categorically looking for playtesters

So, I belong to a weekly gaming group, and sometimes we also game on Saturdays, too, but I am the sort of person who comes up with lots of little RPGs all the time, rather than having a big, single project that marinates for years.

As a result, my desire/demand for playtesting far outstrips local resources.
Can anyone offer suggestions as to new avenues of acquiring playtesters? Thanks!


  • My experience is that the best way to get playtesting is to personally ask likely, high-performance roleplayers to help you out. Bonus points if you know the person well enough for them to be interested in helping you out for personal or craft reasons. The advantage of this method is that you have some idea of who might be able to playtest your game meaningfully, and the people you ask will have to specifically think of whether they can help you; most playtest opportunities are missed simply because the right person never considers the chance seriously, either not seeing it or not recognizing that it is he, specifically, who well might play this game this season.
  • I think I have a few folks who would be down for that, actually.
    Heh, I should probably award major bonus points for asking folks who have previously and enjoyably (for them and for me) playtested games. In fact, one of the designs on my slate is something that my friend K has playtested *before*.
    Good call.

    I shall make the case!
  • Playtesting is difficult and frustrating, and often boring. Playtesters need to get something out of the game other than credit or an expectation of fun that might not arrive. That's probably that they get to support you as your friend.

    Conventions offer some of that, too. They get to play with you and participate in a creation with its creator. That's fun (potentially).

  • edited January 2011
    I do "anthology nights" - play my (or someone else's) playtest-stage game, which may or not be any good. Once that's done, play Fiasco or something. I recommend the approach.
  • Yes! Make sure there's guaranteed, as well as high-risk, fun!

  • Anthology nights would probably make a lot of sense with the local group. Good idea!

    I'm intrigued by this "Playtesting is boring" stuff - the few play-tests I've taken part in on behalf of someone else, the design has been mostly complete, or at least nicely filled out, and the task of the play-testers was to see if said design was enjoyable, what could be improved, etc.

    So, uh, how could it be boring?
  • Posted By: Joshua A.C. NewmanPlaytesting is difficult and frustrating, and often boring.
    I don't mean to pick on Joshua, who I very much respect, but folks say this all the time and it is completely untrue, or, at least, not necessarily so. It really depends on the state of the game that's being playtested and the attitude of the playtesters. There is a school of thought -- that's slowly gaining traction I think -- that playtesting need not be easily distinguished from just playing an enjoyable hack -- something pieced together from other games that is mostly functional and fun, where the rules might change slightly between different sessions or between different playgroups.
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