If you’re in the play testing stage of your game’s creation, then you already know that play testing is hard.
It’s not so much the criticism. Criticism is great, especially deep, thorough criticism. That shows the player already cares about your game and really wants it to be great. And no matter how many hundred times you’ve played your game, a single play from a new perspective can lead to a discovery you might never have thought of.
It’s the lack of availability.
Finding play testers – is hard. As in trying to wake up the Philae lander hard.
Go to the board game night at your friendly neighborhood game emporium and most players are there to play a specific game; probably the one they just bought the day before and have been itchin’ to unbox!
With the long term goal of building a community of shared play testing – something along the lines of how BGG has become a sort of IMDB Pro of games – I make this offer:
I will be your play tester.
And give you a solid critique. What makes for a good critique? Glad you asked [see my next blog].
These are the sorts of games I prefer – strategy, adventure, a journey, family friendly. I am open to others. I can test 1 and 2 player games. No charge, happy to help.
Note – I cannot do print and play, because I currently do not have a trustworthy printer [seems to need recalibrating every 5th page!]. I can work with rules that can be read on screen [pdfs, etc]. And I cannot ship prototypes back. If you don’t mind mailing it, I will test it.
And that’s another part of what makes play testing hard; the expense. Shipping dozens of prototypes across the country can start to strain an indie’s budget.
So, I can’t help with the expense but I can at least make myself available, and that’s half the battle! Hopefully, if and when this community grows, a network of play testers will form and there will one in every town with a library [or a Starbucks].
Hey, a gamer can dream, right?