, meetups and such.

While long-term multi-session playtest is valuable, I think it's pretty likely that the only long-term group you'd be able to playtest with is your own.

A few sessions from a "removed" from you playtest group is certainly the longest I would expect.

Title: Re: Pay 2 playtest?
Post by: catty_big on November 05, 2020, 10:28:04 am
I've usually had good luck getting people to try new game systems (with the designer) at small local conventions, meetups and such.
Me too, but it generally ends there, with (if it goes well) the players saying 'Thanks, good game', and then going home and forgetting about it.

I think it's pretty likely that the only long-term group you'd be able to playtest with is your own.
Yes, that's how most games get playtested. Trouble is, I don't have one unfortunately.