Mastering the Art of Playtesting
Are you jealous of other board game designers who have created great games? Do you wonder why your games don’t seem entertaining? The good news is your game has a lot of potential, it just needs to go through a robust review process. Flame Point Games, the publisher of Magical Unicorn Quest and Towering Purrfection, has perfected this process and is going to give you the information on how to design a fun game. Over the next few weeks, we will publish a series of blog posts outlining all of our tips and tricks to maximize the playtesting process.
It is important to know that the best board games were not designed by a single person keeping all the information private. Instead, they were designed by someone who reached out to their community and asked people to play the game and give constructive feedback.
Playtesting your game is the most important thing you can do. Playtesting your game will take a game from mediocrity to one gamers play over and over again. Towering Purrfection, which will be launching on Kickstarter on October 20th, has gone through hundreds of playtests to ensure maximum player enjoyment.
Part 1: Components
Do not worry if your game prototype and components are very rudimentary. The publisher will create the artwork and ensure the components in the final version are spectacular. Playtesting is the time where you figure out the mechanics of your game, determining what works and what needs to be revised.
Pouring money into a high quality prototype is a waste of resources. Below are few ideas for creating cost-effective prototypes for playtesting.
Boards - I recommended buying sticker paper and adhering it to a cereal box. Cereal boxes are strong, sturdy, and don’t damage easily. You can cut them with scissors, draw directly on the unprinted side, and place sticker paper on them. Sticker paper is also very useful. It can go through a printer or be drawn on by hand then placed onto the cereal box for durability.
Tokens – Tokens are just smaller boards. So I do the same process as above. Or, If you have a large game collection I recommended using the components from those board games. Don’t worry if the art and theme don’t match, as artwork doesn't matter in prototypes. Just remined your play testers that you are looking for feedback on the mechanics of the game, not the artwork or physical components.
Cards - I recommended using card sleeves. Put some old trading cards that you don’t use in the sleeve then insert your card using standard printing paper in front of the other card. This will ensure that all cards are the same size, easy to shuffle, and provide a realistic playing experience.
Artwork - Don’t spend time or money on artwork that will not be used. This is just a waste of time and money. Ensure your preliminary artwork does not distract the people who are playtesting your game. For example, don’t use adult content artwork for a kids game.
Stay tuned next week for Part 2: The Art of Playtesting.