The Dallas Designers Group is focused specifically playtesting unpublished, unpolished, and prototype board/card games. Have a great game idea and need to get a variety of feedback? This is the place! The DDG is an open, friendly place for designers to test their work while trying others!
Since group meetings are primarily attended by designers who want to test their games, we balance being a host and being a tester with a concept called Playtest Points. Each time you playtest someone's game, you earn Playtest Points based on how long the game is played. You spend Playtest Points to host your games. So even if you don't have a prototype ready to play, you're welcome to come by and build up your Playtest Points for when you're ready! (And of course, non-designers are very welcome to come as well)
We ask that all participants be willing to provide positive, constructive feedback and be flexible in understanding that many games will be unpolished. Sometimes rules will even need to change mid-game. Sometimes a concept sounds great on paper, but flops in live testing. That's ok! The Dallas Design Group is a safe environment to try out new ideas, figure out what works, and what doesn't. Every game that you know and love was at some point a diamond in the rough - they we're simply born a finished product. Just like writing a novel, everyone starts with a first draft, goes through several revisions, adds things and drops things, until finally you have something thoroughly enjoyable!
Note to casual gamers: Many of the games we play here are very raw and unfinished. We will occasionally have 'recital/open house' type meetings where the general public is invited in to try out some moderately polished game concepts. You're welcome to join and attend one of these events. Normal events, however, are recommended for game designers only. Also, the types of games presented are generally more on the advanced side of the gaming spectrum. If you've primarily played classic American-style games like Monopoly, Clue, Skip-Bo, Yahtzee, Phase 10, etc, note that the kinds of games tested here are closer to Risk, Axis and Allies, Chess, and other games with complex rules. I don't want to discourage any visitors, but a better interim step would be to visit the the Dallas Board Game Meetup, so you can get a better idea of what genre of games we are designing. (http://www.meetup.com/DallasAreaBoardgames/)