What we're about

Vancouver Playtest is a welcoming group for playing and developing new board games. Join us and become a VP! (Vancouver Playtester)

Bring game prototypes (early or late stage) and receive valuable feedback. Or try prototypes designed by other members and share ideas on how to make improvements. We may also play some published games, and analyze what works and what doesn't, as a source of inspiration.

If you enjoy getting creative with board games, come along for fun, feedback, and perhaps meet like minds to collaborate with!

Vision for the group: A productive environment where we are supportive and respectful of each other, and reciprocate with our time (i.e. playtest other members' prototypes at least as much as they playtest yours). A place where we show trust to share imperfect games (even the very messy beginnings of a game), give feedback honestly and tactfully, and focus on making improvements to help inspire one another to ever better designs!

Upcoming events (4+)

In-store Playtesting at Rain City Games

Rain City Games

Welcome to our in-person playtest session at Rain City Games! Please read all details below.

We hope you will enjoy playing, sharing ideas and helping to develop and inspire new games in a supportive environment. Bring a prototype if you have one, or simply get to know some friendly new faces and join in by playing prototypes brought by other members. Novice to veteran designers/playtesters, and all types of prototype, are very welcome!

IMPORTANT:
- Maximum 18 people. Please be sure to RSVP to reserve your spot.
- Both Rain City and Vancouver Playtest strongly recommend that members wear masks to help protect the safety of themselves and others and sanitizer will be provided for each table.
- DO NOT ATTEND if you feel unwell or have any Covid symptoms, or if you have recently been exposed to Covid.
- Please respect our excellent hosts, Rain City Games. This includes clearing up on time so we are out by 9pm, and asking permission before handling their games. If you have games on your wishlist, buying from Rain City Games is a great way to support your friendly local game store.

Format: Try to arrive close to 6pm if possible. We do brief introductions before seeing what prototypes we have available to play. We will do our best to match these up with playtester preferences and include everyone as and when they arrive. The session is split into two halves of 90 mins each.

We are an inclusive group - please read our code of conduct, available here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1o-mBxEcPL2l2LvPNLRrb4pauqdUfSg46f1_ui3g8C48/edit#gid=[masked]

Tips for designers:

  • Give a brief 'pitch' to explain the type of game and how long it will take (aim to find playtesters with matching preferences/time)
  • When explaining rules to playtesters, start with a simple overview before diving into details
  • Have a purpose in mind for the session (e.g. 'I want to see if my basic mechanics make for a fun game')
  • Write notes on your observations, and record feedback

Tips for playtesters:

  • Be honest and also tactful with feedback
  • When noting issues with a game, include positive comments and focus on helping the designer to improve their game
  • Aim to help the designer make the game you are playing better, rather than suggesting a completely different game
  • Note your thoughts/emotions during the game to help with feedback

Thanks for reading to the end, let's stay safe and have a great time exploring new games together!

Online Playtest

Online event

This is an ONLINE event, starting 7pm. Before attending, please read our brief playtesting guidance and code of conduct at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/PlaytestSchedule

If you have a prototype you would like to test, please also enter details into the schedule section of the doc above. Note that we prioritise prototypes based on a reciprocal system, and you should aim to test other members' games for at least as many hours as you test your own.

We coordinate our digital testing using Discord text/voice chat app. Please join the Vancouver Playtest Group on Discord using this link: https://discord.gg/7AFv4Bq
Once you've joined the Discord group, join the GENERAL voice channel where we can talk to coordinate testing. We may divide into groups and establish separate voice channels for each game (these are named 'Table 1', 'Table 2' etc. Please ALSO look for the ONLINE-TESTING text channel where we may share links to digital games.

We usually use Tabletop Simulator to test digital games (you need to purchase this from Steam and install). As always, please keep feedback respectful and constructive so we can help one another to improve our designs. Thanks and please do post any questions!

If you're new to the Discord app or Tabletop Simulator program, please check out the guides below. It is best to check these programs are working correctly in advance. Discord can be run as an app or in-browser, so you can try both in the event of technical difficulties, and having an alternative device to hand as backup can be helpful. Don't hesitate to ask if you need any assistance!

