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Playtest Your Story Game FAQ

Ben R
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 318
A new thing is coming: story game playtest meetups.

We avoid playtesting raw games on our usual meetup nights. The last thing we want is someone who is new and has no way of knowing what they're getting into playing something half-baked and going "uh, what the heck was that?" But playtesting is a valuable and necessary thing. So the plan is to add another session that is specifically for playtesting: everybody showing up knows what they're getting into.


EXPLAIN THIS PLAN, IN DETAIL…
The ground rules will be pretty simple:

- If you've got a game you want to playtest (your own or someone else's), bring it.

- Showing up empty-handed just to playtest other people's games is awesome and encouraged. If you show up you know you're playing something unfinished. It may be bumpy.

- We'll pitch games just like normal and see what people want to play. As always that means being honest about what to expect in play, not trying to sell people on your awesome game.

To be clear we're only talking about playtesting story games (i.e. games we would play at a regular meetup). After all this is part of Story Games Seattle, not a universal playtest session for all games under the sun.


IS MY GAME READY TO PLAYTEST?
Good question. These are playtesting meetups, not game design or playstorming meetups. When you pitch a playtest, you're promising that you think this game is ready to be played and you're not wasting everybody's time. Take that promise seriously.

It doesn't have to be perfect (heck, how would you even know?) but it should be in a playable state. If you start hacking your game midstream or making up rules on the fly to fill in gaps you are probably not holding up your end. We'll refine these criteria more as we go.


WILL MY GAME GET PLAYED?
If there aren't enough players and/or there are too many pitches, not every game will get played. That's just math.

The question was asked "what if no one wants to play my game?!?" Think about it. If you pitch your game and no one wants to play it, that tells you something right there. Either something is wrong with your pitch or you're making a game that other people are not interested in playing.


AWESOME! WHEN CAN WE GET STARTED?!?
Soon. I've been waiting for the Raygun Lounge to open because that will give us nights to choose from. We'll probably start monthly and then maybe move to biweekly if there's demand. Originally I was thinking Monday but Raygun is closed. Now I'm leaning towards Tuesday, but never fear: we'll schedule them so we don't conflict with our Eastside Tuesday meetups.

Questions? Ideas? Chime in.
Marc
Mistaken
Seattle, WA
Post #: 42
I am all for this. Do we want to set up any ground rules about feedback?
Ben R
thatsabigrobot
Group Organizer
Seattle, WA
Post #: 320
Different facilitators / designers might have different preferences. Some people want feedback on the spot, right after the game, others would rather get an email later so they have text to refer to later.

Generally I'd say avoid giving feedback during the game (which can be hard, I know). Play first, feedback later.
Caroline
user 11624621
Seattle, WA
Post #: 38
Awesome! Sounds lovely to me.
Jay L.
Coxcomb333
Bellevue, WA
Post #: 14
Tuesday. crying
I have classes on Tuesdays.
Megan B.
user 13519520
Madison, WI
Post #: 5
I would come if it started after 5 PM. I'd have to leave ~10:30 for work, though.
Shuo
user 13294625
Seattle, WA
Post #: 71
Totally excited about this but I'm also busy on Tuesdays. :-/
Martin
user 10655881
Seattle, WA
Post #: 25
I am also all for this.
Jerome
user 8261819
Seattle, WA
Post #: 6
Fantastic! I'm looking forward to seeing everyone's designs!

Tuesday nights work great for me, and I'm excited to give this a try.

Thanks for putting this into motion, Ben! I think the guidelines you've established so far are fantastic. I'm sure it will evolve as needed, as well.
Alex G.
user 58620202
Seattle, WA
Post #: 3
This sounds extremely intriguing to me, as seeing the designs of the prototypes seems like it would be really cool, especially getting to watch them evolve and iterate over time. Tuesdays would work for me as well.
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