Discord guide: https://www.tomsguide.com/us/what-is-discord,review-5203.html
Tabletop Simulator general guide: https://www.entrogames.com/2020/05/tabletop-simulator-ultimate-guide-absolute-beginners/ Tabletop Simulator guide to creating a custom deck which may be useful for your card-based prototypes: http://berserk-games.com/knowledgebase/custom-decks/

In-store Playtesting at Rain City Games

Rain City Games

Welcome to our in-person playtest session at Rain City Games! Please read all details below.

We hope you will enjoy playing, sharing ideas and helping to develop and inspire new games in a supportive environment. Bring a prototype if you have one, or simply get to know some friendly new faces and join in by playing prototypes brought by other members. Novice to veteran designers/playtesters, and all types of prototype, are very welcome!

IMPORTANT:
- Maximum 18 people. Please be sure to RSVP to reserve your spot.
- Both Rain City and Vancouver Playtest strongly recommend that members wear masks to help protect the safety of themselves and others and sanitizer will be provided for each table.
- DO NOT ATTEND if you feel unwell or have any Covid symptoms, or if you have recently been exposed to Covid.
- Please respect our excellent hosts, Rain City Games. This includes clearing up on time so we are out by 9pm, and asking permission before handling their games. If you have games on your wishlist, buying from Rain City Games is a great way to support your friendly local game store.

Format: Try to arrive close to 6pm if possible. We do brief introductions before seeing what prototypes we have available to play. We will do our best to match these up with playtester preferences and include everyone as and when they arrive. The session is split into two halves of 90 mins each.

We are an inclusive group - please read our code of conduct, available here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1o-mBxEcPL2l2LvPNLRrb4pauqdUfSg46f1_ui3g8C48/edit#gid=[masked]

Tips for designers:

  • Give a brief 'pitch' to explain the type of game and how long it will take (aim to find playtesters with matching preferences/time)
  • When explaining rules to playtesters, start with a simple overview before diving into details
  • Have a purpose in mind for the session (e.g. 'I want to see if my basic mechanics make for a fun game')
  • Write notes on your observations, and record feedback

Tips for playtesters:

  • Be honest and also tactful with feedback
  • When noting issues with a game, include positive comments and focus on helping the designer to improve their game
  • Aim to help the designer make the game you are playing better, rather than suggesting a completely different game
  • Note your thoughts/emotions during the game to help with feedback

Thanks for reading to the end, let's stay safe and have a great time exploring new games together!

Online Playtest

Online event

This is an ONLINE event, starting 7pm. Before attending, please read our brief playtesting guidance and code of conduct at the following link: https://tinyurl.com/PlaytestSchedule

If you have a prototype you would like to test, please also enter details into the schedule section of the doc above. Note that we prioritise prototypes based on a reciprocal system, and you should aim to test other members' games for at least as many hours as you test your own.

We coordinate our digital testing using Discord text/voice chat app. Please join the Vancouver Playtest Group on Discord using this link: https://discord.gg/7AFv4Bq
Once you've joined the Discord group, join the GENERAL voice channel where we can talk to coordinate testing. We may divide into groups and establish separate voice channels for each game (these are named 'Table 1', 'Table 2' etc. Please ALSO look for the ONLINE-TESTING text channel where we may share links to digital games.

We usually use Tabletop Simulator to test digital games (you need to purchase this from Steam and install). As always, please keep feedback respectful and constructive so we can help one another to improve our designs. Thanks and please do post any questions!

If you're new to the Discord app or Tabletop Simulator program, please check out the guides below. It is best to check these programs are working correctly in advance. Discord can be run as an app or in-browser, so you can try both in the event of technical difficulties, and having an alternative device to hand as backup can be helpful. Don't hesitate to ask if you need any assistance!

Discord guide: https://www.tomsguide.com/us/what-is-discord,review-5203.html
Tabletop Simulator general guide: https://www.entrogames.com/2020/05/tabletop-simulator-ultimate-guide-absolute-beginners/ Tabletop Simulator guide to creating a custom deck which may be useful for your card-based prototypes: http://berserk-games.com/knowledgebase/custom-decks/

Past events (220)

Online Playtest

This event has passed

Photos (80)